In Honor of Those Who Marched : 1-19-2018

Calling the Rain 30″ x 24″ O/Mulberry Paper courtesy of the artist.

From the poet Tishani Doshi –EVERYTHING BELONGS ELSEWHERE (2013)

Ode to the Walking Woman

              Sit —

you must be tired

of losing yourself

this way:

a bronzed rib 

of exhaustion

thinned out

against the night.

          Sit —

there are still things

to believe in

like civilizations

and birthing

and love.

And ancestors

who move 

like silent tributaries

from red-earthed villages

with history cradled

in their mythical arms.

        But listen,

what if they swell

through the gates

of your glistening city?

Will you walk down

to the water’s edge,

immerse your feet

till you can feel them

dancing underneath?

Mohenjo Daro’s brassy girls

with bangled wrists

and cinnabar lips;

turbaned Harappan mothers

standing wide

on terra-cotta legs;

egg-breasted Artemis —

Inanna, Ishtar, Cybele,

clutching their bounteous hearts

in the unrepentant dark, crying:  Daughter,

why have the granaries

and great baths disappeared?

Won’t you resurrect yourself,

make love to the sky,

reclaim the world?


The Art Monk’s Gratitude

A more mindful practice to guard and listen to my soul in these dark times has lead me to seek the wisdom writing of other artists who have, or are dealing with the same.   In 2015, the French poet, Philippe Jaccottet published a meditation on the work of Italian artist Giorgio Morandi.  It was the title of the book;  The Pilgrim’s Bowl  that attracted me to the prose within its covers.  I think of my work as an artist. I am a wandering and wondering pilgrim.  Recently I read an interview with the writer, Justen Ahren talking about a “monastic approach to writing” which re-affirmed, and helped me renew my own discipline of art practice.  In ‘stripping away the assumptions and pressures’ of painting I make a begging bowl of my body, my self, so I may receive daily the mana the world offers me.  As I mindfully open to this awareness the writing of French philosopher Luce Irigaray resonates.   My woman body receives and experiences what the world offers.  My sensitivity to environment, the genius loci, the spirit of place is crucial to my way of being.  I am called to honor and guard it.  In particular I reflect on my recent artist’s residency at CAMAC in Marnay-sur-Seine, France this past September where I initiated my 2 year project; “Alchemy on the Seine”.

My daily studio practice began with silent walking by the Seine.  My begging bowl overflowed with offerings from the vegetal and non-human world.


These are gifts that are constantly coming.  I have come to realize that creating this exhibit; painting, creating installations and filming is making a gift, it is a giving back – ‘increasing the abundance,’  the gratitude,  the connection.  Creativity, is a transaction with the divine, the mystery, the ineffable.”  The derivation of the word ‘monk/monasticism’ is from  the Greek word meaning ‘alone’.  The word is not owned by any particular religion.  It refers to the submission of every aspect of one’s life to a particular purpose.  In my own private moments of renewal to myself as artist, I ask:  “What if I gave my life to painting, joyously, gratefully? Where would my painting take me?  Where would I take my painting?”

A November Morning: Poetry of Mourning.

The Seine.

One month ago I returned from France.  My reflections of time in the village of Marnay-sur-Seine at the     CAMAC artist residency wrapping my soul with threads of gratitude.  This morning as I re-read my   journal entries from time at CAMAC I found these lines from the French poet Philippe Jaccottet.  They seem particularly poignant as another senseless massacre occurred in a small Texas town on a Sunday morning.


 One would like, for the crossing s/he has to make

if we can speak of  a crossing

 when the bridge seems broken off

 and the other bank in a mist

 or itself a mist, or worse, an abyss –

 in this barbed wire wind

 to wrap them in music, hurt as s/he is . . .


 On voudrait, pour ce pas qu’il doit franchir

 – si l’on peut parler de franchir

 la ou la passerelle semble interrompue

 et l’autre rive prise dans la brume

 ou elle-même brume, ou pire: abime – 

 dans ce vent barbelé,

 l’envelopper, meurtri comme il l’est, de musique . . .