I've always had an uncanny knack for time travel. I'm not talking about literal time travel, though that would be pretty amazing. I'm talking about this thing I can do, where I zoom in and out of present and past tense and can sense and assimilate all the everythings that existed before.Read More
This little book of portraits. Face after face after face. I created about five or six of these 40+ page portrait books during my seven days in Ravensbrück. Some of them were made on site, inside remaining buildings holding a strong and terrible imprint of history.Read More
I made a little deal with myself before I left for Europe.
I would bring along my art journal and do a few super quick sketches every day. Like, super quick ... only a minute or two of quick expressive drawings. No perfection, just quick hits of pen to paper.
It would be nice to fill one of my journals before I return home, which means 40 sketches of places that move me in some way.
Today I managed three while out and about in Berlin, and here's one of them.
These poor old feet of mine wandered around for 10 hours, letting my eyeballs go crazy over the layers of Berlin architecture, and letting my self be wifi free for most of the day.
Amazing how *present* one can be when not on one's phone. I even did old-fashioned navigation, checking the maps placed handily in various places rather than keeping my nose in my iPhone.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a detective, archaeologist, and artist when I grew up.
Those three trajectories have somehow woven themselves together inside me, even without my planning it so.
Over the last couple of years, my art has sidelined (aka exploded) for the most part into inspired creativity from a vortex rooted into a time over 70 years ago.
I don't talk about it much publicly, because there is no language to describe the world I visit through my art.
Also, I carry some self-judgment ... shouldn't I be making art that makes people happy(ish)?
Art based on war, and a whopping world war at that ... it's a little intense. So I tend to hide the art and the topic away, mostly.
BUT ... I think I'm tired of hiding. Tomorrow I am doing something very exciting.
I'm getting on a plane and heading over to Europe to dig full-throttle with my hands and heart and soul and brain into my biggest passion: the history of the Second World War, and the humans who lived a full spectrum of possibilities, choices, and experiences.
Every time I go to Europe, I dive into this topic ... I kinda can't help it.
But this trip is dedicated to my art exclusively, not jangled and squeezed in around other things.
So, why on earth is a girl like me so passionate (aka obsessed) about such a devastating topic, with endless layers of tragedy, grief and horrific violence?
I've always had a soft spot for the shadowy side of life ... and this topic?
It's more relevant than many of us would care to believe.
As I was traveling and teaching over the last couple weeks, the issue around taking time for pure, pleasurous art-making came up several times.
For you and for me it can be hard to carve out the time and space to just create, right?!?!
I heard myself encouraging the women in conversation to wake up early and get their groove on. I know this is beneficial, because when my daughter was born I was hell-bent on maintaining time for artmaking. I woke up every morning at ungodly hours and started the day painting.
In spite of having a brand new baby and some hellacious post-natal anxiety, I was rather prolific. I'm sure the daily creative time also helped process the intensity of the panic disorder that was raging through me, and helped me start each day fully present while stoking the fires of healing.
Since I'm being totally honest I can also tell you that somewhere over the last couple of years, I've stopped that practice and instead lay under piles of covers each morning until I'm forced out of bed by life.
Lately I've been missing the early morning art practice, and this weekend while encouraging the women in my life to wake up and throw some paint around in a dedicated practice ... I decided to return to my own.
So this morning I woke up early (with a little help from my old friend jet lag) and have been painting ever since. Let's hope that this jet lag will provide the resurrection of this crucial and nurturing habit.