Reflections from France

I am currently in residence at CAMAC in the village of Marnay-sur-Seine, France. I reside in a small room in a 16th century monastery that sits on the banks of the Seine. My studio space is above my garden room, high walls, natural light, ancient support beams. I am working on paintings, installations and video for my exhibit; Alchimie sur-la-Seine (Alchemy on the Seine.)  The British poet, Lindy E. Usher will be joining the project in 2018.  It is a three year project which began on September 1st. I will be posting more as this unfolds. The alchemy wraps around me on my long solitary walks. There is no television. Newspapers are available but only if you choose to go into the neighboring village of Nogent-sur-Seine to get one. The internet service is spotty. This is my soul place for so many reasons.

During the magic hour between 6:30 and 7:30pm, the light is perfectly balanced and my river meanderings are quiet.  I photograph and I video. I listen to river sounds, strong winds moving through rows of silver birch and deep grasses. I play hide and seek with a swan who floats with the currents to a certain place on the Seine and then takes a thundering flight back up stream again.

I surrender to  the alchemical distillation of painting.  Currently my paintings are all water based mediums: water color, gouache, water soluble graphite, and natural pigments on hand made Japanese papers.  My growth edge stretches in leaps, bounds and crashes as I use these mediums. I will be sharing more with you. I offer these lines from the French poet Philippe Jaccottet:

Say nothing: what you were going to say
would drown the sound.
Only listen: the doors have opened.

Tais-toi:ce que tu allais dire
encourrait le bruit.
Ecoute seulement: l’huis s’est ouvert.

The Eclipse —for Will

Where is the moon?

I am searching for her.

She is not in her usual mountain hallways

of light and shadow.

 

The stars are there

Piercing me with wonder

inviting me to the dance.

But where is the moon?

 

My husband,  great lover of galaxies and silence

forest creatures, sea mammals and me

says:

the moon is off flirting with the sun

in preparation

for the great eclipse.

 

 

 

In dark times . . .

In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR do those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and grow despite the times’ darkness.

 David Foster Wallace (b. 1962)