It is election day here, National ones. Because I haven't done last year's tax return yet, and so haven't informed the government of my new address, I wasn't on the voter's list. But my landlord told me all I needed was proof of address and something with a signature, so I took a bank statement and my passport. With my dog in tow, I took my place in the cardboard booth and, whew, voted. It would have been the only national election that I would have not voted in in my entire adult life. I'm hoping for a minority government; if Harper gets full clearance and becomes our next Prime Minister, I fear we'll be joining the States next year when it attacks Iran, and begins yet another unwanted and wasteful war. Why hasn't the Bush administration been charged with war crimes over starting a war in Iraq on false premises? Oh, I am charging at the bit tonight...
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Willow Women in-progress #4

It's probably the slowest drawing I have ever done. Is it my 'style'? No. I like to draw a figure or figures, arrange the canvas and paint and water, and throw everything together and let it create itself. Fast. This drawing is the opposite process. Perhaps that's why it seems a meditative exercise in itself. The colours have to suggest themselves out of their own resonance. Waiting for them to emerge takes time, and can't be rushed. Surely like some aspects of our lives.

Sometimes we have to weigh options, and choose carefully. Allowing our choices to come out of a natural inclination. It's an intuitive process, yes, but one that's not foolhardy. All colours, or all options, are carefully considered, and then the one that both 'thinks' and 'feels' right is applied. At first carefully, just in case, and then deepened.

At this point in the process of this drawing I'm considering how we make decisions. Isn't it a lot like the way we create art?
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On the location of.

Musica mundana, humana, practica. Conciliance, interconnectedness, unity. Gestalt. Impure purity of the mixture of everything. When the mess appears in the picture of the place, when the angry, bitter edges aren't hidden by the smooth surfaces of the portrait, where the blood courses beneath a fine veneer of skin. Get in close, see the pores, the pulse beneath the eye, the browning teeth. And let go, in that place of closeness, heart beating on heart, where it is dissembling, the sharp smell of breath on the body of desire. Ecstasy accepts where it is collapsing, what in us is repulsing, with the coming towards, where edges melt into, the disappearing. Light sweeps the universe without discriminating. The whole is greater than the parts. Even Apollo weeps. A music of the spheres, more than speculation. Quivering theoretical strings sing. Feel our bodies. We are pulses of electricity, energy, and chemical processes, an organics of living. Think of it as a masterpiece, the orgasm.
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Willow Women in-progress #3

If I lighten the paper so that it's closer to the cream white it is in real life, the colour washes out, even with enhancing. Today I only used the colour cast option to make the paper less blue. So the colour of the figures is stronger, closer to what it is here, in this room, in the light from the window. My camera is ready for pick-up at the Sony store: luckily I had extended warranty, and it was covered. Hopefully the photos will be less grainy now.

Where am I at with this watercolour drawing today? Floating land mass; floating sunset; three women clothed with the sun (but no diadems under their feet).

And I, myself, in my aging body, which doesn't know it's not young, bleeding, just like always, for far too many years. Cramps, tired, drawing in spiritually to where death meets life, where rain falls on frozen ground, the winter of my monthly cycle, time for rest, deep meditation, feeling my body fully, celebrating womanhood in quiet solitude, awaiting the end of the process of cleansing, and a return to normal energy. This is an opportune time to explore the depths of my embodied spirituality; and I do try to honour this gift, even if into my fifth decade it becomes wearisome.
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Willow Women in-progress

It's not easy to post a work-in-progress, especially when I prefer to wait until something is finished before showing it to anyone. But aren't we all works-in-process in our blogs? This format allows, nay encourages, us to forge ahead with our wayward ideas and stray creativities. It all pulls together eventually. We are creating whole bodies of work here. In draft form, in finished form. So I post the progress of this little drawing, wondering myself where it's going. It's quite gaudy today, and much of my 'art' is about saving what are turning into messes, 'saving' it to the point of livability. When I can live with something, and perhaps I'm seeking bold and sensitive, polished and raw, confident and wavering, manifesting and disappearing, in whatever way that happens, then it's done. If I can 'look' at it without jumping up to 'fix' it, then it's done. There gets to be a point when you can almost look at your work as if you didn't do it. You remember the emotion of your life at the time you did it, where you were in your inner journey, but are no longer involved in the traceries of line or paint or design. It has become something in the world, and not part of your inner landscape where you are busy scribbling, drawing, painting, composing, revising and continually re-orienting your life into the work of ongoing art that it is.
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First Draft Drawing: Notes on the willow women...

Willows. Long, stretchy women. Like mirages in the Sahara. Elongated. Giantesses if you met them. The three muses wandering over the desert. Tribespeople. They are the same as the last drawing, only different. There is a blue astral figure, undefined. Who is she? The sun booms out of her belly. The sun unites all three. They are comfortable in their harsh environment. Without clothes, protection, concealment, camoflage. Thin but not near starvation. These are the women that can find the one succulent shrub in a 50 mile radius and suck its roots until they are nourished with fluidity. Drinking dew. And leave it intact, so that later, once again, they can draw moisture from the plant. They read the stars like navigators, the sun like weathermen, and worship equally the sun and moon. They can sense a dust storm hours away. I'm not sure they carry complex mythologies. Or that it's necessary to have a dense theology. Only the land-dwelling ones, where what is familiar is sacred, the sand, the grass, the burning sun, the hardened soles on the feet. Only the sacred covenant with the embodied self and the land. Their strong womanliness the Shekinah of their souls. They watch; they dance; they make love; they have children; they feed everyone; and it's not effort-full, only what's expected and they sing often. There is no voyaristic gaze from millenia of art capturing them, despite their being white. Civilization barely impacts them. Though they know; indeed they do. They would be comfortable in robes on city streets too. They are free women. I don't know where the men are. Perhaps I shall attempt co-ed watercolour drawings after this one, we'll see.

early mapping of colour and form, 10" x 12", india ink, coloured pencil (so far), cotton watercolour paper, 2006
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Embodiments, Digital Composition... or BlogTalk

Oh yes I do. I create you in 'virtual space.' You don't exist where I am; I don't exist where you are. You are embedded in the digital data that I reframe, reinterpret, transmute and transform into recognizable text, image, sound. You are a binary digit. I am a binary digit. We frame each other. We exist through each other's filters. We are a "consensual hallucination." You appear as a reconstituted body, or a map of pixels, however you prefer. I am a refreshed flicker on your screen. We expand the indeterminism of our bodies by communicating this way. Perhaps you are a preconstituted frame, how am I to know? I participate in the process of reforming you, your words, your photos, your audio clips, in my own image. The "place" where we meet is a vague concretized space; wherever it is, we both meet here often. The result of our "body-brain achievement" is that we have intercepted the stream of data and created each other virtually in virtual space; we've created "an internal bodily space for sensation." Hmnn. Did you know that? "Digital data is at heart polymorphous"; now, now... don't you think that's going too far?

From notes from my sojourn to the Toronto Reference Library this afternoon where I browsed Mark Hanson's, New Philosophy for New Media (MIT Press, 2004), thanks to delightful & inspiring email conversations with Mary Godwin of Body Electric.
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Bosc Pears...

On the wooden windowsill. Facing south, but too low for the winter sun. Bodies enclosed in olive brown sheaths. Blending into the wood, they lie, rounded thighs, elegant elongated necks, like decorations. A week passes where daily I hold them, press their flesh. They are like fragile stones.

On the weekend I eat one, its pale honey-coloured flavourless fruit hard and crunchy as an apple's.

Those thick, gourd-shaped, olive-brown hides don't soften. They will never soften. Only a dark spot near the stem of one of the pears reveals ripeness as it begins to collapse inwards to nourish the seeds. Even without the presence of warm soil, they would lie on the windowsill and crumple slowly, decay into new life, its possibility.

I cut them and scoop out their seeds and peel the thick russeted skin and slice them and drop them into a bowl, with apples and cranberries, for a compote. They are not so juicy that they slide in my fingers. Sometimes pears don't ripen, but remain dry and coarse. Licking the pear juice, its faint unmistakable flavour, slightly grainy, like delicate sweet-spiced sun, on my fingers, I smile. Patience to this moment of perfection.

The dog is barking, my lover is here. I crumble the topping of oats, flour, brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon over the mixture of fruit, fresh lemon juice and honey, place the dessert in the slow cooker; later in the day, the fruit will feed my slender pear-shaped body...
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Dance, the Dream, Disappearing Into Each Other...

Only updated because I've hosted the image with Blogger. This is finished, and probably sold. There's something going on, between the crone/younger woman, that I can't decipher myself, and overtop of the blue woman. If you feel inspired, I'd love you to write some poetry or prose, an imagining of what's going on in this drawing...

And it might not be on dancing, dreaming, or disappearing...

Dance, the Dream, Disappearing Into Each Other, 8.5"x11", watercolour pencil on paper, 2006.

Scrawled along the blue woman's leg: "shadow my desire"; up the older woman's arm, "what rises into the self?"; and curling from thigh to breast to arm, "repose curls in on itself."

link to borderless image

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A recommendation...

You really should take a look at FILMLESSPHOTOS, A Photo A Day From Photojournalist John Lehmann; he's an award-winning photo journalist and one can see why. He started posting photographs on January 2nd, and he's, well, slick, sophisticated, savvy, professional, yes, and extremely talented...
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