i’m enjoying some time to self reflect these past few days…taking in some good reads and delighting in time to re-examine my life. I fully recommend this read.
Meditating Realities # 1
Graphite on Paper
9″ x 12″
Holly Suzanne, December 2012
Meditating Possibilities # 3
Holly Suzanne, 2012
As some of my readers have noted, I’ve been waiting for some kind of inspiration as of late, feeling bogged down and bound up with a long Christmas list of to-do”s. Typically, when this happens I find myself day dreaming, gazing, reading, or honestly DOING anything that isn’t directly creative in a zombie like procrastinating state, but thankfully, this is lifting, thanks in part to my husband who just happened to place one of my hats atop a Buddha statue that sits atop our built in buffet in the dining room. Often over the past few days, I’ve found myself gazing at it, captivated by the transformative reality the small hat claims, and so it was that yesterday I decided to play dress up so to speak with various hats from our wardrobe. In my dress series, I engaged the idea of identity via style and fashion particularly related to gender, but this dressing strikes me in another way. The Buddha statue adorned with various hats is an odd juxtaposition of physical and spiritual dimensions. It reminds me so of a phrase I read long ago as part of an essay on Liberation Theology that encouraged a spirituality where one’s “feet are planted in mid-air” (author unknown). In an odd way these works remind me of that. We are living after all, bound to our bodies, our vulnerabilities, our lives, and yet to transcend these things, to meditate and find peace requires a meditative other wordly stance often referred to as meditation. This is something I think of often, seeking to find balance in my life. In this case it appears, at least for the time being in this new series.
To see a book of the dress series with paintings by me and poetry by Nathan Filbert please visit: Paper Dolls: A Dress Series in Paint and Poetry
Yesterday I posted a process work after cleaning my studio. Today I’m posting one small area of my studio and a close up of one sculptural piece I completed about a year ago. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit back and look, to see things with fresh eyes. It’s gorgeous outside today, clear and about 70 degrees. The sun is shining, I’m home between clients at my office. A breather. We all need it.
It’s not easy juggling hats. I enjoy all parts of my life but sometimes things just get messy! Not only is there a need to select which things take priority, but sometimes a deep clean up is called for. Generally speaking I have to do a major overhaul of my studio each time I put up a show, and Monday was set aside for this task. There were a number of things I’d hoped to accomplish besides actually cleaning, which trust em needed to be done, but I have been wanting to find a new storage system for my work and move my working area to a spot with better lighting. It took almost six hours but the result was satisfying.
The image you see above was completed as a finale to my day’s labor. It is a mixed media piece on plywood that rests on a large easel against one of my walls. I titled it “Juggling Hats” because it captures a momentary glimpse of all the subtle complexity involved in any creative effort. This isn’t a fine piece of art by any means, but it is an expression of my process, a mark so to speak of my existence in this world, and how I move in it. It felt good. When I was done, I rested:)
I didn’t grow up in Kansas. As some of you may have discerned, I am a transplant from the Pacific Northwest, but I have roots in Kansas dating back to my great great grandparents, and now I am married into a family from Kansas calling it my home. That being said, I am often torn between these worlds as loved ones reside in both places, and I also yearn for the green, luscious and wet beauty of Portland. But, I’ve learned something interesting here. Something unexpected. I’ve discovered a different kind of beauty all together and something else that I’m still trying to grasp.
When I walked around these structures I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of connection with all the history of human being- I found myself captivated by the graceful yet dilapidated boards and the way they have come to rest by leaning on one another- the angles and seams, shadows and light…simply mesmerizing. There is something for me in these places- a part of me buried under boards and years of struggle. My heritage. Found in the middle of the continental United States. In Kansas. Sweet and unexpected treasures I’ve happened upon in my wandering. Needless to say, I’m glad I’m here:)
These are photographs which I took while on a day excursion with the family to see ghost towns in Kansas.
My son, age 21, sent me a picture awhile back of a little clay mask he fashioned, just to let me know he was getting in touch with his artistic side, which, just as he predicted, made his mama very happy:) In response to his work I created this ekphrastic translation in gouache and charcoal. It was a fun way to spend some quality time.
From my vantage point I see two images, taken by me of a sculptural piece completed awhile back, sitting on the top of a built in buffet in our dining room. My camera angled up to capture the curve and angle of this piece leaning as if in limbo. My eyes held for an instant and demanded to be stilled a moment longer. I don’t often stage photos., and I don’t pretend to be a photographer, but I wish I was. Photos’ like these tend to emerge from a glance that holds my eye. That’s how these were taken. Once downloaded onto my computer I played around with them digitally-a little exposure here, a little less color there…and so forth.
-just thought I’d share what caught my eye today…