Thursday, November 28, 2013

Carving Animals


There's been no adventuring or wandering going on here lately. I haven't seen a fox, a moose, a buffalo or a bear. I've been painting them instead.

I suppose you could say I've been doing a little roving. Around my art room! Gathering up supplies I've stashed away in boxes and drawers since the New Years flood last year, I spread them out on the newly carpeted floor. In complete disarray are various types of paper, linoleum blocks, carving tools, rollers and barens. My wooden drafting table is piled high with tubes of turquoise, mars black, titanium white and cobalt blue paint. Ball jars are filled with paintbrushes of every size, my easel is set up, the fire flame is on low and Gregory Alan Isakov is singing in the background::

threw my bottle to the ocean,

she never wrote me back
all the countless days along the sea of blue
learned the language of the Mockingbird
she took and twisted all my words
yeah, I'm just trying to find my way to you

For the past fifteen years I've handmade the Christmas cards I send out. Almost all of them are block prints. I got into carving and I just couldn't stop! After the initial relief print is done, I touch them up with more paint in bright colors, which look good against the black and white print.

Here are some cards I made in the past and some most recently. As you can see, they always include a wild animal. Naturally.


Meanwhile, because of the cold and squally winds, blowing tumbleweeds and sagebrush from here to Oklahoma, it's keeping me indoors a lot. Through the window, I shake my fist to the sky, damn you wind.

As my mom reminds me over the phone, "when you've got snow, make snowmen."

When you've got wind, well then, you plop yourself down in front of a fire and write letters. Being cooped up reminds me that there are other things to do. Important things, like letter writing, journaling, reading poetry and drinking licorice tea with a Tabby on either side.

I pause only to listen to the wind.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Along The Tracks

Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance

Everybody thinks it's true. ~ Paul Simon


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Joni

Joni Mitchell was my hero when I was fifteen.
I've been influenced and inspired by her all my life.
She's a prairie girl and looks for all the world like a Raven or a Crow.

There's a crow flying

Black & ragged

Tree to tree

He's black as the highway that's leading me

Now he's diving down

To pick up on something shiny

I feel like that black crow


In a blue sky

====>Black Crow from the 1976 album Hejira

She's a poet.

A musical genius.


A painter.
Her paintings adorn many of her album covers.
She loves cats.
Here are some of my favorite quotes and verse from this lady of the canyon.

“people will tell you where they've gone, they'll tell you where to go, but until you get there yourself you'll never really know.”


"There's a man who's climbed a mountain And he's calling out her name

And he hopes her heart can hear three thousand miles He calls again

He can think her there beside him He can miss her just the same

He has missed her in the forest While he showed her all the flowers

And the branches sang the chorus As he climbed the scaley towers

Of a forest tree

While she was somewhere being free."


"I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel

To shower off the dust

And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust."


"He bought her a diamond for her throat

He put her in a ranch house on a hill

She could see the valley barbecues

From her window sill

See the blue pools in the squinting sun

Hear the hissing of summer lawns."


"but i know my needs

my sweet tumbleweed

i need more quiet times

by a river flowing

you and me

deep kisses

and the sun going down."


"i will always love you

hands alike

magnet and iron

the souls."


"Marcie leaves and doesn't tell us

Where or why she moved away

Red is angry green is jealous

That was all she had to say

Someone thought they saw her Sunday

Window shopping in the rain

Someone heard she bought a one-way ticket

And went west again."

====>> Joni Mitchell is 70 years young today.