…trees like green walls out every window, on every floor. This happened suddenly, when the ash leaves opened – about 3 weeks ago. Now the air tastes still and green and humid-heavy, builds in a dark blustering crash to thundering rain on our metal roof, then abates and burns with full sun again. Even the cats run outside for a shower, then come in to melt on the slate floor when the heat returns.
I’m at my studio now, fan at my back pulling air in from the open window, and throwing it (warm, even), at my skin. It’s dark, even at 8pm with the sun still full outside – I dare not turn on the studio halogens for fear of broiling my mind into stupidity. The light table also will be impossibly hot. So I write.
The light of the day will be gone in an hour, and by its reflection I can see my shovel and my axe paintings on the far wall, emerging nicely into what they will become. These two paintings are like backward-method sculptures as they develop, very interesting to me. It’s as though the illusion of depth is growing around the image, so they appear and disappear, then appear again. Painting is additive and sculpture subtractive, but I imagine the process of listening and responding to what’s happening to the piece is the same.
Pics soon for this studio stuff. My camera’s in the (hot) car, and I don’t want to go down and get it. I’ll add them here & re-post.
In addition to the visual depth that is increasingly apparent, there is history and personality embedded in them. The stretched canvases they’re on have been active tools in my cello teaching these past six months or more. When things get too intense in a lesson (always there are many ways around a physical or psychological obstacle to success!) my students put down their instruments and draw big swooping lines there – anger, fear, frustration, release, joy, growth. So Shovel and Axe will forever be twinned in music as well as in earth and wood. Full credit to my students – those are some incredibly communicative lines – full of energy.
This cello student participation behooves me to write and record a cello/ voice soundtrack to go with the installation of these pieces. Hopefully my students can add their voices to it.
Oh – and there will be a pitchfork too. A couple of hammers. A clamp, a crowbar, and a wrench. A scythe. Each of these tools is incredibly, impossibly old – some prehistoric, in their usefulness, at least. Each one is a work of imagination and engineering – the more I dig into the research, the more enamoured I am.
It’s good to be back.