I'm in the exhibit, and on the postcard.  yay!


Free the sister wives!

Yesterday I finished reading, for the second time, Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer.  I very rarely read books twice, but 'Banner' was this month's selection for my new book club. I won't even attempt to write a review of this book or put to words the frustration and anger I felt reading it both times.  The violence, abuse, oppression, and corruption, apparently inherent in the fundamentalist faction of the Mormon church is appalling.  But, aren't those elements a part of every fundamentalist faction of every religion?  Honestly, I think a lot of people have stopped asking themselves, what would Jesus, or Muhammad, or Buddha, or Krishna, or Zeus, do?  Well, I think Zeus was kind of mean, throwing those lightning bolts and doing all that seducing, (maybe he was related to Joseph Smith?) so we can remove him from the list.
I will now permanently retire Mr. Krakauer's tome to my bookshelf and turn my attention toward some light fiction.



When I added the polka-dots to this little sketch I had a Ratatouille moment.  You remember the scene: Anton Ego, the food critic, tastes Remy's (the rat-chef extraordinaire) ratatouille and is instantly swept back into an endearing childhood memory.  I chuckled viewing that scene, but in a bittersweet kind of way, because, haven't we all seen or heard or smelled something and done a little time traveling?   Like today with my sketch...after adding the polka-dots I was transported to the davenport (which is what my mom called the couch) in the family room of the house where I grew up, my little legs not yet reaching the floor, with a book on my lap.  The book was full of big, friendly creatures and every creature, as I recall, was covered with bold, brightly colored polka-dots. I poured over this book as a kid, (along with Go Dog Go, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back) and attribute it for my love of polka-dots all these years later, but, for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the book!  I will likely be thinking about this all day.  But, if anyone who happens to read this blog, happens to recall this book, please drop me a line.


Mr. Thoreau says:

"An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."  I wholeheartedly agree. There is a 3+ mile route, close to home, that I walk frequently.  The route takes me through a suburban neighborhood, around a lake, along a busy thoroughfare, down a road, (which I'm sure was once considered, "the boondocks") and back home again.  Sometimes I take this walk with my friend and neighbor. We chat and gossip for the entire 3+ miles and it's better than therapy.  Sometimes I take this walk alone and use the time to sort through my mental inbox, to shake off pent up anxieties, and on a good day, to notice and enjoy the sights and sounds this walk provides, day after day, season after season, year after year.  Late summer is perhaps my favorite time to take this walk, especially at the blush of dawn, when the air is cool and the morning commute is not yet in full swing.  On occasion I snap a photo or two with my phone.  What follows are sights I've happened to notice lately.

One of many, very friendly cats.

 Two, always hungry, horses.

 A border of flowers that arches over my path.

 Preparations for winter.
An area of aviaries.

Studio update:
My once tidy studio is presently a jumble of sketches and books and pens and pencils.  I'm working on ideas for what may turn out to be a series of prints.  It's been a while since I've thrown an idea at the wall and had it stick, so I'm intrigued and excited.  And that's all I'm going to say for while I'm not superstitious, I don't want to jinx myself.


Art speak

While strolling through Seattle on Saturday afternoon, I snapped a few photos with my phone.  This one strikes me as the most interesting and it allows me to use an art word.   Doesn't Deborah Butterfield's impressive piece, Ke'oke'o, provide an interesting juxtaposition to the urban landscape?


Back in the saddle

August has ended and with it my month-long foray into the land of home improvement.  I am happy to report that I finished all the projects on my list, and then some. But, as it is with most home projects, when one is complete, another two or three appear.  Surely every homeowner has had the following experience: with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, the woodwork suddenly looks more scuffed and scraped then ever. An afternoon of touching up the woodwork and  the carpeting reveals itself as the shabby, threadbare wall-to-wall covering it really is....and so on, and so on, and so on.  Therefore, while my month dedicated to improving my property has ended, my to-do list is longer than ever.  Sigh.
In spite of the many hours I devoted to painting and caulking and purging and organizing, August was not a month devoid of art.  Mid-month I traveled to the Bay Area to visit some of the people I love most in the world and in my short time there visited several galleries and museums.  One highlight was visiting Crown Point Press.  I roamed through their summer exhibition which included some lovely prints, but not one by Jockum Nordstrom, who currently is one of my favorite artists.  Seeing me peruse a book of his work, the bookstore clerk invited me to look at the prints JN and his wife, Karin Mama Andersson made during their recent residency at Crown Point Press.  I'm sure I gushed and drooled upon seeing their lovely collaborative pieces. Other interesting exhibits viewed in SF were an exhibit of traditional and contemporary Korean wrapping cloths, called Bojagi, at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art and at the Cartoon Art Museum, items from the movie HOWL and a collection of Archie comics, (as a kid I loved Archie comics perhaps more than I loved The Fantastic Four).
Having spent a month away from any serious art making I am equal parts excited to get back to work and fearful.  I worry...what if I've completely lost my momentum? ...what if I've forgotten how to draw, carve, print?  To ease myself back into my studio practice I spent today roaming through the Seattle Art Museum and various local galleries.  I saw many inspiring and interesting exhibits, including the  exquisite paper cuts by Qiao Xiaoguang  at The Cullom Gallery.

from The City Series, by Qiao Xiaoguang

Having spent the day looking at art and roaming the streets of Seattle, (on what was a beautiful day) I returned home and bravely picked up my sketchbook.  Tomorrow I will enter my clean and tidy studio, (another of my August chores) and get back to work, in earnest.