Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Notes from a Closet Art Pirate: The Wicked Witch, Poetry Sculptures, New Perhaps/Maybes

woodcut by Peter Pryputniewicz
The Witch’s fingers dug into the bark of the tree. She still could not see the girl’s face, just her strong forearms and the crown of her head where her dark hair was pulled back into pigtails. Was she to be taken seriously, or was she merely a blow-away dandelion seed, caught on the wrong side of the wind?

 —from Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Lately in relation to my creative endeavors (as evidenced by my last post on the obstacles I faced leaving town to go to an art opening) I feel stymied. Trying to take my creative life seriously, but in fact, spending more time “on the wrong side of the wind” as light and transportable as a dandelion seed.

In actuality I do not have the Wicked Witch of the West breathing down my neck nor her host of emotional under-pinnings and murky cross-purposes one discovers upon reading Maguire’s semi-sympathetic portrayal in Wicked (how risky, but clever, to take her on—the dark horse to Dorothy’s eventually unbearable bright). Though I  may not, during this intense time of teaching online and in person courses, have as much raw writing time as I’d like to go around after the three children, Husky, feral cats, and two indoor cats are fed, watered, and put to bed, I can stop and appreciate the fertile results of prior and ongoing collaborations.

My co-collaborator Robyn and I did escape to Stockton to view the 2D3D poetry show up featuring our photo poem montages (which took Juror's Best of Show)  at the LH Horton Jr. Gallery at San Joaquin DeltaCollege (their Center for the Arts) at the attentive side of curator Jan Marlese. In our usual “secret art pirate” mode, Robyn and I came home with a plethora of new photos of the artwork there (of course we asked permission first!). We’re hoping to secure further permission to use some of the images for our Guinevere series of photo poem montages.

I’m including the visual postcard again as it sports the Sir Gawain (Gallery Award Best of Show) and Green Knight works by CJ Hurley. In person, the full-body size work dazzles with its intricate use of thin braided rope, wax, jewel work, mottled copper and bronze. In his artist statement, Hurley writes: “Although Sir Gawain represents Chivalry, Christian ideals, and, civilization, his counterpoint, the Pagan Green Knight is no polar opposite. The Green Knight represents the Pagan gods, the forces of nature, and the untamed wild. Yet he is no savage, he is neither barbaric nor deceitful. In fact he displays as much honor, and integrity, if not more than Sir Gawain.” Read Hurley's full statement here.

Applying to the 2D3D poetry show came via a nudge from sculptor Sandy Frank. Several years ago, we started playing with the idea of putting poems and sculpture together. At that point, she penned some lines from one of my poems  across a male torso. Though we were not in position to enter this year’s show together, the occasion of the 2D3D poetry show did remind us to pick up the thread and play some more. So here Sandy has tried collaging stanza’s from the poem The Painter’s Wife across the sheer wall of the side of one of her sculptures. We are mid process but I wanted to post the image to show you what we’re up to for now.

In other news: stop by to read new collaborations up at Liz Brennan’s Perhaps Maybe blog—I meant to post these links by Halloween, as they were slightly darker than my usual mildly dark side, especially “Some Human Actions” and  Ley Lines , less so, though still appropriate potentially for this belated All Hallows Eve timing.

I also just finished teaching a section of Transformative Blogging for women writers at Story Circle Network--still riding the creative play high--and will be teaching it again in January. I remain in love with the flow of exchanging information and I’ll be sure to post a link to the next class.

I am presently in search of writing mothers curious about blogging--I ran a guest post over at Mother Writer Mentor about the class (the post also links to example blogs written by mothers). When I get enough students, I'll run the course. I would be the last person to urge a mother away from her child, but I believe one can write and one can mother, just as one can mother and one can blog. Sign up with a friend and come out to play--I'd love to work with you.