I have gone a few weeks without much inspiration to make art, but this weekend I suddenly had an idea. I asked the pirate if he had any old pieces of wood, and he said no, but I found this on his back veranda and he said I could take it, he also gave me some old leather pieces for tying the boards together. While I was in his basement, as he cut the leather, he told me to look in his toolbox where I found this piece of deer antler and a hollow piece of turkey bone. The doll like figure is very similar to one I sketched a few months ago, but this one is more earthy and nature oriented. I have a couple ideas for doing a small series using wood and other found objects, the pirate has a gorgeous piece of wood that he pointed out when I was in the basement and I cannot wait to see what I can do with it.
I also finished a piece I started years ago. But honestly I am not all that happy with it, I think I put the hinges on wrong, and I think now looking at it that I put the pieces together wrong. I am curious what others think of it. I literally never finished it because of trepidation about the hinges and alas that was a huge problem, I dug the screwdriver hard into the soft area on the edge of my hand between my thumb and forefinger.
A couple weeks ago, when we were traveling through the Adirondacks, the pirate and I came upon this wonderful shop on Route 8 near Chestertown and Wevertown. We had the plan to go towards Fort Ticonderoga from my friends place in the vicinity of Gore Mountain, but the plan was open and flexible and as soon as we saw the wooden motorcycle (which I somehow managed to not get a good picture of) and the free form shed structures outside we both looked at each other and decided to stop.
At first we went into the mineral, fossil and bead shop, where of course I found a lovely little grey agate elephant, and the pirate bought a several long African porcupine quills. There were some lovely stone sinks, and hand carved stone art also in the shop, again really unique and beautiful stuff, but what really struck me was the amazing wordwork of Master Woodscrafter whose name I believe is Lynette. After we had purchased our items from the gem shop, she invited us to take a look around at her woodshop.
Just the sheer beauty of the truly unique wood pieces that she had around the shop waiting to be worked, was breath taking. I am afraid my photos on this grey day just do not do justice to the stunning natural quality of the unworked pieces.
It was however her intricately crafted cabinets which most impressed me. I first noticed her amazing little dollhouse. It was like the house of a wood nymph or fairy, an absolute masterpiece of work, with a gorgeous gemstone fireplace, and a hidden doorway.
Then we saw this little cabinet, that used the different colored species of wood, and the naturally formed shapes of the wood itself to create not just a cabinet, but a painted canvas. I love that unlike typical furniture which seeks to look exactly the same as every other piece, it sought to find the intrinsic qualities of each cut of wood, and to showcase it in its natural state. In each of the cabinets she showed us there were hidden compartments which were like opening a treasure box, or stealing into an old castle and finding secret passageways, there was a magic to each piece. The bar was so well thought out, with a wine rack, glass rack, bottle compartments and other places to store glasses, with an eye to keeping things out of reach of little hands. The pirate and I were both astonished at the incredible mastery of this artisan.
I met the artist Randall Yager several weeks ago when I was at the local Regional Market. It was a cold day and he was in one of the few outdoor spots that was filled that day. I was with the pirate and the pirate talked to him for quite a some time, it is easy to see how he always has people he knows everywhere he goes. We were both pretty impressed with Randall’s iron bar metal sculptures, his website is here Ironbar Custom Welding. One of the things I liked about his work, is that he does use some reclaimed metal, and that he does custom work as well. And his prices were pretty reasonable. Check it out.
Hi, my name is Booger, I was brought to life merely three days ago, the first word I uttered was not my name as most Fabric Americans do, but the words, raaahhhrrrrr wraaahhhrrrrr raahhhrraaaaarrrrrrrrrr. The very next day my new Flesh American companion decided to take me on an adventure. We traveled to a secret location in the Fingerlakes Region of New York to go on a Sasquatch hunting expedition. There was a rumor of a Sasquatch siting along the shores of this lake and it was time to do an investigation.
While I was riding on the console of the truck, I told my new buddy, the Pirate, that my name is Booger. To heck with the Princess of Art all she heard was me doing the Squatch call.
We actually ran into a couple and the man said he had seen prints along a marshy shoreline one time, so it looks like this lake is a good spot to do some Bigfoot Research. Looking forward to going back, but the humans said we would have to wait until it warms up. How on earth they manage without fur is anyone’s guess.
The Zen Center of Syracuse is a tranquil and serene refuge in the sometimes ugly nature of this city; Syracuse sometimes seems perpetually grey, perpetually snowy, perpetually loud and obnoxious, it is a town that hates itself with an ugly vehemence. The Forman House is an historic structure, with yoga studio and art studio in the attic, a lending library, and an elegantly simplistic sitting hall in its own building. In the warmer weather months, I love to sit in the Zendo when the rain is falling, all the windows wide open and the breeze blowing through the trees, the sirens pass, loud music blares, tires squeal and children play on the playground across from the hideously straightened ditch which is now Limestone Creek, but on the mat it all passes by with each inhalation and each exhalation, we sit patiently waiting for the thoughts and sirens to pass us by. After each 20 minute sitting we get up and on days when the rain is not falling we walk through the woodland garden that meanders through the woods, stone buddha’s patiently waiting to take their place in line, birds singing, dragonflys, butterflies, mosquitoes, deer, and people hands folded on their bellies.
This weekend I had the Zen Center offered a workshop on making Jizo with artist Tom Matsuda. A Jizo is a buddhisatva who is friend and protector to women, children and travelers. I attended the workshop which involved a short period of sitting, an opportunity to view both the sacred and contemporary art of the Sensei as well as his guidance in making our own Jizo for about 2 and a half hours. It was so wonderful to spend a stormy, cold and snowy day in the warm comfort in the peaceful company of so many artists, whether they are artists by trade, or merely artists in their hearts.