Keirartworks's Blog

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


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Grand Plan

In the corner of my well-collected room there is a gilded chair, with cushions of soft cedar green.

I observe both chair and my pleasure in it, thinking how odd it is to have something right there in my room so finely made that the gilding is not ostentatious, but appropriate.

I do not sit in it.

My room, looking away from the gilded chair, at the bay window couch I do my reading in.

My room, looking away from the gilded chair, at the bay window couch where I’ve been reading anthropological studies of the Western Conservatory Music culture all day

Art Fundamentals 7th edition (Ocvirk/Stinson/Wigg/Bone/Cayton, 1994); Free to be Musical (Higgins/Campbell, 2010); The Tone of our Times (Dyson, 2014) – this week’s doors, waiting to be unlocked, to be passed through. Other doors I’ve left open behind me, each granting passage into a thought-provoking room, hallway, staircase.

view from reading couch

view from reading couch

Up, down, through, in.  Cognitive dungeon to library to kitchen to widow’s peak – each a different ‘ology’, each a story that links to all the others ever written, and those only now being conceived.

My mind is becoming vast like an ever-expanding castle, which, although timely and immensely satisfying, is not entirely comfortable.  Often it’s a tight squeeze.  I forget things like where the car is, what music I need to find, what day it is….

Union Station subway poem, Rush hour Oct 27

Union Station subway poem, rush hour Oct 27

Travel and roads.  I’ve spent a great deal of time not-home, in-between.  I don’t mind this 600+ km each week of highway through orange maple trees and purple skies, cropped fields and pumpkins on shelves by the roadside. Pumpkins like people, each one a different shape and size, some sideways, some flat, some enormous, others tiny, a couple of them smashed into pulp on the road.

In between I read through and into cognitive change.  I tune my cello/voice and play/sing for Tom Thomson, for Mary Sue Rankin, who are gone from here but also Not-Gone, ever.  I am honoured and humbled to be part of a circle teaching gift from three powerful indigenous women, and to be gifted an improvised-traditional calligraphic rendering of my friend and colleague’s Chinese name. As the kilometres go by and events sift down into understanding, I realize with growing certainty that the most valuable ones are those that cannot be purchased.

Home from Toronto Oct 29.

Home from Toronto Oct 29.

Oh yes.  Lawyers (an interesting and useful contrast), to collaboratively and fairly settle and resolve a marriage that ended three years ago. Muffler replacement on my hard-working honda.  These are purchased in the name of maintenance, a ‘taking care of’.  A garden full of beautiful perennials (rescued from the bad marriage), now being choked by goutweed – I will start digging it out tomorrow morning, also putting away the beautiful summer writing space on my back deck, now blanketed by yellow ash leaves.

Certainly, for things like these, for ‘taking care of’, it’s good to earn a decent living.

ashtree_fall2016

My beautiful ash tree, three weeks ago, just after Thanksgiving. Now it’s mostly on the deck.

Remembrance day concert soon in the marvellously thriving community arts centre – this one a collaboration of elementary school musicians and the community concert choir, who both need cello, lucky me.

Things you can’t purchase, but have the greatest value.

Generosity.  Thanks-giving.  Remembrance.  Care.

 


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dry dry #Water

I’ve been dreaming poetic dreams of mycelium which is really thought connecting to thought through boundaries which are really just illusions.  I’ve been coiled and waiting like a pike in the hot weedy shallows, ready to spring at my duckling dinner.  Racing like a strong salmon through the lines and hooks that dangle my possible death, crawling like a crayfish over the rocks at lake’s edge, pulling shadow over my body against the diving gulls….

water1I’ve been floating like an embryo, building my body like the miracle it is.

number nine creek, taken at a family hike in spring 2011

number nine creek, taken at a family hike in spring 2011

Like fluid, this part of my #Water (working title) project has been, as I immerse myself in possibility.  What can be made of these paintings, installed in a room, with sound?  How can I build a visceral sense of connection and inclusion out of sound, light, and image?  How can I describe an ecosystem – more than describe – evoke?

waterRock

 

Water2

Re-re write my artist bio, tighten up my CV and struggle through the mud of my artist statement.  I fill out forms and check my grammar, punctuation, spelling.  I identify key points in my artistic approach and practise and do my best to describe to people I may never meet why my work is valuable.  I choose paintings from previous shows that I hope will illustrate … my merit.  I work out a budget that makes some kind of sense, re-write it without the extras, then pare it down a little more…

I notice a feeling of dehydration.

Mudbank_roots

Grant-writing uses an entirely different part of one’s brain than the bits trained in painting and music.

Morning-Glory-2015

 


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New Rounds

fire painting to begin

fire painting to begin

Another snow-day gift…

So I’m throwing paint again:  I find myself working in the round.

Round 1

Round 1

hmmm.  walking through fire, maybe?  in Tibet?

Round 2

Round 2

These are all underpaintings, and they’re all humming loudly.  I’m excited to see what happens next, and next…

Round 3 (ding)

Round 3 (ding)

This canvas is many paintings that have all been painted over – I think the total is four.  Maybe this one will work, since it will have smaller round companions.  We shall see!

While I’ve been working today I’ve been thinking about how we all exist in and through relationship with other people.  How love can transform what we see because it softens the barriers that we work so hard to maintain – and there are always miracles revealed.  Love, music, poetry, art – we are better for these things. I do think it’s that simple.

Here’s Yeats mining a similar vein…

ALL things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and old,
The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart,
The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told;
I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart,
With the earth and the sky and the water, re-made, like a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

WB Yeats – The Lover Tells of the Rose in His Heart


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Morning triggers

…if the nose & claw of a big hammer could be hung from the ceiling of the space so that it seemed as though it was coming through the building to hit a giant nail embedded in the floor…..

table saw, morning

… if one section of the installation was a series of small paintings all connected by a wire which carried an electrical current.  One painting would have a switch, another a plug, another a speaker.  Plug in the painting, turn on the switch in another, and two other paintings begin an audio conversation:  “My father gave me this chisel when I was 13.  My mother taught me to sew by hand first, then …..”

morning, front porch

… a painting that’s wired with the sound of an air compressor, triggered to come on when someone comes within 5 feet of it…..

morning, back porch

… record a cicada.  record a skilsaw.  Dig up data on construction site stress.

Paintings of:  Shovel, axe, hammer, clamp, grinder (s), sledge, crowbar, drill bits & railroad spikes, technical and engineered drawings, blueprints & electrical drawings, forge stamps, handsaws, chisels…

music?

And poems.

hmmmm.  Blog like a scratch pad.