Posts Tagged ‘Creative process’

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

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CIRCLE OF RENEWAL

May 19, 2014

Dancers and Birds Pot on Deck 040 (1024x704) (2)

In the beginning

I took the pot in my hand,

smoothed its surface

and sponged the dust away.

Pencil in hand,

I bravely allowed

the first faint tracing of a dancing woman.

Dancers and Birds Pot  (First Dancer Detail) 048 (2)

The pot was round;

one woman led to another.

Limbs intertwined, connected.

Hands took flight.

Flight called to flight,

and small birds joined the dance.

Each woman’s face expressed the joy

I was feeling.

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It was time to emphasize the lines

that would absorb the color.

A tiny instrument in hand,

I deepened the impression…

committing further

to this particular dance of joy.

How beautiful to be absorbed again

in the creative process,

to disregard the ache of my still healing arm!

How beautiful

 to celebrate the dance again,

to trust the strengthening and rehabilitating gift

of making art!

Dancers and Birds Pot  012 (816x1024) (2)

Yes, I embraced the process,

though the next step in the process

obscured the lines.

I may have trembled as the green wash was applied,

Yet I had come to trust

the layering and un-layering that life requires,

I knew that here, too, was the possibility

of revelation.

Dancers and Birds Pot on Porch 033 (1024x729) (3)

I held the pot and gently rubbed its surface.

The thumb on my right hand

assumed a greenish hue…

as I forgot myself

in the enlightening moment

of re-emerging line.

More glaze was then applied:

a delicate rose brought warmth

to the dancer’s bodies.

The flying birds were lit

by a sunny yellow.

The next step in this dance

would be the alchemy of firing.

Dancers and Birds Pot (Hand-held on Deck) 042 (1024x683) (2)

Just as dancing women encircle this little Pot, women encircle the table where I am learning to paint on pottery. Thanks to Patricia, Adele, Marie, and Nancy who guide my apprenticeship, and to Penny and Ruth who are mightily adept at working with molds. I have been made welcome by the warm and talented sisterhood who grace the workshop annex of Shearwater Pottery.

Love, Create, Share

October 10, 2012

This last weekend I made an angel for an angel. Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee, was on the coast for a reading and signing of her new book: SHADES OF WALTER INGLIS ANDERSON.  On Friday I received a call from the lady, herself, asking if I had an angel in my studio that she could buy. She already has my “Angel with Fox”, but it soon became clear to me that this one must carry a book and in some way celebrate who “Maggi” is, to me and to so many others. I would have to start from scratch and complete it before the reading at the Walter Anderson Museum on Sunday.

I was already tired from a weeks worth of active going and doing. It had been about as social a week as I am capable of. So I wasn’t too thrilled with the project, couldn’t imagine summoning the energy. But there is something about Maggi that brings forth a generous spirit in those who share her orbit – even for a short time. Perhaps it is her own generous spirit: who she is overflows and affects. She inspires our adoration, while nurturing our own realities. Maggi has a great big heart.

So when I sat down in my recliner, doubting that I could even get the plastic wrapper off the new spool of aluminum wire, it could only have been Maggi’s faith in Walter’s dancer daughter that wakened the dance of the wire beneath my faltering fingers. It didn’t take long for me to catch on, to rejoice in the formation of yet another angel. My willingness – and the thought of the one who just might delight in the gesture – kept the wire uncoiling from the spool and threading its way through my hands. I simply cannot forget the dance I was born to dance.

On Saturday afternoon the angel was hung against the black drape where I could see to refine certain areas. I tweaked and photographed, not yet ready to think about any additions. I couldn’t yet see a book in either hand, couldn’t imagine how the words would fly or even what words would come. That would have to happen on Sunday – when I was fresh. It was time to let go.

Trusting the last minute magic that is beyond one’s understanding is the only way to go as far as I am concerned. I cannot plan or manipulate the outcome. I may seem to manipulate the wire, but I never know ahead of time the result. It is all about sensing and following where the wire will take me. On Sunday, it was the same. Yes, I knew I would make something suggesting a book, because Maggi makes words that turn into books, but I didn’t know size or detail, or even whether it would fit in one of the angel’s hands. Only when I carried the vaguely book-shaped object downstairs and tried it this way and that, did I know where and how to attach it.  Even then I knew she was not complete. In a sense the angel would have to read or evoke the contents of the book (or the motto of the life). I went back upstairs, sat down in my chair and the stiff gold wire spelled out LOVE. I thought “Of course… Love has to be the beginning. Without love, where is the longing to create.” CREATE came next, as naturally as breathing. Delighting in one’s creation leads to sharing, therefore SHARE.  And Maggi’s angel was complete.

Later, Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee and joyful angel in one, shared her self and her words. In the small exhibit room at the museum, she read, cavorted and drew her enthusiastic audience to her generous bosom. Maggi shared her world and our world was made new. Thank you, Maggi.