Mezzotint, Encounters of the Moment

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Birth Posters in transit...

After too much ado, Birth Posters finally in transit. If you ordered one, why it could be one of these. Do you like my intense butcher brown paper wrapping and taping? Do you think they'll be stopped by customs, pounced on as porn of the maternal body? Do they look suspiciously smutty? Over-wrapped? I hope they're not opened! Mama ain't gonna be happy if that happens!
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Enfolded Luminosity: Pulsing Hea(r)t, eye of Ra

A reading, a response, an interweaving, a myth-making story of the artwork by a young woman who goes by the blog name of BoureeMusique. If anyone else has a reading, I'll post it too. Many thanks!

(click on image to enlarge)

How many times can a woman post an image? It's renamed, from "Willow Women," to, "Pulsing Hea(r)t, eye of Ra." I would read that, pulsing heat/heart, eye of Ra. Why? They clearly don't look like willow women anymore- they were so stretched I thought of them as mirages, as desert dwellers (in the surreal mind it doesn't matter if willows and deserts don't go together). But that pulsing sunset, the way it throbs through them, the desert, Egypt, the Nile, Ra, ah! But Hathor, the queen who wears the sun with two horns- and who is most likely the more ancient goddess of light (before Ra, who came before Horus). It's all bound in up there. I wonder what myth the figures in this painted drawing belong to? I wonder if I can make one up, or if you can?


I will play with it - from left to right, they can be Gwynhwyfar, Morgaine, and Igraine. The Goddess surrounds and envelops them, is the vibrant sun and blood color. Gwynhwyfar is on the left, half-recognizing the Goddess's call but running from it. All she wants is the true love of a man she should have had. Had her marriage been different, life would be less painful for all of Camelot. Igraine is on the right, held by the Goddess mostly complacently. She stands motionless and in a dream-like state, thinking of her Uther. Morgaine is in the middle, her face ethereal because at times she truly embodies the Goddess. She strides - proud but more than that - confident. She sees bitter times, but the sun, the power, is always at her center, because she is ever true. BoureeMusique
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My small library...

I'm far from the world of the text, yet I'm creating my own broken text. Everything spins in my head, fragments of text here, partial images there, authors listed on rolled parchment. Perhaps the texts I've read are smattered over my mindscape like collages: rearranged, cut, reoriented, given different colours, rotated, fragments repeated that have no meaning other than to me. In my private mythology, the place where I make meaning of the heiroglyphic world, where thoughts are scrawled across pages, edited and formatted, lines drifting by that I barely see anymore. I have lost my library. The books I didn't try to memorize on the shelves where they could be found and browsed through. What I underlined then I would still underline today. When did I discover what struck me as most important and relevant could be discerned in a speed read of a few hours and it was the same as what emerged from reading slowly over a week? This discovery enabled me to read vastly and widely through a number of years. The text no longer frightened me with its weight of meaning and the tradition out of which it arose. I could read sources, influences, backgrounds, other authors of the same time period for context. One book opened another. What's important to me remains important to me and didn't change with speed of reading, nor time.

I'm still trying to understand the fundamental grammar of my life. The basic building blocks. What foundation I rest on. In the exegesis of myself, I tear my texts apart until I find bare letters, signs floating over the ground of my being.

Our artifacts are all that will remain of us.

Bare words dragged across the whiteness of pages. A few images here and there. A tune. A tiny bundle of photographs. Some memoraphilia. Memory for a generation or two.

I have been without my small library for half a year and I feel adrift and bereft. How do I re-collect those books, their memories?

Francis Yates. The Art of Memory, on Giordiano Bruno in the Renaissance. Vast tracts, whole books, entire epic poems memorized. A guide to oral memory. How did they do it? By creating a structure to keep books, chapters, paragraphs and lines in. A vast palace of the mind; the inner library. Organized, polished, filed; the cadences of words creating a natural punctuation. And so I must remember my library, for I miss it.

One packed bookcase of art books, from Prehistoric Art to the Present. A shelf of fat, white Abrams art books. Colour images. Hundreds of small colour edition books on individual artists, from the late Medieval period to the 20th Century. Numerous critics, from Ruskin to Greenburg to feminism to the new media.

Two packed bookcases of English Literature. I put Greek literature in here too. Homer, Ovid, Aeschelus. And Babylonian. Gilgamesh; Inanna. And then the periods: Medieval, Renaissance, followed by centuries, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th. Chaucer, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, Pope, Blake, the Romantics, the Pre-Raphaelites, Morris, Woolf, Proust, Joyce... Modern poetry had its own section, and so did novels, which were filed alphabetically.

One bookcase of Psychology, Sociology, Mythology. This is where Jung & Freud went, and Schzaz, and Neumann and Campbell, a couple of first year Introduction to Psychology texts, not much interest in the field. Along with gentle music that I used for the relaxation sequences of my yoga classes. And underneath were numerous books of photographs.

Then a packed bookcase on Science and Philosophy. I stopped collecting Science books a decade or two back. Philosophy had all the classics, the Greek Philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, jumping to Bacon and then on through to perhaps Existentialism, and into our era. Those massive collection books, like Zimmer's Philosophies of India, and another one on Chinese Philosphy. All read, all duly underlined, notes written in some book somewhere or other. People like Augustine and Aquinas were in religion.

Religion a packed bookcase, everything from so-called primitive religions to Christianity to Shaminism and Witchcraft and New Age. My small collection of the Medieval Christian mystics there.

Women's writing took up 2 bookcases. All of it 20th Century. Novels, poetry, essays, feminist theory. And my own area of speciality, maternal theory, packed a smaller bookcase, along with many drafts towards a book spanning almost 2 decades.

Next to my bed the books I was currently reading, and ones most relevant to whatever my current project was. In Vancouver I remember Alex Grey's paintings on birth, which I wanted to study to understand, and still do.

The chunks of the thought of whole lifetimes of thinkers, writers, artists, books organized in simple categories of knowledge, bits of lines, notations in my head, dim memories of book covers. I see my bookcases packed with books that were all read like disappearing visions of another lifetime.

And I wonder if I will ever be re-united with them, these old friends of mine, companions of many years, in the days to come. And I wonder what will happen to me if I never again see them, touch them, open and read the chapter headings, my underlined sections, run my fingers over their spines as I dust them.

Will only fragments of text remain, floating in my mind like resurrected debris torn from its context, its pages, the beautiful books I collected for so many years?

What is to happen now?
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On diets, from a letter to a friend...

Posted this, took it down, and received a beautiful comment from Ken, who couldn't find the post, so it's back... and then added a bathroom-mirror self-portrait, which I'm sure I'll feel silly about after I've gone out dancing, & want to come home & take it down, but which somehow seems part of a post on diet.


I like some weight on a man. They're always so self conscious about it too. It's quite funny. Perhaps I don't find that lean and mean in a man who's heavier? They're not happy with their bodies and want you to see pics of them when they were 'in shape,' but just as they like eating, they like sex. A man with a girth is more sensual, there's no doubt about it. In my experience anyhow. And maybe softer inside too, which I really adore.

How I would apply all that to myself I don't know. I've lost about 10 lbs since moving, but it's mostly due to lack of work, income, settledness, even kitchen supplies. I love food, tastes, textures, colours. But dislike being overly full. And wheat gives me heartburn, so I stay away from breads. Well, most carbs. They're just too heavy for me, give me indigestion. So lots of vegetables, dairy, meat, chocolate, and a slice or so of 12 grain bread a day. Like a yogi, I rarely eat after 6pm at night. I dunno. In my early 20s I was severely bulimic. It was quite a journey out of it. But I did it, on my own, it was my 'secret,' and found after I stopped binging and throwing up that my weight remained the same. I didn't put on any weight at all. Part of the journey out of bulimia was discovering that I don't need 3 meals a day, 2 is enough, and that wheat really makes me feel quite sick, and was often the reason I threw up I guess. Mind you, I still love a fresh white flour poppy seed bagel slathered in butter, but I know I'll pay for it with acid reflux some hours afterwards. My treats, then, aren't pastries, sigh, but chocolate things, coconut is ok too. All of which keeps my weight down. Since breads, starchy foods are real weight putter oners. Diet has been a long process for me. And I see my 15 year old daughter going through it now- and is trying to limit foods like pancakes, donuts, bread since she does see a direct correlation to her weight. I mean, we find that pigging out on a half a dozen buttertarts doesn't put weight on the way half a dozen donuts do. It's so interesting the way the body metabolizes, or doesn't metabolize, foods. Some foods just get converted into and stored as fat cells, I guess. Or that's how it seems. There's no reason why indulging in a large bar of imported chocolate shouldn't put on weight like a box of Krispy Kreme donuts, but it doesn't. I've always wondered if it's got something to do with evolution, and that we're optimally healthy on a 'pre-farming' diet... that wheat, corn, rice, all the cultivated crops, while feeding us in multitude, aren't really suited to our digestive systems. Evolution takes a lot longer to catch up, perhaps. I seem to do very well on what I would consider to be a modern version of the hunting-&-gathering diet. Don't laugh, and please laugh. When I talk like this people usually studiously ignore me as a crackpot.
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The artist as doctor

A friend, SavonDuJour, asked of the merge of the process of Prostrations, "Interesting. How do you know when to stop?"

When you can't do anymore? Actually when my daughter came home the day I painted it she said, "Don't you dare do another thing to it - it's my favourite!" But, then, she's so sweet... (mostly, that is -:). However, I'm not sure I don't like the earlier incarnations of this piece better... the two in the middle in particular, but then I remind myself that they were soaking wet and when dry would be much faded in colour and vibrancy.

Don't we stop when we can't think of anything more 'to fix'? I don't know about you, but most of my art is trying to save 'disasters,' which makes it a very adrenaline thing. Not peaceful at all. My whole life is thrown on the line each time. When it's done, it's such a relief.

I live in acute embarrassment over my work- it's so on the edge of collapse into disparatenesses that when it works I feel like a relieved doctor who's sent someone stitched but alive into the world.

Is that fair to say? Or is it my mood this morning? The Willow Women piece got accidentally splattered with coffee and so I poured water all over it and painted it last night and it's not worked, and I can clearly see that in the morning light. Which also had something to do with my mental apparatus last night. Not being in the meditative moment. Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself. But it wasn't meant to be a water drawing, didn't take kindly to being immersed. I'm thinking of covering it in spider webs of lines to see if that might resuscitate it. Short of blasting it with volts of cardio-electricity, what can I do? There's the morgue of the paper recycling bin. Or perhaps I could cut it up, organ-transplant-like, and collage it into something else.

Share your process with finishing pieces?

"Enfolded Luminosity" Series: Pulsing Hea(r)t, the eye of Ra, 25.5cm x 31 cm or 10" x 12 1/2", india ink, watercolour pencil on paper, 2006

I finished it this morning quickly- thank goodness for white pencil spiderweb lines. And I've forgotten the difficulties, not understanding how I could ever have thought "stitched," odd how that is...
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Process of a painting...

Click on it to increase the size. A history of a painting... where it's been before it got to where it is. There are other histories, like 'where,' 'who,' 'why,' oh and perhaps most important, 'what'- :)
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Window in the Earth

When do major shifts occur? In small moments soon gone?

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Enfolded Luminosity: Prostrations...

It's still and always a dance, of colour, form, energies, bodies.

This technique is not the same as paint on canvas, and I'm learning that.

I'm not, well, no, it's not, well, sometimes the idea you had in your mind and what emerges aren't, and, well, it's about acceptance. Dancing a new dance that is always different from all the other dances you've danced.

Still learning the ways watercolour pencils and paper work together; yes, her back is a little 'rubbed over,' but I don't mind that. Aren't all of our backs a little 'rubbed over' with life, what we carry, what we prostrate in our spiritual practice?

I don't know why the Fauvian slashes of colour.

This series (these pencils, this place of residence, my relationships, both in daily life and on line) I'm calling, "Enfolded Luminosity."

Willow Women was splattered this morning by a coffee spill. Maybe I'll throw a heap of water on it and see what happens... it can't be an unwetted drawing anymore.

Dance, Dream, Disappearing into each other is sold; it went quite quickly (thank you beautiful man, dear Bill); there were email exchanges with a few interested people (can I call you that, Mary? it's hardly a fair description of you, your work, our connection), and then the watercolour drawing got betrothed and is awaiting it's suitor now. These pieces are for sale, and thanks, Jean, for reminding me to be more clear about that. Now that I have a working relationship with a woman who manages a print shop, I can also offer 'art prints' on satin finish photograph paper of anything you see here...
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This doesn't exist in the world. It was between a drawing and a scribbling colouring episode. It only exists digitally. The water that the figures are washed under would have dried anyhow...

It's probably part of my series on temple art, the celestial dancers...

Bowing: a bent, curved, or arched object.
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