Friday, June 30, 2006

Burning angels, burning desert

I'm not going to complain about the weather, not with people in the East drowning. My sympathies go out to them.

I did burn my feet today. I thought I could make it to the shade, just a dozen steps, to retrieve Orion's swimsuit. Nope. My painful and red little feet (size 6) are encased in footies, slathered in ointment. DUMBARTIST is Lisa.

I'm trying to maintain my little micro environment. My ferns are still alive, thanks to the artificial rain. My gardener will be here tomorrow and we'll see what else can be done. It's nearly eleven pm right now and the thermometer on the back porch reads 103.

Aubrey has disappeared into her summer studies. She is ambitious. There is a tower of books on various religions in her room, studded with post-it notes and bits of paper. Of course, what can I say? The tower of books came off the shelves in our house. OK. I can say, YES. My offspring is seeking knowledge.

Orion is playing TAK under the fan. He 'should' have been in bed two hours ago. It's summer. He will have schedules soon enough.

I'm deep into working. I suspect you gathered that from my silence. Sorry. It is the nature of the art that sometimes I must sort of go away.

A few words on burning angels...

The first "Relic" sculpture I did was inspired by these vague memories of an experience I half remember from early childhood. The images are sharp. The facts are fuzzy and unverified, as relatives have long gone to other worlds....And dust.
It mostly has to do with a cross burning in my Aunt's yard that went from bad to worse. It mostly has to do with commotion, shouting and being carried out of a big old house. It mostly has to do with jouncing on an uncle's shoulder past a painting of an angel going up in flames. How much is remembered? How much is dream? What investigation I could do leads me to believe that the angel was actually a print or lithograph of Pinky. Thomas Gainsborough
Blue Boy was nowhere to be found. But for some reason the angel remains in my memory.

The chaos and conflict, the undertone of rebellion and the visual of the huge, gilt-framed painting in flames remains, immovable, in my heart of hearts. The falling of a once opulent and decadent family is a sepia toned history common enough in the south, real enough for me.

But, even more than mostly, I burn the works in this Relic series because I've always lived many levels of reality. Possibly because of my own mothers swings between genius and insanity, possibly because of the dichotomy of religion and folklore I grew up in. Likely because of my forays into chasms of dream, depression and imagination.

But possibly, it's simply that I like fucking with boundaries. Period. The Relic pieces (as well as many other works of mine) tend to blur the edge between two- and three -dimensional works, much to the chagrin of art directors who must categorize these pieces. They are both paintings and sculptures. When I burn one of these works----I refer here especially to
"Guardian of Sorrows" and El Maestro del Fuego, I not only incorporate fire into the story of the character I've created, but I spill the story out past the frame, into the presence of the viewer----namely, me and sometimes you.

So. I will have a glass of red wine and soak my feet in the pool and gather myself for tomorrow, which will come very, very soon. But first, I will email Gene Wolfe, because I miss him.

Have a good midnight


Deadpool said...

show those boundaries what for! bring the giant down!

yo en fuego, a self potrait i drew in my head. i wonder what your art looks like....i bet if i read further i'd find some links. But now its late, so i shall save the flavor for tommorow... i like your broad use of language, btw. Makes for a good read!

Anonymous said...

How about a poster or a sign somewhere, that says,

Lisa: Burn Angels, not feet

jordan's mom said...

Thank you for sharing more about the history/memories behind the fiery angels. While all artists are influenced by their life experiences and especially memories from childhood, not everyone can remember and connect the dots. The ones you described were powerful, even in the art, they are transformational.

Very cool.

faerydusted1 said...

We're finished drowing in Maryland, at least for now. The sun's come out again, but its not so vengeful as yours. My sympathies for go out to you. I wish I had some cure for singed feet, but I'm sure someone else on here will have just the thing.
My parents are brilliant parents. Not that I or my brother turned out to be perfect human beings by any stretch of the imagination, but I think they did all the right things in raising us (mistakes included, because making mistakes showed us that they were human, too, and that was ok) and I feel confident in bragging about them at every turn.
1. They rejoiced in whatever we read. That included comic books & D&D. (My mom caught a lot of flak from the other Military Wives for the comic books, but hey, my brother was READING. Now? He's a computer scientist. I can see how Spider Man killed his brain cells.) They're both Catholic, but we were also encouraged to read about whatever religions fascinated us and attend church if we wanted and where we wanted. My parents rock. The drawback, of course, is book addiction I've now developed. ;)
2. Bedtimes always got stretched away and blurred during summer. You don't get that as an adult, always. Kids should have summers.
So go you, mom Lisa. You talked about your House of No Discipline at Balticon, but it really sounds like a House of Growth and Encouragement.
Thank you for describing the memories of your childhood. Accurate or not so much, its amazing that you're found a way to express them like you have. Or that you found a job where you can just mess with stuff. I love reading about it.

vandaluna said...

Has Aubrey always had a thirst for knowledge?

jestersdna said...

You remember what to do about burns mom. Break a peice off that ugly aloe plant and rub the end all over it. You used to do that to me when I'd get a burn or cut.

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