Tuesday, August 21, 2018

living through

the season has shifted,
ever so slightly, we've all been talking about it
as though it doesn't every damned year.
you can rely on it, morning cold toes
sniffly or more nose
ripening reds and purples continue with joy.
we gather
so do the deer
the raccoons
birds have avain business to attend, 
flight plans logged,
wasps in the dropped fruit, look out!
and maybe a bear you might see
if you're very lucky.
me, i look for stanghorns in sumac
falling stars in the night sky
first leaves turning
succession of goldenrods.
reappearance of asters
and wild grapes
ticks will search, too.
it's a give and take and beware and bedazzled
all wrapped up into what we need for
maybe that's why i've been making these things:
 flax paper drying on house rugs before tess the english setter arrived
for a weekend stay.
 some of my blotter papers have become interesting
 this is badger paper again,
a mix of everything but largely lokta and flax and words, many many words
 a red ochre pigment to the pulp
 my dashboard 'decor'
 i went to a painting with soils workshop
and the selection was interesting, 
all gathered on site except for the black and green

 the binder we used:
elmer's glue.
the soils were sieved, but not quite enough for a good paint
 the binder/carrier was less than desirable
but the soil scientists were great to talk with.
 scientists and artists need to get together
they have so much to talk about.
black eyed susans last a long season here.
 useful plants
 make themselves known in contact prints
if you can talk them into it.
 this is how i felt when i saw them!
 indian pipe.
in my perennial border!
 i haven't seen them here 
ghost plants
that i once used to dye wool a lovely gray.
 and another thing i've never seen here.
across the road, on the edge, last evening
a branch with a large red berry and a few on the ground.
it looked, smelled, felt, and then tasted like a cherry!
these are wild plums. they are tiny, and very plummy, with a stone that's got a ridge around it's long-side-circumference. 
love facebook where the locals answer my questions!
and the taste--definitely more plummy than cherry.
i was astonished
this is most certainly not wild cherry country. 
and now i have so many questions.
in the day to day news of my small living,
i'm preparing for my fall papermaking class with joy.
i will also travel to Maiwa in early september.
and then
and then
another big thing
in february
and i've been accepted.
i'll be there with the rock stars in the book arts world.
don't know how i feel about it all (except those fears)
 familiar ghosts,
but i'm giving it a chance.
if anyone has any advice about it, i would love to hear from you!
golly, CODEX.


  1. congrats on exhibiting at CODEX!

  2. mo, thanks, i'm pretty nervous about it all!

  3. whoa! black-eyed susan prints are amazing! yay! I look forward to meeting you at Codex! Not to worry! It's just a big room full of tables in a lovely setting (right on the SF bay in Richmond, not far from the Osprey nest) with lots of awesome and friendly people who will be happy to talk to you!

  4. Alisa, um, i've never been in California except at LAX, and while I know what an osprey's nest is I think you mean a special osprey nest? anyway, it's legendary and far away and scary for this backwoods dweller.

  5. Oh no not elmers glue!!!! I was so looking forward to hearing about the pigment class too. There are so many other, better choices. Why do that? Why work with beautiful locally gathered pigment and then add a synthetic binder. Aaaaaarrrgh. But you knew I would say that.

  6. that soil painting workshop looks like great fun. I've never seen enough Indian pipe to even consider dyeing with them. Congrats on being accepted at Codex, once you've had the trip to Van. you'll be a pro in the big cities.

  7. trace, i was hoping it would be more sophisticated, not expecting Elmer's. the scientists don't know about art and pigment and paint, they do know about the color and the beauty. just need to work with an artist, science and art need to converse.
    jean, it was fun, because so simple. and they had collected some nifty soil colors from the sire--maybe 8. alternatively scared and psyched about Vancouver.


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