I am sitting out on the little patio off my studio, feeling a bit out of sorts. With Christmas Day behind me, I had planned to get into the studio early to do some needed sorting and cleaning, as I think about the work ahead, and to write this blog. The day has had its own needs to be addressed, however, and so I’m now feeling behind the proverbial eight ball.
Being outside helps to center me. The lizards are being particularly playful today, jumping along the patio railing and from pot to limb to leaf of my Frangipani. They have a tendency to slip through the patio door into the studio when I come out. I try my best to corner them and put them back outside but, inevitably, one will hide among the plethora of studio stuff and I will find it later having succumbed to dehydration. Which reminds me of the sorting and cleaning that awaits me.
I don’t consider myself a hoarder, but I do collect a lot of odds and ends – pistachio shells, molded packaging shapes, threads, dryer lint, discarded fishing line, etc. Over the years (some of these things have been stored for quite some time now) I’ve learned that ideas will come to me in which one or more of these items will be an important element in an artwork. My collection has a kind of dormant energy that awakens and feeds my imagination as I periodically sort through it – even the desiccated lizards.
Yes, I do save them. I’m not sure what the fascination is; I have no background in anthropology or archeology. Perhaps it’s because I spent some years painting wildlife in the Low Country of South Carolina where I developed an interest in and respect for the smallest of creatures. Perhaps it’s by the example of my step-mother, artist Maggie Foskett, who, having grown up in Brazil exploring some of its wildness, carried a deep love and respect for the natural world into her cliche verre work. And, perhaps, it has to do with my own feeling that objects, whether from the natural world or man made, carry an imprint of their life or intended purpose that continues long after their presence or usefulness – just like the chairs I use in my work.
It is reasonable to assume, as I think through what I want to create during this grant period, that a lot of my collection will find a place in that effort. They may be elements used for the lumen prints/solargrams that I talked about in an earlier blog or part of an assemblage. Regardless, they constitute the detritus of our lives and environment and just by their very existence, from my perspective, they have something of value to say.
Even the lizards.
Thanks for reading,