Friday, May 29, 2009

Artist Talk for Where Do We Go From Here?

I often create visual metaphors inspired from paging through books.  In creating these surreal images I have found myself moving toward a more photography feel.... this media supports a sense of reality while keeping a nod to the Mannerist. 

But the book arts is still my first love.

I have felt that many where disheartened by the actions of the pervious administration, causing a questioning of our personal and national culture and identity. The title "where do we go from here?" inspired me to create a small collection of realizations and tools for realignment.  As with any loss I have found it is good to take stock in the things around you.  Evaluate where you have been, what your doing right now and where to go from here... In the beginning of a body of work I like to pick a place on the planet to focus on either by visiting or learning all that I can about that place. 

Bali, for some reason came to me. 

"In Bali this locating on the planet is very imperative into the geography of their culture. The whole idea of Bali is a matrix, a massive and invisible grid of spirits, guides, path and customs. The Balinese know were everyone belongs on this great, intangible map. They are human GPS. 

The Balinese don’t let their newborn children touch the ground for the first six months, newborns are gods sent straight from heaven.... and it wouldn’t be acceptable for a god to crawl around.... So, for the first six months  the babies are carried and revered as minor deities... if it dies before the end of the six months it is  given a special cremation ceremony celebrating its god status... 

But if the baby lives a big ceremony is held...

 Family and friends watch as they lightly dip the baby’s feet in a bowl full of holy water, placed above a magic drawing encompassing the whole universe, and they touch her soles to the earth for the first time... when they lift her back up into the air, damp footprints remain. This orients the child at last onto the great Balinese grid, establishing who she is by establishing where she is.  and she is now one of us... a human being with all the risk and thrills that are involved. And for the rest of her life she will answer"

where are you coming from? 

and where are you going from here...

I’m going to weave in and out of these images... 

pulling some of the symbols to your attention...

quoted from "eat love pray"

History: Only in a dream...

3.5" x 4" book board, tin type like process on glass, feather

The first image is looking back on history.
There is a widespread and ancient belief after death, 

the soul leaves the body in the form of a bird. 

Many religions have heavenly beings or spirits with wings: 

angels, cherubs or seraphim for example. 

Consequently the bird is a symbol of the spirit. 

Birds can be mediators between gods and men, 

and even act as vehicles for the gods. 

Birds are seen in myths involving a Tree of Life, 

and are sometimes depicted fighting 

with or carrying a serpent, symbolizing the uneasy

 balance between the sun (as bird) and the waters (as serpent).

 And of course this comes from our own agricultural beginnings. 

In most religious art the subject boils down to 

the struggle between good and evil.  

This piece symbolis how history handled good and evil 

by the use of the mediator.

 I think in the last sereval years the 

appreciation of the mediator was lost. 

Realization: Once there was a way home...

4"x 6"mixed media digital image on blank old photo album 

I return to this issue again again... 

it is something I really struggle with in my own practice... 

This really embodies the idea that you can never really ever return to way it was or that moment... 

this is loss and grief but depending on how you choose to move forward with it or not...  

And this being the only photo of an empty photo book... 

a reminder you cannot go back in history and live there 

aka.. you can never go home again...

(pick up photo and read the back...) 

 You are mourning when there is no cause to lament, 

and yet you speak words that seem to be wise. 

The truly wise lament neither for the living nor the dead....

 don’t lament but live in the present.. 

Present: Self Portrait

But before moving forward

it is best to stop at this moment and 

evaluate how things are running... 

have a 1,000 mile check up of sorts... 

Future: Standing in the Shadowlands

8" x 10" heavy weight paper, hand colored digital mixed media image

From this present state comes a link to the future... 

but again to not get lost in the thinking of 

the future but just an judicatory....  

Tools 1: Luck

3"x4" digital image some hand coloring, beads, dice

Then I began to make tools... 

to reaffirm the skills acquired in the evaluation.

 Buddhist and hindus often wear strings of beads called japa malas. 

This is used to stay focused during prayerful meditation. 

The beads are held in one hand and fingered in a circle... 

one bead for each mantra. 

The Crusaders admired this technique then created the rosary... 

I have transfered it to luck... 

Malcolm Gadwell just wrote a book on the secret to success.... 

He feels talent had little to do with

 it but boil down to hard work and luck... 

& everyone could use a little luck...

Tools 2 : Seeing by Skull Light

7" x 9.5" cut to image boards, stands, digital image some hand coloring

When you see things by deaths light you see the world in its truest form.... 

This is based on a folk tale about a girl named Vasalisa 

and her journey back from the dark forest 

where she was sent to die by her step mother and sisters. 

This image is the moment on the journey she almost

 throws the skull away but it reassures her.

"Don't throw me away. Keep me. You'll see."

Seeing things by skull light is not forgiving: 

the old are elderly; the beautiful, lush; 

the silly, foolish; the unfaithful are infidels... 

yet things that are amazing become miracles. 

She is thinking of the pain it causes 

to know about self, 

others and 

the nature of the world.

see also posting from 1/20/09

Tools 3: Leaping Formidable Rapids...

4' x6' printed on 100% rag


 I often feel little in the world around me... 

so I felt these large carp could be the perfect guides 

into the Valley of the Giants.. 

In the Far East, the Carp symbolizes perseverance and 

success owning to its ability to leap formidable rapids. 

Its armor-like scales are linked to valor;

 In Japan it is a symbol of the Samurai and of courage.

 And who better to jump into the unknown

 but with a Samurai at your side...

The Unknown: Missing Bird - Last image

4'x6' on 100% Rag Paper
And always one must acknowledge and accept...

The Unknown: Missing Bird.... the missing bird is a king fisher. 

In the East he often denotes a state of bliss. 

While his feathers are prized for their color 

and the magic they bring. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conclusion for Where Do We go from here?

In the last several months, I have used this blog as a sketchbook of sorts.  
I would make images and put them out there. It was a great to have a goal 
to create at least one image every couple of weeks. Then be able to evaluate 
my main concepts and prepare them for the show. Thank you for taking a look.
And as always please feel free to let me know what you think or if you have a question.

For Immediate Release

Where Do We Go From Here?

This June at Sideshow Gallery Portland, four artists come together to present work based on a common interest in working with materials and concepts at hand. Together they are questioning life, taking stock in their surroundings, and forging ahead with a combination of both camaraderie and bootstrap ethic.

Tracy Taylor Nehrling is a Portland – based fibers artist and painter. Her weavings are colorful and contemplative. “Weaving acts as a metaphor for slowing down and being in the present moment.  The majority of decisions are made in this moment, creating spontaneous works based on trust and intuition.”  Beth Robinson is a book artist and storyteller. Her visual metaphors have a playful poignancy. “I have felt that many where disheartened by the actions of the pervious administration, causing a questioning of our personal and national culture and identity. The title "where do we go from here?" inspired me to create a small collection of realizations and tools to move forward. “ Working in tandem, Brianna Cross and Cyan Bott are cooking up a site specific installation. “The contents of the home, re-contextualized, for your viewing pleasure- and the constant irrational juxtaposition of things in the urban environment”

June 4th- June 14th  Hours 1-5

Opening June 4th, 2009 6-8 pm.

Beth Robinson will give an artist talk on June 12th @ 6 pm.

Everett Station Lofts

625 NW Everett Street, #106

Portland, Oregon 97209  

Hope to see you...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hangin with the Muses

 Wallis & Sharon

Sometimes you get by with a little help from your friends...
thank you ladies for over 14 years of friendship...
and often easing my load so I can work better
Cheers to more years....

Where Do We Go From Here?

from left to right:
Tracy Taylor Nehrling
Beth Robinson
Cyan Bott
Brianna Cross

A group show @ SideShow in NW PDX....
the four come together again after a tight bond 
created in their thesis just over a
year ago was formed. 
For a limited engagement
they will stun you with death defying feats 
of artist adventure and creation....

opening : June 4th, 2009 6-8 pm.
I will give an artist talk on June 12th @ 6 pm.

Everett Station Lofts
625 NW Everett Street, #106
Portland, Oregon 97209

here is just a taste of the new work:


but wait until you see the show together........ stay tuned
my hope is we will show together once a year.....

Rock Hunting Retreat

Above: Shannon & Marge
Below: Me, Shannon Weber & Bev Soasey 

A much deserved sleepover rock hunting retreat 
with my eugene ladies.

Check out some of Shannon's Work @ 
and this little video of a place she is inspired by

the amazing sound of rocks rolling in surf.....

Congrats Art School Grads!

This year some amazing artist are graduating!

UO Grad Alex & Proud Mom Marilyn 
& honored me sharing this moment taken the photo 

29- Thesis show at Disjecta

OCAC 2009

 Friday, May 15, 2009
 6:00pm - 9:00pm
 Disjecta Gallery

One of my dear friends from 
Oregon College of Art and Craft....
Zoe Umholtz!

Thanks Whitney & friends for all the work on the Collaborative Art Benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Whitney & Me

What can I say but a great time had by all. 
Great work and awesome support.
Job well done Lady Whitney...
I am looking forward to your next event.

I have to say the spontaneous tango 
dancing was the highlight of the evening.

Check out some of the press: