Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time's Dance

Time's dance
is carved of stone and bone,

dreaming in secret phrases,
once written, invisible
once spoken, silent

born of countless instants,
collected, gathered,
one by one, one upon another
by the flow of minutes, hours,

she sleeps
in silent stone
but once
she danced.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I apologize for neglecting my blog for so long, but I've been too busy with my regular springtime activity, i.e. gardening. I love my flower garden, and consider planting and playing in the dirt to be a wonderful act of creativity. A garden is truly a living work of art.

Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep.
- Scott Adams

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
- Claude Monet

Take thy plastic spade,
It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are thy colours.
~William Mason, The English Garden, 1782

I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden. ~John Erskine

Creativity is our true nature; blocks are an unnatural thwarting of a
process at once as normal and as miraculous as the blossoming
of a flower at the end of a slender green stem.
- Julia Cameron

Don't underestimate the therapeutic value of gardening. It's the one area where
we can all use our nascent creative talents to make a truly satisfying work of art.
Every individual, with thought, patience and a large portion of help from nature,
has it in them to create their own private paradise: truly a thing of beauty
and a joy for ever.
- Geoff Hamilton, Paradise Gardens

"The secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all
the details of daily life, and in elevating them to art."
- William Morris

Gardening is not a rational act. What matters is
the immersion of the hands in the earth, that
ancient ceremony of which the Pope kissing
the tarmac is merely a pallid vestigial remnant.
- Margaret Attwood

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."
~ Rachel Carson

"Nothing is more the child of art than a garden."
-- Sir Walter Scott

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Icarus Reborn

This is a piece that I finally finished after several re-workings. I think I washed the figure off and started over at least 3 times; hence, the title. I probably should have just given up, but I guess I'm not made that way. I'm very stubborn about certain things, which can be good or bad, depending on the timing and circumstances. I always tell my students, though, that perseverance is the key to success. As Einstein said, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." There's a lot of perspiration in this piece, and I'm NOT re-working it again! (Even I have my limits.)

I think it has a very 'fairy tale' kind of feeling. Fairy tales were a favorite reading matter for me as a child, and the illustrations from those stories have had a substantial influence on my artistic expression. When I was growing up, I often drew princesses, knights, horses, and dragons, which I would then cut out and play with, creating my own imaginary world.

The story of Icarus has always fascinated me. Of course, you could get into some really deep and complicated psychological and archetypal analysis here, but I'll leave that to Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. In many paintings of this subject, Icarus is seen falling into the ocean after flying too close to the sun, and my first version of this piece focused on that moment as well. But then I thought, why not go back to the point BEFORE he took flight, when any outcome was still possible? Why not; it's my imaginary world, isn't it? And so, Icarus is reborn, just at the moment of hope.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May Flowers

On my various hikes around Kentucky, I've taken quite a few photos of Kentucky wildflowers. I thought I'd share some of the ones that are blooming now. Enjoy!

Yellow Woodland Violet

Crested Dwarf Iris

Virginia Bluebell

Trout Lily


White Trillium


Wood Fern