Saturday, January 28, 2012

"In the Shadows" by Sherrie York

Image posted with the permission of the artist. See more of Sherrie York's work at her website and her blog.

Birds huddled on the snow. Little, living igloos, their white plumage reflecting the light. And as with igloos, inside they are warm with hearts beating, blood coursing through their tiny veins. Leafless, black trees jut up from behind the hill, an ominous backdrop for this still and silent gathering. These vigilant dwellers are
like little snowmen, hiding in the shadows for fear they might melt.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Morning Tea" by Eileen Mayo

I'm not a morning person, but every once in a while, for no particular reason at all, I wake up early. I'm not referring to the mornings where I get up early because I have an appointment. I mean the rare occasion when I make a choice to stay awake, despite the early hour. I am so well acquainted with the cool and haunting colors of the night that morning colors strike me as garishly vivid. Not necessarily in a bad way, but rather surreal. It is as if visiting some bright and cheery parallel universe. Just as quiet as the night, but in a different way. The chirps of birds, not crickets. The fresh smell of dew instead of musty fog. The coffee is freshly brewed, rather than stale and re-heated in the microwave. And while there are as few people out in the very early morning as in the night, the morning crew is clean and chipper, wearing smiles and greeting each other with a heartfelt "Good morning!" People of the night are typically cast in anonymous shadows. I imagine this experience for me is something like the reaction of a morose, east-coast intellectual visiting optimistic and quirky California.

I sit in a nest of warm, rumpled sheets and blankets. I feel so happy and relaxed that instead of my morning jolt of coffee, I've made a pot of peppermint tea. I even slowly sip the fragrant beverage from a proper teacup, complete with saucer. In these hovering moment before the day really begins, I question, why don't I get up early every morning? And the answer comes to me slowly, but clearly: Some places are very pleasant and beautiful to look at, and as tourists, that is all we notice. But as the cliche goes, the grass is always greener on the other side, and deep down we all know who we are and where we belong.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Hatched

Woodcut (5 color reduction)
4" x 4"(image) 5.5" x 7.5" (paper)
Water-based inks on Stonehenge paper
Artist's Proof
Available for purchase here.

I made this as a baby shower gift for my cousin who is expecting her first child in February of this year. She especially loves birds and has successfully started a chicken coop in her back yard.

It's was also a nice little print to get me back into the groove after having my own second child in December. Hopefully I'll be back to my regular level of studio and blog activity soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Great Lakes Basin" by Jenny Pope

Image posted with the permission of the artist. Jenny Pope's website can be visited here. She also has a blog and Etsy store. Pope wrote about her inspiration for this image here.

A rush of cool air swims by. What is this place? A forest of black trees layered by white snow? Flocks of giant crows and flying dragons. The sun, like a great eye shines no warmth over me. I feel I am tipping over, rendered dizzy by the motion, the lack of gravity. Is this a parallel dimension or another world? I do a double take and see that I am all wrong. Not a forest, but a great undersea floor teeming with life. No sun, crows, or dragons, but swift and slippery sea creatures. Fish, and eels, and a prickly blanket of zebra mussels. Sharp points, sharp contrast of black and white, deep blue and yellow-orange, like gnashing teeth, hungry and searching for a meal in an overcrowded... Bathtub!? Yes indeed, and it leaps into the scene like an angry cat, and the fish and eels panic and scatter, and all is cold and slippery chaos.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mabel Royds's Bathing Children

A splash across the skin and the dirt is gone. It floats away on the rippling surface of the water. Water that surrounds ankles and knees of children. They bend and stretch, contorting their bodies in their attempts to cleanse every crease and patch of skin.

Their mother is crouched down, the length of her body folded down like an accordion to meet the children on their level. Her patient gaze follows the vertical lines of her daughter's dripping, wet hair. She is beside them, but separated by the white of her robes. These, and her being positioned curved away from the children reveal her to be merely an observer. And yet, while she is not a participant in the act of bathing, she is held captive by the activity. Bent into the square of the image's composition, the mother is unable to stand or walk away. In contrast, her son's arm gracefully sweeps up out of the frame. Like the water, she is necessarily present, but not really the subject matter.

There is an excellent article about Mabel Royds on the blog Art and the Aesthete. To read it, click here.