Tag Archives: art

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:http://exploringtheheartofit.weebly.com/blog/artists-as-hoarders?fbclid=IwAR3Cr7Exy9zHXYs4fGVmoGMYVj4A7UqJhzGSzKJw1FpzvNaDtqpkrvYQf9c

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Mentor

Mentor

As an old man, he grew his hair long
and wore it unsecured, flowing white over his shoulders,
hiking it back as he walked with one sure toss of the head.
Few except himself would have judged him anything but superior.
His art, original and finely-crafted, showed him as the rogue he was,
yet he pored over art books piled around his chair—
large books rich in imagery and heavy to lift—
a laborious chore to plow through
page by page for anyone except him,
looking for himself in the pages, perhaps,
or looking for part of what he would become.

She thought he thought too much,
looking for answers in books
instead of in himself.
Religion, philosophy, art—
he searched for solutions
in Swedenborg and Picasso.
Compared his poetry to Sarton, Frost and Whitman
while others compared their art, their words to him.

Every piece he completed, he saw himself in as he created it,
but once done, it was as though he’d lost a part of himself in it
and so he started the search again in metal and wood and stone
larger and heavier each time, risking everything
to build himself ever higher.
Seven feet, then twelve, then eighteen feet—
stretching himself to the heaven
that he sought, also, through books.
Searching for what to be.

Wood, stone, metal, clay, glass, paper, words.
None quite solved the puzzle of himself.
Books on the shelf he read again and again
never had all of the answers.
He went as deep into himself as he could go.
Digging for the words he mined
from the parts of himself he most feared,
he often came up empty-handed,
as though he could not bear to see
all of the truth already revealed
in the pure instinctual lines of his sculpture
and those few fine poems he got out of the way of.

A virile man, he worked his angst out
in the shape of children—ten of them
with three different women—going through women
as he went through plasticine or wood or stone,
leaving crumbled remnants to reconstruct themselves
afterwards, as he built poetry out of their mutual pain.
He moved through the world
as most beautiful things do—unaware of his swath.

I rose from his rubble, missing him but remembering
all he taught. The scrape and cut and vibration of a fine machine,
the shaping with hands, the dip of the mold and deckle,
the power of a 20-ton press, the fine hiss of a torch.
Showing me how to get the beauty out of myself,
he formed that confidence within me that he lacked in himself.
Looking in books for what he already had,
looking in the faces of women for love
he never quite believed in,
he never fully realized that it did exist,

even during his worst rages,
right here in the heart
of one who so long afterwards
tries
to sculpt his essence
through these words.

 

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Here is also a write-up and photo shoot that a gallery owner did of our home and studio during the Santa Cruz Open Studio Tours a few years before we closed down our house and studio to I move to Mexico: http://www.wmgallery.com/cruz/brown.html

And here is another blog I did on him and his art: https://judydykstrabrown.com/tag/bobs-sculpture/

Prompt words today were hike, write, original and superior.

Paper Art

Karen at Momshieb published a photo of this wonderful cookbook she found in a second hand shop that was made up of a number of pamphlets bound together.  It reminded me of this artwork made in Bali out of rolled magazine pages that I saw in a gallery on Prince Edward Island. Wanted to share it with her and the easiest way was to share it with everyone on my blog. After viewing the photos below, click on the red hyperlink above to see her cookbook.

 

The Art Lesson

Version 2

 

The Art Lesson

I look at Carolyn.
The teacher hovers over her bright shoulder.
We are sisters, bright and dark.
I stuff a bird’s nest into the hollow of the soft stone I have carved.
My mother will not like it.
She will only recognize the beauty
of the smooth hand
Carolyn has carved from alabaster,

That night, I stuff a snarl of Carolyn’s hair into
soft dung from the horse pasture.
I shape the Mimi spirit from the dung
and place it under the register in our room to dry.
When the cold snap hits,
the room takes on a feculent odor
and she wonders what is causing it.

For three days the Mimi spirit fills the room.
I reach under the register
and its outside surface crumbles in my hand.
I scrape its powder into a small pile.
The figure that is left I put in my pocket.
It is hard-baked.
The hand that held it smells like dead grass.
Some of the powder I sprinkle in a fine line
on the top of the frame around her vanity mirror.
The rest I save in my handkerchief.

The Mimi spirit I take back to class
to put in the nest.

My stone is a stone––
Hollowed,
grey.
with natural holes pockmarking it.
When no one is looking, I cut my finger with an Exacto knife
and collect my blood.
I unball my handkerchief.
I sprinkle the powder into my blood
to make a paste.
I take a fine brush from the cupboard,
paint the Mimi spirit.

They are all in front of me.
Carolyn. Andrew.
The teacher is in front of me.
No one notices.
I hear her laugh.
I pull a loose thread from my skirt
and wind it tight around my finger
until it turns white.

I take moss I’ve gathered from the oak trees
and I make hair.
I take the ankh-shaped clay tool
and scrape a hollow in the stomach of the Mimi doll.
I go to stand beside my sister,
taking the very small sharp paper-cutting scissors.
They are all watching her,
but no one watches the part of her closest to me.
She laughs, creating the diversion I need.
I quickly cut the very small piece
from inside a fold of her full skirt.
Later, she will blame it on moths.
I have told her about cotton-eating moths,
and she is a sister who always believes me.

I go back to my table at the back.
Still, not one has noticed me.
I trim material away from the part of the pattern I seek.
I cut out the very small figure of a child.
I roll the material I have cut away from around the child
into a tight wad
that I stuff into the new womb of the Mimi doll.
I roll the child into a ball
that I chew and chew
before swallowing.

I put the Mimi doll back into the nest in the stone.
Tomorrow I will pack it in a box.
Tomorrow I will wrap it in paper and ribbon.
Tomorrow I will give it as a gift to my mother.
Carolyn will give my mother the hand
and she will put it on her dresser
to display her bracelets and rings.
My stone will lie in its box
in my mother’s bottom drawer.

Next week I will steal into my mother’s room.
I will put the box under my sister’s bed for three nights.
I’ve already dug the hole beneath the willow tree—
in the soft soil where my father used to dig and dig.

Years from now, my mother will wonder where that box went.
Carolyn will have gone away before this, but not me.
I’ll say, “I don’t know, maybe Carolyn took it.”
My mother will slide her gold rings from the fingers
of the hand my sister carved for her.
She will love to stroke the cool hand.
But Carolyn will just keep going and never come back.

This is a poem I have written and rewritten over the past thirty years but which I’ve never published. It’s a dark poem and perhaps that is why I’ve never published it. I can’t remember what prompted it.  Certainly, nothing from my own life, but I recently found a folder of very old poems and decided to try to rework some of them. “The Art Lesson” is one of them. 

for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.

Tracings

 

Click on photos to enlarge and see commentaries made about some during earlier postings.

Children are the parts of themselves that parents leave  behind when they die—actual physical tracings that will last for as long as their line reproduces. Yet, they have no control over what the children add to their genes to pass on down through time. Each generation melds together with the genes of other families to create a new assemblage composed of bits and pieces of the physical and mental characteristics gleaned from each side of the family to form a new identity.

Childless, I have only what I create to carry me forward into the far future—my poems, stories and books as well as the found object collages that I have created over the past eighteen years. In them I leave the tracery of my life—the long trailings of where I have been, whom I have known, what I have thought. But unlike children, they are glued down, painted, securely fastened to stay as I have intended them to be.

Vestiges of my entire  life story  are stored in them:  moments happy, sad, delirious, tedious, exciting, passionate, depressed, thoughtful, nostalgic. They are souvenirs of travel, heartbreak, reading, lost loves, found adventures.  I have no idea where they will eventually end up. In a trash heap?  On a table or shelf or in a box stored on a shelf? Or will they travel as I once did? Will the box that records Andy’s death end up back in Africa? Will that record of my early childhood school days wind up back in my prairie town?  Will some quantum miracle bring all of the items back to their origins by a force stronger than the one that bonded them together? Will the pieces fly apart, each going in its own direction?

Perhaps this is what happens to all of us at our death—subatomic particles flying back to some prehistoric origin, ready to start their journeys outward once again. Our whole lives are assemblages. Each of us assembles a life as much by our choice of what we draw into it as by what we are given by nature and by birth. Every life is, in a larger sense, a work of art; and how it is recorded—by human genes or by pinning it down on a board or in an assemblage or sculpture or representationally in a book or on canvas—is our choice.

Prompt words today are tracery, delirious, assemblage and identity.
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/rdp-saturday-tracery/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/23/fowc-with-fandango-delirious/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/your-daily-word-prompt-assemblage-march-23-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/identity/

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.)

Puesta del Sol: Thursday Doors, Feb 14, 2019

Click on photos to enlarge images.

Friends Christine and Rick from Gabriola Island, Western Canada, have made it their goal to transform the small posada they stay in every year into a little boutique hotel. For the past two years, they’ve been effecting many changes, including these decorations around the doors of each room. The little haven is a beehive of activity with musicians, poets and artists all contributing their skills. I’m going there tonight for a Valentine’s dinner. Yes, I’ll take photos!

 

For Norm’s Thursday Doors.