July 15, 2014
What is in a number? Is there a right number for an artist’s life work? Certainly other artists in history have made much more than 2400 works. Others less. Much depends on the size of the work and the speed of execution. I have a balance of quick work, slow work, small work and large work. So I would expect my lifetime of accumulation to be about average.
Most artists don’t painstakingly catalogue their work. Perhaps they are too successful in the here and now of marketing and exhibiting to be bothered by it. The cataloguing for me has certainly been time consuming. I also think that the catalogue is a contribution for a posterity that may never be but there if needed. It has helped benefit scholars who have written about my work.
I must confess that it was a hard sell for me when my brother, a scholar editor an archivist himself, first proposed the project. It would take too much time I whined. And there was this problem of having to confront mortality. When we first designed the archive and defined catagories for items (i.e. drawings, mosaics, paintings, paintings in series etc.) we had to agree upon an upper limit to a number. The limit was 999 for each category. In other words, I probably wouldn’t do more than 999 of any one type of art before I DIED. That is most likely correct but to see it in black and white was rather intimidating. Thus far I have not surpassed the 500 mark in any one category but with over 342 drawings and maybe a few more years left I suppose it would be possible.
For now, I’ll celebrate the number 2400 with a hope for many more to come.
July 14, 2014
June 26, 2014
June 25, 2014
June 19, 2014
June 18, 2014
These days, when I revise a drawing, I sometimes find that the revisions spawn new illustrations and poems. This is what happened with the Cave Cat revision. My first remake was patterned after the cave paintings in Chinese Han tombs. But when that drawing was finished, I realized that it no longer went with the “paleolithic” poem. So I wrote a new kitty ditty to go with this drawing and called it “Tomb Cats.” It goes like this:
In sacred spaces where spirits loom
flying cats protect a tomb
filled with objects for veneration
from ages past to the present generation
June 14, 2014
Perhaps I look at these pictures of desserts and read history books about food because I am on a liquid diet after an affront to my precarious digestive system. Interestingly, now that one sense is not stimulated by the visual impact of food I can appreciate it for its form alone. I am no stranger to the art of making pictures of food not eaten. There was a time in England when my stomach gave out for a while and I was obliged to look at food but not partake. The drawing above dates from that time, when I was served a plate of dumplings that I could only look at. I made this drawing in appreciation of the aesthetic form of the dumplings carefully arranged on their oblong serving tray. A second drawing, not pictured, followed of my husband eating the dumplings. By making the drawings I need not enjoy food solely in a vicarious way.
AT the time I made the food drawings the only tool I had on hand was a black ink pen in my purse. In order to make them more appealing as drawings I recently resurfaced them with grey, black and white pastels.