Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hasp & Pin

Hammered Hasp & Pin
35mm photograph, 1989

Looking lately through a box of old photographs, most circa 1989. I was shooting that year with a newly purchased Minolta 7000 35mm SLR, a 28-70 wide angle zoom. Bracketing like a bastard, making detailed notes of exposures– Mostly, burning a lot of film.

The barn this door opened onto is gone now, fallen in a 1993 blizzard. There wasn’t much worth salvaging; I reused some siding on another building, and planks from the big sliding doors became a benchtop. Dunno what happened to the hasp and pin; wish now I'd kept them. But there’s this.

Friday, October 23, 2009

First Frost

First Frost
Ink, Graphite; 4 1/8" x 11 1/8

Inking with Marvy LePlume watercolor pens, and a white gel pen, don't remember the maker. I tried a number of gel pens, didn't like the results I got with most. This 2000 drawing was a satisfying exception.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pony Hill

Pony Hill Road, Jackson Center, 10.18.09.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In The Gathering

People tell me I stack a tight woodpile. I say well you don't want it to fall down, you know? Yeah but it's so, it's like, like a. Sometimes I say comes from laying stone probably. Oh, you've laid stone? Yeah a little, here and there. Sometimes I say drawing stone's a lot easier. Like a lot of small truths, it's good for a laugh. If you've got good stone though, the laying's easy too. Like firewood, most of the work's in the gathering.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Calming Effect

La Petit Chou learned yesterday that an old friend had passed away. I’d never met Ron, and in the course of telling me a little about him, she said, ‘He had a calming effect on people.’

That’s stayed with me. I’ve been thinking this morning: How many of us have that kind of positive impact? Not nearly enough, I guess, or it wouldn’t seem remarkable. How do I impact those around me? How should I? No new questions, and the answers aren’t easy.

I told a friend recently that I want my work to be intriguing, encouraging, inspiring, to bless viewers- buyers or no- in at least some way. Today I’m remembering that I should have added calming to that list of qualities.

Calm doesn’t sound like much, does it. It’s not exciting, it doesn’t get you up on your feet, pumping your fist, throwing horns, screaming your throat raw. But even the most adrenalized dream-driven wired of us need calm sometimes. The tighter we’re wound, the more we need somebody like Ron in our lives. So even though I didn't knew him, I know he’ll be sorely missed, and the world’s a little poorer now he’s gone.

From Amanda Palmer’s blog:

life will break you.
nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearnings.
you have to love.
you have to feel.
it is the reason you are here on earth.
you are here to risk your heart.
you are here to be swallowed up.
and when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt,
or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree
and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness.
tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.

- Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Near Dusk

Near sunset– nearer dusk, descending the south path, but with sunlight still warming the treetops across the gorge- we met a ranger making his rounds. He’s a tall rangy guy, probably in his fifties, but his pace along the trails is that of a man twenty years younger, thirty. We’ve talked before, over at Buttermilk; if you listen, you’ll learn something. When I remarked about the quality of the light, he said, You notice the light. A lot of people don’t, and then it’s dark, and they don’t have a flashlight. They’ve got a cellphone, they think that’s all they need. Yeah, and they call you, I said. He smiled, turned, was on his way again. At the next turning, I looked back, but he was already gone.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

At The Drawing Table

Fall housecleaning today- too windy to do much outside- and dustfree, the drawing table looked so good I grabbed a shot. Handheld and a little blurry, but.

I built this table while recovering from a heart attack in the fall of 2001. I can still remember how good it felt to get back in my shop again, to be doing something, however little, however carefully. Some days, you know you're not on top of it, better stay away from the table saw. All good now, and good to remember, to be grateful for where I am today.

In the years since, I've spent countless hours working at this table, and for the most part, it's held up well. The wall's messed up from all the stuff I've stuck up and taken down; I don't like to look at anything- my own work included- for long. Today, two things went into the wastebasket- A scrap of paper with the words Old North Road; and scrawled in charcoal on a strip of cardboard: It's never that I can't draw anymore. I just can't draw THIS, TODAY. I can still relate, but I wasn't in a can't frame of mind today, I was in housecleaning mode, and it went.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Treman Park

Filing photos from a Sunday walk, we found it's been a year nearly to the day since we last walked Treman Gorge. Where'd this summer go. Where all summers go, I suppose, and all- for my liking anyway- too soon.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Paul McMillan

Summerdays in Ithaca, we usually want mostly to be outside, walking the gorges, photographizing, etc. But with autumn arriving cold and rainy this week, we decided yesterday might be a good opportunity to get in touch with an artist whose work we've admired for some time, Paul McMillan. When we called, he was at work in his Enfield studio, the historic former Methodist Church building, and he was happy to give us a tour. It's a unique and impressive space, well suited to both the creation and presentation of Paul's work. On his easel was this night scene. For more on this painting, click here.

Paul McMillan, Oak Tree, Hay Bales and Moonlight
Oil on Panel; 20" x 16"

Photo: Parnilla Carpenter.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Architecture Of Dream

Another unearthed scan of nearly forgotten older work. Haven't turned up any accompanying documentation, but I likely made this drawing in 2000 or 2001; media was ink and graphite.

Listening to: Syracuse's Ledyard, Sky Burns Red.