Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fluidity or the lack thereof

Here's a detail of a work in progress... more exploration of that dense, foggy, fuzzy place I call sub- (or un-) consciousness. It's a bit stiff, one of the aspects of myself I'm not so proud of, but I bet I will soften up with time spent. I find the more time I spend at any one stretch just making marks on paper, the smoother, more fluid it becomes.
My friend Lori Hayes bases much of her work on fluidity – of materials, of intent, of the human body. I think I'm finally figuring out some of what she's getting at.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My usual dilemma

I was reading Keri Smith's blog the other day... she often writes about ideas I'm pondering. This time it was about not thinking/ just living. Hard to do, but infinitely better than torturing oneself with clutter.
Anyway, she has a link to Tucker Nichols , an artist who has the simplicity thing down. He posts lots of drawings that just knock me out. Simple and honest and humorous. He reminds me to stop at the simple in my own work.
Like Here (contrast this with last Thursday's post). All the complex drawings start Here.

See Keri's July 23 entry: www.kerismith.com/blog/
And Tucker Nichols 'What a day': www.tuckernichols.com/2007_07_27_archive.html

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ripen on the vine

Here's a piece I've been working and reworking. I posted it a month or so ago. See how it's changed... (June 17: No mind drawings)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gestural insects

I've been pondering this drawing for weeks, hanging on the studio wall... it is one of the gestures I made of that odd root/tuber Hal found out in the yard (see 'What in the world ...', entry, April 21). I kept turning it and turning it and drawing with a bamboo pen.
Now I have a few other roots and am re-ignited about exploring them as perhaps a social study. I love the insect-like quality of the pieces, the heavy and the delicate. I have big paper on which to work with them.
All day I hear the cicadas humming outside the studio.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Map of Paris

I've been at home this week, my sister- in-law Ana Darlene was visiting, so I drew hardly at all. We spent a lot of time on the beach and in the water. We also made books. Here is mine, it's covered with a colorful map of Paris and bound with red ribbons and sisal. The paper is an all-cotton ivory, just right for an ink pen. The making is so sweetly Zen, simple and ritualistic with some repetitive elements of sewing and gluing. Now I have a present for my friend Lorna in Ireland.
Pondering the nature of creativity, a clear mind and healthy life.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lesson for Today

Driving to work in my truck, I was listening to Fresh Air. Their film critic- at-large, John Powers was reviewing a release of two old films by French director Chris Marker: La Jetee and Sans Soleil.
He talked about Marker, now in his 80s, as a man who makes films about all the parts of his life – experience, history, politics, travel, mystery.
And then he called Marker the precursor, or 'gold standard', of 21st-century blogging. It's not enough to put down our thoughts, ideas, photos, video and drawings... we must also be reflective; we must connect our ideas; document the way we live now.
I think he was talking to me. I know the threads of connection are here. I know I want to discover them. But I get lazy. I forget that the recording of living is important.
Here's a link to that interview:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007


And they live happily ever after.
Simple shapes, simple contentment. I think they even somehow convey gender, albeit stereotypical gender: size relationship, height, soft roundness versus stability... I'll try to remember this when I'm creating characters.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


When in doubt, choose the drawing with the most extreme dimensions. Today I've been drawing two of everything, couples I guess you'd say. Two leaves, two sticks, two straws, two paws... still sizing up everything in terms of animation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I've been mulling story ideas for an animation, again. Traveling makes for simple landscape/ character interaction over time... here I'm endowing my critters with grief and loss as they seem to have to move on leaving someone behind.
Another possible storyline: Fall down seven times; get up eight.

Monday, July 9, 2007


Some time ago I saw a retrospective of Matisse's work at MOMA. I remember being particularly taken with his paper cutouts... he made them with colored or painted paper and big scissors late in his life. The shapes were simple and elegant and beautiful.
Here and there in my own work, I look for such simplicity and beauty. Lying in bed before sleep I tell myself to hunt for these things in dreams. But for me they always seem to be fully rooted in the physical world: a fragment of shell on the beach, a section of large intestine, a piece of shadow under my table.
I think I am not working much at getting at my inner world these days, not working hard enough at all. And I well know that I get out of it only as much as I put in.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Today I was laying bricks in the backyard... such a repetitive, almost ritual quality to the process. One after the other, atop and alongside. Reminds me how everything fits together. Even when I'm pretty sure they don't.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Nose hairs Tinkerbell

Simplicity, spontaneity, humor; counterbalancing the clutter of my current inner landscape. It's like an overstuffed closet in here... someone please open a window.
I've discovered a free animation program, a bit primitive but it might be just right for animating something like this... think I'll stay up late.