Sunday, January 31, 2010

In the pursuit of Warriors

We drove to DC this weekend with two things in mind, home cooked Indian food with Richard and the hope of seeing some of the Emperors Warriors. As it turned out, we were the ones who were the warriors, getting there at least. Snow started to fall about 10 miles outside of Baltimore, and within 10 minutes the city of Baltimore disappeared. It took almost as long to get from Baltimore to DC as it did for us to get to Baltimore. It was crazy. People drive way TOO fast in the snow, as if they are invincible. In the span of a mile on 295 we saw 5 accidents on the southbound side and an equal number on the northbound side, which made me wonder who was off the road first and who was off the road do to rubbernecking.
We arrived at Richard's and decide to head downtown to the National Gallery via the Metro. We stopped on our walk to the train to eat some noodles at DC Noodles. As we made our way downtown I stuck my fare card in my pocket next to my phone. I figured that would be the safest place for it (maybe if I wanted to demagnetize it, rendering it useless- I had flashbacks of the London tube when KD couldn't get out) We spent about 3 hours in the National Gallery, viewing the special French Drawing exhibition, the Medieval metalwork, the Rodin and Degas sculptures, and the European paintings. We then walked the length of the Mall, which was a bit surreal in the snow, most of the landmarks disappeared until you were right on top of them. We were followed by this couple from the South and their two little kids who had never seen snow. We were tickled to here them declare that this was like a desert only it was snow. Back to Richard's for some Indian food, company, wine, ginger martinis, more wine...and a very interesting morning today.
We had originally gone to DC in hopes of viewing the Terra Cotta Warriors, but stupid me, went to buy tickets too late, they were sold out. we couldn't get in. So, after the breakfast of champions (a spanish omelet with Jalapenos, tomato juice, coffee, toast, vegimite and crackers...and tea) we set out to find something to do. We hit up the Farmers Market at Dupont Circle. After posing in front of Ghandi, and sipping more tea, Kenny and I bid Richard farewell and headed to Phili where we indulged by making a pit stop at Pat's Steaks before seeing Anna. Essentially, hangover aside, it was a glorious weekend. The pics include a seemingly random shot or two (KD and Trish these are for you, you'll appreciate the fact that the fare card was not the only technical difficulty) Some are indicative of how I felt at various times this weekend.

Next weekend- Placid again followed by a jaunt to SLC, then Milwaukee, then SLC, then Phili...I am so looking forward to Spring!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A question of faith...

I am in one of those modes where my heart pines to be in my studio 24/7 dredging up my soul. The work, when completed will speak for itself, that is if my head survives the struggle.
I went out to dinner with one of my oldest friends tonight. Its always been one of those relationships that there is never anything held back, cell phones off and guts on the table. I rarely speak about my work as I am creating it as I fear that the energy will somehow escape with the words. Tonight, I couldn't hold back, it poured out of me like a fountain. The conversation only validated what I was doing, as if he was breathing more life into it. An addition to my studio playlist was made:

Today, in the studio, two intricately carved chalices of the twelve sat on a bakers rack ready for the kiln. Two chalices that held the soul of my trip across the pond and 10 years of wrestling with my faith. Two of twelve that had a very specific question inscribed on the bottom that raised an eyebrow or two. My question is why chalices, and why 12, and why is my head spinning?

Monday, January 11, 2010

about the game of Chess

So... there is this thing about Kings, Queens, Knights (maybe in shining armor or better yet, glazed over? ), Bishops (casting off all that may or may not be evil), Rooks (reminding us of home) and then there are the PAWNS (those with the royal regalia, pomp and circumstance stuck in their heads as if it were some sort of sick joke...)

I feel like my life is a chess game lately as I try to juggle studio and sport, heartstrings and conscience (more like Catholic GUILT) and TIME.

I spent today teaching and yearning to get back into the studio to finish the goblets I started yesterday. I was blown away by the fact that my hands choreographed that form on their own yesterday. Its as if a former love had been speaking to them and leaving me out of the equation. My plan to carve the forms with details that were inspired by the insides of the cathedrals made even more sense. Today, however a new turn of events as the stems went on, they started to resemble chess pieces. How fitting. NOW WHAT?

For some reason, I can't seem to get Henry the VII out of my head. I felt like I had walked on hallowed ground at the Tower of London where he beheaded his wives. I walked on his grave in Windsor, where he was interned with one of his infant daughters (was she killed by him? how did she get there?) and then there is Catholicism thing ...

Yep, this is typical of my life as ARTIST, a virtual WAR going on between my head and my heart. I am always the bystander and always clueless as to what needs to be said until it is finished. Its a long drawn out game, not tiring, but always confusing. When I reach Check Mate...I will shed some light on babbling, until then your guess is as good as mine!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adventures Across the Pond

My Christmas break started with a flurry of activity. I needed to get packed, get the house ready for the holidays, and to get myself mentally prepared for the task of helping chaperoning a trip overseas. The nervous energy was enough to play with my stomach. The excitement was similar to the adrenaline rush of riding a REALLY fast paced century. (Yes Kathy, I was racking up 1 visit for every K- how many K's between here and London?)

I had every intention of bringing along the work I needed to do for my Advanced Studio assignment. I brought all the drawing supplies...but...I neglected to bring the resources I needed. No worries, I used my time wisely, and drew every chance I got. The students we were in the presence of were such and inspiration to me. They sang beautifully, and were generally interested in every aspect of the trip. I seem to have left a piece of my heart in London because of it.

The trip played with my heartstrings in many ways. My grandmother, MeMe, a concert pianist, brought us up in the classical tradition. I spent the better of my 13 years of schooling learning the piano, flute, oboe, opera, choral music, and orchestral works. In an act of dramatic rebellion I dropped it all when I got to college and have not looked back too much. I am married to a wonderful man, but sitting through concerts of this nature are not his cup of tea. This trip made me long for taking in some of those glorious outings again, heck, I found myself wishing I had a piano at home too (not that I have the time for that).

I found myself being tugged in other ways too. My faith, which I have always seen as a big part of my life, has had some new thoughts added to the mix. I have spent the past 6-8 years searching out my thoughts about religion in general. I know what I believe, but the politics of the church and my study of ancient art history (specifically Canaanite, Hellenistic Greek and Egyptian work) have made me think too much. Lets just say that the question asked in the Tower f London (would you die for your faith?), the exposure of the Roman Road at Southwark, the 1000 year old tradition old tradition of Evensong at Westminster Abbey and my extensive visits with my sketchpad in Westminster Cathedral have left my head spinning. My recent study of Baroque Art has not helped, yet, many of these paintings were done as propaganda to counter act the Reformation.

I went across the pond with the intention of working on my latest series about my faith (a series of reliquaries that contained the bits and pieces of my heart in terms of FAITH) only to find out that I am not yet ready to explore that content. I am shifting my energies to a series of cups that will contain evidence of my visit to London instead, mostly in the form of sculpted surfaces that mimic my cathedral drawings.

So, as I sit and write in a quiet house of sleeping teenagers, listening to opera, enjoying my coffee, and pondering the studio work I intend to get accomplished in a few minutes I am feeling a bit melodramatic (wait maybe that is my nature?) both excited and contemplative, and very determined to tread slowly on my own heart.