Friday, March 19, 2010

Natural magic, spins and following the magic crayon......

snow roll - photo by m. heart 

How surprised was I when wandering the web to find that the curious roll of snow I wrote about a bit ago on this blog, and didn't have a picture of, had appeared to another person that same day in a town not far. It must have been the perfect conditions for the spiraling snow faeries to get out and about and spin some magic. So thanks to m. heart at - here's an image of the lovely, morning surprise we were both gifted. Her roll was a bit more of a spiral form, mine a tight and even jelly roll, but no matter the shape, they both held the deliciousness of wonder. I wonder who else received the blessings of natural magic that day?

"Spin", gel pen on black paper

line doodles with a "spin" theme

I've continued my exploration and play with line doodles, and I can see that they will, in fact, grow into a series of drawings and possibly larger works. The drawing "Spin", is a bit larger than the 3 1/2" square doodle series at 10" x 12 3/4" and an indication of the doodles beginning to inform work that requires a bit more investigation and commitment. When I shared them with my father, he thought they looked a lot like the work of my long-time friend, Timothy Nolan, Timothy and I had a show together this past fall at Clark University where I teach. The show, called "Trajectory" was a great success in terms of a seemingly wild paring, but with deep roots in a shared aesthetic. You can check out a short interview with me at the show if you click on the "Trajectory" thumbnail to the right. In some ways my father was right, I do work with line, repetition and simple patterns in this exploration, much like Timothy, though my doodles are loose, open and not precise- and, most importantly, they are simple explorations so far. Timothy's work on the other hand, is amazingly precise and a well developed, beautifully executed and elegant body of work - and quite large, sometimes encompassing a whole wall. I remember in the gallery talk that I answered a question about how different our work was with something like:  "Well, yes, on the surface, but we share aesthetic roots and I know if I weren't doing work about light and atmosphere, I'd be doing work about pattern and geometry as that is what I doodle." 

So back to stirring the creative cauldron. There is a wonderful potential in finding yet another "spin" on ones work, another line to follow, another way of bringing into form and pattern things that are stirring in the imaginal soup pot. It breathes new life into my creative process, bringing a feeling of expansion and anticipation. What will come out of me in the exploration of this new imagery that will surprise me or inform and change how I work with landscape? Like "Harold and the Magic Crayon", I can make anything happen with my crayon, but what is most satisfying is when I can let the crayon lead me a bit and find things that are surprising - when I can find the delicate balance between controlling and allowing. Now I'm off to finish my taxes - the delicate balance of doing what I WANT to do and doing what I MUST do.......

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