Monday, March 31, 2008

The Faramia Duo

This was our double trapeze act, the name being a combination of mine (Mia) and Donna's last (Farina). The tent in the little painting is the Big Apples's but we didn't have that name until we went out on the road with a three ring show on the west coast.
A bit of history in paint...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Drop

more water
and always the head butt of dark and light
one of the more exciting things to happen in the great mess of painting while extracting a readable image from it
really, the attempt to paint light (thus employing its opposite) is the reason for much of the centuries of fuss..its a pretty good reason, too
and thus we come to color which is the blush at the word, the swoon at the touch, to light

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

dark scribble

...a bit of detail from an old, old painting, from the time of acrylics, which for me feels prehistoric. I still love scribbles and they have shown up in my newest painting as undercurrents in the atmosphere of the studio. I like that they are pure hand and yet completely open to illusionist reading. Hence my passion for Twombly.
My brain is too full of images to go such a route. There is no thing that can be seen in or out of the head that isn't a possible painting.
I guess you could say I'm an omnivore inclusivist.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Witttgenstein & Wolff

I did a series of paper paintings using Wittgenstein's aphorisms (as I call them) out of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I don't pretend to understand the book at all, but I really like the little bits. This one caused a lot of reaction when I hung it in a show at a restaurant upstate. The show was called Sex & Death and went up around Halloween. I left a blank book for people to give their opinions. No one objected to images of Death (as I usually depict him as a skeleton with one wing), but this piece got to people. No one seems to have read the quote and looked at any of the images included except for the anatomical one. I thought that the selection of volumes (ladle, vagina, skull top, and carved white pumpkin) along with the words was pretty interesting. When I'm in the studio I'm not thinking of ways to unglue the viewer. Its more about what I find fascinating and visually twisty enough to unlock the eyes, brain & heart together. And then, of course, I always want to share it with others.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jungle Island at Night

This is an imaginary place I often painted. Not unlike City of Green Fire, it maintains permanent real estate in my mind. I have a yearning to go back to dreamy places. There is a landscape brewing, and I have been collecting peripheral images to encourage it.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I went to the Met to see Chinese scroll paintings (dreamy, glorious entities), and then walked through Central Park. The bluebells and hellebore were up and blooming. There was music everywhere and I stopped to draw a group near the bandshell. This was the base player:

While they were playing a large hawk flew into a nearby tree. It was a very light colored bird. I don't know if it was Pale Male, but certainly of his lineage if not. It took off and flew over the crowd, dropping its huge shadow across us. The band played on.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

one-armed handstand on the water

A long time ago I wrote a short story where the ending was this image. It was a science fiction story about a circus performer who works with a show that travels to other planets. With a bit of editing:

From the building I walk down to the sea. I step out onto the water. The clear emerald face meets my foot with a cold tongue. Below swim the creatures of this sea, their clouds the white soles of my feet, and between us my reflection, breaking and reforming with the swells. I walk out far enough to lose sight of land. I am the single vertical on the plane of moving water.
Bending over I see movement in the depths; movement beyond my own liquid face that comes up to meet me. Cautiously I place one hand on the surface and shift weight into that shoulder. The cold wet clasps my fingers. I bend my knees and spring up, all weight coming down through one arm. There, balanced; one armed handstand on the water. A small wave slaps my wrist. Wind blows spray into my face. I taste salt.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

drinking the trees

I think its about time to start breathing in the green, consider light that penetrates leaves before it palms your eyes, and take the draught of arboreal spirits.
In the meantime I watched No Country for Old Men and relished the taste of dust, blood, and metal. I don't think that was exactly the point, although it certainly was part of the flavor. I really like Cormac McCarthy. I found his book The Road to be one of the best I've read in the last few years.

Friday, March 21, 2008

shorthand water

I found this series of tiny canvases I did a ways back..all of water. I see it now as a shorthand of things I have expanded on since, especially with the Catspider paintings:

I like the abbreviated forms of line and iconography, but am equally fascinated with realizing the whole dream in my head. It would be interesting to go back and forth within the same time period.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

in the studio

We are working on new shapes in the lyra. The painting (behind me) is creeping along, although I'm sick of painting my own face. I went to the Frick the other day and soaked up some serious magic, came home and worked again on my face. I'm looking forward to someone else's.
The wind is blowing fierce up from the harbor. It has a silky,throaty sound that makes the traffic seem tinny.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ink & pastel

A bit of chalk and sooted water, a little dip into an odd movie (Kiss of the Spider Woman), and you get this. It doesn't take much to nudge the hand and eye into imagistic action. Actually the brain is usually jabbering away behind the controls, trying to wrest them in that direction most of the time. Although, sometimes its nice just to watch the movie of possibilities roll by and laze back in the viewer's couch.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

double trapeze rigging

If you can't quite manage the walking on water bit, aerial work is very satisfying.
..and the great thing about visual art is that you can do anything. Its an illusion, and thus infinitely protean.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ides of March

A Piscean's dream, to walk on water, so that the soles of one's feet would feel the kiss of sea, yet resist the temptation of gravity.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Year's Eve 1995

...collaged from my massage school notebook doodles, various fancy papers, photos of another paper piece, and a bit of watercolor...

water lilly pads

A scribble & a scratch of paint on raw linen...
Sometimes you have to go opaque to get transparent & reflective.
I find that the impulse to do the offhand loose and make the detailed, in-depth depiction are arguing for the reins in my brain.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

nothing fancy, just water

It's the time of Pisces. All that is needed is a body of the above. Therein the fish will disappear like Alice down her terrestrial tunnel. There is no problem with up, down or sideways. Its all available for laze, swim or hover. The diagonal fin dance is also good.
The truth is that the fish lives in this element all year around, but now the rendition of its face becomes beautifully transparent.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

don't eat any large rocks & prophecies

I find it ridiculously perfect that I still find this painting amusing and aesthetically in harmony with my brain.
I think I might still have it somewhere.
And then there is this one which was painted even earlier (1973?). The mysterious orange V which I scribbled into the surface has always intrigued me. I have no idea why I did it, except as a bit of Delphic graffiti in honor of my red haired son, Virgil, who arrived 17 years later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

into the night

There are two jackhammers going at once, the roar of some other machinery and the thud and scrape of a backhoe. I don't see the gigantic pipe that was on the flatbed...actually the flatbed seems to be gone. Maybe the pipe is in the ground already. I have a huge bucket of ice in the bathroom.
Running water and plumbing are glorious.

collapse of civilization (local)

When you wake up to the sound of helicopters circling endlessly overhead you know that something is broken, escaped, shot, or caught in the act. All it takes is one pipe. In this case the water main on Church Street. Just glad I don't live around the corner from the governor.

small iceberg

This was probably done in the 70's, also (like the last post). I still have that odd sort of humor, although I haven't done any simplistically inscripted works lately.
Icebergs appeal and so do the little furrows of the lettering...

Monday, March 10, 2008

lost painting story

This huge painting (maybe 8 feet across or more) was done in the 70's. I bet my boyfriend $100 that he couldn't quit smoking. I lost the bet but didn't have the money, so I gave him this.
He lived (with a myriad of roommates) in a warren of business offices converted briefly to illegal living spaces somewhere in midtown. There was lots of space to hang such a canvas. Of course, when he moved out he had nowhere to take it to, we had lost touch, and he had to leave it.
It is based on a memory of swimming across an upstate lake early in the morning. I would watch the passage of my arm beneath me as the light rippled across its pale length and them disappeared into the depths.
Since then he has told me that he always liked it, and looking at it now, I realize that it was one of the good ones in the years of many misses.

Nice Painting

This is another small painting done from life in one sitting. My son and I used to call them the "nice paintings" to distinguish them from the ones with images that might possibly put people off. You know, like demon goddesses galloping through lakes of blood on Canal Street (although oddly people love that one) or catspiders peering over the edge of a canoe beached on a flamboyant point edged with rocks and curilicue foliage, or maybe a muscular woman with bright blue fluid pouring from her womb.
The idea was that people might be more inclined to purchase the nice ones. This turned out to not be true. I have sold a few nice pieces, but no more, really, than the strange ones.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Paint is OK, photo is dangerous

I went to the Courbet show yesterday. The portraits are great; the landscapes are clunky. His Origin of the World, above, was off in a side room with a bunch of photos of nude women, and one that you had to view through binoculars, sequestered in a box, of an image very similar to Origin. The painting has much more of a hit than the photo. It's because the skin breathes and he is wonderful with hair and fur.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wolff Poem

The painter’s favorite clich├ęs

Running through the dark
I carry a bottle of light;
with heart in mouth,
like a thief in the night.

Inside the glass
the magic moves:
slippery, invisible:
easy to lose.

I reach in & catch it:
a one-armed circus trick.
There my heart breaks:
cut to the quick.

Falling down between teeth
it pools in the ocean’s lake,
beyond reach,
leaving behind its perfect taste:

I am kissing the ghost
drinking the stuff—
I am walking on water:
gravity’s transparent lust.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Braided Bead Necklace

Last Saturday I went out to my friend Sally's and we went downstairs into her studio and strung beads for three hours. She showed me her technique of braiding the cord and weaving the beads throughout. I finally emerged with this undersea encrusted event:

Dead Bird

This is from the paint-like-a-maniac-for-three-hours-from-life series. Feathers, fur and water all are difficult & seductive materials. Perhaps I'll try butterfly wings this summer--they seem to be made out of beautifully colored dust that hovers together on patterned latticework.

Agamemnon's flowers

These are the ruins of Agamemnon's palace at Mycenae in spring. About now. The wild flowers are a froth of tiny blooms that hum with bees. The air is sweet and strokes your skin with a velvet care. You can see for miles in all directions and the Lion Gate still stands.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

looking south

The soft blur lights of twilight downtown, the crystal angles of architecture & flag; maybe underwater, maybe inside illuminated canyons; whatever, on the way home.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

what's happening in the studio

...Britt Nhi in her lyra. We are working on a new piece that involves heels and long hair, not to mention a very interesting interaction with Baby on Fire. Behind her is the new painting with just a bare bones sketch. I like it when things are moving, developing and overlapping visually & physically. Its like the sound of the ocean before you actually can see it.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Portrait of the rabbit that my son gave me for my upcoming birthday:

more bones