Category Archives: Art


DSC08411Mixed Media Retablo  “Macho” by Judy Dykstra-Brown


That stern detective, hewn from stone,
is a kid when he’s alone.
Looks at cartoons, lives on snacks—
bubble gum and Cracker Jacks.

Just goes to show you cannot tell
what delusions you must dispel
to find the truth of those you know.
You must look at what’s below.


Prompts today are hewn, detective, jack and snack.

Children’s Art Project: Painting the Town

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Isidro Xilonsochitl led this project to encourage students to decorate the telephone poles in San Juan Cosala. I took a little drive today to try to find some to share with you. Incidently, he is also a wonderful artist, the illustrator for my books and the painter of murals and eleven other works of art in my house. I’m a fan!

Wire Crow


Wire Crow

A black crow formed of bent wire, specific in its detail, with the look of chicken wire, yet intricately twisted by hand. You had seen me come back to it again and again at the art show and had taken note. You, who usually harangued me about how hard I was to buy for, asking what I wanted, making me responsible for my own gift. How I hated Xmases and Birthdays for this reason. Hard enough finding the perfect gift for you and your 8 children and my family, but to have to pick my own gift? Unfair.

Yet this gift, a surprise on my 42nd birthday, so perfect. A reminder of that black crow poem you had written about the end of your first marriage and the decline of your second that poem that ranged so far and wide that it included even me, gathering your children and taking them to safety when we broke down on the freeway. That first poem not about past loves, but casting me as heroine––a part of your official biography.

This crow, however, has seen beyond you. Seen your death and my relocation. It sits on the highest shelf of my sala, bent over a Mata Ortiz lidded bowl that has an ear of corn rising up from its lid, as though the crow is about to feast on it. It is one of the objects that gathers you around me, even now, 18 years after your death: the wooden statue you carved in Bali, your giant spirit sled of copper and hide, your Tie Siding sculpture that fills the corner near my desk, the spiral lamp–one of our favorite collaborations.

My whole life seems a continuation of that collaboration—your pulling out of me the art and words that surround me now on my walls, my tables and swirling through my head, disconnected or connected. Metered in rhyme or collecting into paragraphs—all parts of my life. Art we inspired in each other, pulling the world in around us with wood and stone and metal and paper and ideas and words. That metal crow a part of all of it that I have overlooked for so many years now. Of the few objects brought the long miles from California to Mexico, this crow was selected innocently, perhaps more by intuition than by conscious thought, and yet it stands, highest of all, to project its message.

No one who has formed us ever dies. New loves do not cancel out the old. Like one glorious recipe, our lives accumulate ingredients. Sweet and salty, tart and crusty, effervescent and meaty. Like your presence. Ironically represented by that crow that is mainly emptiness, really. Or perhaps unseen mass. Like thought. Like poetry. Like love. Like a forgotten important detail suddenly remembered.

Mary asked to see some of the results of the timed writing exercises we did during our retreat. This is one I did where the prompt was to write about an object. I believe it was a 15 or 20 minute writing.

Artists as Hoarders

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Fascinating! Click on the following link to see Mirka Knaster’s fascinating story, photos and videos on the topic:

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Junk Art I Love and Own!!!

Jan Golik makes art out of junk. Literally.  Stuff she finds in spare lots, in the ditches along the road, in dumpsters as well as broken pottery and other castoff and broken things friends bring to her.  Yesterday I went to her studio and did a shopping spree. About the only place I have left for wall art is in the doggie domain, the room I added on to my house for my dogs to sleep and eat it.  They have their own mini fridge and cupboard unit with bins for dry food, drawers for cans, shelves and drawer for other doggie stuff such as tennis balls, leashes, toys, med. Now they’ll have their own little gallery. I already have two animal masks up. They’ll be joined by these fun pieces by Jan:

(Click on first photo to enlarge all and see full captions.)

“My Paint Brush Bites and Kicks!”

Another great film sent to me by my friend Gloria.  

Here is Gloria. She’s been hanging around on the beach with me for the past month but goes home in two days.


And here is the uplifting, quirky, wonderful film she sent me. lf you need a lift to your day, have a look: