10 weeks in our art house

summer in ten weeks.
art and life is one and the same here most of the year.
worked all summer in my studio and kept my kids close nearby. 
this is how we live and love in this art house.

side by side.

while i was painting this summer the kids and i also did small things to keep us engaged in the city and most importantly, our imaginations. we decided there would not be camps, there would only be our farm in alabama and a pool in atlanta. but we parents had tremendous amounts of work to do at the same time. so here is how we managed to keep two little kids active. our kids go with us to almost everything that is acceptable, and as a result are curious and secure.

we did small things. we set up bird feeders in the front garden and the back garden to attract song birds,  finches and doves. we decided we wanted to keep our seasonal cardinal couple happy. i think the mix of the subway sound and mourning doves throughout the day is urban sound therapy.  it feels right. after a few weeks the birds trusted us, and have been eating more bird seed than we can buy.  urban birds.

we also painted in the studio most days. some days we pretended we have not lived in this city for 11 years and acted like tourists. oakland cemetery - my great great great grandfather was the main sexton after he retired his medical practice. we talked to experts at oakland about him. so hey south, i'm a little southern. goose - the inman park goose and turtles are our friends. city hall park - we love it.

yes, there were moments of "boredom", but i think those are important moments anyway because boredom is just a build up of latent thought waiting to surface.  it is energy. 

majestic ice cream and cool "tent" privacy

week 2
 top down and blue skies

week 3
 tired nights and planning

week 4
art opening and planting

week 5
city crawling and submerging

week 6
loss and heat

 week 7
 care and color

week 8
brief moments of quiet and a whole lot of sound

week 8
solo and not solo

week 9
 wishes and wandering

week 10
listening, watching and waiting

elementary school starts next week here in the deep south. today we found out about class lists and new teachers.  we will meet friends and enjoy the days leading up to monday. i finally finished painting for a new show opening in a week so there will be some varnishing this week. but as summer "closes" here in the south, next week i am going to go to my studio just to clean up, rearrange, reassess, think, read, write, explore, rest and find a little renewal. new painting will come later. 

i love what susan rothenberg says about her day. 


in august

in august i feel as if i cannot breathe.  it's ok.  it will go away in september.

yesterday we learned that next to every few hair follicles in our skin there is a tiny muscle that is triggered by our senses and perceptions of reality. when we are chilled or have fear, all at once these hundreds of tiny muscles pull together like louvers forcing our hairs to stand on end.  the action causes the skin suspended over the surface to dimple. they create a field of goose bumps - a new landscape.

how much do you notice the air around you? the changes in pressure, the wind? where is your brain?  in your hands, in your feet and the tiny split nerve in your middle finger?

i may not paint bodies, but perhaps i am really painting figures in some way, because what is a landscape if not an area of a body's surface that reacts to our imaginations? perhaps i am always painting a territory at minus 10 to the 10 times x; hills and valleys that open up forever. 

so in august, due to body memories, my skin is more imaginative.  it over-reacts.  it stands on end, not because of anything that is happening at the moment, but because skin has memory.

skin is a landscape.  skin can burn like a prairie fire that heats to be renewed. it is a territory with marks and boundaries and places to dig.  a place that is hot, pouring out, and spreading because it has no place left to go.

so i paint. 

will be at the upcoming show
at One Twelve Gallery
i will also have 10 additional new pieces on view.


our notice sudden is

1. scale
2. territory
3. boundary

what quantifies a territory?  is it the edges of your street haunt?  the changes in the sidewalk pattern struck by a mason's line; your private my public?  it is the difference between our grasses?  mine unruly and meandering, dotted with flowers and undesirable strays of alien weeds and yours so manicured and straight?  is it the avenue and the beginning of the bay, where the city falls off into salt?

our notice sudden is she said.  i can't help this obsession with tiny shifts of territory, scale and texture.

i can't help but notice that my skin is full of landscapes so infinite that i am a walking universe of waterfalls, islands, and butterflies changing the course of history with the swipe of my arm.

our notice sudden is, 12" x 12" oil, acrylic and graphite on panel.

installation photo, {Poem 88}, Atlanta


love letter

a love letter to painting:
i don't want to fill up the space between us when we meet like this.  between us i want to drift, with thick space to trip over. because between us is desire and if i get to you and you get to me then we have shortened our individual longing and that may be dangerous.  - hfc

some details and beginnings of new things.

drift, 36" x 24" oil paint acrylic and graphite on canvas