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27 January, 2012 at 9:56 pm (art, books, friends) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Although I have a hard time even writing in the margins of a book I love book art. Add a hint of mystery and I’m enchanted, so I was thrilled that although all ten of the secret paper gifts to Edinburgh’s libraries have been found the anonymous giver left the option of future gifts open. I was surprised to read that the artist had not made paper sculptures before, the sculptures were so different than each other and so imaginative. Isn’t the texture of the feathered cap below (found in the Scottish Poetry Library) gorgeous?

Then there are Brian Dettmer’s book autopsies, I was initially conflicted because they’re made from older books, but the look has since won me over:

Finally today a wonderfully creepy video my friend in the belfry found for a wonderfully creepy nursery rhyme book:

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auditory

8 May, 2010 at 8:30 pm (art, books, friends, life, local) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I just finished with the flame-thrower and am waiting for the encaustic to warm up again so that I can pour yet another layer on to the piece I’m working on, while I wait I thought I’d post what Ron Black, who takes great nature photos, just sent me – pictures of our brand new pond, it’s just a baby, less than a year old.

Standing next to this pond, a small cone-shaped hill lurks in the trees to the south-west, there are acres of forest on all sides and unless a small plane flies over head you can’t see anything man-made here, even the part of the trail that is visible was made by animals. It is also the quietest part of the property.

Sometimes, standing there, I think about how much industrialization has changed the sounds we hear almost every moment of the day, even in the quiet of the night I can hear human sounds I couldn’t hear over the noise of the day – vehicles on a distant road, a train on tracks eight miles off.

I love human sounds, I live in more than one place and where I sit writing this now I can hear my old clock ticking, the neighbours to the east singing prayers, and the girls to the south happily shooting hoops. But just as looking at the ordered chaos of nature is somehow calming and energizing at the same time, the layers of sound around this pond make it hard to walk away. The soft natural sounds (when there are no tractors growling downstream) are meditative and somehow invite further listening.

As a kid I always wondered why sounds can affect the mind and emotions so much, why can music make us feel triumphant or despondent? I was reading an article about preserving areas of natural sounds, and some book reviews about silence (also this) recently, and, predictably, I thought about noise a lot when I stayed in this Buddhist monastery for a while, but this Radiolab show is my favourite exploration of sound. The range it covers in one hour is incredible, and the part where they talk about why there were angry riots when Stravinsky’s ‘Rites of Spring’ was first performed but adoration when it was performed a year later is amazing. I haven’t been able to embed the program for some reason, but here is another link, there are three parts (‘Behaves so Strangely’, ‘Sound as Touch’, and ‘Musical DNA’), they are each fantastic.

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injured

30 October, 2009 at 12:08 pm (art, books, friends, life, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Fridadeer

These are details of one of the paintings in the stash that inspired Barbara Levine (former director of exhibitions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) to write ‘Finding Frida Kahlo‘. The trunks of materials (diaries, letters, recipes, paintings, stuffed hummingbirds, and so on) have been called forgeries by some interested parties in Mexico (ArtSlant article, NY Times article, Christopher Knight’s take), and I am curious to see how this all plays out.

Detecting forgeries is a difficult art, because the science can be faked (although sometimes people are so sure of their ‘eye’ that they refuse to believe scientific evidence to the contrary, e.g. de Groot insisting that ‘Merry Cavalier‘ was by Frans Hals despite the fact that some of the paints used were not developed until long after Hals had died), and of course mistakes are made both ways (a collector of Rembrandt burned one of his paintings thinking it was a forgery, later it turned out it probably wasn’t).

Both those claiming these were Frida Kahlo’s belongings and those crying fraud have a stake in the outcome, influencing the way they see these pretties.

Fridasig

I do love Frida as a deer, a friend almost bought this version years ago, but didn’t, because it would have been a quite a stretch financially – of course looking back he thinks it would have been worth the sacrifice. So often in life it would be nice to have the benefit of hindsight ahead of time, eh?

Click the link below to see more:

“Finding Frida Kahlo” by Barbara Levine from Princeton Architectural Press on Vimeo.

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cashio

11 June, 2009 at 9:27 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, family, friends, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

cashiocrop2a

I’m excited because I’m getting ready for three months of travel, but I’m also mourning because I haven’t been able to work on assemblages lately, and I won’t be able to bring those materials on the road.  I will be restricted to working on pieces like this one (which I do love creating), plus a few fiber projects which pack easily.  It’s frustrating to want to be making things and not be able to get my hands on the bits and pieces, but at least I will be finding more in the four countries I’ll be travelling through to visit my family.

There are a few things I’m sharing from the garden before I leave – raspberries, boysenberries, figs, pads for nopales (with lentils, yum!), and this lone avocado, very buttery.  When I get back there may be a few strawberry and pineapple guavas left, then there will be pomegranates.  I’ll miss the peaches – heavenly when they’re ripe and the skin slides off in your fingers, also the ripening of the manzana bananas and thimbleberries.  My stubborn pineapples think they are just for show, all the other bromeliads bloom while they just sit there, but I am very happy because an ancient cycad that was damaged and seemed to die three years ago just produced a beautiful crown of leaves.

I love traveling, although I will miss a lot of close friends – three months is a long time between visits, but I will be staying with family and friends, some of whom I only see every few years, and there will be a new bébé when I get back.

avocado1a

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fields

8 March, 2009 at 2:35 am (art, family, friends, life, local, Uncategorized) (, , , )

irishswan

What an amazing number of people can pack into a house when there is a band, eh?  Especially when there are violins, a mandolin, guitar, whistles and a bodhrán (that last is essential).   One of the violinists was 12 years old, a 78-year-old sang two solos.  Of course towards the end of the evening the songs of separation and rebel tunes came out.  Athenry was summoned, and a song that started with an Irish boy losing his leg in the American civil war ended with Bush and his Iraq war.  Predictable, but perfect.

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prod your gondola on over

7 March, 2009 at 10:00 am (art, friends) (, , )

If you are in Southern California, please visit the fabulous Miss Ph tonight as she and these other talented artists show their work.  Surrounded by art, a glass of wine in hand and interesting people to chat with, it will be a good evening.

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linked

4 January, 2009 at 7:31 am (art, blue-eyed crow, friends, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , )

pearls31

I have many partially finished pieces right now, but nothing near completion.  Plus I keep changing my mind about which way to go with my favourite bits, many of which include pearls and copper wire.  I am loving both the copper and steel wires I’ve been working with lately (and I always love pearls!).

This week I was at a few parties with people I don’t see often but whom I adore, it was a great way to start the year.  Eating as much fantastic party food as I did, maybe not such a great way to start the year.

textbuddhaa

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clock beetle

17 December, 2008 at 6:23 am (art, blue-eyed crow, friends, life, local, work) (, , , , , , , , , , )

watchbeetlea

I’m letting this piece sit for a while until I figure out where to go with it.  I spent much of today drilling tiny, tiny holes in wire which I will rivet tomorrow, also experimenting with odd-shaped rivets of various materials.

Last Saturday was a day of coincidental meetings.  At the show (which was in another city) I ran into the lovely woman who was my neighbour for the last seven years until she bought a house this summer.  Later, at dinner in a Peruvian restaurant, it turned out that the woman sitting next to me had been in the same Chinese (language) school that I was in, for the same three years, but we had never met before this.  Two friends on my left told us they ran into each other on a sidewalk in New York last month, neither knew the other was planning to be there.

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pearls

4 December, 2008 at 1:02 am (art, blue-eyed crow, friends, work) (, , , , , , , , )

pearlside2a1

Pearls are so beautiful and strange, the way they reflect light is fantastic.

This is the last thing I finished today, then I went to dinner with friends and met the wool-pusher‘s father, who is visiting from England.  Miss P herself is easy-going and endlessly generous, with an incredible array of talents ranging from dancing and fiber-art through managing singers and teaching.  She and her dad are full of funny stories about their lives, crazy wolfhounds, and adventures all over the world – they are the kind of family you want to be adopted in to, and it was a great ending to a good day.

1848aac1

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