Thursday, May 19, 2011

In the Interim

foam-plate-loonpolystyrene foam plate
My life has become hugely unpredictable and rather busy lately. The former is more disturbing than the latter. I like having ‘my ducks all in a row’ so to speak. Mess up the little rituals and routines of the day, and I get rather lost. I’ve tried to keep up with my art, but it’s not just a matter of lost hours, but so many uncomfortable things to think about of late. At any rate, my in-laws are now playing the waiting game, the least desired ‘coming of age’ ritual that only the luckiest (if you consider maximum number of years spent on this planet desirable) will get to. They are both on lists for what in Ontario is called long-term care (aka nursing home) as of last Friday.  Until they get their placements, everyone involved, especially them, and my husband and I are in what I will henceforth refer to as the Pickle.
It is said Pickle that caused me to have to discard a perfectly wonderfully aged and pitted gelatin plate. I’d barely had the opportunity to work with it, and neglected in the fridge, it was weeping (literally) away. Gelatin, apparently, needs care and attention too. It also smells when it doesn’t get washed on a regular basis. So after sending it to the Great Municipal Compost Heap I declared it the Last Gelatine Plate until said Pickle is resolved or I can otherwise schedule a series of uninterrupted days with it.
In the interim, I will continue to do what I call ‘dry work’, when I have the time, and more importantly, the inclination. The inclination is what is fading fastest, as there is not much good on my mind. So drawing the plates and carving linoleum are still on the table. Multilayered, mixed method, gelatin plate monoprints are off. So I thought, what the heck, for a while (we are talking months here) I’ll have to make do with WIP’s, ATC’s, and photo’s.
Hopefully, next time I cook up a gelatin plate, I will have heaps of relief plates and carves stacked in neat categories, ready to press, and layer and orchestrate into something wonderful.
spirals-softoleum
softoleum carvings
PS. I may delete Pickle details in a few days, as this contains a few more personal details than my online blogging comfort  zone, but I thought it was time for an update. The short of it is, the Pickle is the same situation I was thrown into in January, the only change is that finally, it is kind of, sort of, limited in time with a possible kind of, sort of happy ending possible. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Small World

dicentra_canadensis72
Squirrel corn, dicentra canadensis
asurum_canadense72
asurum canadense/wild ginger
blue_cohosh
Blue Cohosh,Caulophyllum thaictroides
sarcosypha_coccinea72
Scarlet cup/sacosypha coclinea
These are all from my walks in Hollidge Tract, York Regional Forest. There is a lot to see if you look down.  The last photo is a montage, with a close up of the the little tiny scarlet cup that you can see in the background (look to the top right of the close-up).
The blue cohosh fascinates me in spring. In just a few days it will look like any other plant, but it comes up matt black/blue and alien looking.  I love it at this stage.
The wild ginger is another tiny treasure. The blossom is as big as my thumb.
And the squirrel corn is a delicate springtime favourite with an unfortunately bland name. Dicentra canadensis sounds much more suitable in this case.
Digital cameras with auto-focus and optical zooms are also a wonderful thing. All it takes to get these shots are a good eye and dirty knees.
And maybe, to make the tie with the last post, Enjoy your moments, I should add that all these photo's are taken, rather hastily, during my exercise walk. I use walking (and sometimes cycling) as it is good for both mind and body. I can't imagine why anyone would churn away on a treadmill like a hamster on a wheel.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Enjoy Your Moments

11050302geese72
On the weekend we took my mom-in-law to the hospital to visit her husband. He is 90 and she is 86; they’ve been married for 51 years.  In the rehab lounge, we all sat together, my husband, myself, mom and dad-in-law and my dog (yes, they do allow family dogs as visitors (rehab area only) to the hospital). There were other patients in there too, to pet the dog, to watch tv, to chat with us, and to help my dad-in-law with his lunch.  It was, in spite of circumstances, a bit of a party.  Then, when the others filed out, my dad-in-law began to sing to his wife. I’ve never in my life heard him sing, or say anything remotely romantic, but he sang old romantic sentimental songs eyeball to eyeball with his aging wife and she listened and tapped her feet. I had chills up my spine, being witness to that moment, one of the most romantic moments I’ve ever seen (including books and movies).
When my dad-in-law stopped he got sad, and said, ‘but it’s all only memories’.  How sad, and how wrong, that moment in the hospital, the here and the now was such a thing of immense power.
It’s no wonder geese have been on my mind since then; known for life long monogamous partnerships, I think in a round about way I’ve been attempting to capture that moment.
Image Above: monoprint on mulberry paper. Geese are painted onto plate and pressed. I’m working on a foam plate version of the same drawing.
Image Below: Wolf and Raven monoprint. Gelatin plate and foam and linocut relief. For close up details, you can hobble on over to my fineartamerica site.
11050301dog-bird72 Wolf & Raven details at fineartamerica

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