Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the glancing blows that strike deep

i speak of my hermitage for months on end
he speaks of himself as hermit

why would either brave the waters
let alone seek any form of tribe
right as usual
in that stark painful way

perhaps to glance across
the surface and submerged of other
seeing their beauty and wounds
but the primitive intimacy
of belonging with another

there were no sharks
only the glancing blows
that strike deep
cutting rivers of red
seeping out across
the barren plains of
back turned could have beens

Monsters in the attic

I noticed this before but especially the last three years as I watch people construct monsters in their mental attics. Why do most of us do this? Actually I haven't met anyone who does not do this to some degree. We take the non-monsters from our lives and if a day comes when a wound runs deep...MONSTER! But I think when the wound runs deep and we lash out with words, actions and fears, when we exaggerate histories, ascribe imagined meanings, attribute evil where there is none, excommunicate in the name of god, get lost in blame, THEN the only way we can hold on to our identity as a good person, in spite of cruelties done from our own pain and flailing, we must make that other into a monster. If we recall them as monster, distorting our own histories and memory with exaggerations and falsehoods buried deep in our fears, then we have the illusion that our shame doesn't reveal our heart's course. Many monsters in our attics manifest from our shame. to admit that, blame would have to be set aside--both of oneself and other [the monster].

so what monsters lay in wait in my attic? i definitely have some but worse than the monsters in my attic is the fact that i can't (meaning i don't have the heart to) really play with children any more. there is no monster there. i just look at them and it hurts too much. children really can't play with a weeping woman. so i don't even try. i don't think i have the energy or heart to try now or again...far too tattered, the grief great.

i can't really be a part any more either. again it hurts too much. i suppose there are monsters there. i have my own new monsters and sharks...they swim in the mind of my constantly dredged histories...daily, when i wake up, when i try to close my eyes at night. in my mind i keep trying to console and comfort the monsters and sharks, but as in life they are deaf and mute and blind. i do what i can to drown these fictional monsters and sharks of their sting.

what monsters creep in your attic? do you really want to leave people you love donned in your man-made monster masks? eventually, though the monster stays on, while the person shoved behind the fear laden mask withers away. combine shunning with your group's artificial man-made monster masks and they can actually kill all that is and was real. It is the nature of some divorces.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

she promises to cleanup for friday, SEPT 2 (labor day weekend) opening at Darke gallery, 6-9

but on Thursday you'll see here as is and enjoy some pizza (4-7 pm). she does clean up pretty well but wears her tire skid marks beautifully. but for now, today, she is done and time to review prep again for tomorrow's emerging artist guidance (teaching/mentoring).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The insanity of it
photos by art slave Dean Liscum

Freshly dragged to Darke Gallery. They look fabulous on Linda's corner!

Exhibition opening Friday, August 2, 6-9 pm
Darke Gallery
320 B Detering @ Feagan, Houston, TX 77007
Regular gallery hours:
Wed - Fri | noon to 5 PM | Sat | noon to 3 PM and by appointment

below DEAN LISCUM art slave (and writer) extraordinaire, he can leap installations in a single bound and install stupid heavy ones on only sweat, tubes and Mexican food! thank you thank you Dean.

my insane teaching philosophy that I absolutely believe and that truly represents part of my core.

Mania of making, mania of the mind, both are worth harvesting, directing and releasing. As artist and educator it is my goal to facilitate explorations, both in my own work and that of the students as makers, as thinkers—to learn to hear what we do not yet hear, to see what we do not yet see, to move from being informed to being formed. It is my task to come alongside the students in developing their ability to dwell inside and alongside of things and thinking so that making becomes a reflection of the listening, whether it be to self or culture, art or science, poetry or prose, inside or out, spirit or rationality, or even a more letting go than hanging on. Yes, I design my courses so that students are equipped with technique, expanding their visual vocabulary through research, collective critical analysis, emergent forms from making, as well as working to enhance their ability to communicate verbally and in written form, but most importantly my mission is to facilitate their ability to listen for that source. For each that source or mania is different, but to create meaningful work each of us must learn to hear and to act upon what it is that we hear.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a work in progress:: open studio tonight at Darke Gallery, Jouston, TX

in preparation for exhibition, the edge of my unreadiness, come and see works in progress as part of artist's residency each Thursday in August from 4-7pm. show opens Friday, Sept 2, 6-9 at Darke Gallery.

early phase of current work in process.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

final prep for first day between watching the grass trying to grow

oh rainmaker, please come my way with a good drench--my microforest and mini-meadow desperately need you. amen.

how come I can blog via my smart phone from this seat but can't make an old fashioned, you know, phone call. hope I can text 911 if I ever need them :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

somedays I say to myself

"why could I just not be a painter?" today I am thinking it as I set up a pseudo easel to work my tubes on and realize that i wont be able to put this on the wall until i get some man muscle (two to be safe and reduce skid marks on wall) in here. hopefully Thursday.

Crazy things my students do!
and do well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

full scale fidgeting trying to find it

will i continue to prepare my internal ground
for the day I leap, fall or trip over
the edge of my unreadiness.

where does my work come from; how do these long cumbersome titles surface?

[cognitive answer]
they emerge/come viscerally from the way my life and processing blend. the title for my upcoming exhibition, the edge of my unreadiness, came from some writing i did last November (2010) while thinking about my life, what i've been learning, and how i would like to live with others. much of the writing in fact emerges from my attempt at surviving/sorting out my own real and perceived wounds and ways i've wounded others.

[shameless self promotion]
opening of  the edge of my unreadiness
friday, september 2, 6-9 pm
show runs through early october
darke gallery
320B detering @ deagan, Houston, TX 77007
darkegallery@aol.com, 713-542-3802

[actual answer/still an assumption/still cognitizing/pure speculation as though oneself was fully accessible to...oneself]
the work is really a visceral response and an attempt at seeing, hearing, understanding, adjusting. i feel compelled to use various materials, i could continue to give some cognitive, smart sounding made up answerd [i do like to appear intelligent], but fundamentally it is a gut response not a heady one. material choice = compulsion. making = mental, heart, visual compulsion. yet in the making is where i hear, see, feel, taste. it uncovers things i should know but can't quite grasp. it is as though my body is a better listener to life, self, other, and god. my body, my hands, must show my head and heart what is more real, how things are, and even uncover how i feel.

[exhibition source writings, November 2010]
things i am learning counter to much of my research into both mainline faith and non-faith based psychobabble and spirituality. i simply believe that forgiveness, giving and receiving, is simply not solely an internal work within the self for the benefit of...the self.

counter things i am learning:

a reduction of hostility is not forgiveness; it is simply an abatement of hostility within… the self.

tolerance is not forgiveness; it is simply the edge of the abyss of hatred. whether falling into or climbing out of, tolerance is simply a standing at the edge of the emotional abyss within...the self.

a mental no longer holding against is not forgiveness; it is simply a letting go within...the self.

no longer needing to proclaim the other’s offense is not forgiveness; it is simply a subsiding in the need to profess one's deep woundedness. it is a slow settling within…the self.

an internal empathy, an understanding, of/for another's real or perceived offense is not forgiveness; it is simply an internal expansion of compassion within...the self.

the diminishing of vivid emotions is not forgiveness; it is simply a waning of memory, and/or a waning of negative energy within...the self.

moving on in one's life is not forgiveness; it is simply moving on for...the self.

to stop punishing another or one’s self is not forgiveness; it is simply an abatement in the pursuit of the punitive.

silence is not forgiveness; it is simply withheld words.

the passage of time is not forgiveness (and does not heal); it is simply the ticking clock in which memory fades within...the self.

words are not forgiveness; they are simply empty vessels, symbols, vehicles to potentially carry amazing, mundane, or hurtful meaning.

many of these things are good and necessary and in them is the preparation of the ground within, yes, the self. and from this ground is the place in which forgiveness to be given, to be received, may spring.

forgiveness is not just an ego-centrical work, it is far more, far harder, far more powerful, far scarier.

it would be nice to believe that forgiveness is simply an internal work--that is safe, it is easier to hold onto than the truly frightening work of forgiveness. faith based and nonfaith based psycho/spiritual babble would like to tickle your ears with forgiveness as purely an internal work, a work of self improvement, self health, spiritual obedience. but that is incomplete and rings with the sounds of hollow clanging cymbals.

i realize there are some exceptions. there are truly some people who forgiveness may only play out internally and it is a hard, powerful work in its own unique way. as much as many of us would like to believe because of our enormous hurt and fear that we are in the realm of the exception, that forgiveness can only be an internal work, it simply is not true.

forgiveness is very hard work. it is hugely risky for its pursuit and outcome can not be predicted. it is actually quite uncommon. we like to believe we are a forgiving people, but most things we claim as forgiveness are simply the forerunner, necessary but incomplete in and of themselves. most of us stop with one or more of these internal forerunners because it is socially acceptable. others pat us on the back for being such a tolerant, forgiving person. we’ll feel like we are a little better for, better than, and we'll walk away. yet if we are honest with ourselves, we know we have begun the work yet simply turned away with it unfinished. we know.

when we are old, we will regret the incompleteness, the loss of opportunity, the absence of things that may have played out differently if we'd found our way to walk more fully into forgiveness. yet with that age we will be merciful with ourselves and forgive ourselves for our incapacities and lack of courage in our woundings. we will be kind with our regrets. perhaps if the other still lives, we will find the courage to workout forgiveness.

forgiveness is a terribly uneasy work. it is scary. it is risky.

it alters the path of those involved. it changes the future. it softens the blows of memory.

but what will forgiveness really bring? i do not know for it is not to be controlled or predicted. it cannot be manipulated. we can hope for goodness it might bring; but it may not bring goodness?

will the process of forgiveness heal? or rip open? bring peace? or conflict? subside pain? or increase? calm? or expand anxiety? alter future courses? or hold steady? ease memory? or harden it? change relationships? or lock them down? build something new? or replicate the old? or sever? create bridges? or damns? open us to compassion? or close us in? mercy? or coldness? love? tolerance? or hate? will it move us out of our self? or into? will it create humility? or pride filled? open? or close? strip falseness away? or create more? expose a more whole truth? or diminish it? will it create hope? or dash it? will it open eyes? or close them?

will it give? or take away? will it do both?

will it move us closer to the divine? or distance us? what of our humanity? our gifts? our strengths?

will we only be more frightened? or brave? more at risk? or safer? more codependent? or interdependent? more doormatish? or welcoming?

what does forgiveness bring? anything? or nothing? the unknown?

is it worth the uneasy internal preparation of our ground of being? or not? is it worth following through? or not? is the risk worth taking? or not?

what might forgiveness bring? i do not know for it’s outcome cannot be controlled, managed, predicted or manipulated.

am i doing the work to prepare my internal ground? will i ever be ready enough? probably not. but as with most things in my life worth doing, i am never ready enough, or smart enough, or knowledgeable enough, or wise enough, or undefensive enough, or open enough, or loving enough, or compassionate enough or healed enough or humble enough or stable enough or silent enough or clearly spoken enough or know myself enough or the other. i am never enough? they will never be enough? i am never ready, i simply leap or have tried and sometimes i don’t even leap. sometimes i get knocked or trip over the edge of my unreadiness. it scares the hell out of me. it scares the hell out of me that i might leap, fall, trip before i am enough, before they are enough. when i start to land, will i be glad i got knocked, tripped or leap over the edge of my unreadiness?

i will continue to prepare my internal ground for the day i leap, fall or trip over the edge of my unreadiness. or someone leaps, falls or trips into my unreadiness.

yes preparing my ground is what i think i am and should be doing. it will not be enough, it never will be, but it is all i can do. and forgiveness has never been about being enough; no one is ever enough to forgive or be forgiven. it can't be earned. ultimately forgiveness is a gift? perhaps? is it a gift worth giving? receiving? will i give it? will i receive it?

forgiveness is a way of living; it is not an event or words. it is a way of living. if i cannot forgive in little things, than surely i cannot forgive when the wounds are not small. perhaps suffering alters one's relationship with living forgiveness or choosing to live without it? i don't know.

i just believe forgiveness is a way of living, any other for me is simply a clanging empty cymbal.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

hmmmmm. think think think

well or not.

not done, but don't want to give it away before opening

so I'll have to leave it like this for open studio tonight. things that it draws to my mind are umbilical like relational connections, long but truncated experiences/relationships, bill cosby and sesame street's which one doesn't go with the other one, remnants of family portraits of once living relationships, animal heads/hides, death, memory, lineage, and obviously and slightly unfortunately the --- in the room.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

3 of

just getting them up; resolution immanent

thinking; but good use of bike garage hanging hooks

I wasn't quit sure how to mount these, but the bike hanging hardware is working. though spacing is dictated by stud location (. eight pilot holes to find first stud; then measuring in 16" increments. and thank you mr. builder for your precision--once I found first stud the rest were dead on! three more to mount and play with. haven't finalized how I want to work with extensions.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

deconstructed mattress elements...at the edge of my unreadiness

quilting, raw cotton, and some kind of serious fiber found inside one of the mattresses i deconstructed. beautiful source materials being sewn into something new along with the tubular detritus cast off from the ag industry for my upcoming exhibition, the edge of my unreadiness opening friday, aug 2 of labor day weekend at darke gallery. open studio/gallery each thursday in august from 4-7 with pizza to boot. come out and watch the evolution of my overtaking Linda Darke's gallery (at her bequest).

still exploring mentally and soulfully the connection of deconstructed mattress elements to the refuse of nonfunctional discarded ag tubes. for me the tubes are a stand in for flesh, like the remnant hides of the living, and represent a kind of internal shadow self; therefore if i combine them with old deconstructed mattresses, perhaps the connection is to a once intimate relationship with its effects/impact on the internal workings of the soul, myself. ouch...that thought hurts. it may be good to stop trying to understand or figure out the inner working of what i make.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

mi' oak trees are hoping for rain

is it wrong to water yard with hopes your trees don't die... and fall on your house...while you might be in it? hmmm a whole new paradigm of silly worries of microforest living

more trash mixed with ikea (and home depot faucet)

need to lower it a little, extend out the counter on left side some, and won't caulk and stuff til I have floored but this is what my sink looks like. maybe add just a trim of white tile on wall lining sink and counter and color on wall. sink area is kind of cross between funky modern and farmhouse. don't want to go too country. once things settle down I will make two rolling bins from rough hewn oak, similar to counter, that roll under sink area for towel storage. can't decide what to do with floor so that's a bit of a hold up. wood, water, and me don't mix. not a water slob, but don't want to worry about an occassional wet foot on the floor. same with kitchen. wood is cool and glamerous but worrisome when it comes to splashed water. don't want to add to those little tugs at the back of the mind.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

view the progress or just have a glass of wine
open studio at darke gallery tonight

open studio at Darke Gallery today, August 11, 2011 Watch the progression of exhibition as it is installed. Come out each Thursday in August between 4 and 7 pm.

DARKE | gallery
320 B Detering @ FeaganHouston, Texas 77007

Box 13's Kathryn Kelley is the first artist in DARKE | gallery's Artist in Residence Program. Kathy will have the gallery to use as a studio, along with a small stipend, to create her September exhibition the edge of my unreadiness. We will have open studio Thursday in August from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Please drop by and watch the progress of this museum quality work: August 4, 11, 18 and 25th.

Refreshments provided, child friendly event!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

what to do while men install new working ac

play with wires very carefully and neatly. it actually works but need more really low watt bulbs = ikea run later in weak.

ok i've got the complex stuff, but for black to black, white to white, red to red, plus ground, twisty tied together while breaker and wall switch it in off position, why do electricians get paid so much. it's about like twisty tying the bread bag...carefully. well i do have little tools my dad gave me to make sure there really is no power coming through the lines. i use them. shocking i know! (sorry couldn't help it)

Monday, August 08, 2011

the edge of my unreadiness

the edge of my unreadiness (solo exhibition)

Darke Gallery
Opening September 2, 2011
Resident Artist Open Studio August 2011
5321 Feagan St, Houston 77007

Open studio (drinks and snacks)
Thursdays in August 4-7 pm
Come watch the work take form.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

ok. well maybe not

I was going fir overkill and got there a little to quickly. will need to retink this one

Saturday, August 06, 2011

haven't burned house down yet

but I do have light from homemade chandelier in stairwell. I can't wait to build dining chandelier. this was just a warm up. supplies came free from 2006 graphic design bfa exhibition cast offs. had to pay for bulbs (ikea/sam's club) and ceiling plates (home depot). I suppose this explains my vocation as professor of art!?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

open studio at Darke Gallery tomorrow, August 4, 2011

Watch the progression of exhibition as it is installed. Come out each Thursday in August between 4 and 7 pm.

DARKE | gallery
320 B Detering @ FeaganHouston, Texas 77007

Box 13's Kathryn Kelley is the first artist in DARKE | gallery's Artist in Residence Program. Kathy will have the gallery to use as a studio, along with a small stipend, to create her September exhibition the edge of my unreadiness. We will have open studio Thursday in August from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Please drop by and watch the progress of this museum quality work: August 4, 11, 18 and 25th.

Refreshments provided, child friendly event!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

design new light fixture from harvested trash

new galvanized chandelier (?) design to replace this one fixture at left of first photo. it will hold low watt bulbs. hope all this trash starts to work through repetition of galvanized elements through house, ie headboard is constructed from rough hewn old oak and old galvanized plumbing pipes.