The Wedding – San Francisco

GG Bridge

A white heron is my taxi,

my coat made of feathers

blends in with the ride.

Flying over the bridge

made of soft green grass

I hear a piano playing a tune.

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From post office below me

posted envelopes float,

they quietly land in a bin.

The wedding took place at the Harbor Hotel,

chocolate mulch covered Union Square

while birds sang an aria from La Traviata.

Yesterday, sprinkled with fairy dust

a color xerox of Sadie and Jim appeared

in The New York Times.

Placing Myself Under House Arrest and Reading Michael Ondaatje

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Wynton at the Fairmont by Carla Saunders

Probably no one will notice that I’ve been put under house arrest. I’m not Lindsay Lohan or Aung San Suu Kyi. All I want to do is go to the studio and paint, hang out somewhere and draw or take some photographs, even try writing a poem. My studio is neater than my room at home. There are three paintings at the studio waiting for me to complete. But, here at home there are bills to be paid, forms to be filled, magazines to be read or to be thrown away and piles of papers, books and ‘stuff’  waiting to be put someplace. We’ve moved a bookcase into my room.  It’s empty. Books are in bags, piled on the floor. Papers are stacked in the bathtub. There is a tower of art that is about to topple.  A soft white rabbit ready to pop out of a soft black top hat, sits by my computer.   Legacy by Linda Spence is open on my desk.

Michael Ondaatje’s book,  Coming Through Slaughter is on top of a pile of books somewhere in this room.  Ondaatje wrote about  Buddy Bolden  a New Orleans cornet player in the early 1900’s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fezzxFjcf This book is my all time favorite. It’s as if you are reading a poem, or going in and out of jazz improvisation or wandering through an abstract painting. Today and until I finish this room, time on all technical devices shall be limited (after I finish this post.)  Permission is granted to go out to buy food or get some exercise. Maybe I’ll listen to some jazz while I get this place organized.

Painting in the Woods – Day One

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Enveloping, quiet, vivid, comforting, safe

Wow, one bright yellow green leaf !

Gone

Still

Quivering

Momentary

Restful

Light, gentle

Private

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Thoughts on painting in my studio space in the woods.

‘The thingness of the thing.’

1. The feeling tone holds the key to the painting.

2. Content

3. Form, Line, space, color and texture – Do they support the feeling I want?

At the moment of existence, it is what it is.

Feelings ‘predictable. Chances of my feelings at the moment’  Cezanne

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Before I left for an invitational painting workshop in Portland, I cut the canvas for vertical trees, but when I stood in the space in the woods my immediate reaction was this is going to be  a square painting. I went with my first thought.  Square – 4 square canvases, which at the end will work as a set of four. At the end of the day, the painting did not look like how I intended it to be, but it did convey my feeling in this space with the sunlight flickering through the trees.

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#1 acrylic on canvas 32″ x 32″ unfinished

The next morning the painting looked like it had two eyes looking at me so I painted out one of them. Now the painting is split in half. I’ll continue working on it back in the studio at home.

 An exhibition, Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966, is at the de Young Museum. It seems that there is always a prominent vertical line in his paintings, even more so than his horizontal lines. I just noticed that my transitions from picture or blog has verticals, not intentional – just think it is interesting.

Moushrabiyas, Picasso and the Red Line – Morocco, Spain and California

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New version of ‘Rolled’ – unfinished   click on image to enlarge

Paintings evolve. Sometimes painters work on a painting for years. Picasso did. Going back to the studio I looked at the painting ‘Rolled ‘ which I thought was finished.  It’s so dark ! I can’t see the variations in color! All shapes are the same size! Auughh It needs work. So I started to paint. One stroke changes the painting. Another stroke needs to be done. I turn the canvas in a different direction.  I looked at  ‘Ghost  Horse’ and thought, how can I relate this canvas to that one? On paper I sketched my hand, foot and elbow, cut out the shapes and pinned them on the canvas. (I know, I’m not supposed to puncture the canvas with holes according to the old rules) Now I have to integrate the bigger shapes. The red line needs to be stronger. Well, maybe it is ok……

‘Rolled’

One of my blogger friends looked at this painting . His response was To be honest, I don’t really get paintings, esp. illustrative, abstract  paintings. It is nice to get into the mind of a painter. Er? Any hint … interpretation? I’m totally dense.
OK . You have challenged me! You are from S. California so you probably swim in the ocean. Ever get rolled by a wave when you are in the ocean and don’t know which way is up? So if you look at that painting, on the lower right just above the red line you will see a little white paint shaped like me falling legs and arms up with curved back, If you look around the painting you see bits of blue sky The painting or ocean is dark with flashes of light. all kinds of shapes, fish, kelp, water swirling maybe you get slammed against a rock and get a flash of pain (red line). So my painting is how I felt when I got rolled. Or how I felt with some situation going on in my life. How I felt in my head.
Abstract painting is like interpreting jazz. Abstract painting is made up of variations of color, form, line, texture, space. It’s how the painter feels. How does Branford Marsalis feel when he plays his saxophone? He makes that instrument talk using variations of sound. How do you feel when you respond to these abstract music rhythms and sounds?
Squint your eyes when you look at a landscape. It reduces your ‘picture’ to basic shapes, color, line, texture, space.

‘Zellig’ by Carla Trefethen Saunders available on Amazon.com

This painting has many layers. It started out in the year 2000. The painting was about how I felt about moushrabiyas. In Morocco, in strict Islamic tradition, moushrabiyas or intricately carved geometrical screens were designed to keep Muslim women hidden from view. These screens on balconies and windows allowed women to observe their surroundings without themselves being seen. I was told they were to protect the women from men’s eyes. As a western woman I interpreted that as taking away women’s rights. Our world is in a turmoil when it comes to the issue of women’s rights.