Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some of what I've been up to

I thought I would post a couple of pics of my random projects at the Colorado Art Ranch. There's only a week left in the residency, and I have a lot to try to finish! Looks like I forgot to take a photo of the biggest piece I'm working on, so I'll save that for a surprise.

The majority of my time has been spent working on the 115 river rocks that I cast -- first grinding off the excess from the pour spout, then sanding, priming, and drilling holes for the wires. It's going to be a wall piece in the end, but I can't resist making use of my easy access to the beautiful Chalk Creek. Next week I'll be installing them in the river, the idea will be that they will hover above the river on wires. Then, once I have painted them all, I hope to display the photo and the painted rocks together at some point. Let's hope it works!

Here they are floating in the water at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs -- I had hoped to take a bunch of photos, but the current was carrying them away, so I just got a few!

This is what 115 plastic rocks look like in a crate:

This is the location I have picked for installing the rocks in the river! Gorgeous, innit?

Here's my temporary studio space:

And some of the random projects I'm working on -- true to form, my short attention span has me working on several things at once, but you can only sand for so many hours in a row. All of the experimentation and exploration has been really great for me, I'll be raring to go and re-energized once I'm back in my studio again. There's more, but the upload is slow, so check back later.

Little felt sculptures:

Some collages / drawings -- many more have been added since this pic:

That's all for now, time to get back to work!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More from the Colorado Art Ranch

(written two days ago and uploaded in Salida!)

What a perfect night. After sanding myself sore all day, I drove into Buena Vista. Went to the parking lot to shoot my “dead” bird photo, and two guys came over and asked what I was doing – oddly enough, their first guess was pretty right! Had a delightful conversation with them, and they totally got it. That was practically the art right there. Still need to re-shoot the photo, though.

Then, to Mother’s, which is rapidly turning into my favorite coffee shop up here. (Well, officially bistro, but they have kickass espresso and free wi-fi, so I’m good.) Had an amazing bowl of green curry made in an unusual way (swordfish, rice, and green peas! Yet still tasted great.)

People here are so damned nice. I asked the waitress at Mom’s where I could get an Art in America, like the spanking new issue gracing the magazine table, here in B.V. She scratched her head, consulted the other employees, and said, “maybe the yarn shop?” Salida, apparently, is the art town. Even there, though, not a clue where to look, and bloody unlikely to find it anyway. I was dying to read what Dave Hickey was saying, and there was a gorgeous Phillip Taaffe on the cover that looked like it came straight out of the same Haeckel book I’ve had my nose periodically glued into. The influence is obvious, but he’s done amazing things with it. Fantastic work. So anyway, the waitress says, “hell, just take it, no one’s gonna miss it!” And I said, “seriously?! Are you sure? This is the current issue!” And she said, “absolutely. Do it.” Flabbergasted, I thanked her and slipped it into my laptop bag. She even double-checked with me on my way out to be SURE that I had taken it. Now THAT is service. Thank you, Mom’s!

Then, a stop at City Market and up the canyon to Cottonwood Hot Springs. Lordy, what a great spot. 5 pools (the head, the elbow, the belly, and inexplicably the cold pool (not cold enough for a cold dip, not warm enough to enjoy) and the Watsu pool.) and a fab hippy vibe with a fantastic view. Of course, being night, the view was lessened, but hinted at with enough audacity to make me want to return.

I was almost the only one there, but of course everyone else was coupled up so it made me a little lonesome for R. Miss him, lots. Still hoping he can make it up here for a visit to Valleyview. And, one of those couples insisted on following me around and having almost-sex and giggling constantly. It was annoying, not because of the shock value they probably craved but because they were making waves and I was trying to lie on my back and float, relaxed, dammit. Kids!

The hottest pool was the head, and I spent most of my time jumping between head, belly, and Watsu. Each time I raised and lowered my core I felt more relaxed. I stayed until midnight. The groovy guy at the front desk said, “hell, or 1, I don’t care, I’m not going to throw you out.” Cool. I felt like jello as I left, until my cold wet hair caused an instant stiff neck. Dammit. Hopefully it’ll be gone by morning, or I won’t have any choice but to go back!

This amazing thing was happening with the light. The slats of the chair caused shadows in the fog and made it look like rays of light coming down through clouds, or a projector through a smoky room. Amazing. I was mesmerized from several views, one through plants. I wanted to burn it into my head. Then, I figured I could try to capture it with my camera after I got dressed and went to the car, so I went back, camera discreetly in hand, to see if I could capture it. But no luck! Turns out, you HAVE to be in the pool to have that view, I tried everything. Needed to be below the horizon, dammit. I wish I had a waterproof camera, I’m a little afraid to take mine in the water.

Driving back, I saw a ton of deer by the highway. They’re so unbelievably tame here, even the cars don’t spook them. Then I realized – I could take a shot of them through the windshield, making a classic “deer in the headlights” photo. I had to do it. They looked so cool lit up, their white tails practically iridescent in the light. Of course, did I see any more? No. Of course not. Now I’m obsessed with it, and I’m going to have to go around driving slow at night looking for deer. They’re thick as malapropisms in Bush’s speeches, so it shouldn’t take long to have my chance. Gives me time to clean the windshield, even.

After I got home and lugged everything upstairs, the sky was amazing. The chalk cliffs were shrouded in clouds, and the teeniest intermittent snowflakes began to fall. It seriously looked like China. Inspired me to right the first poem I’ve written in years. I keep telling myself that I don’t like poetry, but every now and again I’m compelled to write it. Maybe it’s time to pay attention to that. Earlier today (well, all week really), I was asking myself why I don’t write more, I’ve been trying to feel it. Now, suddenly, words are pouring out of me. Ah, magical healing powers of the springs! Thee writer’s block be gone!

It’s so strange, the hot springs tonight have my brain on fire, racing around to a hundred fine ideas. Almost manic, but I’m too tired to act on any of them, unfortunately. Wish I could bottle some of that to take home, but at least let it last until tomorrow. Can’t wait to get up and go to work, at the moment.

A few moments ago, I polished off a little chunk of St. Andre Triple Cream Brie and had it with some stale bread. Melted it too much and the oil separated out, but still….heaven. No better fat anywhere, by god. Drinking some hot pear & vanilla rooibos tea with a splash of milk, and feeling my eyelids get heavy. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Colorado Art Ranch

I'm at a fantastic residency right now in the mountains, called the Colorado Art Ranch, between the towns of Salida and Buena Vista, in the San Isabel National Forest. Absolutely gorgeous, with lots of solitude and 3 other cool artists -- Ebony Scalf, Gregory Carideo, Katie Kingston, and Susannah Mira (who hasn't arrived yet).

It's gorgeous here, our house is a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design at the foot of the chalk cliffs.

Best of all, no internet! I'm in town writing this from Bongo Billy's cafe. (And waiting way too long for my food, I might add.)

Having some trouble uploading pics, but here's a couple from Flickr:

The house:

The view:

My new friend: