I am a visual artist and educator. When I am not teaching, doing nature jaunts, and traveling to exotic places, I am usually in my studio trying to make insightful artworks. This activity is an intellectual exchange and I find it very challenging and complex. Hopefully, I plan on doing some relief work overseas with my husband sometime in the near future.
I was fortunate to experience a fabulous time with a group of super ladies. We biked thirteen miles to Serenity Falls Cabin, spent the night, gabbed up a storm, ate too much and drank too little. The weather was a picture perfect fall day; you couldn't ask for a better time to bike. I was thanking the gods in and out throughout my journey. There was cool brisk chill to the air. Above, is part of the morning crew having coffee (and of course gabbing about nothing and everything at the same time.)
There were nine of us who spent the night. We slept in these bunk beds and I was number #3, above another camper. I didn't sleep much that night with all the snoring going on. It was very black too; rich darkness adding to the upcoming winter.
This is part of the biker girls just at the entrance of the Eklutna parking lot. The trees had bright yellow foliage. I biked in with a bob loaded with my sleeping bag and other essentials; carrying Karen's odds and ends. I rode right through the puddles and managed to get there easily. The path was relatively flat with some long hills. We made the ride in three hours; stopped and rested, had lunch and perused the scenery.
There are times when all of a sudden I am struck down; my functioning is at it's lowest, my energy subdued and my confidence shaken. It is almost like I am engulfed in a hole and cannot come out. These periods don't happen often, am not manic and it is usually after a rigorous work out and some perspective, some talk among close friends, that I submerge quickly. I bounce back fast, fortunately.
But I think the world situation added to my gloom these past few days, and while the elections are exciting and exhilarating the possible outcome is scary and threatening. I watched Bush's address to the nation about our financial crisis. It was a serious deal. I remember watching my parents watch the Cuba crisis when I was very young and I could feel the tension; you could cut the atmosphere in half with a knife. It was a serious deal.
I think if Obama gets the presidency, the outside world will applaud us to a certain degree, we would be looked upon not as big babies (which we are often seen as) but as a country entering a new change and progression. Not sure if we are a sophisticated country though to work through our differences and biases to make this choice. I don't think Europe (France or Germany for example) would think twice about making a new leap. We want the same thing and we want the same old funk of comfort. Also, I find it difficult discussing politics with people around me. It has become a taboo subject to bring up and I find this ridiculous and repressive.
Last week, Ken went hunting with his son Noah. They met up with another couple at Swanson Lake and made camp. On Monday, the three of them stayed together and canoed some of the lakes looking for moose, while Sandra went off on her own with her two dogs searching for grouse. The trio of men got back to camp later in the afternoon while Sandra did not appear, and in fact she wound up being gone for the entire night. Great concern was in the atmosphere, and the next day a rescue team was called (because Ken and Noah canoed like hell back to town to Sterling to get in touch with the authorities.) Sandra was found early afternoon the next day, well shaken up but alive and kicking. She had found a squirrel midden to spend the night and was equipped with her shot gun, two dogs and three dead grouse. Sandra wound up eating the grouse raw.
What would you do if you got lost in the woods and how prepared would you be to spend a night in the deep and scary dark with creatures stirring about? Great stories abound in the Northwest and I was first hand to hear about it.
I was up again late. By my night stand there are always some New Yorker rags handy. The current issue of Sept 15 has an interesting article called, The Lonesome Trail, by Ariel Levy, on Cindy McCain. She is quite an eccentric women; an avid horse rider, race car driver, recently McCain has taken up flying. Their marriage started when she met John McCain at a Navy party, seventeen years her senior. Their liaison led into a relationship of week-ends while she was at home with the four children as he was off to DC during the week. (Cindy became seriously addicted to pain killers for several years.) The article goes on to explain her complex family dynamic, their white lies and deception contrasted to a very prominent family from Phoenix, the Baptist church that she attended to her development into the political arena. Cindy McCain also does the humanitarian route and travels to conflict areas helping children with cleft palates and she later adopted a baby in Bangladesh. You often see McCain holding hands with her seventeen year old daughter on stage during their political rallies.
It brings me to comment that our country is seriously corrupt (and we all know this.) Who really knows what is behind a person and their motives? Is it really important to understand some one's background? And how much to we really know the story about these people in power? We are all tainted and have our faults and past mistakes. It also brings me to exclaim how little we know about anything, how naive and uninformed we are as people.
This is an interesting video that friends sent me. Check it out!
Last night, I couldn't go to sleepand I laid in bed thinking about my relationship with art. I realized that in some strange way, it replaces my faith in God. With my art I can see the things that I do and feel a tremendous and immediate satisfaction after completing a piece of work. My art functions in a random way; pieces falling into places, happy surprises and struggles are part of the picture. It is a visual piece of information that speaks to me and it is in the nature of this abstract level of thinking and doing that I can connect spiritually.
Fall to Darkis my newest short film. It is a menagerie of images - my feet, wooded areas and fallen leaves all coupled with a very strong score of music done by a close friend/composer who lives in Los Angeles. This is my second serious art clip. Sunday'sThreads, my first art videowill premiere at The State Museum inJuneau at my solo exhibition this January, 2009.
Ken and I took Blue for a long walk over at the paint ball field last Sunday and he spotted hundreds of paint balls on the outside of the fence. I gathered them up in a found plastic bag and went to town, inspired by this find. The tripod was set up in our back yard and I went about working spontaneously, stomping on the paint balls with my bare feet. (If you can remember, think of I love Lucy and the grape stomping incident......!) Anyway, it was a beautiful mild fall day with the sun out and the leaves were just beginning to turn and land to the ground. Fall toDark is my newest creation and in this activity I find my faith.
This oil painting was photographed from the Latino and Hispanic Museum in Long Beach, California and though I thought most of the art staid, this painting made me stop and take a look and observe. Was this a forecast? Is this a political statement? (Probably so.......) because most of the great Mexican muralists and painters for example, were political revolutionaries of their time; took chances and risks and many got exported and imported to their lands because of their views. These artists were truly brave and painted content and narrative like there was no tomorrow. They were naturalists, epic heroes and painted politically charged work because it was in their blood and soul and they lived and breathed it with insurmountable passion.
Most strong artists are keen perceivers and see and feel things differently than others. They make social statements and as Bruce Nauman said, (one of the most influential conceptual artists of the 21st century) artists reveal mystic truths.
Listening and reading the many opinions about the nature of the politics that went down this week cast an excited glow and energy to the start of the fall season. I came home from a bike ride with the Divas on Wednesday night and listened to the Republican Convention on PBS afterwards. I was especially surprised to hear Rudy Guiliani speak and was waiting for a slithering tongue to creep out of his mouth at anytime. I thought the whole charade was pretty cheesy. Palin did a good job.... but why wouldn't she rally for the occasion? And I thought it was utterly ridiculous when McCain's wife was coddling Palin's baby. What a transparent and phony act. I think it is time to get rid of old politicians and in with new perspectives and content.
I also thought it was strange that Ken cannot even volunteer on the Obama campaign because he works for the Federal Government and according to the Hatch Act, it is against the United States law.