more from the air, less from the studio

well the last trip out had a small unwelcome hiccup, but i returned home safe and albeit a bit sore.  its left me pondering whether it was possible i have some how entered a co dependent relationship with texas where it won’t let me quit it.

however trip be damned or not i managed to get a couple more nice shots from the air over phoenix, these remind me of turkish tiles and mosaics. the phone camera did not do the colors justice, but i might have to incorporate some of these water shapes into functional ware soon.

KIMG0156KIMG0155

 

 

 

 

 

and while our studio is being repaired and i am taking it easy, there is no new work to be working on i’ve got a few waiting for glaze and fire.

april pre showers

between the trips (upcoming will be #3) and planning other life altering events i’ve been lax in the studio this semester; but this week i managed to get 3 completed up to the point of sanding, which required drying time and lucky for me i’ve got other things to keep my mind afloat while they dry.  i also got to sandblasting more of the work from early in the year, this pair i like, although i have misplaced what i thought the title would be so for now they have settled on ‘the lengths that i would go to the distance in your eyes” although they and i are not content with this.

 

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the way it sometimes goes

 

 

me and barb

me and barb

cleaning up images and uploading them reminded me of the backlog of things i had wanted post/write.  once the procrastination starts the next step is avoidance and then feeling overwhelmed in a “where do i start, those thoughts were so 3 weeks ago” feeling came.  instead of beating myself up or putting it off further, i’ll begin before trip one: i was surprised to see that the caring place used an image of myself and my pal barb for their annual report.  while doing good is payment in itself, it was really just awesome to see me and my friend on the cover.

 

 

northern illinois farm fields by air

northern illinois farm fields by air

On the flight home I got lucky with window seats, actually the planes were all small so the choice was window or aisle.  On the way to the Windy City for my connecting flight home (which cancelled right before my eyes but there are worse places to be stranded than ohare, and i did make it home so no harm, no foul) looking out the window and perhaps having 2D design on the brain, I was reminded at how our landscape has some pretty terrific views.  This one was of farmland and while snow covered you can still make out the borders of fields,roads and waterways.  I am in love the juxtaposition of the  hard and organic lines in the composition.

All in all the traveling has me thinking of my responses to questions and wondering whether they were answered proper.  One that I don’t think I gave complete justice to  (and in my defense I can only say I was sleep deprived and nervous) was the question was what is next in my work and research.  The correct answer of course is a long one.  Yes I have a direction and the next move is to write about the work from a music standpoint, which is a major influence in my work although i’m still trying to find my start point, this can often be the hardest part.

a few summers ago I went down a course to figure out why I was making the work I do, not just the canned answer or artist response/statement but more in depth.  It led me to read and research quite a bit: Lyotard, Danto, Merleau-Ponti, back to Baldesarri ( because surprisingly i can always get answers there), Tratctatus (although while I can find answers there, I don’t know if they are the correct answers and i’m not ready to touch that with a hot poker in academic circles just yet)  I had thought my next move would be to theater (for the drama, the interaction) but it wasn’t and the book i sought proved interesting but not helpful so sitting in the q. is alex ross’ the rest is noise and a file folder stuffed with notecards and ideas waiting to draft.

The other part of that question was where is my work going? well i’ve been thinking about doing more platteresque (read: flat wall work) and dealing with aesthetic choices – keep them as a platter, have them be individual pieces, et al… one of the goals here is to have the work read more lyrical movement wise and the option to incorporate multiples rather than coupling.   So I’ve been working on those ideas (as well as working out the technical kinks that come with working with porcelain)  Below are the successful fruits of this labor with working titles.

 

you and i in silence with nothing else to do

you and i in silence with nothing else to do

shut your mouth cause i'm not listening anyhow

shut your mouth cause i’m not listening anyhow

Spring Break

i had hopes to have some work started and others complete, but it seems that since late february the driving force of life has been work, then traveling (for the possible start of new adventures) and work again (the dean actually had some wise, great words which basically made returning on focusing on the ask at hand quite easy) late last week i wound up sick, so this spring break was not spent doing the things i wanted but at home resting, taking care of little things and reading.   i sped through the david sedaris book ‘ when you are engulfed in flames’ which reminded me of many things, which at some point i shall write about, because this book after all is signed (and there’s a story there without having to go any further, but i might)

so while feeling human and ready to tackle the world all my ideas were thwarted by rain, so i bring you ‘ode to gaiety’ by  james broughton

Go gloom
Begone glum and grim
Off with the drab drear and grumble
It’s time
its pastime
to come undone and come out laughing
time to wrap killjoys in wet blankets
and feed them to the sourpusses

Come frisky pals
Come forth wily wags
Loosen your screws and get off your rocker
Untie the strait lacer
Tie up the smarty pants
Tickle the crosspatch with josh and guffaw
Share quips and pranks with every victim
of grouch pomposity or blah

Woe to the bozo who says No to
tee hee ho ho and ha ha
Boo to the cleancut klutz who
wipes the smile off his face
Without gaiety
freedom is a chastity belt
Without gaiety
life is a wooden kimono

Come cheerful chums
Cut up and carry on
Crack your pots and split your sides
Boggle the bellyacher
Convulse the worrywart
Pratfall the prissy poos and the fuddy duds
Take drollery to heart or end up a deadhead
at the guillotine of the mindless

Be wise and go merry round
whatever you cherish
what you love to enjoy what you live to exert
And when the hight spirits
call your number up
count on merriment all the way to the countrdown
Long live hilarity euphoria and flumadiddle
Long live gaiety
for all the laity

Work

Not a lot of work time has been afforded the first part of the year, partly due to family and friend obligations taking precedent and of course stuff around the house (or the never ending list), search for venues and books (finished 4 so far this year).  this was our first real free weekend at home and i spent this morning in the studio working on a couple of pieces I began earlier in the week and got the wheels in motion for a couple more.  I also managed to gather up my empty bowls and for curiosities sake I counted and got a total of 97, not bad, not bad.

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls

I also hung the masterpiece gifted to me last year by one of the painting students taking abstract sculpture.  I absolutely loved how cerebral a thinker she is.

"the plank"

“the plank”

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fall work is here

got a few gems out of the kiln last week, pretty happy with them and sort of motivation one needs to keep making more.  i actually attribute some of this to changing out the car cd’s, my  continued slow read of david byrne’s  ‘how music works’.  I also spent quality time reflecting on a couple that initially i had liked but when they became were off, too trunky and stiff.

 

the lengths that i would go to the distance in your eyes

the lengths that i would go to the distance in your eyes

source

Spent the last week and a half in the studio, getting my summer pots waxed and glazed for a firing or two.  Around Thursday  while looking at my progress and realizing i had much more to do, my subconscious reminded me of this poem i had read as a child and after looking it up and reading it again, i was taken aback at the words and how much of it has stayed with me after all these years, coming out subtly with the decision to turn a diamond on its side, or add lines to every other solid shape.
Patterns by Amy Lowell
I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.
My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.
And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.
I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.
Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday sen’night.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman.
“No,” l told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.
In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.
In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?