works in progress

Wall to Wall: A Meditation (Part 1)

Greetings! It’s time for filling you in on what’s happening in the studio! Never enough hours in the day, as they say, but more and more I am finding small bits of time to be down there working. When I am not making daily drawings or small collage pieces, I am working on a couple of much larger pieces….about walls.

Work in Progress (Wall Series no. 1)

Work in Progress (Wall Series no. 1)

Work in Progress (Wall Series no. 1 detail)

Work in Progress (Wall Series no. 1 detail)

I recently started thinking about walls and the ideas that lead to creating walls….and because one thing leads to another, I spun off into thinking about the ideas that come from thinking about walls. If you are from the United States, you will surely know that “wall” is very much in the news these days. My work is not usually motivated from outside references, per se, nor is it overtly political. I work intuitively and the meaning of the piece slowly reveals itself to me through the making. I trust this process….for me, it is revelatory, as the time spent making creates the space for the insights to percolate up to the surface.

So, while I started out thinking about the physical walls built throughout human history (creating physical barriers is certainly a very ancient practice…think Hadrian’s Wall or The Great Wall of China, my thoughts fairly soon turned more meditative. Drawing a wall tiny brick by tiny brick is a delightfully slow and meditative process and I realized it was a metaphor for creating a physical wall, which also must be built “brick by brick”.

Walls are used to separate “us” from “them”, the stranger, the “other”. But while a particular wall got me thinking, I realized that we all build walls and our lives are lived behind the myriad walls of our own making….metaphoric, but in a sense, physical as well, as we must navigate over and around them in our walks through life.

Work in Progress (Wall Series no.2)

Work in Progress (Wall Series no.2)

Wall no.2 WIP detail 1.jpg

So many associations came flooding through, as if, by building my two dimensional wall tiny brick by tiny brick, I was actually doing the opposite and opening the gate in a walled dam to let the water flow. Walls of all kinds can have positive and/or negative connotations depending on the context and indeed, some are absolutely necessary. Boundaries and barriers exist in nature….think of the cell walls in our bodies whose design keeps us healthy and safe from disease and toxins. Others, though are artificial, constructed out of fear and those are often the ones that keep us from experiencing the fullness of life.

While I am in the studio working on these pieces my meditations roamed freely, as the brick walls grow longer and taller. Not quite sure where these meditative drawings will go, but it is a satisfying way to spend the time, believe it or not. The repetition allows one to let go and become one with the rhythm of the mark making . For now, these wall pieces are works in progress….learning and understanding are part of the slow revelation of the process.

Looking forward to spring! It’s been a long, cold winter here in South Dakota, as it has in much of the country. Surely, there will be a warming trend in the next couple weeks! Do stop by the Etsy shop if you have a chance as there are at least 150 items there for your perusal and I add daily drawings and new collage pieces as time permits.



Works in Progress, At Last!

Daily drawing from September

Daily drawing from September

November greetings! I’m happy to report that there is activity in the studio once again. Not huge amounts, but I’m spending more time there and actually have a couple drawings in progress. The daily drawing project has definitely lapsed. I saw this little guy, shown above, laying on the desk, and realized it was one of the last of the daily drawings that I made. I think that, given my work week schedule, I’m better off letting go of the pressure of the daily drawing project. I can be happy knowing there are a couple more involved works in progress on my desk at any given time. Working somewhat regularly is better than not at all!

A couple of the current works in progress on my desk are shown here. These are mixed media drawings (10” x 8”) which will be dipped in beeswax once they get further along. I work very intuitively, trying to listen to the voice inside and to what the drawing is telling me, so I have no real idea where these are going, but I’m hoping it is the start of a new series. This is a fragment of the larger drawing, but it gives you an idea of where it is….at least for now!

Work in Progress 2a.jpg

The second drawing is above. I’ve created that same 2” border pattern at the bottom to tie the drawings in the series together. Those dots are meant to mimic letter/words on the page, as if there is text there, encoded, meant to be deciphered somehow. Perhaps these are ancient manuscripts of some kind, lost to the ages. Again, these pieces are unfolding slowly and intuitively, so I’m not yet sure what they are saying nor where they are going, so I go one step at a time….like this.

Work in Progress 2b.jpg

Going slowly allows you to listen….to learn and savor the process and the unfolding of what’s to come.

Meanwhile, Johntimothy and I finished a savory little project we were working on for Cake Parade at Ipso Gallery in Sioux Falls. Each invited artist (Johntimothy and I were invited as a collaborative duo) was paired with an area baker to share conversation and inspiration. After the meeting, the baker produced a cake inspired by the meeting with the artist and the artist made a work inspired by the conversation with the baker. We so much enjoyed meeting our baker, Adam Rau, and shared a delightful evening of conversation over dinner here on the river. We found we shared many interests and were inspired by his passion for making pastry, specifically French canele. Johntimothy and I decided to make something equally yummy out of the materials we are most drawn to….paper and print! Though you can’t eat these little paper patisseries that we made, we hope they create a kind of desire to consume, just the same.

Petit Fours tray 2 BLOG.jpg
Petit Four tray BLOG.jpg

We had such fun making these delicious little items….I was sorry when it was time to pack them up for the trip to Sioux Falls. If you are in the area, the show is up for the next few months!

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and then it really is a whirlwind until the end of the year. Hold your breath, we’re nearly all the way through 2018….amazing!

Until next time, enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with those you love and count the blessings you have….they are many, no doubt. Cheers!