Friday, October 31, 2008

emerge from woods

these words were cut from my father's "guide to the applachian trail in central and southwestern virginia" -- he was my biggest teacher about the natural world and he loved to hike the appalachian trail. i brought this book plus a bunch of other old books, photos, buttons, etc. back with me from virginia...

these are the last pages that i painted before i came home. they look so crazy and even downright scary here on the screen, but not in person. no, in person they feel friendly... looking at them i remember many things that were happening on the days that i painted them. i smile, and feel very grateful for the act of painting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the amazing bonegrrls

when i got home there were two packages waiting for me, packages from fellow bonegrrls, jen and grrl. did i open them right away? nope. i gloated over them. i knew they contained bones. i felt wealthy.

first i opened grrl's...

what the &%$#??! it's FULL of vintage fabric and ancient paper -- i just sent her bones wrapped in muslin for crying out loud!

she sent me a boxful of amazing stuff...

i sort of dumped everything back in the box to take a pic of it -- believe me, you can hardly see half of what's in there.

bones? damn, i'd forgotten about the bones, but they were there. jaw, vertebra, femur (?), and a broken piece of bone that she so nicely wrapped with a piece of her knitting.

jen's package sat unopened longer than usual because by that time i was fully under the influence of The Krud. but finally i opened it

and oh my god! she did the same thing as grrl!!!! these bonegrrls!!

the coolest napkins i've ever seen. the one on the left says 'domestically disabled', and on the right it could well be kwan yin -- on a napkin!! there was lace and other cool paper too.

yes, she sent this tooth set in resin... last month a friend sent me the pewter bird's head for my birthday- it immediately went to live beside the tooth.

oh yes, that's right -- bones. and some teeth and claws... the teeth on the left are roughly four inches long. i have mouse sized versions of them. amazing...

two skulls. after sitting in the dry air here for a few hours a lot of the teeth fell out. more amazement...

can i adequately express my gratitude to you, jen and grrl? i think not... can i adequately express my gratitude to all of the kindred spirits i've met in the blogging world? and seth, who's brought so many people, including the bonegrrls, together? no... i don't think that words can do it. but if they could, know that i would write them here with all of my heart and they would say,

thank you...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

regularily scheduled programming

will now resume...

flying east -- somewhere over the central u.s.

my sister and brother-in-law's house in the woods. i stayed not far from here in a little travel trailer that i made my own for three weeks. these are the blue ridge mountains... i grew up about two hours north of here and got a degree in forestry at Virginia Tech, about 45 minutes to the southwest. these mountains are in my bones.

i saw these signs a lot as we came and went. i wanted to photograph them every time...

our days were mostly filled with going places and doing things, most of which i did not document. on the whole i'm not a very good documenter -- things like road signs and magnolia seed pods grab my attention; family events somehow fly under my visual radar...

a magnolia seed pod... wow. they were about 3" - 4" long.

this is what they look like before they pop open. things like this amaze and intrigue me.

i did take pics of our canoe/kayak trip on the james river. this is my sister in her beloved kayak.

my brother steering and paddling our canoe. i sat up front, paddled half-heartedly, took pics whole-heartedly. as kids we grew up going on canoe trips in this canoe. where on earth did we all sit?

the beautiful james river.

treasures from the river -- sitting on top of cormac mccarthy's 'the road', which i read on the trip out.

my sister, carole, on the left, my brother, jeff, in the middle, and me. that's a restaurant in the background -- what?! you're going to ask the hostess to take our picture?!!

it was strange journaling at first -- where were the acrylics, beeswax, and drawers of ephemera?!! this is the first page in my new journal -- basically glued down stuff and words i'd just read. i think i felt like that little boy at the prospect of proceeding with only watercolors at hand!

after a few days i painted, but no words. i've thought about going back and filling in the pages, but nah. for me the idea behind journaling is that the pages reflect where i am at a given point in time in a way that only the nonlinear part of my brain can decipher.

more gluing down. i love the radically different page sizes, an idea i got from roxanne.

carole journals too... she painted this page one night in 'my' trailer. it's of my river treasures, a painting from a friend that i took along with me, and a necklace. i would never have taken on such an ambitious subject!

'my' table -- it looked like this unless i had to make room for carole to paint...

a rock (actually we're not sure what it is -- maybe the byproduct of a mining process?) that carole found in the james river and gave to me. somehow it seems the perfect way describe my trip and a fitting photo for the end of this post...

glad to have gone away, glad to be back. glad to be back where there's fast internet! i'd forgotten there are still places in the world without access to fast internet... the things that traveling teaches us!