Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A NECESSARY LABOR

January 24, 2015

Birth Dance sculpture 042 (2) (1024x683)

Since departure from the Annex,

I have come to this:

The modeling of clay…

and form discovered;

The long wait through the holidays

and prolonged grieving over losses;

The tentative and awkward coloring of form

with untried glazes.

Birth Dance Sculpture 043 (2) (1024x683)

Shame and grief have been replaced

by celebration of the feminine form…

and patience as the only road to truth

I have looked closely

at my youth and aging

as collaborative.

I have caught glimpses of

my own delight in detail.

Birth Dance Sculpture  045 (2) (1024x683)

Artistic process at its best

reflects the life:

Hard work and perseverance

simply aren’t enough.

I cannot shut out what my heart is suffering…

my mind is sorting through.

Nor can I shut out

the distractions caused by my attachments,

for these are born of love and vulnerability

which making art requires.

Birth Dance Sculpture 056 (1024x683) (2)

Ambivalence accepted

can reveal essential elements:

Though I may struggle against

my need for restful emptiness of purpose,

I know my own soul’s reverence for timing

must be reckoned with.

As I cry out for wholeness and completion

It is being realized.

Eggs, Fired 1st sculpture, Shadows, Trees etc 030

Advertisements

FAREWELL AGAIN

November 30, 2014

Walter & His Models (fall woods behind) 001 (2)

On this day in 1965

my father breathed his last breath

before departing his body

to become the breath we continue to breathe.

It seems strange but in some way fitting that I should wait to do this post until this day. The pot came out of the kiln weeks ago, days after my time at the annex seemed to run out. It is certainly not the best pot done during my sojourn there, but because of the subject matter – my father’s surprising appearance on the pot – I chose to keep it. The time since has been a struggle to adapt to change, to attempt to live well while dealing with the discomfort of transition. Sadness has been part of it. Don’t we all grieve when something is over?

Truthfully, even during my last few weeks at the annex, I had been feeling the urge to grow beyond what I was doing there. I thought to take what I had learned to a whole new level. I had sculpted clay in the past, now there was the potential for expanding that…bringing incising, painting and glazing to the sculptured form. I dreamt of sculpted vessels that might invite the decorative element. But newness can be as frightening as it can be exciting. Thence the struggle…

I think of my father…

of his choice to go it alone…

his need to create and grow so powerful

that he chose to leave his wife and children…

to forego the sweetness of intimate companionship

for the sake of his quest.

He chose suffering along with art and ecstasy:

his suffering and ours.

Fatherhood seems to be

less compelling a force than motherhood.

My mother was an artist, too.

Walter & His Models (detail) 009 (713x1024) (2)

Yet she relinquished all to serve this man:

as wife available to model for the painter

and to share his bed,

as mother to his children while he looked elsewhere…

for that which waited to be translated by his brush.

Walter & His Models (detail) 007 (1024x736) (2)Walter & His Models (detail) 008 (1024x798) (2)Walter loved animals,

and this I understand with all my heart.

But he loved birds more:

their flight, their freedom, their variety.

My father hovered on the outskirts

of my life with mama and my siblings.

When hovering,

one can be ready in an instant to take flight.

I think I understand.

Walter & His Models 005 (673x1024) (2)

NAKED LADIES BLOOMED, RABBITS MUNCHED, SQUIRRELS FROLICKED AND GOLDENROD TICKLED OUR NOSES

November 2, 2014

Naked Lady, Bunny & Fairy Vase 039 (1024x675) (2)

October was a golden month…

aglow with wildflowers, butterflies,

cool sweet mornings,

and the most glorious of autumn-blue skies.

The light was magical

and Southerners weary of humid heat

were re-energized.

In the earlier days of the month

rabbits munched every evening

on the dregs of summer grass.

Naked Ladies caught the last rays

of the sinking sun.

The whole month long…

squirrels raced one another,

foraging madly for winter nourishment…

preparing their nests.

My decorating during this month was playful…

lighthearted before the fall.

Squirrel & Goldenrod Plate 072 (1024x678) (2)

VISIT FROM MY ANGEL

October 12, 2014

Visit From My Angel (East Beach) 080 (1024x991) (2)

Since losing my little dog, Star,

my attempts to depict

her dear and funny figure on a pot

have been futile.

Finally facing a particularly challenging bowl

in a particularly challenging time,

she came to help.

She came as she had always done,

as comforter

and gentle prodder when her human needed prodding.

Visit From An Angel Bowl 047 (1024x656) (2)Visit From My Angel bowl (detail) 037 (1024x683) (2)As in the days of her bright living,

her sweet presence came.

I only needed

to wake up and live…

to let the spirit move

on earth as it does in heaven.

Visit From My Angel 090 East Beach (1024x694) (2)I carried on with faith that carrying on

would get me somewhere.

Whatever gift or capability I had

would see me through the task

however arduous it proved to be.

My little angel’s plumey tail wagged happily

when I thought “beach” and drew a spiraling sun.

Pelicans and drifting clouds were fine.

Small waves and several “stars” were also good.

Star’s sensitive nose tipped upward in approval

at salt-scented air.

Visit From My Angel Bowl with Pearl 041 (1024x683) (2)

Pearl thought she smelled a dog

when I brought the finished pot home

and placed it on the floor for her approval.

My own approval…

or acceptance…

was slow to come:

The glazes were not bright enough, etcetera.

But apparently, my little dog angel

was still whispering possibilities,

and what I heard

as clear as clear can be

was “BEACH”.

Take Music to the beach…

and take that blessed bowl.

Take that infernal camera, too.

Have “FUN”!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We did have fun,

Music doing doggy things,

and me with my little camera

playing with my beach bowl on the beach.

My mind grew quiet.

My heart was softened by salt-scented air.

And back at home,

I brushed the sand off of the beautiful pot…

and placed her in the showroom….

Visit From My Angel (exterior) 078 (1024x644) (2)

…where on that very morning

a woman recently bereft of her dog

purchased “Visit From My Angel” as a memorial

to take back home to Michigan.

Sigh…

   

LANTANA DREAMING OF MUSIC…or…(MOMENTS WORTH RECALLING)

October 1, 2014

Lantana Dreaming of Music 012 (1024x683) (2)

As I was pondering another blog post with yet another decorated pot (Two just emerged from the kiln), I was browsing pictures that I had liked enough to process and save. I stopped on this one and felt myself drifting into it…recalling that day, that moment that captured more than my eye. I came across others as I browsed, moments that never made it to the blog or any other mode of sharing, and decided to honor a few of those. I will also include a shot of each of the pots that I like as photographs…as moments worth recalling.

Butterfly pot on Bricks 095 (1024x706) (2)

Weary of trying for decent images of art as art,

I allowed my butterfly pot to alight upon old Chicago bricks.

Wisteria Vine - A Dance 006 (1024x799) (3)

Long after the Spring’s abundant blooming,

a single Wisteria vine dances en l’air.

Musical Moment 079 (1024x683) (2)

My old dog, Music, continues to teach me

to smell, taste, and listen as I step into the muck.

Pearl Napping in The Light 063 (1024x614) (2)

My cat, Pearl, eats, drinks, and is merry…

bef0re stretching out to absorb the light.

East Beach Phenomena 067 (1024x749) (2)

The light broke through like magic

as the water rushed the shore.

Lizard Pot on Stump 113 (1024x670) (2)

I place my lizard pot on a stump to photograph,

but my camera prefers the stump to the pot.

Cicada on Silk Milk Container 098 (684x1024) (2)

After breaking free from her old outgrown skin,

the cicada dries her wings before flight.

FAITH IN THE FLOW

September 22, 2014

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal) 027 (1024x615) (2)

I believe in flow.

Flow has been at the heart of my life as a dancer.

If dance has been like a river flowing

throughout my life,

changing times and an aging body

has caused the river to branch into tributaries

of poetry, clay sculpture, drawing and music.

Singing has had its turn

and painting, too,

to flow around obstacles created by doubt.

Doubt has often loomed heavily,

obscuring the way,

and times of despair have caused drought.

My progress has stalled…

bogged down in the muck;

my heart feels dry and my world

appears colorless for a while.

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal) 023 (1024x646) (2)

Recently, decorating pottery in the Shearwater annex

has brought flow and color back to my life.

I have found renewal in the clay:

the feel, look, smell of this earthy substance

has grounded my body…

revived my heart.

My right arm –

stalled by extensive and painful surgery –

has grown strong and brave,

and has carried out my purpose

of resuming the flow.

The river of dance –

still present in my seventy-year-old being –

has formed yet another tributary.

Praise heaven and all the angels:

I am able to bring color to my world!

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal),Green Heron, Ohr 028 (1024x615)

As my confidence has grown in the present flow, I have pondered sculptural shapes: free-form vessels formed by my hands, conducive to my particular style of decorating. Not instead of my work at the annex with my dear women companions, but a possible means of growth…a chance to explore. So clay was purchased – and a small expensive kiln. The latter with considerable fear and trembling. At my age you do not take on such things as blithely as when younger. I approached the clay before the kiln was delivered, as tentatively as someone who had never created clay sculptures before. I wedged the clay, slamming it down repeatedly to soften it…bring it to yielding. I felt my shoulder object, and I wondered what I was doing. I felt old and scared: doubt did its damnedest to stop the meager flow that was trickling forth. My hands kept moving: pushing, pulling, stretching and stroking despite the doubt…despite the twinges of pain. I didn’t last long that first session. I wasn’t encouraged by this beginning. I covered her quickly, a bit embarrassed by my efforts. It took a while to return. When I did, I reminded myself that judgment at this point was foolish; completion was so far off, and decorating and firing were more than half of it. I had begun!

A few days later the kiln was delivered from Dogwood Ceramics via movers I had hired. It rode in the back of a truck thoroughly crated in wood. I was daunted, but the movers dealt with it vehemently. Finally the kiln stood on my screen porch where the old non-functioning one had stood for years. But it did not look right. The box on the front: the computer and electrical unit was pulled out, metal bent, screws pulled loose. There was obvious damage. The kiln, expected to contribute to the flow, is itself an obstacle.  A terrible question looms: Who is responsible? Another: Can I keep faith that the river of dance that is my life will maintain its flow. Of course I can… But I might need a boat.

LOVE AMONG THE HERONS

September 7, 2014

Great Blue Heron (Inner Harbor) 002 (2)

Great Blue Herons

are a very familiar shore bird

where I live.

They perch on fishing piers

and fish in the marshes.

They wade along shorelines

and nest in tall pine trees.

They fly overhead

with a startling, raucous cry.

They are as beautiful and strange

as they are familiar.

Great Blue 030 (1024x680) (3)

In recent weeks

I have found myself beguiled

by a particularly dashing bird.

Coy and seductive,

ready to pose for as long as I aim my camera…

Of course I am entranced.

In the morning –

turning just so in the bright-lit water –

he casts a shadow

on his handsome feathered back.

In the evening

he leads me among the pier posts,

shows me his mirrored image.

He fills my mind

and causes my heart to linger

in heron-land.

No wonder I danced with him

on the surface of my most recent pot.

??????????????????????

No wonder I shamelessly lounged

in the marshes he frequents…

Heron Pot on Art Table 057 (1024x683) (2)

kicking my legs in the air

and  basking in his presence.

Heron Pot on Art Table 055 (1024x683) (2)

No wonder I celebrate my love

for the constant bird

??????????????????????

by bringing my heart to my art.

OUTPOURING OF ANGELS

August 30, 2014

Angel Pitcher 047 (1000x1024) (2)

Sometimes Angels

wing their way into my mind,

reminding me

of my need to stay in the presence

of divine reality.

When times of physical frailty weigh my body

and vulnerability opens my sensibilities

to all manner of input,

thank Heaven the Angels come too.

They may come in the tender touch

of a gentle-eyed nurse

in the hospital where I am undergoing procedures,

or in the trustful lingering of a heron

as I gaze through my camera.

And in the Shearwater annex –

where I work among kind companions –

They can weave their way through the women’s laughter,

or waft their way onto a pitcher I have chosen to decorate.

Angel Pitcher 048 (732x1024) (2)

This angel appears to be of the mothering sort…

for two plump cupids frolic

in response to her dance.

One hovers close to her mother’s watchful gaze…

reaching frequently for reassurance,

while the other is set free by love…

cavorting fearlessly beyond maternal influence.

Angel Pitcher 041 (1017x1024) (2)

As I hold

the pleasing weight of the pitcher

in my hands,

and accept the manifestation of angels

in my life,

I also accept my human vulnerability…

and my courage.

I know that the mothering angel is always near,

and I am free to go.

HEAVEN AND EARTH

August 19, 2014

Dragonfly (Patient Model) 140 (1024x574) (2)

So many inspirations

in the world I inhabit…

Daily I come upon magical gifts;

they open themselves before my eyes,

and my soul is amazed at the wonder revealed.

A dragonfly – as elusive as air –

is suddenly still…

five feet from my trembling heart.

For a timeless rapturous moment she stays,

as I press the shutter again and again:

Heaven has offered itself to me…

and I am receptive.

Turtle Eating Banana from My Hand 113 (1024x684) (2)

Earth comes in the form of a ravenous turtle:

weighty, substantial, and trusting enough

to eat from my hand.

This particular earth-form comes when I call.

“Hello Baby…”

has him climbing a tree

in his quest for banana and me.

Our morning encounters are grounding

to the airborne Gemini that I am.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth)  024 (703x1024) (2)

Perhaps this explains why the turtle came first

on my most recently decorated pot.

His round weighted contours

settled  sweetly onto

the dear little vase

as my own earthy weight

settled sweetly into

the process of bringing him forth.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth)  021 (712x1024) (2)

The dragonfly hovered and flirted,

teasing my mind with unattainable beauty…

before it flew into my hand

and out of my pencil.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth)  003 (665x1024) (2)

Days later,

I held the vase in my hands,

 turning it slowly.

It was then I realized the balance

I had unconsciously brought into being.

I saw the air descending

in response to the earth’s ascent,

And I saw the earth ascending

in response to the air’s descent.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth) 007 (652x1024) (2)

I held creation in the palm of my hand…

and all was well.

LIFEDANCE

August 3, 2014

LIFEDANCE Pot 022 (1024x750) (2)

LIFEDANCE: I borrow the name

from my autobiography,

written some years ago as a necessity

when I was stalled in life…in dance.

I needed to tell my story to myself.

Apparently I still do need to tell my story;

my most recent means is by decorating pots.

I have found that telling one’s story is an attempt

to integrate the various parts of self.

For me the various gestures of life

can become fragmented.

One part rejected as less acceptable…

can be split off,

and so the struggle to re-unite ensues.

The first two figures I drew upon this pot

were harmonious, balanced…and acceptable.

The third appeared: proportion all wrong,

her gesture heavy and reluctant,

unacceptable until…

LIFEDANCE Pot and me 066 (617x1024) (2)

I smiled at her awkward sweetness…

her trust in my eventual surrender.

I recognized the conflict…

and my own inevitable struggle before the flow resumes.

I know my dance reflects my life,

and life is happening.

And life unfolds…

LIFEDANCE Pot 096 (1024x683) (2)

I begin to see once more the various parts

that work together for the good.

The life, the dance, the story will be told.

Each gesture will invariably contain the whole.

LIFEDANCE Pot 020 (802x1024) (2)