Muses

Muses

I am not drawn to the more contemporary understanding of a muse as a particular person who inspires an artist to create work, almost like a love letter about the one objectified as the muse. I am more interested in the ancient Greek understanding of the muses. They are more like nymphs who could be found in forests and streams. They are capricious beings who have ideas of their own and they are looking for someone to help them manifest those ideas into tangible creations in the world. They are transient collaborators at best.

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Solstices/Equinoxes: Work-In-Progress

Solstices/Equinoxes: Work-In-Progress

Solstices/Equinoxes Work-In-Progress Spring Equinox Solstices/Equinoxes: Spring Equinox, 40 in. x 77 in., Oil on 3 wood panels, 2016 Solstices/Equinoxes Project Overview These are the main questions that I posed for this project: How do the colors of the creek change throughout a day? How does the colors of the creek change over the year? Procedure at the creek On the solstices and equinoxes of one year, I spent the entire day from before sunrise to after sunset at the gauging station of Watershed 2 at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. Beginning precisely at sunrise, I took a photo of the... Read More
Faith

Faith

Faith Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Faith Part 4: Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Lookout Creek on the Winter Solstice I don’t have faith in many things at the moment. This year, so far, has been one of those years to shake most of it out of me. However, I do have faith in one thing. It has never failed me, not even once. I trust that the world is beautiful (although I still haven’t been able to figure out why it is so). My artwork depends on it.... Read More
Wonder – Why is the world so beautiful?

Wonder – Why is the world so beautiful?

Wonder Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson An Open Letter to Robin Wall Kimmerer Why is the World So Beautiful? Wonder An Open Letter to Robin Wall Kimmerer: Why is the world so beautiful? Part 3: Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Penguin Crossing Dear Robin Wall Kimmerer, At the end of his presentation at the Arts/Sciences Convergences at OSU introduction, poet and writer Charles Goodrich asked this question on your behalf: Why is the world so... Read More
Patience

Patience

Patience Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson Patience Part 1: Responses to the essay Poetry-Science Gratitude Duet by Alison Hawthorne Deming and Frederick J. Swanson 200 Year Log Decomposition Study Patience is at the essence of the log decomposition study at HJ Andrews. Mark Harmon began the study of forest ‘morticulture’ at the Andrews about 30 years ago. It is designed to continue for 200 years. How patient must one be to wait to know that the answer that you are seeking will not be found during your own lifetime?... Read More
Silence

Silence

Silence     “He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” Elbert Hubbard Silence has been on my mind lately, especially when I am in my studio painting. Without silence there is no music, no prose, no composition. It is only through silence and emptiness that form can emerge. Recently I went to the symphony and I paid careful attention to the silences. They are between the notes, they separate the movements, and they mark the end of a piece. The silence that occurs between the last note, and the first cough and shuffle from the audience, hums... Read More
Progress Report – Rot Midpoint Layer 6

Progress Report – Rot Midpoint Layer 6

Work In Progress: ROT Midpoint Layer 6 October 25, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 6 (midpoint) October 25, 2015 Layer 6 is still in progress. The paper has not been painted and in some places is not fixed to the piece. Layer 6 in its unfinished form contrasts with the earlier layers to more easily show the building of the layers of the piece. Typically, I’m not too keen on documenting my work in progress. Exposing the awkwardness of  developing piece is something I avoid, usually to protect the uneven growth of the work. I need to provide space for it to safely fail, to have the freedom to... Read More
Rot In Progress Layer 5

Rot In Progress Layer 5

Work In Progress: ROT Layer 5 October 11, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 5 October 11, 2015 Typically, I’m not too keen on documenting my work in progress. Exposing the awkwardness of  developing piece is something I avoid, usually to protect the uneven growth of the work. I need to provide space for it to safely fail, to have the freedom to hit a dead end and make a U-turn. Already this piece has hit many dead ends. Many iterations died before anything was ever manifested. But, I make an exception for the ROT exhibition at the Art Center in Corvallis. I agreed to blog about it. Waiting... Read More
Rot Work in Progress: Layer 2

Rot Work in Progress: Layer 2

Work In Progress: ROT Layer 2 August 29, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT Layer 2 August 29, 2015 I’ve reached the stage where I feel that this project is too insane. My hands and back hurt hurt and the process seems to be an endless tedious Sisyphean task that will produce nothing but a piece of crap. Oh, yes, I’m familiar with this part of the creative process. The only thing to do at this stage is to keep on going. It will evolve into something new tomorrow, next week or next month. Image below: Layer 2 Gouache on Paper 17 1/2 in. x 70 in. The map pins are gone. I couldn’t... Read More
Work in Progress: ROT August 15

Work in Progress: ROT August 15

Work In Progress: ROT August 15, 2015 Work In Progress: ROT August 15, 2015 Typically, I’m not too keen on documenting my work in progress. Exposing the awkwardness of  developing piece is something I avoid, usually to protect the uneven growth of the work. I need to provide space for it to safely fail, to have the freedom to hit a dead end and make a U-turn. Already this piece has hit many dead ends. Many iterations died before anything was ever manifested. But, I make an exception for the ROT exhibition at the Art Center in Corvallis. I agreed to blog about it. Waiting until... Read More
Gauges

Gauges

I’ve been in one of those post-project/pre-project limbo funks. These are the times that, I have been told, I am the most difficult to live with. I don’t have grounding in the limbo times: I’ve let go of the last project, but I haven’t yet grabbed a hold of a new one. Lack of grounding is known to make me irritable. Sometimes, if the limbo time starts to drag on, it becomes uncomfortable. The unknown starts to feel oppressive and I get anxious. I start to think that I have used up my entire allotment of ideas for my lifetime, as if there is a fixed amount, but... Read More

What Will Scientists Gain From Collaborating With Artists?

The last question a student asked of my work after my Portland Community College lecture was, ‘What do you think scientists will gain from collaborating with artists?’ This was probably the most important question of the evening. I didn’t have a very good answer at the time because it’s a question I am still working through myself. I told her that I don’t know. It was the honest answer. But I have some thoughts on what I would like to see happen through collaboration, some of which I attempted to explain. I think that too many people are disconnected from their own creativity. This is a... Read More

Failed Paintings and Seeds of Ideas

I developed a concept and created sketches and reference material for some paintings. I constructed and prepared a panel and got to work on the first painting of the series. A few days into it I realized I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the way that it was turning out and I wasn’t engaged with the idea. This is not a good combination. In the past I may have struggled with it for a while. I may have dragged myself into the studio to try to revive a dying thing. But this time, when I realized that this painting and series didn’t have a future, I just stopped and walked away. The hardest thing... Read More

A Little Creative Flow

After my October residency at HJ Andrews nothing happened. It was like the experience stopped any and all creative flow. I actually started to get worried that I had used up my good idea quota. It took three months, but then an idea started to form. In late January I headed back to HJ Andrews to take some reference photos. My plan was to go to two locations on Lookout Creek, at a bridge, the other higher up along a trail in the old growth forest. It was a cold, wet day, but fairly warm for January. It was only spitting slush; at least it wasn’t snowing. But as I got closer to my first... Read More

Studio News & Events

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