Here Now There
16" x 20"
painted paper collage on matboard
March got off to a slow start for me and honestly, it never really picked up in an artistic sense. I mean to say that I only completed one piece this month. Productivity sometimes slows down and I am learning to be OK when that happens.
Originally when I started the above piece, I was reading Rachel Carson's book, The Sea Around Us. It got me thinking about how life started on this planet; about all of the variables that must have come in to play for life to generate. As far as I know, scientists still don't know how life actually began. There are solid theories of course but just exactly what happened is still a mystery. I began to then think about the diversity of life on our planet. It's astonishing to consider all that is alive here on Earth, from human beings on down to the smallest bits of bacteria. Life, with its astonishing variety and abundance, is complex and amazing.
As I worked along on this piece, I also began to think about the recent landing of Perseverance, the rover that just set down on Mars. We are looking for signs of life on another planet and asking this question: "Does Mars have what is necessary to sustain any kind of life form?" I think that anyone who knows me can guess what I think of this idea, of screwing up another planet. Nevertheless, questioning and exploration seem to be intrinsically settled in our collective psyches and so go we must.
With regard to the shapes and images in this collage, I decided to use the funnel head figure again. I really like this guy. he is sort of my own version of EveryMan. Originally though he was a green color and looked too much like Gumby. Not bad but just not the look I was going for. Many of the shapes in this new piece are taken from my sketchbook. They all sort of look "creature" like to me even though the shapes are derived from other things such as tools or other random marks and ideas. And I have to say that sketching is a great place to look for shapes. It's kind of like having a savings account that you forgot about and then rediscover. Oh boy!
April will be a busy month for me. I am taking two vacations, I have my birthday, and I am getting my second vaccine shot. It's also prime wildflower time so there will certainly be some hiking. All of this is to say that art making may continue to be a little less than usual. I am going to try though to maintain a better routine when it comes to being creative. A routine really helps.
The idea of having a routine brings me to my last point for this post. After nearly two years of struggling and flailing along, I was finally diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The good news is that I don't have a disease that will kill me or alter my GI tract permanently, such as an IBD would (think Ulcerative Colitis). The bad news is that IBS is a condition that doesn't go away and needs to be constantly managed. My entire routine has been thrown off. I do have two new medications that seem to be helping. Relief though doesn't mean that the condition has gone away but only that I have lowered the discomfort threshold. I am hopeful that my creative life (and the rest of my life for that matter) will regain some normalcy.
And with that, on to April! Thank you for reading. Feel free to send me an email here: