Keirartworks's Blog

hmmm. hmmm? Observations, actions and connection points through art.


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#Water, and Bach’s Air

Heart and mind, heart and mind.

I was teaching a transcribed Bach Air to one of my cello students today and was brought to tears, once again, by the beauty of that music.  Such a dance between air and sea, earth and sky, leaf and root.

Canopy

I’d forgotten what day it was, actually, until my daughter sang the song at 12:05am.  Then she came again at 9am with flowers, a lovely note, and a… cooking pumpkin.?  We sat together a while, in the studio.

 

Bent_Tree_close

Then as I worked through the normal wednesday schedule, so very many people offered beautifully crafted birthday thoughts to me, by phone, by email, on social media and in person. The sun shone, the breeze finally required sweater, and my family agreed to meet all together for the first time in several years.

InglisTree1

I can call the ocean from a drum.  The travel time between here and good friends in Winnipeg is only as long as the hairs on my cello bow. I am rich with astonishing poetry written by two friends, one native, one not, about right here were I sit, right now.  And I’ve only just begun to be thankful.

Some days are green and golden.


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Wings

twenty extra minutes uphill, but it didn’t feel like it because of Dire Straits and Jake Coco.  In fact, my wings carried me up that hill in time with the music, and then I was soaring high high above everything where the horizon is curved, warm sun on my back.

base drawing for "selfie answer 1", which will graduate to its' next stage today.  Can't wait to dig in...

base drawing for “selfie answer 1”, which will graduate to its’ next stage today. Can’t wait to dig in…

My theory is this:  I’m invisible if I close my eyes when I’m working out.  In this way I have discreetly walked ten miles every week for the past month, flown up countless hills, memorized lyrics to twenty excellent songs, and arranged ten more for cello and voice.  I truly never thought I’d say this, but I do love my little green iPod with all my heart, just for making this such a rich journey.  And for being tiny.

love these guys so much, missed the boys this week past

Some of our Youth Orchestra kids on the week before March break. Great tribe to be part of.

I have no profound thoughts to offer, since I’m in transition from task to task today, but I’m aiming for objectivity this weekend after tomorrow’s supremely enriching Sistema Teacher workshop in Toronto.  When I’m done there my iPod and I shall drive and drive, and the parts of my brain that have become strapped in too tightly by all of this striving and slogging will loosen their ties, let down their hair and begin to dance again in the big expanse of Road Trip, where the horizon is curved.  Somewhere in the middle of this walkabout I will find Profound, and Articulate, and craft something here…

But for now I will leave you with a beautiful thing crafted by Annie Dillard.  I’ve been chewing on this ever since I read it two weeks ago.  She writes things that just keep coming back to you…..

A schedule defends from chaos and whim.  It is a net for catching days.  It is scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time…. It is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living

Happy first week of March 2014, everyone.

 

Letting go

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This is social media experiment in making art.  As I worked through the process of this painting I wondered whether I could actually describe that process in a series of photos, and tell the story of the piece as it becomes itself.   Might be neato.  I’ve started this with my cover photos on facebook, but there are lots of them to come, and some FB folks who might get overloaded….

So here goes.  It was supposed to be a clamp.  One in a series of paintings about legacy and inheritance that were going to take me into the next decade.  With this painting, that idea got stopped in it’s tracks – I realized I was finished the series after only two:  Shovel and Axe.  If you really want to know why, ask me in person, but the why isn’t the point really.  The idea was over.  Suddenly.

Canvas is 4'x4' square.  This is a detail of the first yellow wash over white houspaint resist.

Canvas is 4’x4′ square. This is a detail of the first yellow wash over white house paint resist.

Then I drew the clamp on the canvas and stared at it.  It was a good drawing, but No.  Erased the clamp.  Stared some more.

Then in art class I needed to demonstrate the joys of washes over acrylic gel, which preserves the integrity of the colour and adds depth to the ground.  Washed a good red over the whole thing, let it drip…. Then in the next art class I needed  to show some things about composition and drawing and courage, so I picked the nearest object to draw and did this:

vine  charcoal for the drawing, which is what I used to draw the Clamp.  It rubs off.  In this photo I've superimposed a photo of the actual snaffle bit over the drawing to check my lines...

vine charcoal for the drawing, which is what I used to draw the Clamp. It rubs off. In this photo I’ve superimposed a photo of the actual snaffle bit over the drawing to check my lines…

I was going to keep this as a demo canvas for art class, but the painting was talking too much – like a river.  Can’t stop a river, so…

My full attention.  This is when I stopped answering my phone, five days ago....

My full attention. This is when I stopped answering my phone, five days ago….

What is it, what is it.  It’s a D-ring snaffle bit that I used on my pony when I was a tweener.  The bit is not connected to a bridle.  It’s not hanging in a barn, or waiting to be used.  It’s here because I remember Pippin and I like the shape.

The painting is about being unbridled.  And it’s about horse – wild horse, old horse, powerful horse, running horse, free.  Bronze age white horse of Uffington:

And the river of painting chatter gets deeper...

And the river of painting chatter gets deeper…

Now it’s just watching, layering, washing, dripping, listening, writing, and recording music while the paint is drying. Run up and down the stairs for energy.  Write some more.  Paint.  Don’t ever stop.

Green wash for the Uffington hills...

Green wash for the Uffington hills…

white wash to pull it together.  I love this part...

white wash to pull it together. I love this part…

Pull the bit back in (conte).  Now there's interesting spatial stuff happening....

Pull the bit back in (conte). Now there’s interesting spatial stuff happening….

I’m not done yet, so I can’t take you to the end.  I’ll keep shooting while I watch the paint dry, and will update here to tie it all up.

In the meantime I need to say this:  that if you let it, if you actually surrender your will and just let the river flow, art can take you through all the blocked, backward, toxic stuff of your life and wash it all off.  It’s ALWAYS worth it to make something out of nothing but your mind, your heart, and what ever else is to hand.  If you have kids, tell them that, over and over again.  Tell them that there are no mistakes, ever.  Just change.

Trust change, and let go.

Yesterday when I ventured out for food and batteries I found myself in face-to-face conversation with people.  I think I was using words, and I think everything went ok because when I got home I had food and batteries as planned.  Oh and an indigo hyacinth.

To anyone I spoke with this week who felt that I wasn’t really there – you’re right, I wasn’t, despite my best efforts.  I was really in my studio of many rooms eating soul food.

Happy Sunday.

This gallery contains 7 photos


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before the rain that ends the drought

The cicadas sing their doppler song of midsummer.

We are dry as long-dead bones pressed into rock and exposed to a thousand years of sun.  Grass is brown, frogs huddle under leaves in watered gardens to protect their skins from shriveling.  You can hear wood and metal expand in the 10 am heat.  The sky is more white than blue, absolutely cloudless.

It was supposed to rain today.  Three days ago, they called for rain which didn’t come.  And last week, and two weeks ago.  It didn’t rain then either.  We had a big thunderstorm before that  – it began at 4am and lasted seven hours.  Then the sun came out and dried it all up. The heat is heavy like hot stones piled on your legs and chest and mind, weighing you down.

The farmers say their first crop of hay yielded only half what it did last year – there will be shortages this winter.  Heat-loving insects I’ve never seen before are eating whatever they can…

I remember droughts like this in the 70s.  We survived those, as we will this one.

Grant and I are both struck with the culture of heat in a workaholic, northern climate – we’re not used to stopping at noon and sitting in rocking chairs on the back deck, watching butterflies and drinking iced lemonade.  But save for a trip to the beach, this is all we can do – make like a begonia and stick to the shade.

I’m finding this valuable. The butterflies, the gardens that still manage to grow and flower, the frogs that shelter there, the trees that drink the sun and make oxygen right before my eyes – all exhibit an incredible, impossible beauty.  On their behalf and our own I appreciate every small breeze, every cloud that crosses the sun.  And more than anything I appreciate rain.

When it comes I will dance in it.