Emigrating to Norway

Glyphs is on a journey. Maybe lost, maybe stored in a warehouse in Florida, maybe in a customs house in Norway. Maybe hanging in someone's home between here and there. I shipped it on December 10, 2017 along with a few little scraps of raw materials for my friend Kerri.

And now it's lost.

The USPS doesn't really have an answer for me about where it might be. Their tracking is limited to this: The package arrived safely in Miami on December 11 -- not quite what I expected from a tracking process. Our local post office is no help.

I have shipped many pieces to many places. I've never had a piece disappear so thoroughly before. It's a little like watching a child go off to college. Though I am reassured by many folks telling me it may yet turn up this is a real test of letting go for me.

It seems ironic that the news is filled with the idea of immigrating Norwegians when my piece is emigrating to Norway. I hope it learns a new language soon.

ends and beginnings

I emptied my thread ends box today. It held the threads that didn't get used on a piece this year. These threads were active players without a field to play in. They came into existence at the end of thoughts rather than the beginnings. They got snipped off and thrown to the side after trying hard to be part of the team. There are a lot of them.

I've grown used to not being satisfied with each and every work that I create. Like these thread ends some work just doesn't work. The process of creating has become more important to me than the finishing up. For each work that gets finished I estimate that there are two or three pieces that get thrown under the table. Thus, I have fallen in love with my rotary cutter, it facilitates my cut-up-and-rework frame of mind. I am beginning to see a signature style in all of the work. I am drawn to black. I like surprises and there is an undertow of anxiety in all of them.

Cut-up-and-rework pieces

I named the work I finished: Aquifer, Beast, Chaos Ensues, Focus on Something Else, Glyphs, I Need a Third Eye, Ladder to Elsewhere, Looking for the Pattern that Connects, Signals, Thugs, Unglued, and Unmapped.

Some finished pieces

And now I am working on a piece called Ship of Fools.

Ship of Fools work in progress

2018 will be filled with new challenges: a one man show at a local art museum, a proposal to a local venue for a juried show in Memphis, several teaching positions and days and days of continuing my work. It's those last items that I look forward to the most. They provide a silence and thoughtfulness that fills me up.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope to meet some of you this year in workshops. Check out the listings at the right for dates and locations.

May your studio be filled with inspiration and your days full of mystery and wonder.

growing a vocabulary

I spent the week making little marks. obsessively. They were small imprints that wanted out of my head. It felt like an unknown language, one that had deeper beginnings.

Listening to interviews of world leaders, analysts, pundits and disruptors it came to me that we are all speaking in code. No one seems ready to find a common language to solve the chaos. There is only cacophony.

So here are my little marks. standing on their own.

I wanted to see how small I could actually make them. These measure about 1-1.5 inches. I used a cotton canvas cloth with extra batting for dimension.

The challenge of making each one different slowed me down. I couldn't do more that 20 at a time without finding myself repeating marks. Some look like things, some look like letter characters. I let the thread tell me their character.

I added density with hand-stitched detail.

Glyphs. 27"x 18". So many dialogs, so little listening. The piece is almost finished.