1999, mixed media on abaca paper, 1999, 11 x 8 inches each.
Journal Series: This is the second journal series that I have made. It began in April 1999. I have been doing these series since 1996 and use them as doodles or thinkings on materials and ideas. The below writings do not correspond exactly to any particular ones shown here, but you get the gist.
- Death of a Baby Pod: The milkweed pod has so much potential for giving life and demonstrates this in a very simple way. They get big and explode and the seeds disperse all over the place. It is sad that this pod’s life was truncated at such an early stage. I am making an ode to it by wrapping it in wish/death papers from Asia (China?) and burning underneath it to give an idea of the ritual of the papers. The safety pin is because it’s a baby and also to be a little sick.
- They Crucified Jesus in Texas: This is made with a postcard from my grandmother’s house and stamps from Steven Bernstein’s grandfather. It is kind of a joke. I was thinking about the “M “on the side of the hill in San Luis Obispo, California. “M” stands for Madonna who is the man (!) who owns the whole town and will never let anyone forget it. In the end, what is the difference between the church and a person doing that sort of thing. A cross is just as territorial as an “M” and Texas is definitely the place.
- Inside-Outside: Me-He: The milkweed pod looks like a woman on the inside and a man on the outside. I have layered them together into one fluid and translucent piece.
- At the Museum: Because milkweed pods are also really prehistoric looking….
- Tippeprairie: This is a drawing of some things from the prairie at Ragdale that I brought back to the studio. The transparence of the abaca paper lets me put the ink on both sides so that two things happen at once. The colors are as random as the November prairie. And the song “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary…” is a childhood memory. When I would sing it, I had no idea that Tipperary was a county in Ireland, but I was just singing it randomly which is how I drew this and how would meander far behind my parents as a child. This is what I got back to in the prairie and in “nature” in general. There is no time, just place.
- maxandharrymoon: Max took this picture of Harry or it might be the other way around. It was during one of the usual and very long “road trips” that their father took them on. They always caused havoc in the back seat and it was never a honeymoon for the adults in the car.
- Wingaersheek Moon: This is made with a photograph of the water at Wingaersheek in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The moon corresponds with the tides, which corresponds with being female.
- Waiting in China: I don’t remember anything in China being colorful or filled with light. However, this photograph shows that this random waiting room in Kashgar where Jennifer, the man who claimed to own Poland Spring and I were waiting for some pass to go somewhere was perfectly attractive. Jennifer and the man were doing twists on the tables, which is a helpful bad back remedy. I cut them out and put them somewhere else.
- Bark Study: I have a poetry/art exchange with my friend Thea. She is the one who told me to go to Ragdale because she went. She wrote a line in a poem…”Knifey chunk of tree…” She told me how she had this moment with a tree at Ragdale where this thick scabby chunk just came off in her hand. So this is thinking about her and bark. Also, I am doing a piece “Between Brush” where I need to figure out how to make the bark between the between brush. This is made from both sides like the Tippeprairie: except that whatever didn’t bleed through on to the other side was painted in on the first side.
- Freak Bee Knot: This stamp looked like a bee the way that it had been marked by the post office. The glue and hobby grass were trash. This is just a doodle with an unusual visual combo solution.
- The Best Stamps: This is a selection of some of the best stamps that I liked too much to cut up. They came from John Gibson and Steven Bernstein.
- Forgotten Baby: I found this photograph in my grandmother’s things. I have no idea who it was or why it was posed in that huge chair all by itself in the middle of the lawn? The lawn I added is dollhouse lawn because the baby is being treated like a doll in the photo. Anyway, there is no baby in the end because it must be dead by now.
- Once Upon a Sea Dream: Because once, when I was in love, I dreamed of a life like this. Not very realistic.
- Telephone Doodle: The only sanity to be had in a phone fight is the act of making art. Making art on the phone also enables me not to feel guilty about wasting time.
- Configuration: Meet and Touch: Of course this is very sexy, but in an ethereal way. On the bottom is the translucent nourishing water which leads to the man who is rising up towards the flower and on top are the golden and delicate insides of the lady.
- Posy Ring Is Not So Rosy Ping: Although the song “Ring Around the Rosy….” sounds like it would be festive, it is about concentration camps and death. I have used leftover chunks of hobby rocks and grass as the ring and one black flower as a nature morte (female) to demonstrate the reality.
- May Day Pole: Writing on back is all about the symbolics of May Day from tree to penile worship.
- Grandma’s Art History Notes Mixed With Some Me: I have been using my grandmother’s treasures in my artwork since 1991. This piece is mostly a demonstration of that and the conflict that sometimes arises. Here, I cannot bear to cut up her name, so I have cut it out and isolated it, because it is very important.
- Negative Is Positive: I cut out every word that was on these two pages individually and used them in Else Trail. That is another piece where I made poetic sentences around and around a 22 x 30-inch piece of paper. The words come from correspondence courses in agriculture. It is amazing the different life something takes on when you just change its configuration just a little bit. For example, who gives a shit about these leftover pieces of paper or about 1970’s correspondence courses in agriculture for that matter. But the point is that negative space becomes positive space. This also applies to the way the back, which is usually void, becomes just as active as the front so that it is not the back at all. In the end, it is all-equal in every direction.
- Remember How Important We Were Until the Jockey Turned Periwinkle: My grandparents had this black metal jockey which you were supposed to tie your horse to when you came to call. One day I painted it periwinkle because it was the most non-associative color that I could think of. No one could argue with me. However, I bet John Donavan, who bought the house from us, painted it black again.
- Shark Got Eaten By a Giant Scum Barnacle: Another max/harry random photo with a random head replacement. Children are different than grownups.
- Zipper: My friend Lisa found me bits of this and that on a glass beach in California. Some are in My Sun also. Anyway, the other part is a stamp bit. Isn’t it funny how things which seem to be nothing can be reborn.
- Ode to a Cabbage: I made cabbage paper at Dieu Donné in a paper making workshop. It is translucent, interwoven with veins, explosive and ever so fragile. I am stumped as to how to use it. Hence, here is an ode. Accessible from two directions.
- Mystical Leftovers Back and Forth: Here are some leftovers that needed a home.
They are in a circle because everything comes back to itself and because circles are magic.
- Sent: These are the non-picture parts for a sheet of stamps. It is also beautiful and shouldn’t be ignored. Something that really interests me is trails and their randomness. How is it that trails are decided upon underground by moles and ants? If we didn’t have sidewalks, would we meander aimlessly and separately? In the end all the paths are just as transient as footprints at the shore. This is also a study in pattern and design. Not to say that everything isn’t, but some things are more than others are.
- Bleach Black: Here I wanted a very black black so I even coated both sides. Then I put bleach on it to see what would happen. The disintegration from the bleach makes the paper crumble, just as the thick coat of gouache and ink crumbles on its own. It is not long for this world.
- Dandiladies: I took a lot of photographs of dandelions at Yaddo. The five weeks that I was there, I watched them bud, bloom, turn to puff balls, and then fly away. Sometimes they reminded me of people. They are gone now, that’s why they have death/wish paper heads.
- Gone: These are the heads of sailors who were on 3¢ stamps so long ago that now I bet that they are almost all dead. The design here is because I felt like it.
- A Very Old Tale About Figs Etc., 2001.
Luke and I went to Greece and of course there are fig trees everywhere. And then we went
to Ibiza where there is sex everywhere. There were some sights on that beach that were
unbelievable. I bought this calendar postcard with a different sexual position for every day
of the year. We try to cover up all the sexy animal instincts that we have as humans. In
reality, a fig leaf is not so long lived. (You can see this one is old, dry and crumbly). Who
were Adam and Eve trying to kid? It is impossible to cover up what we really are, so why
not just enjoy it in every way possilbe?!?!?!
- Blood Brings Beauty and Biodiversity, 2000.
Here are some flowers and then some grass and then below are the roots that are like veins pulsing with blood. Not attractive, but their result is.
- Hirome, 2000.
This is from a piece of paper that I got at Hirome Paper in Los Angeles. I love this paper place. I just cut out the light blue and left the dark blue part of the pattern. Nothing else.
- 4. Merry Winter Windows, 2000.
Every Christmas Eve my grandparents would give a Christmas Party in the Big Room. From the very beginning of the night we would wait by the windows to see Santa before he made his entrance into the house. We didn’t want to miss any chance we had to see him. He would bring a present to every child that was there. It was very exciting. The windows in the sky are for all the children’s windows that Santa passes in his sleigh at night and all the anticipation for his arrival and the arrival of Christmas Day.
- The Fate of the Boys Who Saved Our World, 2000.
This is a sheet of stamps that had sailors from World War II on them. I cut out
all the little sailor heads and used them in another piece. Here, heaven is on the top in gold
leaf and hell is below in black. I put gold leaf in most of the places where the boys
heads were because I thought it was nicer to send them to heaven considering that they
fought for our country and most were probably too young to rationally choose whether
they wanted to fight or not. A tiny bit of them got black heads which means they went to
hell because there are always a few bad seeds in a crowd. Frankly, I don’t think that
people who kill people and go to war should actually be sent to heaven because this kind of
destruction is what tears our world apart. The tough issue is that fighting against Hitler was
considered a justified fight. The point though is that you never see women instigating war
or killing people in droves. It is the women who give birth and the men who ravage and
destroy. The thing that irritates me is that I am considered a raging radical feminist when
I articulate this reality. With this drawing, I was obviously trying not to ruffle any feathers.
- Ooooh, Alice, This Is Just TOO Sexy! 2001.
In the lower right hand corner is a Polaroid of me holding a phallic wire foot in a
suggestive way. There is a big red rose from a Lord & Taylor box on my head. My friend
Jane, who owned this box, died recently. In Alice and Wonderland, the queen is a
generally angry person and orders the decapitation of many of her people. One time she
orders a massacre because the gardeners are painting the roses red after accidentally
growing white ones. This image of me ejaculating out of a wire foot with a rose on my
head is surrounded by grass and birds and bees and nature things. This picture is similar
to the movie Blue Velvet when the guy finds the ear nestled in a lovely field.
- Hilldale Under Starry Sky, 2000.
I love a starry sky. I was in Turkey and slept under the stars on a boat for a week. It made an artwork called Starry Turkey on my special paper. This is a small version. Away from cities on a starry night, the earth is only shadow. The lightest part of our world is the sky sparkling with pin heads.
- Fleeting, 2000.
This is a piece about butterflies and the way that they only have a day to live. They drop out of the sky having made fleeting impact, just a shadow.
- Just Pretty, 2001.
These are leftover papers that are put together in a pretty pattern.
Then when I was in Los Angeles I went to Hirome paper and they sold me as much of the
delicious lovely paper as I wanted, so I bought a lot. Supposedly, the man who makes it is
Japanese and very old and doesn’t have an apprentice who is learning his craft. I backed
the fish in Fish Frenzy as well as these birds that I used for The Birds and the Beads.
These bits of paper are the leftovers from these that I did not throw away because 1. The
Paper is so expensive. 2. I never throw anything away