Section of Hecate’s Lair – Art Quilt

As Earth Day April 22, 2012 approaches, I want to share a poem today. The poem came to me through a Word Wednesday poet from Allentown, PA. I have little to say, because I just prefer to let his words shine through.

Salt by Ismael Street

A mother is the salt of the earth . The salt of society. The light of the world. A natural resource far and above your Comprehension. She preserves, reconciles, and adds Taste to the fruits of life and love we enjoy We inspire to be. Her mirror reflects our soul. Her light lamp brightens our night. Giving rhythm in the dance of the ocean And the sun. Nourishing our minds, our bodies, And the world. – there is also an Earth Day celebration at Muhlenberg College today.

The Artist does it again

Originally published August of 2010, this is revisited February 2012.

The Artist. A Title. A venerable title that holds so much promise, yet is born out of deep pain or resonant joy, each work is a reflecting pool of a life, a time, a dwelling, a bond, a collaborator or partner. Ever The Artist. I have dragged The Title kicking and screaming all the way, sometimes losing sight of it, putting others needs before The Title’s needs. At times The Title gets complacent and waits, whirring and worrying, behind me shadow-like, and then feeling trapped it gnaws off a leg. And it lets me know every time that it is weary of being flouted and it gets angry. That is how The Title preserves itself. What if I die before It gets It’s work done? How dare I…so I step aside again and let it chew off a limb or kill a part of my life so we can get to work again.
The Artist has just killed again.

Recurring theme – surfaced again, I had to visit this again to find the essence of the work. Its always a bloody event, visceral and real, takes me down to a bare bones emptiness. Yet out of it comes something so clear and pristine that I gasp as I feel the new power surge through me.

Laying down washes

Today I’m laying down washes on watercolor paper This consists of the following equipment:

  • watercolor paper in blocks (i do about a dozen at once) various sizes
  • large and extra large  brushes
  • tubes/pans of watercolors
  • water in a tub
  • clean old bath towel
  • sponge or spray bottle
  • palette or flat tray for paint
  • resists – oatmeal, salt of different sizes, wax beads, other objects such as bolts/nuts, or threads, leaves etc.

I start by setting up the colors I plan to use on the paintings. I arrange them on the palette where there is room, and always add a dab of white gauche. I keep a set of pan type watercolors also nearby.

Next I start wetting all the paper on the blocks with a soaking wet sponge, or spraying them until fairly soaked.

Then I begin the process of painting a large extremely pale wash that will break the surface of the paper visually. I bring in heavier layers of color, sometimes thick in pools and drop in my resists.

After that, I use smaller finer brushes size 8 or 10 and get some more distinct lines or shapes set in. Or I use a large squirrel oval dry brush or scumble in some textured areas.

And now…we wait for them to dry. Depending on the day and the amount of water used, it could take hours or overnight. Once I pinned large single sheets of Arches paper out on the balcony and the wind kicked up and took them away. I drove around my neighborhood searching and found them…wrapped around trees and fence-posts.

Darkest of Nights

There is a color that almost imperceptible in the night sky.It is more blue than black, more violet than blue.Clear skies make it have a deep pile carpet-like feel.Hazy nights have a vapor that lingers, celestials steadfastly riding amid the mist.
As easy as it might seem I am not able to easily reproduce this color in paintings, I can get close, but the luminous clarity is always just an edge away. The natural world is bewildering.

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