You flavor my memory with common tastes: Spam and corned beef hash.
You wanted to be the common man, but you were anything but.
The bold aggression and the subtle feminine sweep of what you formed— beautiful. Your hands never clumsy as they sculpted wood and stone. Metal bent and melted into beauty at your touch,
and colors lifted the wings you gave them.
I floated, also–– too independent to be formed by you, but still uplifted that a man like you could love me. It validated something in me—those hard choices I had made
because I listened to something vivid in myself I had not yet found a name for.
Dreams taught me. And synchronicity. I had always wanted to be a wanderer—to try to quench those yearnings that had haunted my daydreams since I was a child. I cut the ties that bound and wandered West to find you—stable man pinned by your wings to obligation all your life. Instead of pinning me down, you wandered with me. The gypsy life of making and selling art. The easy camaraderie of that circus life. The vans and wagons circling every weekend in a different convention center parking lot.
Nights pulled into the woods or by the ocean.
Short nights in transit, parked in neighborhoods where we’d be gone by six.
The song of tires on the road, Dan Bern and Chris Smither. Books on tape.
Pulling quickly off the road to lug a dead tree or a well-formed boulder into the van
or to engineer its route up to the roof,
so we returned home as heavily laden as we had departed—
bowed under by the fresh makings of art.
The texture of our home life was silver dust and wood curls. Its sounds were the stone saw and the drills and polisher. The heat of the kiln hours after it had lost its art. The fine storm spray of the sandblaster, the whine of drills and whirling dervish of the lathe. The smell of resin, redwood, stone dust, paint. The sharp bite of metal. The warm bread smell of cooling fired clay. Every bit of my life was flavored by what you loved––what I loved, too, our interests merging so completely that for awhile
we had no separate lives, but one life welded end-to-end. These remembraces are not organized or filed. They flutter into my mind like hidden lists blown off tall shelves. That life now a scrapbook of the past with certain photos plucked out to be tucked under bedroom mirror rims or carried in wallets.
Snap. You put yourself into my mind. Snap. Another memory follows, and I am an old woman replaying her life. Snap. The creak of the tortilla machine across the street in the early hours. The loud rush of the surf, the rattling startup of a motorcycle. The raspberry seed between my teeth, the scent of the dog’s bath still on my hands, sand gritting the sheets and art projects taking over every surface. Snap. I am me, looking for the next adventure.
Below photos snapped a few minutes ago. Proof of the tale. New projects. Click on first photo to enlarge and see all photos.
Click on first flower to enlarge all and see slide series.
Glass? No. My friend Jan is the Chihuly of plastic. These beauties are fashioned using a simple votive candle, various cut-up plastic bottles and old CD or DVD discs. She had to make do with my “super match” at my house as I was fresh out of votives.
Click on first photo to enlarge all and see slideshow.
Beginning stages of Mazinka’s piece.
Judy’s piece..beginning stages.
Mazinka working on her piece.
Judy’s piece in progress. Possible name: Cup of Sumer.
Jan’s finished piece. I forgot to ask what she named it.
Jan creating her famous jellyfish!
Jan is the only one who finished her piece. Mazinka and I will meet again on Sunday to finish ours. Don’t judge us… they aren’t finished!!! Several people asked for photos, so here they are. The restaurant two buildings away not only loaned us one of the tables and carried it over for us but also brought our lunches. I made the blueberry margaritas and the guacamole!
The art play day I planned for today was actually scheduled for tomorrow, so I’m all set, and a friend just came by and wants me to go dancing, so I’m off. (In case you are confused by that last statement, let me explain that I mistakenly prepared a day early and was all set up and waiting for Jan and Mazinka to arrive when I discovered I was a day off.) Here are some of the preparations I’ve made for tomorrow’s collage art experience. Each of us is to bring a bag for each of the others that has 10 objects for collage in it. I had boards cut and have paint, sand paper and other things to cover the boards with if needed.. Then we will play. Morrie’s supervising some of the “found” wood objects I collected for collage. The bags are my objects for the others (and me.) Tables are covered with oil cloth. One more I will borrow from the beach restaurant next door. He carried it over this morning, then I had to carry it back when I realized I was a day off. Tools, glue and other “needs” are on the table inside ready to be carried out to the porch tomorrow. Morrie will be no help. He’ll probably be tangled up in us all day. Oh well. Perhaps I can keep him up all night and he’ll sleep in tomorrow. Fellow artists arrive at 10. I’m off to Palapa Joe’s to meet Glen and Mario. Below is a photo of the note she left me on my “art” table on the porch today, built from cut-off zip ties left over from “Morrie guarding” the spiral staircase with screening so he won’t bother the new upstair neighbors. Tess and Erin taught him how to climb the stairs–now no way to keep him downstairs and out of the upstairs rooms without this precaution.
Click on first photo to enlarge all and read captions.
Finally found plywood and a man to cut it for me. He probably made about 8 cuts for me with his bandsaw, stopping his other work to accommodate me. When I asked how much I owed him, he said, “A Coke!” I handed him 50 pesos––enough for five Cokes. Again, why I love Mexico.
Morie guarding valuable scavenged art material.
Art materials laid out.
Porch set up. Just one more table needed that willl be borrowed from the beach cafe next door.
Spiral staircase to upstairs rental all “Morrie-proofed”
Cut-off cinch ties. The cut off parts requisitioned as collage supplies.
Inventive message left by Glenda to let me know she was in town., making use of the cut-off parts of the cinch ties that I had saved to be used in the collages. Inventive girl!
These are some of the pieces I’ll be showing in the La Manzanilla Art Walk on January 28. I have another entire body of work–wall pieces where a part detaches to be worn as a brooch–that I’ll show you in a day or two. These pieces were all made by materials found on the beach at La Manzanilla or La Ribera in Baja:
What can be more “Musical Chairs” than this horn-headed statute in the chair series by Alejandro Colunga? It can be found on the malecón in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and rarely is it unoccupied during daylight hours.