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Friday, April 27, 2012

Ordinary day - extraordinary life!

When we walk our dog Nick in the morning I'm often staggered by the beauty of nature springing out ... in spring!   Just an ordinary day, with extraordinary life.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Transformation 1 and 2, 2010, watercolor, 8x23

I painted these two following the passing of Lee Hancock, my long time friend.  What happens when we die?  What happens to the nickel weight that goes missing upon death?  We'll never know.  But living through the loss of a loved one, as we all will do, and dying as we must, I tried to grapple with my sense of Lee's spirit rising, transforming from body to pure spirit.  Form to amorphousness.

One night, just after Lee's passing, I was describing her death to a friend while sitting on the terrace outside our kitchen.  It was dusk and darkening around us.  All at once a curtain of fireflies appeared around us, like two walls, rising up as high as the tall trees surrounding us. It was transfixing. It felt as though these fireflies must have been connected Lee.

Form and formlessness.  We don't do well with the latter. We can't help but look for signs in the world around us. Or (I can't help but wonder) do we sometimes get glimpses of the beyond in moments like this, when we look closely?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Roadie Photos and Magical Thinking

I was inspired by the sky and clouds yesterday and took these photographs of this on-ramp I've been looking at for several years.  I guess I like the intensity of the curves.


Check out the contrast of the lines on the road against the fuzzy trees and the wild sky.   I've painted this before.  You can see some of my roadie paintings here.

Order and chaos.  

In related news, this week an article appeared in the New York Times regarding a new book: The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy and Sane by Matthew Hutton. It's about how we, as humans, impose order on uncertain and uninterpreted experience.
I'm excited for this book to come out so I can get his take on "magical thinking."

Back on the road, the lines represent safety and order. They are a metaphor for the order we impose (figuratively and literally) on the irregularity and fluidity of life to sustain our own meaning-making, our sanity.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Extraordinary Rich Altar Art Regarding Harriet Tubman

This week I'd like to share with you some photos from Stephanie Alston-Nero's work. She is an altar artist, performing poet, and shamanic healer.  Her performance installation piece was included in "Women's Work: A Celebration of Poetry and Visual Art" which was held at Iona College Council on the Arts in New Rochelle, NY. At first  I was drawn into the visual and spiritual elements of it.   There was a booth with large and small collages and altars made to Harriet Tubman, and icons of suffering and transformation.

A basket of quotations about Tubman's activism hung beside the booth.  Instructions were provided to read a quote from the basket and ring a small bell when done.

Here are some pictures from  inside the booth!

Prior to the performance, Stephanie handed out some of the quotes.  Then she drummed which drew us together from around the gallery over to the booth.  The drumming was electrifying.  She then asked those of us holding the quotations to read them aloud.  The readings brought Tubman's presence alive in the community of gathered and uplifted her heroism.  It was truly enriching and engaging work.

Stephanie exposed us to a profound history of Tubman's transformative work through visual richness that still resonates with me.  The exhibit is over now but you can see more about Stephanie's work at