Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Watcher Woman 1, acrylic, 24x18

In early July I was re-reading The Celestine Prophecy, a book that pretty much says there's no such thing as a coincidence and that memories pop into your head for a reason.

A memory had popped into my head--I recalled a woman in a park in D.C. My children and I had visited Whistler's Butterfly Room exhibit and were taking a people-watch break, sitting on a bench in a small park. An older woman, using her hands as binoculars, constantly turned in a circle. Each time the "binoculars" landed on me I was very uncomfortable; we left the park.

I thought of painting the woman and drew a sketch.

Then I read Harry Kent's blog from July 25. He said "I believe the elderly, because they've seen so much, have a particularly important social role to play as reviewers and commentators."

I agree--I think we should be training our eyes on what's happening in our small towns; what's happening off our shores or on Wall Street, what's happening to our old forests.

Then I read Donna Iona Drozda's blog from July 26 that said look back to July 12; what were you thinking of during the solar eclipse? (I was thinking of watcher woman and taking photos of my local landmarks.)

And then I later followed Donna's Luna See newsletter to her "What's up?" article and it showed a triangle--the shape of the arms and head of the watching woman.

I couldn't decide whether I should jump with joy or hide under the covers--I felt I had tapped into something beyond coincidence.

With the exception of the "Celluloid Man"detour, due to wrong-sized canvas, this painting has been in the works since early July. This is the first Watcher Woman and she's looking East towards my home town. When I was six and needed a vaccination before entering first grade I screamed from this overpass to Dr. Winston's office in town (maybe two miles) and I was riding in the back of a neighbor's truck!

Watcher Woman is a tough-looking broad and I think she looks like the woman from the park 35 years ago (maybe a bit like my friends and me) and the painting is 95 percent complete. The binocular stance is fun--try it.

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There is sadness on my street. My next-door Summertime/weekend neighbor passed away unexpectedly last week. She sat on my porch earlier this summer and read my blog on her laptop. Bess would have enjoyed this entry and would have said "That's Jack's yard!" I see her front porch from my kitchen sink; she'd be surprised at how much she's missed.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Seasoned by Age or Art?

Uncle Red, H 14", terra cotta & copper wire, sold

This was actually a self-portrait. In 1985 I noticed that my face was falling--I was 43. The sculpting was completed in one day. I scooped dirt and bits of dried clay off the floor and embedded them in the wet clay. (I think of those bits now when the dermatologist burns off growths and reminds me that redheads--even old ones--should stay out of the sun).

I pierced holes in the scalp for the hair. Epoxying the copper wires after firing was a bloody and time-consuming job (probably a bit like a hair transplant).

Life Artist left a comment on my July 16th blog entry: ".....age seasons us for art." Yes. I wonder, though, if the opposite can also work--that art seasons us for age.

This a 2010 photo; 25 years have passed since Uncle Red bore the brunt of my rage against age. Now I just walk quickly by mirrors. (When I walk by my eye-level clothes dryer, though, I cringe--my face reflection in the dryer door is 3X life-size!)