Friday, January 27, 2012

Fanning the Flames

Been busy painting the walls of my new studio in preparation for my first private class which starts this coming Monday! It's an afterschool drawing class for kids age 8 - 12, and I have 6 students! Thought I'd liven up the place with a bit of paper fire...:^)
Barn's burnt I can see the moon. ~ Masahide

Monday, January 23, 2012

Never Ever

Lisbeth has bounced back once again, amazing woman/child.I took a video of Lisbeth dancing in my studio yesterday. After she left, I viewed it, and as I watched it this song happened to be playing on my CD player. It seemed to fit perfectly, so I went home and made it the soundtrack. I had no idea what the words meant, or at least I thought I didn't know. I did take a few years of French when I was in Jr. High and High School. Maybe it stayed with me more than I realize, because after I made this video I looked up the translation to the song...

Am I ever fragile? Do I really have a choice?
Do I ever gently grumble, maybe? Was I thinking of death?
To eventually stop... being so strong
Can I even cry?
No never, never ever
Look, am I trembling?
No never, I'd rather die
Than let life kill me
No never, ever, never ever...

Julien Bense

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Barnfire Studio

My four grandchildren, christening the drawing wall in my new studio!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Look for Them...

This little ice sculpture in a window box on Front Street stopped me in my tracks yesterday afternoon. I was taking a break from working in my studio, feeling traumatized and tired from the night before. I saw the hummingbird first...and took my camera out of my bag and snapped a few pictures. When downloading these images this morning, I saw the centaur...

I thought of the woman who checked us in at the ER Tuesday night...

She was wearing an enamel horse pin, and she told me about her business, Healing Horses, and invited me to bring Lisbeth out for a visit sometime soon. She said, "She doesn't have to get on a horse right away or even at all, if she doesn't want to. She can just enjoy being there with the horses - maybe help to feed and brush them. It does folks good just to be around the horses, out in the fresh air." I asked her if she has an all white horse, thinking that Lisbeth would love to see a horse that matches her kitty, Milkweed. She said, "Yes, in fact we do. He's an old Arabian that we rescued. His name is Trooper," and she gave me her card.

Yesterday morning I told Lisbeth's house manager that I would like to start taking Lisbeth to this horse farm.

Thoughts of guardians and angels...

When I open my eyes, when I pay attention, I see that they are all around me...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


In a sad stroke of synchronicity yesterday, my phone rang while I was working on these pieces in my studio. It was Lisbeth's one-on-one helper calling to tell me that Lisbeth had just had another bad fall during a seizure. I quickly yanked off my painting apron and told them I'd meet them at the emergency room. Evidently Lis had one of her "no warning" grand mal seizures where she goes down like a felled tree. These are the worst - no bending at the knees, no initial crying out, just BOOM. Straight down. She and her helper were in the kitchen about to make some banana bread, when Lis crashed into the refrigerator door, face first.

She's banged up but OK. Breaks my heart what she endures.

After getting Lisbeth back home and comfortable, I headed back to my studio and worked on these paintings even more prayerfully.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Primer Prime Pics

My daughter-in-law Tracey Miller took these stellar shots of my triptych, A Girl's Primer, on the last day of the exhibit at Aucocisco Gallery. Tracey has an excellent eye and a superb camera - you can really see the details and the surface texture in these images! I'm so grateful to her for travelling to Portland to document my triptych while it was still installed at Aucocisco, which is such a beautiful space.

This group show never did get a formal review, but I received many wonderful and insightful notes, comments and e-mails about A Girl's Primer. One of my favorite remark's came from independent curator and writer Britta Konau:

Saw the Aucocisco show and was really taken by your big drawings. The following names came to my mind while looking: Dix, Klimt, and Chagall. Not bad associations, right?


Monday, January 16, 2012

Light from Darkness


Maya Bloch

Kathe Kollwitz

Guardians and angels are on my mind of late, and what it means to be a guardian. I'm one of my daughter Lisbeth's legal guardians, and she has many other sorts of guardians, celestial and terrestial. So do I. How do they show up? What do they look like? These are the thoughts I'm taking with me to the studio today...