Monday, October 20, 2014

Wolff in Brooklyn

When I was in art school I wrote poems about autumn and my feet.
Its autumn now and I’m living in the same exact neighborhood.  I walk the sidewalks and absorb the nameless colors of the pavement stones, the cement, the bark of trees and the drift of fallen leaves.  There are hills that lend geographical meaning to my walks, even if there seems to be a destination and a prize (a ladder, a lunch, a new sketchbook), the actual volume of the land has far more weight than any excursion’s impulse.  The untethered quality of my body is exaggerated because my equilibrium is broken.  I move through the streets as though hydroplaning.  Exactness doesn’t seem desperately precious until it departs.
So much is possible and unwritten that I lean into the ghosts that occasionally accompany me.  They, of course, can only offer furry warmth.  It is not nothing, but it isn’t related to the manipulation of the days.  It is a back blow glow of love.  It is definitely something because it is what I have lost in the real time of this dimension.  But I cannot access it in a retinal, tactile way.  I cannot hear their voices.  It is the autumn of intuition; it is the autumn of the cracked heart.  Radar is off, sonar is down and the stride of my feet is unpredictable.
When I wrote of my feet I was interested in what a month of walking barefoot in Brooklyn had done to my souls and heels.  Ridiculous or not I remember it with nostalgia for the strange, dreamy focus of an 18 year old trying to be an artist.  The searing energy of that time propelled me buoyantly and haphazardly forward.  My lack of finesse and discernment was melded with a hypnotic ability to focus visually, and to work.  I made lots of bad paintings, lots of silly drawings.  But there were some gems that fell, fairytale-like from my frog-spewing hand.  It was gloriously unedited and overseen only by the impulse to move my hand across a piece of paper or canvas.  I drew all the time and everywhere.  I drew on the subway; I drew the ballet classes at Julliard when the Royal Ballet from London was in town, always hoping that Nureyev would show up.  I drew in Eric’s, the local bar---you could drink at 18 then.  I drew sitting in the hallway in front of my dorm room.  I painted everything that seemed paint worthy, which in my case was figurative, dream imagery.  Only later did I try to be more of an abstract, even minimalist artist.  An interesting phase in which I painted and drew fields of color with odd, X-marks-the-treasure-spot scribbles, occasionally words.  That didn’t last and I returned to the creation of spaces and unfinished narratives.   I relinquished monochromatic and grey tones for the world of intense color.  My crazy, shoeless self was back.
And so, here again on the same sidewalks, although the neighborhood is vastly changed, there is still a lingering sense of those cracked feet.  Can I find that ruthless propulsion into image making without the barefoot month?  This is perhaps a question for my ghosts.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

in the wake of March

After a year of working on a single piece, Conference of the Birds, then arranging to have it framed, and suddenly having the wall empty again--the time of Pisces came in and a month of painting craziness happened.  In it's wake: eight paintings, as though the tide of March washed in and left treasures on the beachfront of my studio.  Now to wonder what the returning waters will bring...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shell & Glass

oil on mahogany     5 X 11

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Paintings!

                                                                   Baba & Upasni

                                                            Conference of the Birds

                                                                    Glass & Wood

                                                                           Owl 1

                                                                          Owl 2

                                                                            Owl 3

Monday, August 12, 2013

Artist house

Where I live becomes the inside of my head.  Over years it develops a patina of flavor.  It has vistas and it has weather detailing.   There are favorite sites, even views from high places.  They all flow one into another, changing with the time, the light, the mood, and the author's intervention...

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Today I received a missive from someone who had a dream, wherein our recently deceased, mutual friend sent her a message for me.  The message was that he heard me and that he was there (with me).  The dreamer and I have never met, although we have both heard of each other.
So goes the morning.
As I recently told another friend I often feel that I am not good at being a human being.  Not that I'm a bad one, just some confusion about the lay of the land.
Or perhaps a rather huge confusion about the geography of here, and now.
I find the best way to navigate this lack of clarity is to paint.  Then I am making beautiful maps.  I suspect they are largely unrelated to what other humans perceive, but always hope that the tourist delight I take in making them will come across.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Surfing the City sometimes its just too hard to be human.  Let me be a carrot with beautiful hair, or an oak tree with years of days in the sun, the rain, the animal infestations, just growing and loosing my leaves.
And then I go out into the tide of city, cut through the crowd on a good knee day, and perhaps sidle on the others.  The energy surrounds, defiles, uplifts, and regardless of how you feel, will carry you.  The trick is to be in cahoots with it.  This is my buddy; the crazy, giant city, effluence.  I'm with it.  I'm gonna ride this wave till I can't carry the board to the sea, and then I'll hopefully find the sea at my doorstep, my inner door and then at my feet every morning.

Monday, August 5, 2013

NYC August morning

There is a lick of cool in the air, and although it's only the beginning of August I can taste the end of summer before it exhales its last great breath of heat over us.  Since there were those several weeks of truly grim weather--this is a joy, only slightly flavored with the melancholy of change.
I've been working on my new website Wolff Land.  There will be a video sometime, hopefully soon.  Spent a Sunday working with director and camera person which was wonderful.  I hadn't know that you could use a camera lens like a brush.  I liked being directed.  It allowed me to just surf on ideas and images and not think too hard about structure. They even filmed me painting, which at first I was reluctant to do, but the minute I started fooling with colors on a surface the camera didn't seem too important.
All is in flux and I'm almost four weeks five weeks through my six week Intensive Chinese class.  My brain daily takes in a huge amount of information and daily rejects some.  It will be interesting to see what remains when the tide of intensive recedes.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Garden of Light |

The website is up!    You can actually buy prints, or paintings......or just wander through the rooms listening to the paintings talk to each other.   It's a museum, also.
The Wolff Museum

This is just one place you could go:

Garden of Light |

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Monday's Ghost

It was a Monday when I met the ghost.  He was standing on the corner near my loft, kind of leaning on the air.  He was a bit Silver Surfer, a bit old style hippie, but mostly not there.  I saw him right away but didn't understand how to see him. I got that no one else was seeing him, and that put me right into the realm of life shock that I inhabit much of the time anyway.  Like when I was giving birth to my son...I kept thinking in the midst of God awful contractions: Am I really having a baby?  As though I hadn't gone through every moment of those 9 months.
So there was the ghost. I went as close as I could and brushed against him.  His naked not-thereness silked across my forearm blooming sky-bluish on my skin.  It rippled up my arm and sunrose in my chest like a reverse heart attack. I hadn't been looking directly at him, but at that I jerked my head up to try and see his eyes.  And of course he wasn't there.  The sky-blue ghost scrape was, though.  People thought it was paint.  I'm a painter so that seems logical.  It’s nice when you can string some events together and make a coherent sentence.
The ghost bruise lasted a long time and it troubled my dreams, which are crowded already. Its sensation ran through my night narratives and I would wake up missing the missing.  I would go out, stand on that corner and loiter.
One day as I was carrying groceries home he was walking next to me.  He put one hand under my backpack and lifted up the weight.  I was afraid to say any thing as there were a lot of people on the streets, and I wasn't ready to go to the crazy lady talking to herself place, yet. He went the whole ten blocks to my door,  then bowed away and there was only the sidewalk to see. The food in my backpack tasted really good, and the bunch of pale pink roses that had been in there, poking out, were now the most glamorous blue violet.
It all sounds very Tim Burton on a happy day, right?  Talking to people had gotten a little harder.  I was always on the edge of saying: Hey guess what happened to me? And then knowing I just couldn't go there.  I have many fringe friends living the jury-rigged life, but I couldn't get myself to say anything.  There began to be odd pauses in some of my conversations. One day I was with an old friend who has somewhat of a bitter take on certain life tendencies.  She was telling me how men held little interest for her now that the honey pot was gone.  I demurred and brought up certain male friends of my own, suggesting that she might reconsider the interaction with the testosterone sector, at which she said: You're so open minded the wind blows right through it.
The next time I saw the ghost he seemed much older.  It made my arm ache and I wanted to hug him.  I actually stepped forward to do it, almost colliding with a Mom and her twin stroller.  As I reached my arms out he leapt through me and away, like an arrow that had pierced and then turned into a bird.  I was standing in the middle of the sidewalk just beyond the Mom and the double decker stroller with his fog tickling my ears.  It was terrible because I stared to cry, big luscious tears jumping out of my eyes, sailing past my face and sploosing on the ground.  And they were ever so faintly blue.  That's when I knew my friend was right, except the wind had blown right through my heart.