Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday we drove to San Francisco to deliver a painting. One With The Sweetness, transported. It was strange taking her up into one of the tallest skyscrapers in the City, the sleek brown Bank of America building on California Street with its hushed and gleaming interior. Powering up the elevator pushed all the blood to my toes and made me lightheaded but that was nothing to what was ahead. After we delivered our package we took a moment to glance out of an enormous conference room window at the literally breathtaking view and a deeply familiar vision met my eyes. Stretched out before me was a perfectly vivid scene straight from my dreams. A profound and particular dream actually, one I had six years ago (see my blog post Premonition Recognition). It varied only it that the scene was expanded slightly, the frame enlarged, since I was seeing the TransAmerica pyramid instead of looking out from it, but all other physical elements were in place: being high up, looking out through a wall of glass at the vast San Franciscan cityscape, Coit Tower, the jumble of structures and avenues and a clear long distance view of the bay with Alcatraz Island resting out upon the water. Eerie. Spine tingly. There was an unusual structure adjacent to us that added a new element. The 580 California Street building features an odd mansard roof (think Gothic spooky) embellished with three faceless wraiths or "corporate goddesses" or fates (?). In researching these beauties, I discovered that there are twelve in all but these three look down upon something known as the Banker's Heart, a large abstract sculpture by artist Masayuki Nagare. A heart-shaped hunk of glossy black granite titled "Transcendence" , graces the entrance to the Bank of America center. If I knew this on Friday, I would have made a small pilgrimage (stepping out into the bitter cold courtyard) to see it because the prominent substance in my vision dream was a huge hunk of glossy black obsidian. All this probably may sound like stretching for connections but to me it reads beautifully. It's something wordless and important about the fate of humanity. Any way I look at it it's an interesting view.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Photo: My loot. Among other things, a book of Leaf Poems by India, a beeswax candle from Eden and a lovely Cosmic Blaster ray gun with "Out Of This World Space Gun Sounds" from Rob (something I saw in Santa Cruz and wanted).
Sunday, December 09, 2007
When I was first introduced to Erzulie, the Haitian Aphrodite, I was smitten. An insatiable Voodoo love goddess of beauty, dancing, jewelry and pretty clothes, fond of luxury and the sensual pleasures, promiscuous and yet demanding faithfulness, fierce protector of children, prone to rages and occasional fits of complaining and all this tempered by her being so deeply burdened with the sorrows of the world that she weeps uncontrollably. Venus, my dearest deity suddenly rounded out into this dark ally, wonderfully complex, contradictory and real.
So, I painted an image of Erzulie inspired by a poem composed by my collaborator, Amy Trussell. Rising up out of a streaming river, crowned with doves and trailing white lace upon the currents, she caught the eye of Jayson Fann, the creative director of the International Arts Festival at Esalen and Visual Arts Director of First Night Monterey who is launching a project called Waters of Life, an emerging international educational effort addressing the issue of global water pollution. He has invited me to allow Erzulie to be one of many water images contributed by artists to be transformed into freestanding murals by schoolchildren and then used to promote "care, respect and practical strategies for protecting our planet's most precious resource". It will eventually be a moving installation that travels the globe. The kickoff is happening on New Year's Eve in Monterey and will feature a performance by Oshun Priestess Luisah Teish.
Erzulie knows where she wants to be.
Heart of Erzulie Painting by moi.
Yesterday was surprisingly languid and golden after the biting cold wind on Friday. It made for a good day to slide wide the door at my Open Studio. Many small indulgences. Paint, radiant wood heat, burning candles, good conversation, chocolate, port and winter sunshine. The cherry was meeting a vibrant young couple from the City who are now the new owners of the (coveted by many) painting, One With The Sweetness. I have had countless inquiries about this piece since I painted it and some generous offers to purchase it early on, before I was ready to let go. Just a few weeks ago I made the decision to place this one in the studio. The time was ripe and they were it. Some work feels like progeny. One of my children. Release is twofold. A small wrench but a greater sowing. Casting. Like a light or a seed. Makes for a good day.
One With The Sweetness-Ostapuk private collection, SF
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
It's been a matter of weeks now that I've been eschewing the computer or at least keeping my hands off the keyboard with the goal of persuading an inflamed rotator cuff to ease up. It's somewhat better but still painful. Ergonomic I have not been so I suffer the consequences. No writing or playing guitar or even painting much. Sigh. In the face of such "freedom", existential angst threatens to set in like rigor mortis and so I am vigilant, steering relentlessly toward any small measure of the sweet and pleasurable. A nectar seeking bee, happy it rained and enjoying the sun.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday the rain broke and we were looking at a stunning Fall day. The ginko around the corner from our house told us the conditions were perfect for taking a walk over to McDonald Avenue to revel in the falling gold. There are dozens of these trees lining the street and when they turn it is truly magnificent. Especially when the bark is black and wet and the sun catches all the stray raindrops. Lothlorien!
Monday, November 12, 2007
I got my first really rainy Open Studio this last Saturday but it felt delicious to be holed up out there in my magical space with the wood stove churning away, radiating to contest the open door and splattery wind. Just sketching, painting, playing guitar and singing to the rain. Since it was so crappy out I wasn't expecting anyone to show and settled into my get-some-work-done mode. I finished my violin case and painted two new smalls. Then I did get visitors and enjoyed some good conversation, catching up and even sent one of my babies off to a new home! A good day.
Painting "Swoon" now in the private collection of Joanna Palmer, one of my angels.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I've always loved Sam Cooke's voice but never seen him in action. In spite of the lip-syncing and the 50's sentiment, boy is he smooth. Those poor coiffed and crew cut teens in the audience. He must be doing something to their circuitry cuz he sure does something to mine. Oh. My. God.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Finally finished painting this bag and put it out for sale at open studio yesterday. I will be making more art bags in the weeks come. This on has two fishes on one side and a moth on the other. Other view here . I kept the colors subdued and liked the outcome.
Monday, October 29, 2007
After weathering some frustrating episodes of computer immersion last week, I took time to hang out at the studio and make something pleasing. I built this altar to my artist ancestors, a few particular souls whose lives and work have inspired me. After I'd put all the images together I realized I'd forgotten to include my own grandpa, an artist and bona fide blood relation. So I put a pen and brush box of his at the foot with a candle and small photo my mom found. Satisfying.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Here is a chance at last to stop the insidious corrosion of basic American freedoms that's been rotting away the foundations of our democracy these past several years. I haven't written a political post for quite awhile since I want to keep my energy focused on what I want to see rather than feed into the vortex of despair that current events usually lead me to do but this is truly heartening. Even if it is a long shot I still want to support it so I'm contacting my government peeps. Ron Paul, unlikely Republican presidential candidate, introduced the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 to Congress on Monday. It basically addresses the worst abuses, seeking to restore the rule of law. If passed it would, among other things, make inadmissible any evidence obtained through torture, require intelligence gathering to be done in accordance with FISA, challenge presidential signing statements and repeal the Military Commissions Act (restore habeas corpus). This is something seriously worthwhile that rises above the partisan divide. Naomi Wolf writes much more about it here.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday went really well. It's true that I was exhausted and still unsatisfied by the time I rolled aside the big door but at least I was open, the primary point of all this. My space was tidy, full and inviting. Despite my anemic expectations, folks showed up! My own people as well as some stray ARTrails explorers. I got to meet some new neighbors, engage in a few lovely and unlikely conversations as well as hang out with friends laughing, playing guitar and eating cheese. Fine pastimes all! I even made some money. The best outcome of this all for me was the fresh reality of my studio being transformed. Unclogged both literally and energetically. I'm recharged and newly mapped. In touch with aspirations again. Cleared out and cleared up. Nice.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I've been putting in my hours getting ready to open the studio this Saturday. I'm finally sliding open the door. It happens that I am coinciding with the Sonoma County ARTrails Open Studio Tour which seems like good timing. Maybe. Having done ARTrails for several years, I'm actually relieved to not be officially participating this time. Being multifaceted, particular and a natural nonconformist, I like having things unfold on my own terms. Showing what I want as much as I want when I want. So, no rules, no constraints. I can show my paintings alongside my unjuried photographs. I can set out some wool sculpture or light forms or jewelry or painted purses if I am so inclined. Sarongs made in Bali or some kid art? No problem. I can hold a poetry reading or an impromptu music jam. Not all these aspirations will be fulfilled on Saturday but there is intention which will become progression. Fundamentally, opening it up is more of a symbolic step for me. Becoming accessible. Overcoming reclusive tendencies. Even if not a soul darkens the door, I will feel good about the standing invitation. Every Saturday until Solstice 10 - 4. A chance to step into a creative space, see some work in progress, talk shop, co- inspire, woolgather or just cozy up to the fire and relax in a different atmosphere. I'll be there. Hope to see you.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Another card printing is in the works to replenish some bestsellers as well as debut six new images. Since there are more than six images to choose from we are asking for a little feedback from you. Click on over to Deva Luna Focus blog to check out what's up and vote on your top 6 choices (the poll will only be up for about a week). Everyone has different criteria and will likely choose what they like best but keep in mind which ones you think would have the widest appeal. I'd like to offer images that give a unique hit with some degree of versatility. Thanx all!
Friday, October 05, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I spent today recovering from yesterday. On Saturday we congregated with the Tumbleweeds to make cob, stomping and mixing wet soil, straw and sand into wonderful muck and building a bench out of it. At least the solid beginnings of a bench. It takes a lot of work to make a batch of cob and a lot of cob to make a bench. It was exhaustingly fun working in a big group and seeing it methodically take shape. Though our sculptural creation is a seat in Dave and Annalies' garden, it feels like all of ours. Some photos of our endeavor here.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Photo: Ia Altar. A portrait of India in her Elven cloak around age 7 done by my Grandpa Albert Scott. Also, an inked print of her wee foot done at about 1 week of age.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
This I like. A graffiti artist who actually cleans up the place as he's making art, not to mention making a pointed jab at the whole concept of graffiti as vandalism. This is the handiwork of one Paul Curtis aka "Moose" who works in the Leeds and London areas of the UK. You can read more about this new urban art form and artists Curtis and Brazilian Alexandre Orion at Inhabitat or Alexandre in action here. Way cool.
Photo from Inhabitat.
Detail of Illumination, acrylic painting on canvas. Now part of the Palmieri personal collection. Thanx, Phyllis!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I am standing with my family inside the Trans-America building looking out of the big windows facing a clear view of the San Francisco bay. Beloved city. The sense of peacefulness is shaken suddenly. An earthquake? I look out the huge windows and down toward the foundation to see that the sidewalks below are ruptured as if the building has twisted on it's axis. Before I can register amazement I become aware of a deep subterranean rumbling. As the sensation builds, all of us (my family) press up against the glass to see just what is happening. I sense that not only we but everyone in the entire city is clamoring to look. Our eyes seem to be drawn out to the waters of the bay. Alcatraz Island is somehow not out there but that spot draws every eye as the surface of the water begins to roil. Something is rising up out of the turbulence. An enormous piece of obsidian begins to jut slowly upward. Absolutely huge. As big as an island, tall, black and shining, somewhat reminiscent of the monolith in the film 2001 though roughly irregular. There is a heavy feeling of expectancy in the atmosphere. We are all waiting for something to happen. One smooth wide flank of the stone's black surface seems almost like a screen. We are expecting some kind of transmission. Collectively, we all look outward, open to receiving this message. A murky image begins to waver into view on this screen. It resolves into focus. An image of the Earth as seen from space. A small blue ball, white swirled, hanging in deep space. That is what we all see but the feeling that erupts is profound astonishment and recognition. As if we each had glimpsed a reflection of our own face in that surface. Then I'm struck with a deep knowing that something BIG is imminent. Sweeping in fast and furious, there is no stopping it. A tidal wave. Out at sea but pushing inland. My immediate fear is quickly replaced by resolve to model strength for my kids. I gather them in a huddle hug and excitedly tell them to hang on because something powerful will be crashing over us soon but that we will be OK. I'm fearless, brimming with the confidence of a woman who's given birth and knows intimately the relentless power of that creative force. To survive you have to ground yourself and yet give up to the momentum. Get out of the way. No resistance. Deep breath...
...I wake up.
Still riding out the chaos, walking that fine line between breakdown and breakthrough. Dreaming the future...bridging the abyss.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I've been keeping an apolitical profile lately, not because of dispassion but more because I've come to see how unproductive feelings of powerlessness and festering rage are. I still follow the haps closely but don't dwell on stories that make me despair. Instead I'm focusing on looking for evidence of the change I want to see. Apparently others are too. This video of Russ Feingold doing a Dylan a la "Don't Look Back" compiled of people's vision for our future prez.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Picture- An old German print of a lunar eclipse, 1888.
Painting by me-Fall Star
Friday, August 24, 2007
On Monday we launched India up to Not Back To School Camp so now it's just we three for the next few weeks trying to squeeze in some last minute summer fun. Swimming in the mineral pools out at Morton's Warm Springs, a trip to the beach, eating dinner outside, night walks, bike rides, dance class, hooping on the lawn, eating ice cream and tomato sandwiches, stargazing, staying up late...we are cramming it in. I hung out with my dad during his physical therapy today to see the haps in preparation for his imminent return on Tuesday. He's waxing strong and lively. Raring to come home. He wants to join in our antics. Meanwhile, I'm angling toward more time in studio and hatching plans for some new work. Yes, indeed, life is good.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
*( UPDATE: Dad will get an escorted home visit on Monday to assess his maneuvering skills on home turf. If it looks good then he'll be home on Tuesday).
Painting by me. "Sigh"
Monday, August 20, 2007
Photo of the creek at Annadel by moi.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I love this old footage of a young Jefferson Airplane performing on the Smothers Brothers show. "A new concept in airplane made out of people, hair, guitars and held together by words and music." They perform two songs, White Rabbit (which first rocked my world when I was four) and Somebody To Love, from one of my all time favorite albums. (I played Surrealistic Pillow so often as a teen that the vinyl warped and the songs still transport me like a time machine...only to the Eighties not the Sixties). This features a chubby-faced Grace belting away, handsome oh-so-cool Jorma Kaukonen on guitar and mind-bending psychedelic effects.
I just opened an email from our good friend Jay and was inspired to post it here.
My Most Dear Family and Friends,
The desert is a harsh, unforgiving environment and people who would cross it´s vast expanse do so with great reluctance.
Thousands of years ago my people crossed a desert. They did it to escape oppressive slavery. Their footsteps were guided by a pillar of fire. Each morning they gathered manna from heaven to ease their hunger. When they thirsted, water sprung forth from a rock.
Today, there are other people in the deserts of California, Arizona, Texas. They too are leaving behind oppressive poverty in search of opportunity. They have no pillar of fire to lead them on through the unmarked sands.There is no manna for them to eat and when their thirst becomes unbearable, they die. They die alone with only the drifting sands to cover their bodies
The week of Labor Day I am going into the desert with a group called No More Deaths who participate in search and rescue of people dying of thirst. Most frequently those who die are the weak- the children and the women. Last year at least four thousand people died out there. Hopefully, we can be of a little help. Right now I am in Ecuador, studying Spanish, and a headline in the Cuenca News a few days ago read: El desierto de Arizon fue mortal para Miriam Riera. So it´s real and it´s happening every day.
The cost of supporting one volunteer for one week is one hundred dollars and I am asking you to sponsor me with a donation of five dollars. In giving that, I will find comfort in the shade of your love, compassion and humanity. In that way I will not be going alone from our community. I will be walking with all the spirits of my loved ones.
Photo from the No Mas Muertes website.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Rob stumbled on this and sent it to me because he knows I love this kind of crazy stuff. Digging down to the common root of science and spirit. The place where ancient mystics, physicists and futurists can understand each other. This is Peter Russell, whose book The Global Brain I read back in the 80s. It infused me with real optimism about the state of the world. He was inspired by the Gaia guy, James Lovelock, who postulated the Gaia Hypothesis (now the Gaia Theory)-a holistic view of the earth as a self-regulating system akin to any multi-celled organism. Working with early computer systems, Russell extrapolated the concept of Earth as a living being and began to see humans and our ever-evolving complex communication networks as the neural network of this planet entity. Anyway, here he is again with more interesting perceptions.
Autumn is in the air and I'm feeling a pull to get grounded in some everyday practical doings before summer fades completely. I stepped out of the bubble yesterday and spent a few hours at the studio clearing junk and sprucing. I want to open the space to visitors soon. The plan is to have it be a casual affair. An offering to friends, family and interested interesting strangers to come hang out, talk art and life, drink tea and see some work. I'll let it be known when I'm ready and hopefully some of you will come by (I feel like the summer got away and I've barely seen anyone). Meanwhile we're building a mundane but meaningful momentum with dentist appointments, Not Back To School Camp packing, cleaning house and baking cakes!
Photo of India with her blue confection by me.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Dad Update: Today he was moved to the Sotoyome rehabilitation facility a block away from Memorial Hospital. It's a funkier building, circa the 60s. His room looks east with a sliding door that opens onto a patio. So he has fresh air and can gaze out the window at a big old apple tree and some large oaks. He's now nearly tube free, down to good old fashioned Penicillin and focusing on getting strong enough to come home. Supposedly, Sotoyome really works to get the prone up and going. Sitting up, standing and walking unassisted is the goal. Maybe by next week he will be home!
(Hi all Jerry well-wishers. My updates will be more sporadic from here on out but I'll definitely post the day he comes home.)
Photo: This is actually not the view from his room. I took this in the Spring out at Annadel.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Calligraphy by Sang H. Kim
Friday, August 10, 2007
Picture: A collage the girls and I pieced together to inspire Dad.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I like this Russian painting of The Fire Bird. It makes me think of the Phoenix. Dad's the Phoenix. He's been through Something. He went right to the edge, burned through to the other side and now he's rising up from the bed of ashes. Dross consumed. Radiantly reborn, really. As we were entering the hospital this evening, I saw a group of young guys standing outside smoking cigars. A new baby, most likely. I realized I was smiling like a fool, anticipating seeing Dad. I had the same joyful feeling that accompanies a new baby. Life granted. So beautiful.
Monday, August 06, 2007
P.S. That candle is still burning in the garden! That's five days solid. Thanks, Amy!
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Picture by Royce B. McClure
P.S. Dad's altar candle is still burning on in the garden and his tomato is the grandest beauty in the bed. It's almost fully ripe so soon we will pick it.
Photo of the white echinacea in Memorial's garden.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
UPDATE: When we arrived at the hospital this morning we discovered that Dad had had a rough morning with a sudden rise in temperature and a drop in some other vitals. I was so thankful to see that Chris was his nurse again but she'd gotten a bit of a scare. Soon after we arrived he started doing better. We stayed right with him, holding his hands and talking to him, for some hours. We met his surgeon, Dr. Korver. He stressed again that Dad's condition is very serious. Our spirits slumped some after that but we pushed on. The good news today was that the blood culture results from yesterday came back clean. Clean. We won't know the blood culture results for today until tomorrow. I feel strangely optimistic despite everything. He's got a top notch surgical team there at Memorial and the love around him right now is the miracle that will buoy him through this.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
My dad's playful vivaciousness shining through. He's a masterful guitar player, food shaman, family man, elegant software engineer, lover of life, irreverent, wise and kind. He's full of good stuff and he's just not done. He's got things to do and places to go. Picture him well!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
There was an extreme heat advisory in effect for most of southern Oregon so we sucked on frozen water bottles and pined for air conditioning as we pushed through. Our van did great considering how overloaded she was. That was a plus since we've had lots of car karma on other trips. Our usual stop in Ashland was fruitful, stocking up on food, water, treats and a squirt of some Peruvian herb called Qat (ilex guayusa). We got to fair by late afternoon with all the good stuff: golden light, smiling faces, pennyroyal redolence and a Full Load Teddy (a magical slip of paper that allowed us access into the Eight to unload right at our booth). The site looked good, no mud, not too dry and no mosquitoes.
We took our time unloading and making camp. It is after all a three day endeavor just setting up. I soon discovered that the brew from Peru was a stimulant, big time. It kicked in so strong that I was clearing debris like an Amazon. Before I knew it I not only had the kitchen just so, I'd cleared a new tent space where before there'd been a fallen tree. Did I move a fallen tree? I think maybe I did. We worked until dark and then fell asleep reveling in our new foam mats. So comfy. It is possible to love a hunk of petroleum. I remember the trees dancing over our heads like a dream.
Camp was more organized and tidy than ever before which did my head good. Tables placed well are a revelation. On Wednesday, Rob and I built new bones for the "wall" between us and our neighbor so we were all about strong lines and consolidation. Our scene felt so together that we were ready when everyone began to land. The energy shifts and builds with each arrival, so it's key to be grounded. Danny, Karen, Zoie...Mom and Dad...Mitch's Clan...Jay and Eileen. All told there's close to 20 of us sharing that behind the booths camp space. Tight.
So, Wednesday night, after Danny, Karen, Zoie got in and pitched tents, it rained. Full on pour, thunderclaps and all. Danny saved us with his excellent tarping skills but by the end of the day we were wondering why we do this crazy thing? I caught a momentary charge from the ionized air but soon enough my batteries began to run low.
The Fair was opening on Friday so we spent Thursday setting setting up merchandise. That's the hardest part for me because it's not straightforward and focusing is hard. The girls demand help setting up their scenes. There are cards to stock, signs to put up, paintings to hang, tags to place and dozens of other nitpicky decisions for me and only me to make. Besides, spectacles begin to appear along the Path and folks start to drift in to check stuff out. Invaluable aid was given by all with a special shout out to Steve for being my slave with a screw driver while hanging canvases and to Mom for tasteful discrimination and taking initiative on painting placement. By day's end we looked pretty good. The best ever. I think the weeks of painting paid off. Almost all original pieces in the booth made it feel high caliber.
So, Friday the party officially begins but by then I was pooped. I stayed juiced up on feedback from people who were liking the work. I feel such thanks for everyone's appreciation. That kept me high. And breathing in the vibe we co creative creatures make. So much luscious opulent expression. I got to trip around on Saturday night as is tradition, laughing and ogling and dancing. Highlights of the weekend include: large serene light forms changing color, dancing in the dark to the Kitchen Syncopators, members of Royal Famille du Caniveaux playing music at Chez Ray's Saturday night, African Harp, lavish visuals, amazing folks, deep conversations, synchronicities. It all adds up.
By Sunday I hit my low, waking with sneezing and chest congestion. Low ebb and vulnerable. Not my first fair cold but by then I'd had a few other firsts . A territorial dispute with a neighbor (that new wall) and a reprimand from the Fair for not being in my booth at all times(!) Not in my booth? My booth is me. The dispute worked itself out but I have some processing still to do on that last one. I sink so much energy into offering to the Fair that I can't help reeling a bit with hurt and anger. Can't they hit on the party booth down the way? Shit. Nevertheless, I am recommitted to sticking to my booth.
By the end we'd chalked up a strange and turbulent but lucrative fair. I sold several originals, hundreds of cards and prints and took in enough praise to last me a year. The fun bubbled up in twinkles and small doses, flashed out from niches and impromptu stages. Bits strung out, together they made a decent pretty thing. When I think of all this I grok the Country Fair adage "Thanks For Being Us". I couldn't have done it without everyone. My fair family. Us.