Thursday, April 30, 2009

Greta the Great

One of my studio neighbors, the gutsy Greta Bank doing a "peephole performance" Tuesday night. The Artist Studio hosted an open studio for The Portland Museum of Art Contemporaries, a group of art collectors and art lovers, and Greta decided to do this impromptu performance in her studio about "the gaze" and the relationship between the voyeur and the voyee. Greta asked me to hang around and observe the audience, remarking that this would be the most interesting part of the performance. It was fascinating and comical to watch the people watching. If Greta had simply left her door open and stood there painting in the nude, no-one would have stopped to look - they would have been too embarrassed. But with the cardboard peephole cutouts, people knew that they had permission and felt safe enough to watch. (As I type this, I am struck by the similarity between the words people and peephole... :^)
Watching Greta's performance was like viewing a living, breathing painting. It was really quite gorgeous!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Father

George Goodwin Simmons
1921 - 1998

My Dad died 11 years ago today. Here is a picture of him when he was around 18 or 19 years old. Thinking of him.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Fires

garry's garlic

rhubarb emerging from the ground - tis wild looking stuff: a small fist, a phallus, a bald head, an elfin birth...

salvador surveying...

my son andy in front of his new studio in the woods...

my husband garry cleaning up the apple tree - we had considerable tree damage from the winter ice storms...

bonfire of the christmas trees...

Some images from the wonderful, warm weekend in Woolwich. The high voltage greens of April are akin to flames, don't you think?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gee's Bend Quilts

Some of the Quilts of Gee's Bend. This bottom pic shows one of my favorites. Whole legs of old dungarees are pieced together! Wild.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Robert Rauschenberg
Bed, 1955
combine painting: oil and pencil on pillow, quilt, sheet, on wood supports

I started cutting up and piecing together some of my artifacts - old tablecloths, curtains, and linens from my childhood home and from my early marriage - also my rag dolls. I am also adding to the mix pieces from a studio drop cloth, and collaged elements. It feels oddly satisfying to do this. Doug asked in a comment in my last post if I think that my painting on velvet is "ritualistic." Well, in the sense that I show up regularly and religiously in my studio to make art - to make things happen - yes, I suppose that what I am doing is ritualistic!

I think that what I am doing over and over here, with the velvet, with the patchwork (and with all my self-portraits) is that I am telling my story, telling my story, telling my story, and always looking for new ways to tell my story again. I suppose that could be defined as ritual.

This quilt somehow ties in with the paint on velvet pieces. It may end up on a bed as sculpture, it may end up on the wall as relief, like Rauschenberg's Bed, it may end up as part of something else entirely...stay tuned...I'm heading somewhere...