this week my small daughter and i built two, large, light-weight hanging sculptures for my first year students. the students are beginning to learn about seeing value, tone and texture in drawing.
our construction rules:
*13 freshman - two large objects to be drawn in vine and compressed charcoal.
*40 minutes for me and the girl to construct two 6' - 0" x 3'-0" contraptions for drawing.
* lots of folds and texture.
*60 minutes to find materials.
*20 minutes to hang in first year studio and light properly
*be inspired by eva hess and kathy kelley in 20 minutes
*have a great time.
*wait until thursday's studio to see what the students draw this week.
These bones are not like those bones, heavy and box-like, heaving under breath and skin. These bones - mine - are small and narrow. His are thick with age. Amidst the beeps and flickers of monitors and lights he is restless. I have held this hand a thousand times before, rolled this knuckle between forefinger and thumb, mapping it's outcroppings and valleys. Eyes. Two brown pools that teased, enticed one with promise and unfathomable depth. And if depth could be described as sound, his eyes were a slow steady pulsing, like a soft tether drum, or the recessed shallows of a heartbeat.
In the distance the doctor's voices sound like footsteps on carpet, muffled yet deliberate. They talk about the difference between fifty and eighty.
In 1882, Matthew McGuire, a machinist, proposed a day dedicated to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold" - the first Labor Day. It would involve a street parade, a picnic, and a festival for the community and families.
In our family, Labor Day was always a time to celebrate my grandfather's birthday. Not really labor or work was celebrated, but the summer's last hurrah with the entire family before school started in New York City. I watched him blow out candles for 29 Labor Days. He is who I honor on this day. He carved grandeur.
paul and helen, new york city 1943
paul 1918 - 1999