Wednesday, January 1, 2020
In 2000, after the Gore/Bush fiasco, when we waited for the Florida votes to be recounted, I thought things had hit a new low. Everyone was anxious and unhappy as we waited for the results of the vote to come in. I remember walking around for several weeks with a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach Now, at the end of 2019, I look back almost nostalgically--what a sweet and innocent time it was. A few votes gone astray, a president I didn't much like, but, what the heck, in comparison, now it seems like a chapter right our of Leave it to Beaver-"Not to worry. We'll get it all worked out Beav!"
Currently, all seems terrible, horrible, awful: the climate, the shootings in schools, houses of worship or anywhere people gather, the huge schism between left and right, the courts, the enormous discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots, the persistent racism--all the tough issues we thought could be taken care of are now hopelessly lost in a quagmire of anger and hatred. As we roll forward into 2020 I can only hope that, as the poet Robert Bly liked to say, we have to go deep into our ashes-the misery, the hurt and the anger-before we can rise up and see the world in a different way, and that, hopefully, we are at or near the bottom of those ashes. But I think that’s Pollyanna of me. I think we have further down to go, much further, before we can start back up.
Sunday, December 15, 2019
I find myself making, and then being attracted to, what I see as these extremely ugly pieces. They are something I haven't seen before which is very intriguing for any artist. It's a lonely pursuit because, even though I think they are quite wonderful, not many people do. When I put the actual image or the virtual Jpeg in front of them, people just don't respond. I don't know if they have no reaction, if they just aren't interested in the piece, or just plain old don't like them but are too polite to say. It's always hard to guess what people are thinking when you show them work and their faces stay blank and you are ultra sensitive, neurotic, and paranoid to boot. This is when you wish you had the stature of a Picasso or an O'Keeffe so that whatever you did would be fawned over and then bought for hundreds of thousands of dollars no matter what people really thought. But, for now, I'll continue to make these odd portraits and then stash away them in my flat files, taking them out every now and then to marvel at how fantastic I think they are.
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Monday, September 30, 2019
For years I've used photographs of dead animals to inform my work. The Coyote in "Coyote Head" was from a coyote's body I found, perfectly preserved, by the side of the road while cycling. Snakes, birds, coyotes, and deer are my animals of choice, but I have also photographed dead bugs, dead mice, dead squirrels, and mummified cats. There are two other woman artist/photographers who use animal corpses in their work and are friends of mine--Kate Breakey and S. Gayle Steven. I think we are of a certain breed of woman artists, perhaps bordering on the bruja, or shamanic. I know both women are fearless in retrieving and using the bodies of the animals they find--much braver than I since I only photograph them in situ. But today I found that I had no interest in photographing my two finds. I'm not sure why, just that there was no impulse when there would have been five years ago.
*a friend just told me about another “bruja” artist named Judith Crispin pretty great stuff. https://judithcrispin.com/2019/01/22/2019-lumachrome-glass-prints-for-sale/
Monday, September 2, 2019
Ironically, the care situation we put her in was the exact same bedroom that her ex-husband(Nick) had died in six weeks ago http://hollyrobertsonepaintingatatime.blogspot.com/2019/07/nick-and-bob-laughing-1983.html. Richard and Raymond take fragile people into their home and care for them until they die. They are kind and capable men so we felt good about the fact that they still had a place open for Mom. Needless to say, we had dreaded the day. We had arranged for me to meet various family members and Mom at Richard and Raymond's on my way back from Colorado. My brother and I rolled her into the kitchen where she took a seat and shook hands with R&R as we all swarmed around getting her room ready and giving Richard the information he needed. Expecting some kind of meltdown, we were relieved to find Mom quietly moving into her new bedroom, where she lay down on the bed, and then drifted off, murmuring a quiet agreement and squeezing my hand when I said I thought she was going to really like her new home.