Progressing

aacoldday

Beautiful but quite cold; January temps.

I was lax with the camera last week; it was a time of being too personally engaged to think of framing it through a lens.  On Monday and Tuesday, I got out the dyes and finished a piece, while taking others further. I’m pleased with what’s been happening. Wednesday, I met the very lovely man who funded the Prairie fellowship. We had a fine visit (with Linda-prepared lunch!) for a couple of hours.  Thursday, I held an open studio, and all the residents who remained at that point came out, in spite of cold bitter winds; it was warm and fun inside. Friday, we all left, and I came home to a happy pack (and the literally termed ‘excellent’ conclusion to the situation we’ve been dealing with for most of this year: hooray!)

aasyetuntitled

As yet untitled above, in progress below, along with much more. 

aainsprogress

Saturday evening I attended one of the nicest opening receptions in a long time, the annual end-of-the-year group exhibition at ZIA. What made it special was the fact that though I was engaged in conversations from the time I walked in to the time I left, they were with no more than three people at a time, and I could actually participate in some meaningful (and fun) dialogue. Sunday, I had a sweet restorative quiet rainy day just being with my pack.

aareassuring

He’s calmer when I come and go, but while I’m home, he wants to be aware of my every move. 

But I’ve saved the absolute best for last: yesterday I drove up in the snow that’s now blanketing everything and I’m back at Ragdale for another three weeks!

aacoldears

Been waiting for this.

aabluestembends

Big bluestem after wind and snow.

aawontgo

And still.

here now

aaprairieburn

There was another prairie burn; same quadrant as last year, and another in the woods. This time, I didn’t need to wait for smoke; I saw the vehicles and knew what must be happening.  Jane Fulton Alt was there, and it was lovely to talk with her and also to watch her work.  And to watch it all begin.

aawoodsburn

It’s been a struggle, but eventually I got there: losing track of time in the studio, diving through that portal. There was imagery that just wouldn’t leave me, resulting in an experiment that might not have worked, but those?  Those are what excite me, involve me, take me to that place.  And it worked, so I made another, and will make at least one more. Ahh. So now, I’ve no words for the best of reasons.

aanewears

I rushed to get these ready and installed on the last warm day; still waiting to get a shot in the snow (it disappears quickly.) I wanted one on the fallen section of tree, but could not get the ladder safely positioned; too many huge fallen branches all tangled together.

aanewears2

A few days ago, I went home again overnight, to switch out supplies, see my pack and luckily was able to catch a haircut on the way back; chopped it short (winter artificial heat and too much hair: no fun.) This week I will meet with my fellowship’s benefactor, which I’m looking forward to. I’m also contemplating the possibility of extending my stay. Oh, and there is snow, just enough to make the path back from the studio more visible to my tiny flashlight; the late nights have begun (it’s also dark by dinnertime.)

aanewpiece

This imagery is still insistent. I am not resisting. This was a test piece that made me very happy.

aainprogress

In progress, above and below…

aadryin

unusual territory

big taters

Giant mutant potatoes?

The residency’s a day past its midpoint, but I’ve only really been here a total of seven days (I went home for awhile last week. Chance cried piteously when I left again. I also needed to spend a day away and at the computer for outside work that didn’t get done before I came, some of which still needs to be done). I do love simply being here, and the company is good, and the level of physical comfort is as wonderful as always, but I said I would always write about the warts, too, so here it is: in the studio it is a genuine, uncomfortable struggle this time. So, I have few words; I’m not used to this, especially not here. All I can do (and am doing) is to keep trying, keep showing up.

big ring

No, just this year’s Ragdale Ring coming down and being hauled away. 

A few good things did happen; I made new ear-fungi and know how I want to expand the installation (and the original ear survived a ferocious Halloween windstorm). And, I inadvertently made something I never realized was possible: high-shrinkage milkweed. It is incredibly tactile and tough and translucent. I’ll show up and make some sheets of that tomorrow, and hope that state of being that usually comes to me here will finally appear as well.

bigbrainmuddle

Not high-shrinkage milkweed pulp, looking a bit like the interior of my brain just now.