Relation was painted as a head study of a crow. I became interested in crows many years ago, mostly as an antidote to my semi-fear of their raucous and unpredictable behavior. Then, a couple of years ago, when we moved to the house we're now living in, I found that the crows came around often to the tall trees at the rear of our property, raising cain with their noise and arguing. I tried to chase them off and it seemed they came to know that I didn't appreciate them and would fly off - especially after I threw small stones at them. But then something shifted for me. I didn't like my discomfort, I didn't want to be at the mercy of my feeling of intimidation. And, they seemed very interesting. I found out, after a bit of research, that crows, and especially ravens, are highly intelligent animals, capable of remembering human faces. Well, maybe I felt guilty about my lack of hospitality and fearful that they might remember me and try to get their revenge. I wanted to get to know them, and understand them. Crows have a long and venerable history in the myths of human beings, from the first bird to find land after the Great Flood of the Old Testament, to the feisty tricksters of the Native Americans. To me, crows are both magical and maddening creatures, at once dear relations and the crazy cousins that you disavow knowing. Crows seem wise and wise-ass. There's something deep in their shenanigans, something foreboding, as though they know something about the demise of the humans, or at least about personal mortality. To me the deep and mysterious black of their feathers and sleek bodies contains beautiful iridescent colors not to be seen in most of nature, as though they originated in some otherwordly realm; like shape-shifters or dark magicians, reflecting back to us the maddeningly mundane and deeply mysterious truth about ourselves.
Is having a blog anathema to creating visually? Should my art speak for itself? Well, I guess my art should speak for itself; but I love words. I'm ruled by Mercury, after all - the god of restlessness; and medicine, commerce, communication. A really Peter Pan kind of character in many respects. Some days, I don't have an image to put down, though I can always play with design and color. But today - not sure. There always seem to be words floating around in my brain:
word jazz: 1.0
Have these words traveled out of my dreams
The shades of an underworld meaning
striving to be heard to expiate
half-lived lives of noisy solitude
risen like bubbles of gas
from decaying minerals,
effervescent effluent from the bottom
of a Neptunian sea
water squeezed under pressured crust
super-heated explosion of steamy ventilations
exhalations, whistling through vents in a
screaming rise of exultation
expulsion of magma oozing
iron core of molten collective energies
lifting, spreading, building
new islands of expression
have they risen like vapors from the
surface of the water, wraiths of unknown bodies
ghosts of ideas, I’s that died when
The words were done, released back to the world
created in my synapses
A simple electricochemicoconcocted delusion
of cacophonous rhythms that surge and dissipate
changing colors with wine or chocolate
did they light upon my soul when it entered
my body, infiltrate through my ears like
worms digging in, leaving pebbly detritus to
fertilize some Indo-European tree of babble
a double-helix pregnant with words
when the idea of me was made real
sperm and egg breaking bread together
combusting in a spreading mold
that grew until they couldn’t be contained
exploding in a swirling galaxy of meanings
expanding universe of dark and light
matter too big to be held by I?
Then there are those days...
I open my studio door...
I open my studio door with anticipation, fear, excitement; Judgment sits on a stool in the back of the room, where I've placed him, focused on some intellectual game to keep his mind off of me. Doubt lies on the couch, hidden under a blanket. I face the canvas and take up a brush, paints, other materials, and the hundred little ideas and images from my day-to-day life, my dreams, the books and articles I've read, the thoughts I've entertained myself with; everything that I've been stirring in the cauldron of my imagination.
Finally, I face the canvas and take a deep breath and then I embrace faith. The faith that I am indeed pursuing who I am and what has been asked of me; the faith that what I do has meaning and purpose; the faith that maybe, somehow, my work will help illuminate some small corner of someone's life, bring just a little light, a bit of understanding, a degree of love and compassion, some warmth, maybe, to the cold certainties of our created world.
And then, I'm in it, of it, I am it. I am connected and flowing because I am part of this glorious, awesome, beautiful, terrible, love-filled life. I am doing who I am, being what I was meant to be. I swim in images and energy and purpose. And so, my paintings are my prayers and my answers; and not mine, really. And this is Joy.
Welcome to my blog. Please join me in conversation about any creative aspect of life; whatever strikes your fancy. Your words need only open three gates before speaking here: truth, necessity, kindness. May we learn together in peace and ease.