Friday, October 5, 2012

Invoking with Ink and Brush

A golden light glows in the October forest, and my energy - like honey - drips down
to the roots. September left me worn and worried and dreaming of routine and  
normalcy, but finding an ocean of intensity to navigate. My dear Mum went back 
into the hospital in early September for a second cancer related surgery. Being 
already weak from surgery in early June, the second surgery was risky. Her recovery
is slow and her spirits are low and its difficult to be far away, difficult to feel bowled 
over by the autumn color as I usually am. 

I've needed to be quiet, to find strategies to cope with anxiety, startling the 
first few weeks after Mum's surgery when the phone rang. I've needed to sink into 
roots, to invoke stories of guardian spirits and wise women and dreamers in the earth
with my brush. It occurs to me that if a collector who owns one of my minimilast 
landscpaes were to happen by, they might be shocked at the shift in my work. 
But my work has always been a deeply storied invocation to spirit, whether or not 
a gallery or collector sees it as such. Drawing these spirits into being right now is 
something I must do. 

They began showing up in my journal pages a few years ago, coming and going 
with a kind of seasonal flow. Today in the studio I began exploring them with 
a bit more of a commitment. With sepia and yellow ochre ink, pen and brush, 
I spent an afternoon in the root realm. Seeing them here and editing the photos 
helps to see what else is possible. 

Another image in the margins of my journal of late is ferns. I've been obsessively 
decorating the pages with fern patterns, speeding through my word entries to 
get to the drawings. A few days ago I played with fern patterns and bleeding, 
and will continue with this obsession as well. 

Leaves drift quietly to the earth, and a muskiness scents the breeze. On my walk 
to the studio this morning I felt a bit of the heaviness leaving me as the beauty 
of the changing forest moved me.  

My sweet, dependable friend has found a new place to focus these days. He 
spends much of his time staring with such intensity to one spot in the garden. 
One morning I walked outside to greet him, but he did not move an inch as I 
approached. I like that he is so close by, so that when I wander out to the studio
steps and call his name, he's there in a flash to sit with me while I drink my tea.