Taking nothing for granted

Most of the leaves have now parted from their security, having had their last dance with the breeze before touching the ground, where they joined others in the making of nature’s blanket that protects the earth from the night’s frost. As the sun’s pale golden yellow rises over the hills edge, mornings dew looses its grip, slowly surrendering to the spell of the warm light. So to the year approaches its last breathe, bringing not only a year to a close, but a decade of turmoil and uncertainties, which hopefully will also come to an end.

As I reflect upon the last ten years and my own challenges and demons, there is one bright spot. It started to blog seven months ago with the establishment of my first blog The Artist Within Us and this was shortly followed a month later with Four Seasons in a Life. It not only offered a new activity, it kept me from focusing upon my own situation and the stalemate that has lasted now six years.

In these past few months in which I have been blogging, a number of friendships have begun to blossom, exchanging private correspondence and more. Then there are the many wonderful readers who have acknowledged me with their favor by becoming a follower, all of which I greatly cherish, taking nothing for granted, including the comments they have left behind.

Shortly we embark upon another year and a new decade, one that lies before us like a blank page awaiting our mark. Where our journey will lead us over the next few months is anyone’s guess, I just know that we will each continue to share our separate paths, with one another, enriching each others life, one day at a time.

May your life be a blessing each day
as the sun graces your presence.


Caterina’s keys

In the spring of 2008 while working on a sculpture based my open-heart surgery that took place January of 2006, an idea took hold and since then has taken root. Never the less several more months would need to pass before I started searching for the various elements. Though a few elements are still missing, I have the foundation along with a couple of other essential objects in this assemblage. The base is an old wooden desk drawer that since has had a layer of golden foil added to it, changing the meaning from a utilitarian object to a personal shrine.

Spring 2008 at Diablo Valley College art department

The concept, like a pot of tea which has been slowly brewing, taking on colour, releasing its essence and filling the room with fragrance, so to has the mind contemplated the various aspects as to the artworks technical issues and final appearance. While time can become ones worst antagonist by altering the original course upon which one had set out on, the idea is too deeply entrenched for this to occur. This does not mean there is no room for allowing plenty of alternative paths to branch off into, without being unfaithful to the concept.

Another traveled one of these meandering paths after a story was shared and a comment exchanged, who then with great care and love placed two keys into an envelope, sending it by the hands of many unknown strangers participating in the mission, so that upon my trip home from southern California I would find waiting on the kitchen table a small package.

The packet had also two old fashioned keys drawn on it, along with the words “Art is Key” and “Art saves lives.” I carefully cut open the left side and gentle retrieved its content. With great anticipation and equal excitement I unfolded the antique gold tissue paper until the keys emerged from its safe keeping. Each key with its distinctive appearance and individual customized tag, offered a unique interpretation in the assemblages meaning. For now that decision would have to wait.

Yet after reading her enclosed note, I could not help but begin to ponder what Catering’s influence on the artwork, its impact or for that matter, its outcome would be. There would certainly be a shift in the artwork’s meaning, despite remaining truthful to the original concept and John Fowles' 1963 book, “The Collector.”

Caterina’s gift to me represents the very symbol of unlocking the personal mythology that a key represents and in the end it needed to come from another or it’s meaning could not be true to the idea of the artwork. Though the assemblage is far from complete, the artwork still remains in the gathering stage, but with either one of these keys, it has made a significant progress. For this I remain deeply indebted to Caterina and for helping me upon my journey.

Postscript: For those of you, who do not know Caterina Giglio’s blog La Dolce Vita, please have a look, as she combines various techniques in her multi-medium art.

For a review of Fowles’ first book "The Collector". He is also the author of "The French Lieutenant’s Woman."


The reason for my absence

Two weeks ago I received a phone call from a friend I have know for the last twenty-eight years, asking if I could help and this would require traveling to southern California. Before our conversation concluded I knew what my answer would be, but I would need to first discuss this with the family. The following day I learned a little more for my purpose and we each reassured one another. I started packing clothing for a week, pulling a couple of books to read in the evening, along with my notebooks.

As the days progressed and we were reaching the end of last week, it became clear it would require staying a little longer then first agreed, but just passed midnight and the start of Thursday, I arrived home.

I have no regrets, though I never did get to read any of my books, visit LACMA, I did spend nine hours at The Getty, being overwhelmed by more than 250 large prints of the late Irving Penn, along with several other special exhibits. Over the next several weeks I will write about these exhibits and share photographs of the Getty’s architecture, including the pleasures discovered in an envelope sent to me from one of my followers in Colorado.

Having been out of my element and routine, it will take a couple of days to regain my footing so I can catch up on all the posts I have missed, considering I had mostly no Internet, let alone the evening news from New York to know what was going on else where.

Before closing I would like to welcome my latest followers, Caterina Giglio, La Dolce Vita; Kim Hambric, Merlin’s Musings; Anna Mavromatis, My Ephemera; Ange, Words on Wood; Victoria Pittman, by the same name; and our mystery person, a Londoner ex-patriot 'forever' living in Western U.S, Hot Toast and Jam.

Please have a look at the sidebar under Special Exhibits of the month, where you will find a link to the Getty and the Irving Penn exhibit and a little further down my recommendation for the blog of the month, artist Deb Schmit’s and her exceptional paintings.