June 2008 Archives

summer solstice 21

Here it is the longest day of the year.


summer solstice #20

| No Comments
The Day
It's amazing
the day is still here
like lightning on an open field,
terra firma and transient
swimming in variation,
fresh as when man first broke
like the crocus all over the earth.

from the Day by Robert Lowell

summer solstice #19

I watched the sun come up and the colors fade tonight,  I'm told I am a year older today, but I don't feel any wiser.


"There's only about 20 birthdays you should be allowed to celebrate. And the others? You're wasting cake and paper....When you're 20, you get a birthday. Any time you enter a new set of tens: 20, 30, 40, 50, you get a birthday. 21, you get an awesome birthday. And then, THAT'S IT. A birthday every ten years. "I'm 26!" Great, go to work. Who gives a s***?--Patton Oswalt on when you should get a birthday"

summer solstice #18

| No Comments
The day was all moments of lists tasks and appointments. After the sun went down and the moon began to rise over the tops of the trees I had no choice but to  pay attention.


The Moment
It was a day in June, all lawn and sky,
the kind that gives you no choice
but to unbutton your shirt
and sit outside in a rough wooden chair.

from the moment by Billy Collins

summer solstice #17

| No Comments
I've been deep in the studio with the windows wide open to each new gust of cool air. The crisp light highlighted individual grass stems. It was as if grass stalks have been whispering poems to their inky shadows. At the end of the evening I turn off the lights and walk to the house while the huge moon keeps an eye on progress.


The tulip magnolia
writes first in white ink, then in green.
each new twig as ink to the reading mind

- From Ink by Jane Hirshfield

summer solstice # 16

| No Comments
On the 5:00 dog walk the afternoon thunderstorm was fading. As I looked across the pond into the swampy corner it was as if chalky paint had been mixed into the color of every willow, red maple and green ash leaf. By the time we had taken our full spin, the sun was out, hot on my back.The board fencing around the fields was deep black like writing on the hills.


summer solstice #15

| No Comments
We had a lovely dinner on the porch as the light faded from the trees across the pond.  This orange will have to be a stand-in for our dessert of beautiful raspberries. Fireflies in the distance spoke the language of a June night. Happy Fathers Day!

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

summer solstice #14

| No Comments
Last night we took an after dinner walk. At first it seemed so dark we were unsure of the path and as our eyes adjusted the half moon created shadows and encouraged spontaneous interpretive dances, giggles and songs not to mention new insights on cups.

In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.

With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.

In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again may I walk.
My words will be beautiful.

from a Navajo blessing

summer solstice # 13

| No Comments
On a morning walk we discussed our favorite summer memories.  I could start with the last day of school and progress from there. For Zoe it was everything about our annual Maine trip.  For our summer projects Zoe and I often indulged in new art supplies including some new scissors.


summer solstice #12

| No Comments
I borrowed the Mexican cup in the foreground years ago from a friend to use as inspiration for some of my own. It is very low fire red earthenware and more lumpy than my drawing lets on. I am sure it has a lead glaze. When it gets hot and buggy I often find myself thinking about a summer trip to San Blas Mexico when I was in my 20s. We would run through a swamp swatting with bugs away with towels to get to a beach with a palm frond roofed restaurant and a perfect wave that peeled off of a point. The cup must have been made with the reflection of the relaxed heat and the agitation of buzzing mosquitoes.


summer solstice #11

| No Comments
I am never sure what it is that kicks off summer memories. Sometimes it's the smell of privit and honeysuckle on a breeze, other times it's the feeling of dried salt on my skin from swimming in the ocean. Today's sensation of quiet and hot blacktop  made me feel like I was eleven years old.


summer solstice #10

| 1 Comment
There have been no wrenches in our day. Last night's sunset swim set today's tone of long days and many cooling dips.


summer solstice #9

| No Comments
In the early morning light pockets of dry heat surprised me as I walked up the hill with the dog into the sun.The shadows were long and the sky blue with the promise of another steaming day.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us....

Nelson Mandela


summer solstice #8

| No Comments
It has been so hot and humid my brain feels cooked. In the middle of the hot afternoon I took a nap and I dreamed of ice on our pond. In the evening I ran across a poem by Robert Wrigley called fish dreams and the contrasts of the grass eating carp sunning themselves in our June pond with the  icy winter dreams came full circle.

Narrow and cold the fish's world, and sleepless too,
   they say. But think of the long night winter must be,
   how, nuzzling the dark silt depths,
   even a trout might dream of her--that hand,
   the bottomless sky, the same terrible blue of the eye.
  From fish dreams by Robert Wrigley


summer solstice # 5

| No Comments
Someone once told me that my cups looked like drawings of cups. I think of my pots as portraits of forms that are intended to be used. Today's drawing is of a cup designed by Isamu Noguchi, and a cup made by Warren Frederick inspired by Noguchi's inspiration: a Japanese neolithic cup. There are cups we reach for out of habit and there are cups that challenge us to examine our habits both in use and in the making.


summer solstice # 4

| 1 Comment
today's cup floats like  leaf on the pond. Big thunder storms rolled through and created dramatic light and incredible down pours. The graduating high school seniors dipped in the water between and after storms. Water was dripping from roofs, leaves and bodies. 
I drew the wood fired mug and lemon on the table listening to an interview with Lynda Barry on NPR's Talk of the Nation. Lynda became a favorite cartoonist of mine in the 80s when I was dog sitting for my parents and my roommate and I decided to henna the top knot of their chocolate brown standard poodle. Lynda had a cartoon called Poodle with a Mohawk that kind of captured the moment. The dog was beautiful and kind of startling after that. My father thought it was best to walk the dog after dark.

If I didn't try to eavesdrop on every bus ride I take or look for the humor when I go for a walk, I would just be depressed all the time.  Lynda Barry


summer solstice #2

| No Comments
Working hard to keep the abundant June growth in check. Part of my artistic sense wants the gentle chaos of vines, tall grass, and lush growth while another side seeks the simplicity of a mowed field against a blue sky. Either way, the poetry of cups still holds my eye.

you can draw whatever you want. you can draw however you want. it doesn't have to make sense. it doesn't even have to be good. it just has to be you.  -- Jean-Michel Basquiat


June 1st snuck in along with some Virginia humidity like a seasonal alarm clock.  Twice a year I pay attention to the solstice. In December it is a means to focus my aesthetic as the days get shorter and a reminder that the tide will turn towards more light. In June there is an aspect to the humidity that zaps all of my energy and there is another quality that seems to make the greens deeper and I find at every turn there is an image I would like to document.Today it is my morning cup, bowl, and spoon.