A Diary of Making Things

A Work in Progress

I am a process-oriented artist. What that means to me is that I revel in the journey of making. The finished artwork is something like a yummy chanterelle mushroom. The part that you see is only the fruiting body of the fungus. Most of the fungus is is hidden underground, sight unseen.

Taking inspiration from sculptor Anne Truitt’s published journal, “Daybook,” this is where I collect notes and share images that are more raw and unpolished than what is published on my blog and on social media. Truitt’s unpretentious writing about mundane aspects of her life becomes a sublime look into how her daily life links to her work and the way that she came to terms with herself as an artist. If I can achieve even a fraction of what she did, I will be satisfied.

Currently Happening in the Studio

Stories Told by Water: Lookout Creek

Work in Progress

A Year of Sunrises

I love sunrises. This year I decided I wanted to witness every sunrise this year. I take a photo every morning and I post it to Instagram & FaceBook Stories.

A Diary of Making Things

May

May 10 - 16, 2021

Friday, May 14, 2021

Prep is almost done. How about spending some time in nature? It is long overdue.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Pie for breakfast. Onward with preparing for presentations.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The webinar was a success! So then I made a chocolate angel pie. That was even more of a success.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Today is prep for tomorrow.I always need to study and research myself before speaking publicly. I gorger who I am and what I have done.

Monday, May 10, 2021

I have committed to 2 new projects. I am accountable for both. I have no idea what to do for either one. This is stressful, but not unusual.

 

May 1 - 9, 2021

Sunday, May 9, 2021

I spent all day on the computer. Art was behind me. I’ve been neglecting it. I’m sorry, art. Adulting has gotten in the way. This needs to change.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

You know when you thought you were wrapping up a project that you’ve been working on for a long time and then you find out that it is not working, so you need to start again from the beginning and you want to cry? Yeah. That happened.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Everyone else flaked on this afternoon’s scheduled Zoom call. This was awesome. I was going to do the same.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

I had plotted out my upcoming solo show at UVAA. Then I met with Sandee in the gallery. She had different ideas. They were better than mine. A good gallery director is priceless. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Holy crap! I got a grant! A project that has been sitting around waiting in my mind for years now has funding! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

I am a slave to the computer.

Monday, May 3, 2021

How cool is it that I can push a button on my computer and someone in the UK shows up on my screen, hooks a microscope to his computer and we travel around images together? Very cool. Sometimes I love technology.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

It was inevitable. I ordered a microphone. It is blue. I am strangely excited.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Podcasting? Perhaps.

Hidden Toggle

April

Leah Drawing in the Studio

Hidden Toggle

April 26 - 30, 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021

Panel discussions with interesting people are fun. How awesome it was to be in conversation albeit, a very structured and limited one with Lisa Schonberg! It’s way better than just presenting on my own. I hope I can do more with Lisa in the future.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Today’s conversation with Rita & Lauren brought up art in comparison to hermeneutics. Here it is again. It’s like being in a labyrinth. I keep coming back to the same place that holds religion.

Is this an apt comparison? I don’t know if it is or not. Hermeneutics deals with interpreting scripture and infusing it with context meaning on a human level. I believe that art can infuse a subject with context and meaning. The rest of the definition, the part dealing with scripture, is where I get stuck. If I go there, does the environment, nature, the land need to be equated with scripture. Does this make it religious?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Work in progress has growing stage The beginning is exciting and full of possibility. The composition is clean enough to invite the imagination to create a vision of potential awesomeness. Then it reached adolescence. This is a painful stage where it looks like it has all gone to irredeemable shit. But if you keep working through this stage, it starts to mature into something with potential once again. I have finally, with great relief, reached early adulthood.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Discussing an upcoming exhibition with a good gallery director is a lovely thing. I respect  McGee’s input and suggestions. Talking with her made everything seem so manageable for the time being. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

I planned to start drawing at 4:30. I was almost on time for my appointment. Why is it so easy to get involved with all of the peripheral aspects of being an artist? They can so easily overshadow making art. I do not like that I need to schedule time to be in my studio, and that it is likely not to happen if I don’t.

April 19 - 25, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Running was hard. My muscles felt fine enough, but my body wanted to curl up under a tree and fall asleep. I wanted to join the blooming camas and wild irises. The urge was overwhelming.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

COVID vaccine 1. I want to take a nap. Instead I work on the computer. It is less taxing than drawing.

Friday, April 23, 2021

I talked about art on Zoom. Then I talked about art some more on Zoom.

But I did not have the chance to make art.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Rebecca Solnit disappointed me. My local watershed council hosted her. She did not bother to research the McKenzie River. She talked about California’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir, the reservoir that traps the Tuolomne River’s water that sustains San Francisco where she lives. Speaking about the place you know is a good way to connect, but not at the expense of becoming at least a little familiar with the watershed where your audience lives and loves, and definitely not at the expense of not mentioning the river sustaining your city.

She brought politics into her talk. She spoke with more attention about George Floyd than she did of her sustaining watershed.

She spoke of the selfishness of those on the political right.

Does she not know that so many who place themselves on the political right lost their homes on the river that they love in September? She did not even mention that.

Writing this now makes me feel angry. How dare she.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Trees grow in the most unlikely areas. How can they thrive on rocks? To do so they twist and reach. In doing so they become extraordinarily beautiful.

Commissions. I am hesitant to do them. The art is filled with someone else’s expectations. But sometimes there is a good reason to go there. I have good reasons.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Today I presented my work with hydrologist Steve Wondzell. It went well. But I wished I had left more space for us to talk. There is so much more interesting dialog waiting to happen at this strange and fuzzy place of intersection between artist and scientist.
I am starting to think that my work is not situated at the intersection of art and science. Rather is is somewhere in relation with artist and scientist.

Monday, April 19, 2021

I have a bunch of photos stored on an external drive. The external drive died. Now what?

April 12 - 18, 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Today I scheduled studio time on my calendar. Time squeezes out art. It’s hard to be an artist if there is no time to actually make art.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Lately I feel like I spend a disproportionate amount of time writing compared to making art.

Friday, April 16, 2021

After a conversation with a scientist: a scientist’s perspective on my art enables me to see my own work differently.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

How do I think about my art in relation to science? Is this limiting in any way?

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Devotion to practice is ritual?

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Time is memory.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The brain is foggy. I took a walk in the sun. That helped a little. I was able to draw, but it was tough to concentrate. Good sleep is so important.

April 5 - 11, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Well, today didn’t turn out as planned. We never made it to the river. But the spare paddle bailed us out of snow, the wrap kit freed our truck with boat inside from more snow, and a nice man wearing a utility kilt provided spare gas so Adam and Karla weren’t stranded.

Tim then walked down Lebanon’s Main Street in his honey badger onesie and drank a few beers in the brewery.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Getting the crap of life done so we can go play tomorrow.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Conversations and connecting. This has been one of the more rewarding aspects of the last several years, and even more so in the past year of COVID. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Too much time this week has been spent in my head preparing words. I sat down to continue, but my mind resisted. It has had enough.

I drew instead. That worked better.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Carefully. Constructing a narrative.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Translations are never perfect. There is something that is always lost, misinterpreted, or altered with the translation. The translation becomes something new, even when it tries to stay true to the original.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Too few hours are spent in the studio making art. But I have been writing consistently. In my mind the writing and the making are still not integrated. I say that the writing is integral to the process. My intention is to consider writing an equal practice to visual art. It still has not settled into my psyche that this is so.

This is so.

April 1 - 4, 2021

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Does making a gluten free lemon bundt cake count?

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Taxes – almost done! They have been a heavy load weighing me down. I despise taxes. Now I can get back to the studio feeling a little bit lighter.

Friday, April 2, 2021

And I’m back to drawing again! The studio setup is complete and it is a good place to create.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

I am ridiculously grateful that I have found like-minded artists to speak with regularly. Their minds are keeping mine sharp and active. I am grateful to live in a time where technology allows me to hang out with them regularly, to see them smile and gesture even though they are in New York and I am in Oregon.

March

Landscape Pen Pals With Rita Leduc

Hudson Valley, NY – Willamette Valley, OR

Hidden Toggle

March 29 - 31, 2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Space

Almost done.

I can almost start to make art again. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Studio organization. Not fun. It’s hard to be in the studio and not actually making art. But I am so excited to have this space organized and working. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that.

Monday, March 29, 2021

The studio setup continues on a good trajectory. It will be a good space for creativity.

I do not like the constraints of making work for a juried group show. I am only doing this out of a sense of obligation to my community. Is that a good enough reason?

March 22 - 28, 2021

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Moving the bulk of the studio working space to a home studio is exhausting and not very efficient with time. Small spaces require a lot of shuffling and reshuffling. It’s exhausting. It is coming along. The space here is taking form. It feels good and I am looking forward to spending a lot more time in it. The feel and atmosphere of a studio space makes so much difference. I’m curious about how it will affect my work.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

I was starting to forget how good it is to connect with artists I like and admire. Thank you, Gray Space! I can’t wait to see everyone in person.

It’s also good to think about potential Gray Space projects. Get out of my headspace for a while. 

Non social social practice.

Friday, March 26, 2021

My mental terrain stretched too wide, diffuse. I lost my bearings. Wandering thought the vast landscape illuminated what extends too far into my wilderness. Focus is returning. Indistinguished white noise within the space is starting to gather shape. Orienting the periphery is just as important as seeing the concrete shapes.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Crafting words, shaping thoughts to be spoken carefully. Sometimes the process is delicate. At other times there are parts that need to be gouged out. It’s just the way that it is.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

I think that I write more than I make art these days. Huh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Time is ignorance. Time is blurring.

Science tries to be objective but it must not forget that there is always a point of view with observation. Our experience of the world comes from within us.

We need to know where were are on the map, know our orientation of observation to be able to make sense of it.

Ideas from The Order of Time: Carlo Rovelli

Monday, March 22, 2021

There are no things. There are only collections of events and happenings. 

Our perception of past and future is only a symptom of our myopia because we can’t apprehend the world due to our fuzzy vision. We cannot fully see the world

Time has a different rhythm in every place and passes differently here than there. 

Ideas from The Order of Time: Carlo Rovelli

March 15 - 21, 2021

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The things that were planned did not get done. The things that were not planned happened. The things that were not planned were better than the things that were planned. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Sometimes I think that technology is here just to make more work and to piss us off.

It makes me more committed to making art by hand using traditional media.

And happy spring equinox!

Friday, March 19, 2021

All artists have a process, it is true. But some artists do not feel that their process is relevant to the finished artwork. The art is the important thing – the process is the sausage factory that nobody needs to see.

My process and the finished artwork are intertwined. The process is essential to the artwork. The more that is understood about certain aspects of the process, the more the art will be understood. This intertwined and relevant part of the process happens mostly outside when I am interacting with the land. When the process comes into the studio, some of the process might be sausage factory process. It is the part that involves working with the materials. It is not as relevant to the meaning of the artwork.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

I know that what I say and make resonates with some people. I know this from the comments and feedback that I get.

The opposite is also true. I know from the feedback that I am getting that there are some people who are not understanding what I am getting at. They are not making the connections.

I wonder if the failure to connect is on me, or on them. I try to be as clear as I can be with my ideas. But as I write, I am always pushing forward the leading edge of my own understanding. I can see how things may not always be as clear as I wish them to be.

But I also wonder if the person on the receiving end has the means to make the connection effectively. Not cognitively, I know that my audience, for the most part is quite intelligent. But I am wondering if our individual ways of perceiving the word through our own experience of expertise is hindering the connection. Are the gaps in communication coming from a ‘science mindset’ or ‘humanities mindset’?

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In the spirit of getting my shit together in 2021, I started an organizational task, not for the sake of organizing for its own sake, but because of something that I need to do for a collector. This task has exposed the layers of other tasks that are necessary to do before I can get to the original task at hand. These organizational things are always deeper than they first appear. Maybe this is why I tend to avoid them in the first place.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

I am at home with not feeling at home. This can be a mantra.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Some days in the studio are unremarkable. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t good, or productive. I sat down and started drawing. I made my way through slow, tangled thickets and coasted through a few smoother areas. It felt good to be in the studio feeling the friction of the charcoal on the paper. But all in all, it was unremarkable. It was the static in the days that hold the meaning.

March 8 - 14, 2021

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The IRS has sucker punched me. I feel like I am being gaslighted. Crazy. I don’t know what they are getting about.

Tim is banging a log. He suggested that I do my equivalent. Look out, studio.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

As much as I would like to write a manifesto about this, I don’t think that there are absolutes. But I do think that it is really tough to make good art that is also activism. Propaganda, in my opinion, is just that – propaganda. I really wish that the art world would get off of this activism kick. BRING BACK GOOD ART.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Why is it so difficult for some people to think that play cannot be serious. Why is it so hard to imagine how you can laugh, even in the midst of a crisis? Often, play and humor are the only productive and sane pathways through it all.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

There are few times when my time in the studio is truncated or interrupted that I don’t get irritated. This is one of the reasons that I like to have a home studio.

But good conversation with artists who stretch my mind: that is time work putting the art aside. Thank you, my fellow visual semioticians, visual philosophers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

I was listening to Umberto Eco’s ‘Six Walks in the Fictional Woods’ in the studio while I was drawing. I have read some of his books. Now that I have formally learned that he was a semiotician, I want to revisit his work. But, I am diving into something new.

This is a work that I think I will need to listen to about a zillion times. There are so many things that I can tell are in there that I need, but I can’t yet pull them apart.

After all, it’s not easy to find the meaning that is not derived from the signal.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Today I took a break and played. Thank you, Rita, for the invitation to play!

You push my brain too. And I love that.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Negative space. Once you learn how to shift your perspective to see it, you can never again not see it. It is as integral to the object as the material of the object,

We are so trained on seeing the object that we ignore the negative space. But without space, what is the object? How could it be seen or known?

March 1 - 7, 2021

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Early spring is a restless time. I’m like a bear stirring reluctantly from hibernation. It’s not that I have been sleeping, just hunkering down in the dark. Now It’s harder to stay in the studio. I want to go foraging outside to satiate a persistent hunger.

For the past two years I have been straddling two studios, one away from home, one in my home. Process and materials have been split. Yesterday Tim moved my big trusty easel back home. I spent an hour or so setting it up with lights for my drawing. Then I sat down and used it. Bringing some of the big pieces home that have been split helped mollify the restless bear for a little while.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

These days I spend so much time doing art related things. All of these art related things take time away from my studio practice. I get restless and irritated because I’m not spending enough time making things. There needs to be a better way. Systems? Automation? Cloning?

Friday, March 5, 2021

It is good to have conversations with scientists about art related things. It reminds me of how different a science mind is different from an art mind.

The conversations are good because it is easy to fall into a line of thinking that seems obvious. Because it seems obvious it is easy to then believe that it is obvious, therefore it is the best, or even only solution.

The scientist sees a different way of telling he story. We are looking at the same starting points, but the structuring of the fundamental theme of the story is not the same. The path begins to diverge.

What does the story become when those two paths are superimposed, or when one path is woven into the other?

Thursday, March 4, 2021

I am paralyzed by personality.

I’m going to trace something. Mindless doing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The best way to get over the transition to a new piece is to start. Just start. That’s what I did. I spent a few hours tinkering with composition possibilities. Now there is a good place to start to work with materials. Momentum is built. I know what needs to be done.

Here’s the problem, the creative energy of starting doesn’t know when to stop. So it brought me another start to an entirely different project.

Now I have two competing starts. I don’t know what needs to be done first.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

I finished the beast of the drawing. At least I think that I did. It’s hard to know. It is not really finished until I stop making marks on it. I may make another one tomorrow.

Stopping is sometimes harder than starting or continuing. What was unfamiliar at the beginning becomes familiar by the end. Stopping means that now that I have become familiar, I am drifting once again toward the unfamiliar.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Adam sent me a job posting for a 3 year stint in the middle of nowhere Alaska. I bet there would be plenty of space for a decent studio. That sounds great right about now.

February

Some days are panda onesie days

Hidden Toggle

February 22 - 28, 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021

I am being responsible and learning more about finances and taxes. This is not fun. It makes me feel restless.

It is a beautiful sunny day outside. Bees are buzzing in our cherry blossoms. But I have been inside most of the day. This also makes me restless.

And I still haven’t made any art.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Rita’s package came in the mail from New York! We are playing a game of landscape pen pals. I send her specimen from the forest, she sends me specimen from her home in New York. Then we make something. Our game doesn’t have many rules yet.

I gave her lichen on a snapped twig that had fallen from a tree. She sent me a section of wood from a 152 year old sugar maple, honeycomb, slate, and twigs from a burning bush.

In response to my lichen she sent me a song for our ignorant dancing playlist. I need to sit with my specimen until a song emerges. Then it is time to make.

Friday, February 26, 2021

I finished the charcoal drawing part of Stories Told by Water: McKenzie. It is time to start the mica. This scares me because I am in danger of ruining months of work. Fear of failure is a terrible state for creating. It is inhibiting and stiff.

The fear conflicts with my curiosity to see what happens when I add the mica. I want to dive into it with reckless abandon.

To go against all of my impulses to charge ahead anyway, I will dissipate the fear into a prototype. I owe it to the drawing and to my generous and infuriating muse.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Time is the subject and process. Time is a collaborator.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I have been searching and sifting through artists’ websites looking for kindred spirits, looking for repeated or interesting concepts, and generally just looking. It can be intimidating. The artists appear so accomplished, so polished, so sophisticated, so everything that I feel I am not.

My work seems ordinary, rough, and unrefined. I feel so unaccomplished. My work and I are ordinary. I suppose it should feel ordinary – I spend time with it every day. The work and I, we travel along together at the regular, ordinary intervals of a ticking clock. I know its flaws and rough spots because they are also mine.

The new artists, however, present themselves to me in a flash – a shiny new surprise.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Art has become so moralistic and pedantic lately. So much of it doesn’t even offer me anything interesting to get lost in visually. It just preaches at me. I am so bored with art like this, art that is being produced in the academies, art that is pushed to the next generation. I remember when art was innovative, exploratory, inquisitive, and maybe even playful and fun. I’m waiting for this to return.

Monday, February 22, 2021

I am becoming more skeptical about the possibility and efficacy of art-science collaboration. It’s not that interesting collaborations don’t happen. They can and do. But there may be too much emphasis on the collaborative idea. It’s weighed heavily toward the product: What can an artist and a scientist make? And the collaboration is typically skewed toward science: What can this artist make that will further this scientific concept?

I am interested to see what happens if the emphasis is taken off of collaboration and the joint product. What if the goal is to get to know someone from a different discipline, from a different socioeconomic circle, someone with a different approach and mindset. What if the purpose is to chat and to pop our social bubble and expectations, if even a little bit?

My most rewarding art-science interactions have not been formal. I have learned and grown the most from following Sarah Marshall collect data in wetland prairie fields and following Adam Sibley high up in an old growth tree. Sure, we talked about science, but we also talked about so much more. We connected as humans. Neither of these people has come to hang out with me in my studio. What would happen if they did?

How can this idea be extended to relationships with place?

 

February 14 - 21, 2021

Sunday, February 21, 2021

New age woo woo is one of my phobias. Science is an antidote.

I align myself with ecology.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘landscape.’ landscape is a loaded word with a bunch of baggage. Landscapes are constructed environments that are associated with society and human concerns. I started to eliminating the word from my writing, opting for words like terrain and ecosystem.

I listened to a podcast with four eco artists. They are all a painters who are working with landscapes. One mentioned that you cannot separate landscape from ideology. At first I balked at that comment. But then I thought that if landscapes are built environments then that is probably true. I started to question what on this planet is not affected by human built environments. Is there anything? I think that I will start to reincorporate the word landscape into my writing.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Sometimes when I am working in my studio a profound sadness arises. It’s not connected to anything. I assume that there is something about sadness that needs to work its way into the art.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

I arrived at the side door to my day job, the door in the alley. I kept turning the key for the deadlock but the door wouldn’t open. I tried it at least 10 times. Someone had to come let me in.

It didn’t occur to me until later that the reason why the door wouldn’t open was because I was turning the key left, the direction that locks it. A part of me that I apparently cannot control must have really wanted to go back to my studio to draw all day. I can’t blame it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Some days I like to pull on the clothes that were in a pile of the floor where I cast them off last night before climbing into bed exhausted. It makes me feel as if I am carrying on, uninterrupted, from where I left off yesterday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

I was listening to music while I was drawing. Like a dance, the tempo of my mark making increased in time with the music. I pressed harder into the paper in step with the music’s intensity. The tip snapped.

Does the music set the rhythm and mood of the drawing, or do I? If the music does, is it a collaborator?

Monday, February 15, 2021

I have allowed myself to placed into an art-sci box. I have even placed myself in there. It is an easier place from which to speak about art, but I don’t belong there and I am trying to find my way out without ending up in another box or falling into an adjacent pit.

Science has limitations for good reasons. But for art, I find the limitations of science to be inhibiting and stifling. Art-sci typically starts from a place that is known. Known places are dull places for art to begin. I don’t want to illustrate your knowledge. Tell me what you don’t know. Isn’t it more interesting if art invokes a mystery? I think so.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

My early morning trail run was hard. Nothing felt effortless or fun. There was a light rain the entire time, a little mist on the ridge, but it wasn’t cold.

After breakfast, I began transitioning to working. Today I couldn’t find the motivation to change into proper studio attire. I broke my rule of no panda suit in the studio. Today I wore a onesie panda suit all day.

Stories Told by Water: McKenzie

Work in Progress

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  1. Leah

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Work in Progress Posts

The Metronome of Place

The Metronome of Place

​Landscapes are ecosystems in fluid motion. They are never static, like in landscape photograph or landscape painting. The only way to be true to the story of the land is to pay attention to the way that it sways through time. Time is the metronome that keeps the beat for the rhythm of place. Without time, there is no rhythm, no music of the land. We feel this rhythm within us when we feel we know a place. It is a part of us.

read more
Meaning in Negative Space

Meaning in Negative Space

Perception has a bias for objects. Objects contain information about the world and our surroundings: they can be obstacles – you need to know where they are to avoid them when walking across a room. Objects can be tools; they can be intriguing, beautiful and fascinating; they can be threatening. They frequently demand attention. We see objects for good reasons.
What is an object without all of the space around it, within it, and through it? Can an object be seen without the space? Can we understand something more complexly by switching focus on the spaces that the objects define?

read more
Slow Looking

Slow Looking

There are things that I have learned from all of the artwork that I have seen over the years. There is artwork that catches my attention immediately. Sometimes I really like it. But soon after I move on and my attention is pointed elsewhere, the artwork dissipates. It is gone from my memory and mind like smoke dissolving in the ether.
The ones that remain intact do not necessarily demand my attention immediately. Sometimes they are the ones that quietly wait. They do not reveal themselves in a flash, all at once and then fade. They do just the opposite: they build slowly.

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Slow Making

Slow Making

I wanted to make something fast. I see other artists producing so much work in such a short period of time. I want to do that too. Drawing, I thought, would be fast. How great would it be if I could have 30 new drawings in a month!
But the truth is, I’m slow. I am very slow. Honestly, I wouldn’t be satisfied any other way.

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Dark Heavy Silence

Dark Heavy Silence

I run before the sun rises for the opportunity to be alone in the silence of the forest. I run in the predawn to replace the chatter in my head with the stillness of the dark forest. It is within these spaces of stillness that ideas and illumination into the next creative step slip in before the chatter of the day resumes once again.

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A Most Meaningful Morning

A Most Meaningful Morning

Recognition begins fairly quickly. Knowing is revealed slowly. Familiarity opens itself to a knowledge that stretches beyond a perceptual knowing of a place to an integrated embodied knowing. It’s a knowing that happens when you can sense the rhythms and patterns without being overtly aware of them. This knowing is sensitive. It may feel like knowing something from the gut, but the gut doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s really a knowing that comes from connection. If the connection is disrupted, it is felt.

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Light that Doesn’t Illuminate

Light that Doesn’t Illuminate

The creative process often feels dark and murky. Sometimes shining a light on it makes it worse. There is no past. There is no future. There is only this one line being drawn right now. Only the present exists.

read more
Spirals & Braids

Spirals & Braids

The creative process spirals. It is not a neat, straight trajectory that marches forward into the future. Concepts, materials, and techniques can be pulled from far in the past and spiraled into a new body of work.

read more
January Roses

January Roses

Why does the forest smell like roses in January?
Shut out the light and align your breath to what you hear. You start to hear the stories that are told by water.

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Ideas with Legs

Ideas with Legs

An idea starts to form. If it asks for something else, then the idea might have legs. The idea doesn’t necessarily need to have good strong running legs. At first, it just needs to be able to stand up on its own. If it does, then there is the possibility that it could develop strong running legs.

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Playing with Magic

Playing with Magic

Color, Light, and Climbing  Douglas-fir - Top of Crown (Air Temperature), Acrylic and Resin on Wood, 2020, 46 in. x 62 in., Panel 13 of 16 Listening to the Forest - Leah WilsonListening to the Forest Getting Physical - The Magic Bubbly I can't really know a place...

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Excerpts from a Symphony

Excerpts from a Symphony

Data  Western Hemlock - Butt Flare (Dendrometer), Acrylic and Resin on Wood, 2020, 46 in. x 62 in.,Panel 7 of 16 Listening to the Forest - Leah WilsonListening to the Forest Stream Drawing Studio Four times in one year, I sat for the duration of a day at the...

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