Monday, March 31, 2014

if I avoid the unsightly, the inappropriate, that negates the bulk of my living and leaves me straining in falsetto. damn the unseemly.

I get stuck. the only way i know to unstick is to approach the very moment in which i reside. so i do. i drag myself down the aisle. pulling one more box from the shelf, the smallest yet, i trudge the cart-rolling trek back shamefacedly to the register. i am sure i still blush at purchase and think with each passing month it is my last.

but no. NOoo.

george is here again, sitting with me in my mom's chair. i rock wedged between the big open windows of the hermitage and its fireplace. his presence, not that comfy. with his added weight, the wicker bites ridiculous patterns into my rump as i wait his leave. i hate his visits.

i distract myself with the thumbing of my keypad and the muffled morning rain thrumming on the metal roof. from here, i see that the leaves are beginning to clump, cling and mat. i rock; it drizzles; i bemoan the visit. still, hunting for distraction, i damn yesterday's rotten log with its belt busting force decommissioning my tractor's mulching blade. now i will have to work up the words to ask mr. bushee for a lesson in belting my banged up red babe. i am hard on my tools and toys, haranguing them to work in irregular ways. as a she-child, i did not get the useful learned lessons in machined mechanisms or their care. frankly even now, the shop bought fixetties leave me wanting. the red babe, my bladed beast, has returned from the shop more broken than not. whaaat? i paid work earned money for these repairs. they alleviate her nonfunctionalness, but bang and break something new every fricking time--broken fender, dangling head light. grrrrr. superficial i suppose, but my hard wear exasperates their bangs and breaks -- front face plate recently gone as the broken fender caught hold and ripped free from a limb clutching branch. admittedly i only forked over a hundred bucks for her, a divorce trophy from some poor souls' split.

my mind wanders back to george. how can it not, as he asserts himself with a fierce, unforgiving force. bastard. try as i might to avoid his impinging, he arrives with foreseeable frequency. here but a few days then gone again for twenty six. his nature, damn cyclical. only now has he begun to slow, stutter, and wane with the wear of age. why must he come for these excavations with his little cutting, barbaric detissuing knives? i bleed each visit. damn bastard. a week early from his habit, he sits with me in this chair. sit still, rock, he cramps me. this fall he has toyed, failing, fluttering and fluctuating in his visits, as though to leave me. i am ready for him to be gone. i yearn for the flat lake calm that will settle with the absence of his hormonally driven storms. perhaps i will be less of a woman in his wake. i've premourned his leaving for sometime -- fretting my fading femininity. he has had his damn stay for near thirty nine and three quarter years! i am ready for him to be gone. bastard.

i suppose menopause will be his unseemly boxless bitch. perhaps she will linger longer.

Monday, March 17, 2014

memory is often far too big
not actual size and most certainly not to scale

stripped loveseat. who knew i could learn so much from its undoing. i did

extend back

new legs


wing back

ottoman. plus Home Depot rubbermaid lawnchair for full sized humans as a measure of scale.

oh yes. it is modular. the gallery has a standard sized door. the original loveseat flipped on its side just barely slides through. so, needless to say, the back and legs slide off. always, always know the size of the gallery door, elevator, stairwell, and turns before fabricating your work. :) i once watch a semi grown woman cry as i finished my deinstall. she arrived only to discover her work could not pass through the doors! dang.

helpful side kick.

rebar for me to fold to construct skeleton of new chair cushions upon which i will sew with tie wire my trashy materials.

pipe clamps become my metal bender

waa-laa. even chica muscles could apply a little physics one O one via simply lever

apply a little metal hot glue (lincoln wire feed welder).

ottoman cushion.

in process for exhibition opening may 17, 2014 in houston. details forthcoming.

rarely do i purge but my big ass art footprint makes it necessary why i sketch at full size, i don't know

my life has never been a straight path and I've never backtracked vocationally--jr high science teacher, youth minister, graphic designer, director of communications, interactive media instructor, art foundations professor. no back tracking. surprisingly each has built on what came before. artist isn't a vocation, it is a way of functioning. that will not go was there in the jr high classroom right up to the collegiate studio and lecture hall. it will take me into my future of making, writing and research. there is something I need to find and I am pretty sure I am in route and I will stand on the shoulders of what has already passed, not a single year unneeded.

Yet, my big ass art footprint reduction is needed. begun. it's got to go. how to decide is beyond me...all that is legal to burn, will. purging begun! though these are four feet and larger, they are more like sketches on board. dang heavy board. two D is not my primary format. drawing just sooths me. my primary format occupies far more than flat planar (ha pleasantly redundant) space and tools, they to take up real space. i cannot imaging hauling it all, 2d and 3d, to lubbock and storing it AND CERTAINLY NOT PAYING TO STORE. space occupation always cost money no matter how tamely and passively the materials lay there. 

most, admittedly, are from the before i even thought of myself as artist when i was just superficially reacting to a contemporary art history class--reacting to expressionism, bad painting, feminism. I didn't know prior to that that it was ok to make bad art. once I discovered it was ok to make bad art my inner world and making practice opened right up. bad art literally set me free. 

purge. tear. wipe. 

it is certainly freaking me out. but i just can't manage all the work i have. 

most is far more beautiful or at least interesting in the purge, in the mid burn process. kind of takes to a new level. so glad I documented the purging. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

new adventure that will require proofing and capitalization. dang

my intent to which they've agreed is to drive my bum, belongings, and my big ass art footprint out to the dust driven plains of academia in lubbock, tx to pursue my Fine Art Ph.D. in Critical Studies and Artistic Practice at the crossroads of Visual Arts, Creative Writing and Psychology. see i've already given way to proofing and grown up lettering...sigh...oh wait i was discussing my goes...not just my intent but also how i got to this intention...the adventure begins now that i've signed the dotted line on a multiplicity of agreements and funding (YAY!)...

the arrival of and my intention...

Hair matted and clinging, man-beater tank top saturated with sweat in embarrassingly feminine patterns, the salt and grime stings my eyes as my chica muscles finally give way to the working of these damn resistant and disobedient materials. At times, I make nine-foot vaginas, and I make a lot of them. I attempt compliance from these evolving gender specific beasts--stitch, weld, and suspend large masses of remnant rubber from gallery ceilings and walls alike. Even the pine of my microforest, unyieldingly bear my works weight. Initially in exhaustion, I would sit, scratching pen to page, unpacking my thinking, my methods, my mistakes, my making, my life. Somewhere in the space between visual making and plying this pen to page, writing has taken hold. I mistook this gesture as a respite of sorts, only to watch the centrality of my writing unfold as lead, the core of my making. I cannot get to the form without the writing. The working is an unruly pushing and plying, a raw and intimate play back and forth between text and artifact. It has taken me a while to grasp the role writing has taken. I’ve had the habit of leaving it as first draft, a mere trace of my making. My understanding of it now shifts. The ongoing act of writing, the dependence on it, the hunger and need for it, the resultant smittenhood of the art critic in reviews and residency directors in person who speak more to my online texts than my making, all drive my awareness of the needed shift. 

Consistent with my interdisciplinary practice there seems a constancy of writing in the life of visual artists whether it be the letters of Van Gogh, the essays of Donald Judd or Robert Motherwell, the journals of Anne Truitt or Annie Albers. Art journals, memoirs, diaries, anthologies of visual artists’ writings proliferate on the bookshelves. Yet, I’ve not found anyone asking why? Not why the all these published writings, for people generally are curious and a tad envious of the artist’s journey, but why all this writing from artists known as visual makers. What are the functions writing fills for the visual artist? Is there a key component in the writing, formal or informal, published or not, that sustains the visual making throughout a lifespan? Is there a correlation to success in terms of being “known” or remembered? Is this drive specific to a specific trait, introversion or extroversion, gender, learning style, art process, personality, or familial expectations? Am I just biasedly seeing a pattern because it matches my own process? In the field of the social sciences, researchers have been publishing studies linking writing to increased rates of physical, emotional, vocational, and spiritual healing and health. James W. Pennebaker’s research in linguist inquiry and word counting-LIWC seems a viable source and methodology to bounce my questions off. Other theorists and researchers, Kenneth Gergen, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Brene Brown, and Charles Duhigg, seem to come at the questions more indirectly, perhaps simply tangent relationships. Interestingly their primary mechanisms of data collection appear to be their subjects’ writings, self-reporting. Can the social sciences provide an avenue to peer into the writing practice of visual artists to identify its functions? As well, is there a parallel or a method of insight to be gained in the literary arts, writers writing about their own process of writing as seen with Thomas Merton, Anne Lamont, Phillip Lopatte, Madeleine L’Engle, Joan Didion, and Susan Sontag?

My gut leads me to believe that there is a correlation between a writing practice and a life long sustained making practice. Through the vehicle of contemporary art history, the social sciences, and the literary arts, I intend to collect and analyze relevant writing patterns through the literature and the lives of contemporary artists via qualitative (leaning toward grounded theory methodologies) and quantitative (linguist inquiry and word counting-LIWC) research, and through my own process of writing and making. Additionally I intend to take the identified components of the writing practices and develop a series of cohesive essays, a book being desirable. I would also like to harness and test specific applications of relevant writing components within the academic setting for studio artists..

Finally, my teaching experiences as Visiting Professor of Art at Sam Houston State University [4.5 years] developing a contemporary interdisciplinary foundations program in conjunction with a contemporary art history lecture component [WASH] and as a teaching fellow, Graphic Communication MFA at UH [2003-2006], along with my writing and making practice equip me to competently develop a series of seminar courses for visual artists that introduce the writing practice beyond the artists statement—writing as sketching, writing as a sustaining practice for the visual.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to pursue these questions with the Fine Art, Experimental Psychology, and Literary Arts Faculties.

Sincerely, Me.

PS I am very nervous about moving from my lush microforest and artist altered hermitage to the barren dusty plains of west texas and moving my big ass artistic foot print. feel free to buy any of my work to help me offload it!!! feel free to rent (or even buy) my magnificent hermitage in the piney woods.

Friday, March 07, 2014

upcoming outdoor exhibition

Color Up/Color DOWN
Art Installations Opening March 15, 5-7pm
Russ Pitman Park - 7112 Newcastle, Bellaire

How does an artist respond to the theme: COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN, within the context of a nature conservancy? Now a sixth year tradition, this evolving group of artists called Municipal Dirt, will explore materials as media which translate the statement of nature and that of artist into a visual public experience for 'Art in the Park'.

Take a detour from traffic to the calming ambience of a stroll through this 4 acre oasis, Russ Pitman Park. Enjoy the tranquility of leaves rustling under your footsteps, fluttering wings, and then silence as you pause to hear the laughter of children on their own exploration of nature's abundant curiosities and glimpse into the artists' world of COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN.

In keeping with the mission of the Nature Discovery Center, the artists celebrate the function of observation and understanding of nature, while exploring the systems that create form, surface and color within the park, whether it is by natural formation or artist's impetus. The following internationally recognized visual and performing artists have been invited to participate: Karen Brasier-Young, Margaret Braun, Vachu Chilakamarri, James Ciosek, Jordan Dupuis, Daniel Esquivel-Brandt, Tonatiuh Esquivel-Silva, Orna Feinstein, Jeff Forster, Mikey Georgeson, Lydia Hance, Mark Hirsch, Kathryn Kelley, Ann Johnson, Mari Omori, Loueva Smith, Carol Scott, Paul Tecklenberg, Justin Varner, June Woest, Jo Zider(curator), and Grace Zuniga.

the wake of memory
laps, opening and closing
within the pull of time

Opening reception for "COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN" art installations and performance by Frame Dance will happen from 5 -7 pm on Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Exhibition runs March 15 - May 1, 2014. There will be an artists' walk and talk on Saturday, March 22, starting at 4:30 pm. Also you may join the Nature Discovery Center Adult Lecture Series for a guided tour, with curator, Jo Zider, Wednesday, April 2, at 7 pm. Russ Pitman Park is located at 7112 Newcastle, just north of Evergreen, in the City of Bellaire and therefore no pets, alcoholic beverages or smoking are allowed on the grounds or parking areas. Park hours are 6 am - 9 pm, every day. For more information, contact the Nature Discovery Center