Wednesday, January 29, 2014

without residual unruly regret.

at the periphery of perception, i extend my hand gropingly feeling for my dreams of future casting. i must have them, mustn't i? i facilitate workshops in which i guide the group into the gaps of peripheral space in hopes of pulling down into recognizable forms these their hidden dreams. i'd love to say i am so selfless, i am there as purely guide for other, but not so. in my own ego squawddling and skittering, i hunt for my dreams. many have smacked me in the face as an open palm plant to the forehead. they have come without my forerecognition, without the grope or hunt. no dream quest set upon. in the wake of even only the temporally near "has beens", they are easy to list when my palm is pulled free of face -- the dopt, the hermitage, the microforest, my WASH and WASHers, my BOXes and C.SAWs, my borrowed side sliced trailer tire that led me to tubular harvesting and stitching. i haven't asked, i haven't had to grope or fumble foolishly like an adolescent on his first date. the peripherally unperceived dream just arrived, gifts finally consciously unwrapped with that forceful facial palm plant. not a one could i have done without, nor one i count as earned, not one that could be passed off as anything but grace. no dream quest ventured upon.

there seems a cultural bestseller trend in the soft sciences that indicates i might accelerate this process of favorable foward motion, of future dream casting, that i might speed and direct the forceful forehead palm plants of fulfillment. i must simply pull down the damned dream, define it, askingly cast it into existence. a kind of positivism. if you build it, they will come. hmmmm. but heck, i don't know my dreams enough to grab hold and say this one. though the closest thing to which i am a true expert is on myself. i know that my expertise is lacking, even filled with wrong thinking and the nightmarish mental meanderings shaped by my shoulds and the deforming embracing of words and habits not my own. my expertise is clichedly muddied by should haves, would haves, could haves. the skittish dreams, like smoothered stars in the daylight, have been lost in the goods of and plethora of SHOULD ofs. there are a lot of goods. because of the lost skittish nature, the light smoothered stars, i cannot sneak upon or know my own dreams and visions directly. can i fully know my own mind? know what is best? what if my reasoning is actually irrational? for that matter, am i even truly a descrete entity that can be defined outside of other? what of my agency or if i ask for the wrong thing, the untrue thing, for which i am not wired? these dreams or at least my capacity to trust in them are so freakingly seriously skittish to the direct, hungry, or aggressive. i try to slide up to the unsleep driven dreams, my head turned just so, and i slide my groping hand up into the peripherial perception of these spaces filled with my dreamscapes and castings.

i am frightened at how my groping hands must release their current contents to touch these scaped castings. i am terrified to release my microforest and hermitage -- the crunch below my footfall as my gait swings out long upon the graveled lane, the meadowed and leaf foddered spaces in which i lay as the trees' canopies sing in whispered breaths, the hawks' soar stirs the kiss of wind upon my spring warmed cheeks and closed lids, the tendrils of grass caught hair stir gently cascading the curve of chin, the my mineral painted walls remain bare only to hold the entering and ebbing day's light in an almost wholy glassed hermit shelter. it's where my pup found me riding my red mulching bladed machine one Sunday taxed (an April 15) morning. i am terrified of leaving my corner of the forest for the barren dust ridden high plains of academia. i am terrified of leaving a space, the only space where i've so fully attached, its calling not just home, but womb. birthing is such a bitch!

may i lay my hand to these scape castings that are true to who i am. may i pull ones down that brim with meaningful purpose. may the things released be so without residual unruly regret.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


the wind stops
my gait slows rhythmically
while the sun dappled canopy
whispers to nothing
i swing to an ever slower stillness
the groan of rubber soles speak the absence
with each foot fall awaiting a
single delicate trickel of sun hinted sweat
to slide on the threshold of spring
my mind recoils from the dis remembered

Saturday, January 25, 2014

killin, I am comfy with that, it's that dang maiming the tree weedbeasts may precure i fear

hermitage hunker down (commonly called cabin fever) is slowly relinquishing its hold as the out of door warms. the chill proves problematic when my studio is wholly structurally decloaked from the elements. 

for as long as I can remember, which isn't long at all, mind of a steel sieve and all, I've a need to be outside for the bulk of my day. perhaps it began when I would whine to my mom that I was bored, to which she would kindly wishfully retort, "well you may go outdoors and play OR...i've a vacuum for you."

this may explain quite a lot besides my need for the out of doors. hmmm. even when I wept the words, I dont know how to stay, it was dragged out under a treed canopy, under the blue, under the light smothered stars.

amen...not to the smothering, but that in this tick finally the day warms. sweet relief from the chill's hermitage hunker down commonly called cabin fever.

I've a freshly sharpened chained blade so I go out to play. vacuum remains securely stored awaiting the next cold day. 

hmmmm, well I did drop it where I aimed it but there must be a gravity swell pushing back because I didn't quite get it to drop to the ground. now I've a tad of a wedged pickle caught in limbo instead of a felled tree. hey, at least I didn't hit the hermitage which was a primary goal.

just need to cut a smidgen more at the base of future stump to grant her full release from the magnolia's clutches and let gravity do her trick. ropes in ready :)

STUMP THAT! depickled. secretly I had hoped the fall and clutching would take out the magnolia. not because it isn't beautiful, it is just that it is such a light hog, a total view blocker. the whole point of felling this batch of weed trees is to open the canopy and let more light in.

felling trees and hauling, cutting and stitching tubes have a similar kill and maiming risk. healthy fear is always in order.

all this killing and maiming the local weed tree is hardest on the pup. who i have leash bound because she totally goes in to full fits of hysteria as though the chainsaw was her most feared enemy. her fear may be a tad dysfunctional. so leash bound she remains for i would also be horrified if I laid a tree down on her.

i take two for the day then the cap pops off after a chain lub fill, which is indicative of user error. so I rub the residual spilled oil on my boots and plunk down for a chica muscle, mind and back break after tree number two, my fatigue limit...hence user error on oil cap securement. i can cut more but not big ones, they require focus, a readiness and that healthy smidge of fear.

the social barometer of the made or at least a twist an turn

throw back thursday on a slightly warming saturday.
PG 13 yet more moderate than a Victoria secret catalog

contemporary art lecture remembered...i show the first image and it took 15 minutes before anyone identifies how offensive my choices were. the works themselves not offensive yet offensive when combined. of course the topic was the manifestation of art from a sense of other, real and perceived oppression. as an affluent over educated white female and their professor, i had to do  some permission granting to coax them into touching on the politically incorrect offense, not even politically, just a flat out offense. finally a small population of the 90 began speaking up.  all lead by one brave she-child with the guts to point out how the specific offense related to the know who you are! good job. yay. It was a good day... relationships help us see what otherwise might go unnoticed. it allows us to see other; to see ourselves with more clarity if we dare to listen and see little truths without the gloss over of habit. comparative analysis which we partake in all day long in navigating this chair or that, this route or that, this person or that, allows us also to see culturally shifts and sameness. art as a social barometer for me is a key interest except when i just get tripped up on its trinkethood, art as product. it bores me. art as a social barometer, a barometer of self and other, a barometer of social habits unmasked, NOW that is of interest.

so i throw together images that on the surface [formally or content] seem similar...and through comparative analysis we hunt to see more than if they stood alone.

your turn. hunt and have fun with it. feel free to harvest for your own discussions and consider the images not my own but google harvested shared for educational purposes only...

there are superficial relationships, plus your current cultural baggage you bring to the analysis, but in each pairing if you do some background research (even google skimming), the similarities and differences are deep and profound. for instance many of these pairs have years, decades, some centuries, bridging their making, others span oceans, gender, the real and the made, education, affluence, margin, medium, and method...i finally started learning my geography and world history through the analysis of art which made it living and breathing enough so it enthralled.

foot plod atop forested leaf fodder

tuesday i took the pup and plunged into the near woods. chilly, but not totally debilitating if properly bundled.

it's not just a pedestrian passing with leaf fodder under foot that i need. i need the slow wheeled roll of entry. i go when the need seems indispersably dispersed. when i am off in my holding capacity and my fragments drift uncontrollably. the roll and gaited passage under thick treed canopy alters me, gathers my fragments for a moment. no. not even that, instead it allows me to let them drift without a regathering compulsion. the roll sooths the drift in the illusion of preparing for purpose. the physicality of the gaited fodder lead meandering always seems so really, so purposeful. it screams quiet whispers that this is exactly where i should be. i relax into it.

i go. i plod. i click, click. i sit. i post. i brush against the water cooler of the cyber realm. the dog demands i detach at least a moment from my portable tech tethering and glance about. i do. i am damn compliant. of course, she demands i detach from whatever it is i am doing no matter how noble, like napping in a meadow, hunkered down amongst the wind deflecting winter brittled blades where the sun warms this chilled moment. she demands with her lick and lather.

so though she is free to frolic, the leash a mere afterthought of forest rule compliance, she pulls it from my shouldered carriage purely to speak. let's leave now my human, let us venture on. she demands with her leash.

and so i do. for that moment the ungathered fragments hold together in the physicality of the passage. i wonder why i would think to leave, why my detethering holds such sway. my brain plows and mulls the fear that to vacate would just add to my list, would somehow discard a crucial gift. i ponder my untethered pup who so wants to be tethered not with leash but love. each day she asks me incessantly to remind her that we are tether. she demands her tethering. oh. oh. oh. i get it my pack animal pup so human in need.

the sun drops. i recall the practicality of the leave as the air drops from chill to dang cold. i make the brief powered roll to the hermitage and wait for a warmed day. in the skip of a few morns, it has not come yet. but my body is antsy with the need to make.

my materials await me. they beckon. they need. i need. i need the tether that physical making harnesses, holding me in the moment of nowness, just as the foot plod through the forrest does, just as the detethered tethering demands of my dog.

i learn to trust the untethered days. i am compelled to find peace in the making, in the writing, in the mentor ventures until my moments regather a new.

the day warms, the sun penetrates, the crystal icy snow transforms and flows in rivulets. i watch the hermitage weep from my butt plant within and am thankful for the warming. the chainsaw with sharpened blade calls knowing the winters reductions in leaf suspended fodder, biodemassed, appeals to these aging chica muscles.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mark making, devices, movement, methods, mood, meaning

ha. perhaps it is FATE that has me rethinking, reexamining and revisiting the mark and the facilitation of its practice. perhaps. (Link to associated handouts for projects)

the mark and its exploration is not a new thing but ever beautiful and seductive.

All images are of my students' works 2007-2013

mark making isn't an exercise in scribble or field painting. instead it is an exploration in the mark, movement, method, meaning, and mood. it is about repetition and rhythm, freedom and restraint, it is about the amazing play between the occupation of space with the silence of the unoccupied. it is about the role of similarity and difference, about lulling and captivation. it mimics the breath, the dialogue. it is a way of listening. it is a translation of primal perception. it is not a damn scribbled field pinned to a wall like a child's painting or to your professor's metaphorical refrigerator. even the simplest of marks can sing of sophistication.

as our wheels roll us habitually home, our dominant hand rolls with the rhythms of writing. no cognition or recognition required, just a bundle of spacial and methodological habits. what does it take to de-rut the routine of writing in the practices of the arts, in the practice of the hand? i've found the success in at least temporarily derutting leads to an openness with other materials and methods while pursuing alternative practices.

perhaps it is not FATE that my students continuously made magnificent marks. perhaps each crew i had was a mad cluster of awesomeness. i lean toward their awesomeness.

Much of the mark making practice and the facilitations of exploration into and around i gleaned from the design professors at University of Houston ! a thousand thank yous! their design program is amazing!

Mark Making Projects have evolved from studies of hand and body movements, tools, building mark making device for mark and stand alone object, to the inclusion of story and spacial and conceptual manifestions

Projects/Practices harvested and adapted from UH design professors
  1. mark making + artist book
  2. mark making + device 
  3. process crit guide
  4. independent studies
  5. mark + phrase mini posters
StoryLINE which I developed out of the concept of line, it explores sourcing of ideas, metaphorical development, creative writing, and the expression of lines in space, real or conceptual.

student storyline artifacts portfolio album
  1. the story version 1
  2. method for review
  3. the story version 2 - rewrite
  4. storyLINE ARTifact and proposal
  5. pinterest album


it is always ego nice to see systems, projects, crit and teaching practices i've developed and implemented, refined, and modeled, put into practice and promoted by other educators because they work. they do. In this case the initial explorations into the visceral mark making, movement, methods was harvested and adapted over time from my uh design professors. Thank you