Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Surviving on Hope

Title: Edge of Light, older painting chosen here for its title.

For several days now, the news and images coming out of Japan have been devastating and heartbreaking. I would like to dedicate my blog post to the people of Japan, and to all peoples all over the world, as they struggle to recover their home, family and community. I recently read a review of a book written by David Brooks titled THE SOCIAL ANIMAL: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement. In essence, it is a book about the human need for connection, friendship, and love. We yearn for "community"; we have the urge too "merge". What drives us, ultimately, is the need to be understood by others. I think this is especially true for artists. Though we work by ourselves in our studios, we still need 'community' and for others to understand what we are trying to communicate with our art works.

Novie Trump, ceramic artist, is participating in THE NEST PROJECT: WHAT DOES HOME MEAN TO YOU? at the Torpedo Factory in Virginia. NEST is a juried exhibition which examines the nest as a symbol for home and refuge, both literally and conceptually. Besides the juried exhibition there are installations, and a community built nest. You can find out much more information about The Nest Project and the Torpedo Factory here. Novie's website is found here.

Sharon Beals is a photographer who has a new book (above) coming out soon titled NESTS: Fifty Nests and the Birds that built them. The book is available for pre-order at Amazon.com and here is her wonderful website with more images and more information. The next two images are from her book.

Entering it
you enter yourself,
the world connects
and closes like a ring.
-- Octavio Paz, poet

Sharing the signs
of early spring,
singing the songs
of the artists' works
and poets' words here.
Soar with inner wings.
-- Neva Gagliano, artist and poet, blog here.

Bird eggs are a beautiful metaphor for the cycle of life, renewal and hope. Mary Ann Burk, a ceramic artist and potter, makes eggs that look like they came out of the earth. She places her eggs on driftwood and branches or ceramic pedestals. Her work is at the Barnswallow gallery and you can find her wonderful blog here. Her art pieces are above and the 2 images below.

I said to my soul, be still, and wait.. the faith and the hope and the love and all the waiting... the darkness shall be the light and the stillness the dancing.
--- t.s. eliot

Lesley Bricknell is a fine arts textile artist and photographer. Lesley is attracted to fragile and transient surfaces that she intentionally ages, stains, and spoils. She loves worn or discarded garments, with histories which she "reclaims". She looks for the purity in the impermanence and fragility of objects and life. She has her beautiful images at her website here and at her blog here. The next 3 images belong to Lesley.

"...When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird's wing..."
-- J. L. Stanley

Outside the sun shines
birds sing
and I am not having to make
snap decisions about what
to stuff into a suitcase
or how I might get
6 cats (and the rest) to safety.
-- India Flint, textile artist, blog here.

Those of us who are safe and warm, we are the fortunate ones.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Signs of Renewal

CYCLE OF LIFE, 2011, acrylic and collage

It is that time of year when I start thinking about spring. It is still cold outside, and we can still end up with a few more snow storms before spring arrives. But there are signs of spring, like green buds on bare branches and small fern fronds peeking up from the ground. And the birds, with their nest building built into their DNA, is another sign of spring. And after the winter months, we look for signs of hope and renewal.

This nest is in my Zen House (greenhouse), in a glass box along with round beach stones and driftwood. "My aim is to create an emotional sense of space and place, where time ravages, wind blows, seas swell, places are found, days dwindle, moments are present, then past." -- Sam Lock

I have this nest on my front porch-- I often find it disturbed by creatures like squirrels and birds who seem to help themselves to the twigs and straw and odds and ends to make new nests.

Chris Giffin is a terrific artist who collects and assembles recycled and found objects into beautiful assemblages. You can find her work at these two gallery websites here and here.

Novie Trump: "Eggs have been a symbol of rebirth and renewal for thousands of years....
In this work a nest of weathered bones cradles a single luminous egg, a symbol of hope and possibility amidst death and destruction." You can find more of her beautiful works at her website here.

Lelarnie O'Sullivan is from New South Wales, Australia. You can find out more about this artist and her work at the Visual Arts Network here.

it is of eggs--
robin's, dove's --
the gentle cradling,
the perfect fit
of bluestem straw,
alder, sprig, mud,
down, hair, in its wind--
strong cup of sky--
reaching branches.
-- excerpt, D. J. Gaskin, poet
You can find his website here

Susan Seubert, fine art photographer. Find more of her beautiful photography at her website here and her work at this gallery in Portland, OR here.

Take refuge in rivers, in oceans,
in whales, in elephants, in manatees,
in birds, in words, in images, in
dreams, in dance, in song, in
silence. Take refuge in the bird
path. -- ashes and snow. org