Sunday, December 9, 2018
Drawing for "Bird with Spots"
Drawing: a graphic representation by lines of an object or idea, as with a pencil; a delineation of form without reference to color. Dictionary.com
When we do one of the transfer techniques that I teach,we end up with millions of little pieces of paper from rubbing the backs off of our photographs. It's obsessive-compulsive work, and most of us like doing it, at least for awhile. Then we'll get bored, or our fingertips will start to hurt from the constant rubbing(some of the more obsessive of us even getting blisters). The paper lays around on the table top in a messy, annoying way, but then--something happens in that part of your brain that makes those kinds of connections that you have learned to listen to. You decide to collect and lay out all of those paper crumbs, then spray them with black ink. What you are left with are thousands of little black rolled up balls of paper. And after pleading not to be tossed in the nearest trash can, those little black balls began to really speak to you. They might, for example, began to want to be a bird. So, you move them onto a piece of white paper so that you can see them clearly, and before too long, a little bird shows up. With the addition of a photographic eye taken of one of your students, you might then have a tough little bird with a soft, warm, human eye.
Although you love the drawing you've made from the tiny rolled up pieces of paper, black ink and the eye of your student, you probably feel that it isn't quite enough. So, you go through all the smallish, abstract paintings you have(and there are many) until you find one that suits your drawing. Then, through the magic of Photoshop and another equally magical transfer process, you marry the two, ending up with "Bird with Spots". You feel good about your strange little drawing and it's final home.
"Bird with Spots"
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
On almost every major intersection in Albuquerque, I see pan handlers, usually with signs asking for help. Hand written on cardboard, often misspelled with the writing getting smaller as it gets closer to the bottom, they are missives wanting us to know that they are hungry, cold, disabled, and sad. They look to make eye contact with us as we wait for the light to change, hoping that we will roll down our windows and hand them some money. Not far away, on the corner, their metal shopping carts sit patiently, filled to overflowing with blankets, sleeping bags,clothes and who knows what else one needs to survive without a home. At night, the panhandlers in our area are gone, headed for the Bosque, the dense cottonwood forest along the Rio Grande River, to set up camp. If they are unlucky, someone will call the police and while they are panhandling, their tents and sleeping material will be swept away, so that even that temporary home will be gone. They will need to find another place in the Bosque, that hopefully won't be raided as they stand in the cold, or sun, or wind waiting for something to make their lives a little better.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Because of the attention brought to the "Me Too" movement by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford*, I've been looking at my own "Me Too" moments, and, as well, asking my close woman friends about their experiences. It's been eye opening, to say the least. Friends I've had for years, good friends, I'm now finding out were raped, and in some cases, not just once, but twice. Of the three close friends that I see on a regular basis, all have had some sort of negative, aggressive sexual encounters as younger women. I myself had bad experiences as a child, a teenager, and as a young adult, some events worse than others. Something that was so traumatic to us, so devastatingly harmful, we seem to have swept under the rug so that we could go on with our lives. Like Dr. Ford, we had chosen to live our lives without comment or conversation about these awful things, until finally, the door has opened and we see that it wasn't just us.
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Sunday, September 2, 2018
Now, with short hair, I find that I don't really know who I am. I startle when I see reflections of myself and I'm constantly looking at women with short hair(mostly older) and thinking, "Yikes, is that me?" Some part of me has wanted a change, but I'm not sure if that part wants to be more masculine or more feminine, to stand out more or be less obvious. I know that part of wanting that change has to do with aging, and trying to look either more age appropriate, or, conversely, younger. Two days after my haircut, I spoke with the eye glass adjuster at Costco, and told her that I'd had my hair cut because I thought older woman shouldn't have long hair. She thought for a moment, then said, "People in my family that are older all have long hair. It's our tradition(she was from Taos Pueblo)". It gave me pause, and made me rethink my hypothesis about older women and long hair. In the meantime, I keep staring at the stranger in the mirror and not really believing people when they tell me how great my hair looks.