Sunday, August 30, 2009






i'd take time for hunting treasures.
i find myself just making a stop or
two in an antique or resale shop/market...
especially when i travel.
close to home, i found these little treasures.
Not expensive at all.
HERON, the two inch round painted rock, signed on the back.
And the 2 inch square glass slides in metal frames...
rose colored cliffs at water's edge,
the blossoming fruit tree in a backyard,
and the classic mountains/reflections mirrored on water.
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

RETREAT: "The great work of the contemplative is gratitude", Thomas Merton




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We're fortunate to have Fetzer Institute in my community. I've spent many days/weeks out at their retreat center about a half an hour & a world away!! Beautiful experiences no matter what the season or length of stay, alone or participating in a group.
I organized a stay for a discussion group I am a member of and booked the 8 cottages (ONE IS IN THE PHOTO COLLAGE AT THE TOP IN THE UPPER LEFT CORNER of it) and the large building for group work. Each had their own cottage around the laurel and tucked in the woods. A new experience for some, we gathered for food, stretching, walks, and I taught a little tanka lesson. Off everyone went with the little journals I made for each, and sharing followed. Plenty of solitude and labyrinith walks and wanderings about through the woods, in a stone 'chapel', and around the mini gardens (buddhist, hindi, native, english, .... et al).
two of my tanka here~~~expanded haiku....31 syllables, and by line it's 5,7,5,7,7

The mown path skirts
around the acre's bouquet
of wild,long-stemmed,uncut
flowers that seem to be there
just to call us together.

Women arrive, one
at a time to find their
way back to a Breath.
Gathering, then dispersing for
solitude and sweet dreams.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

"I AM AN ARTIST" when ...

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leslie avon miller (@ TEXTURES SHAPES AND COLOR in my sidebar) a blogger who inspires me, posted a wonderful piece this morning, which prompts me to respond to the 'call', to pull out a little book i bought about 10 years ago at the getty that i used in my classroom with 7 year old children. a starting point for some. for me i see my whole life. it has amazing illustrations, which i wish i could print too, by Robin Brickman to support the text by Pat Lowery Collins and it's called I AM AN ARTIST. so notice what you notice in your life.

"i am an artist when i follow a line where it leads me.
i am an artist when i find a face in a cloud or watch the light change the shape of a hill.
i am an artist when i discover shadows made by the moon, or trace patterns in the sand, or whin i name the colors inside a shell.
i am an artist when i look through a sun shower for a rainbow. i am an artist when i find one.
i am an artist when i notice that the sea is a mirror for the sky and when i make something from the things that i collect.
i am an artist when i shoot water loops in the air with the hose or discover pictures in drops of rain.
i am an artist when i cut an apple to see the star inside or when i watch sunlight turn dust to glitter.
i am an artist when i crunch through crusted snow and stop to gather winter's hush around me.
i am an artist when i look at a bird until i feel feathery too and an orange until i know what it is to be perfectly round.
i am an artist when i run my fingers over a shiny pod or across the rough bark of a tree or when i blow on a full-blown milkweed and it splinters into tiny white puffs or when i pick up a maple-tree seed and send it spinning back to earth by its twin propellers.
i am an artist when i see that the sun comes up in a soft haze and goes down in a fiery blaze.
i am an artist when i wait for a star to streak through the night sky or when i sit very still in the woods and listen.
i am an artist whenever i look closely at the world around me.

and whenever YOU listen and see,
you are an artist too."
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 'summer of luv' in taos, easy rider, and influx of contemporary artists, the Harwood Museum invited Dennis Hopper to curate an exhibition. The pieces in this first post are Hopper's. There were more. The next posts show some of the others.
There was a quote at the entrance to the show written by Dave Hickey which seems to say it all about this extraordinary place called taos:
...places might be found where the work itself might continue to be created under chastened circumstances and in my experience Taos is one of the most beautiful and chastening places in the world. It has an encouraging history of harboring fugitives, killing priests and assassinating governors. In the zone, it has probably produced more serious art and literature than any other non-metropolitan area in the U.S. and throughout this century, Taos' virtures have remained more amenable to producers of art than to its consumers. It has resisted gentrification because, for all its beauty, Taos is not a cozy place. There is not much that architecture or lanscaping can do to mitigate the daunting hegemony of the sky, the sweep of the flat, the looming scale of the distant mountains and the perpetual interference of Lawrence's ghosts. Day in, day out, year round, Taos is hardly even a human place. It is the top of the world, more the Wild West than the Southwest, more Tibet, in fact than Palm Springs. So if you want a beautiful place to work that bears with it the perpetual reminder that all you do will be broken, buried, blasted and blown away---a place that makes you brave and serious, Taos is the place for you."
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hopper's friends

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Dennis Hopper curated a showing of friends' works....L.A. folks who'd come out to Taos fourty years ago, some of whom stayed on......besides pieces from Dennis, LARRY BELL, RON COOPER, RON DAVIS, KEN PRICE, AND DEAN STOCKWELL's works are shown.

hopper's friends

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Friday, August 7, 2009


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LESS IS MORE: stage 3...thanks for kind comments re: the process and book in the next posting. This picture shows the point of no return, when i felt i'd gotten lost in MORE, too much blue, and that birdlike shape!! i liked in this, parts i didn't, soooooooo i removed some of the pieces and sanded other parts, and folded away to make the book, which i can now appreciate. it was day 1 and perhaps you're right, i may also have let my "self-consciousness" take me to ultra-critical!!

at any rate, always good to reflect on these moments and learn about ourselves.

and the quote seems to be from David Jauss, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Maine

Thursday, August 6, 2009


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the theme of sas colby's workshop in taos last month was LESS IS MORE.
not as "simple" it sounds.
we were given some words to ponder, and among them these from David Jauss, Haystack Mountain School:

"We are done when our focus shifts from curiosity about what the work could become to Recognition of what it is. If we continue to work on a piece after curiosity fades and self-consciousness takes over, the result will be a work that is OVERdone."

well said, and i'm learning to step away when that SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS takes over.

one of the first activities of the week is posted here. as the week continued, we each found our own form and expression.....but, in the beginning of less is more, we each chose a black and white copy of a photo, and were given only scissors, tape, and black construction paper.
we cut pieces to create the positive image on the wall, using the tape.That's on the left. then we were directed to use the scraps and create another image beside it on the wall, and that's to the right.
afterwards, i took the second image and glued the pieces to a large white piece of paper, adding charcoal and matte medium to create a new composition. THEN I COULDN'T STOP...and couldn't FIX the "overdoneness of my self-consciousness".

but, THERE'S always the 8 fold book, and that is what became of my "product", it went back to process in the form of a book. It's quite magical to take a large work that you're not quite sure about, and turn it into smaller abstracts that continue to tantalize our minds(and it's not QUITE finished, but almost!!)
i'll be careful to STOP often. and i know i won't add much. some text? maybe. color? probably not.

Monday, August 3, 2009


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as i usually do when i'm supposed to be settling back into home life in michigan.
Happens everytime. my affair with the mountain, been going on for over fourty years after living there way back then, and continues since i manage to make my way back most summers for at least a short time. sometimes i say i'm never going back. can't handle the reentry. stopped saying i'll live there. like an affair, it's always sweeter when not so available...or so i've heard. hmmmmmm. grass greener. who needs green?

DISCO 2 (with disco 1 book in the next posting)



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I had to go back and make a DISCO 2 WITH SOME OF THE REMAINING PIECES FROM THE DISINTEGRATION REMAINS...the back cover of an old book beckoned had been out with "sprout baby sprout" painted on the back, and metal pieces, but once again, the surprise was the reverse side/ the unintentional doings of Nature...lovely markings and still the original signature on the cover intake. The
Thoreau quote had been on a small page attached to it, and so it's rewritten here in sepia ink with a brush and lines, the large metal upholstery tack from mexico was added which held pieces on somewhere, and in the little hanging roll, the quote
"All the birds have flown up and gone. A lonely cloud floats leisurely by. We never tire of looking at each other. Only the mountain and I." Li Bai