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Showing posts from December, 2013

Ntozake Shange

Working with poets is an amazing experience.   They take me to places with language and sound I don't normally travel.  They open mountain tops  and ancient caves with magical vowels,  profound insight, and deep emotions (I don't know how else to explain their genius). Even though most of my time with Ntozake Shange was in the studio, working on art projects, doing a live show was a dream come true.  In 2014, I hope to work with more poets on artist's books and printmaking projects.


2013 was a time to experiment a time to explore
a time to organize

The mind

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven hell, a hell heaven. John Milton, Paradise Lost

Happy Holidays

Hoping your holidays are merry and joyous! Photo of my neighborhood, December 2013 Baltimore, Maryland

Nyx with concentric circles

In classical Greek mythology Nyx was a  primeval goddess  and the symbol of night.   Daughter of Chaos, Nyx is found in the shadows of the world.
I first read about her in Hesiod's Theogony, the epic poem about
the birth of the gods (theogony) and the world (cosmogony).

In line 123, Hesiod writes, "Chaos gave birth to Erebos
and black Night (Nyx)".  Later, in line 125, Nyx gives
birth to Ether and Day.  Light is created out of darkness can
also be read as day follows night much as
awakening follows sleep.

It is said that muses sing during the night hours to Nyx.
For me, nighttime is a time for inspiration.  I create my most compelling work when  all is sleeping and still.

Abstract Art

When my wall of ideas becomes full,
 I like to paint big and abstract. I relate more to the way mathematicians think of abstraction:  a way to see unexpected connections and  common features in seemingly unrelated objects; remove the clutter of unnecessary details to expose the underlying  truth with crisp precision.

Back to Basics

The more research I do, the more important my experiments in Baltimore with handmade papers are.
The impressions,  the marks, the recycled papers,  the pigments, the moulds, the deckles, making old -- new.
I would love to publish a book about my handmade paper experiments and results.


at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries in Pittsburgh Been busy 15  hours a day on research for my upcoming book project.  I have only five weeks to complete the project.  Four weeks on research and drawings.  One week to make three books.
Andy Warhol studied here and it is an amazing feeling when I find an old art book with the  Carnegie Institute of Technology stamp.

Fragile moments, Part I

Five doctors enter the small hospital room in total silence.  Lief knows something is wrong.   One flips on the large x-ray light in front of her and  expertly places five 8"x11" black films up for all to see.   They look at Lief and begin talking.  At least she thinks they are talking because their lips are moving, but her mind is  fixated on the films.  Yes, those must be Lief's x-rays because they are  talking to her and she is the only patient in the room.
"Neuropathology, neurons, yes, cytoplasm. Aggressive. The photons.  Mutating cells. No need.  Worry is good.  Good we caught cells. Biopsy in 30.  Days.  Pathology report... Are you okay?  Escort? Someone? Call?  Here is a tissue." Lief takes the tissue.  She is not sure when the tears began to roll
down her cheeks, or when she stood up, grabbed an x-ray
and began to look at it more closely.  "Insurance," was
all she could mutter.

*Fragile moments is based on my battle with cancer as well as a close family member…

Goddess of Fire

Hestia I finished the accordion book with monoprints I blogged about on November 18 & 19.  I named her Hestia, Goddess of the family hearth. I painted the edges and added more monoprints and  gold metal accents.  
Fiery red book channels warmth.


Insomnia.  I used to hate it. Ideas and images would keep me awake until 3am.   Then when I finally fell asleep, I would dream of art.  Now I embrace it. When the images come, I create a small book or design
and fall asleep.

She left with

three children and a dream.  
She arrived with nothing but memories. 

I (heart) Milton Glaser

1977, the year  I LOVE NEW YORK
advertisements kicked off with a bang!
The year I realized art is not just for walls
and museums: It can be part of life.
Both a song and logo, everyone in NYC was singing the song on the buses,
on the trains, in my school and in the streets.

The logo was designed by  graphic designer extraordinaire   Milton Glaser, and his iconic I (heart) New York was on stickers, posters, signs, T-shirts,
mugs, pencils, my notebook -- everywhere. I still remember Stephanie Mills and the cast of the Broadway musical  The Wiz singing the song and dancing! Milton Glaser also designed the  fabulous poster for The Wiz.

My favorite image by Milton Glaser was created in 1966 when he was with Push Pin Studios.  Here it is: This stylized pen-and-ink design was for the opera Aida. (I should probably frame it, but I love to touch it and read the magazine.)
Born and raised in New York City, Milton Glaser studied
illustration, painting and typography at Cooper Union (1948-51).

Come not

when I am dead Come not when I am dead, To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave, To trample round my fallen head, And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not save. There let the wind sweep and the plover cry; But thou, go by.

Child, if it were thine error or thy crime
I care no longer, being all unblest:
Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of Time,
And I desire to rest.
Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where I lie:
Go by, go by.
Alfred Lord Tennyson Love Poems, page 16