four weeks

It’s been a full four weeks since
I last wrote. Where to begin?

When I returned from my residency
I began to help prepare for a workshop with Jill Enfield at the Tilt Gallery in Phoenix. We had a great weekend together creating both digital negatives and alternative negatives with Jill. One of the women in the workshop Linda Ingraham pulled together a number of artists for a show in the Jackson Street Studios for Art March Detour. So as one of seven artists we have been working hard to promote these studios with ads, postcards, and a press releases. I have been preparing my most recent images for that show. The same weekend I will also have a few of my Ziatype historical process images in the backroom of the Tilt Gallery.

Another project I have been collaborating on is After School Story Art at Faith Montessori School in Phoenix. I have been co-teaching on Tuesday nights with Wendy Hicks and Donna Blumfeld. We have been working with the children teaching art, story, and photography. One of the big events that we are participating in is Art Detour. We have been busy preparing for the show. The children have created watercolors, mono prints, photographs, and handmade books all for sale at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market on Saturday of Art detour.

This month I have finally found and I am working with a wonderful new mentor, Marie Navarre. We have met, discussed my work and some explorations for me to begin in mark making and will meet again in the next few weeks. In talking about my work Marie brought into focus an observation in what I am trying to express about my imagery, she said that expressing what I felt as a child or adolescent in my home and my reaction to it now are very different expressions, feelings, and marks. It brought to light awareness, a specificity in both looking at and creating my work that I had not seen before.

As I began to explore mark making this term I am also seeing a shift to marks that are not directly made but are artifacts or traces of marks. For example I am more interested in impressions, stamps, brands, embossing, cuts, and scratches, like my image of the teeth marks left in the styrofoam cup rather than lines make with pens, pencils, or paint. I also feel that the kinds of marks I am drawn to inform my investigation into the scars that are not visible, that may not even be physical but psychological impressions left over from a lifetime of behaviors.

A friend told me when I started my master program to rummage around and without reason collect and surround myself with the things that I was drawn to. This past fall and this spring I have given myself the opportunity and commitment to do this. I have become conscious that there may also be a connection on how I felt as a child and to the containers that I have been collecting. I have always loved packages, suitcases, boxes, and not necessarily for what is inside but as holders with handles, fasteners, and locks. I wonder about these items that contain, hold, and define boundaries of inside and outside, the things unspoken, the appearance of perfection, my fluid reality.

The past week I have had a sinus infection along with a bad cold and to top it all off I managed to fall up and on my stairs hitting my hand and arm hard enough to leave swelling and bruises, breaking the mug I was holding in my hand leaving a few cuts. So I am a bit behind in finishing my paper and posting my new work. I will have everything posted before the end of the week.