Thursday, September 30, 2010

We waste it on the Wheel

It's still hot outside, but there are storms. Wind, lightening and constantly changing skies, day and night.

Last night found me pacing, pacing, pacing. This house is is oddly laid out. One can walk in circles, or, opening a couple of doors, travel something akin to a Mobius strip. I did just that.

I have much on my brain and too little time to sort it out. The too-little-time-to-sort-it-out part means it's difficult to write anything meaningful or remotely helpful at the moment.

At this moment, it looks like this is where I test take my own advice. Transitions are hard work, these are difficult times and your artist is a little crazy.

All work and no play is a poor plan for any human, even when things are difficult.

What, really, is more important than the care and feeding of our brains?

Mine needs to play, and sleep. Sheesh. Hope you're hanging in there too.


part the 2:

I didn't post that entry, obviously. It's now morning and everything is dappled in bits of sun through the clouds.
I woke up scared. She's still in me, that thin, pale little girl sitting up in her bed in the middle of the night, listening to the house. The house is alive. She hears its breath rasping through the clapboards. She don't know if she's alone in the house. She doesn't get up to check and she won't. She'll pretend her parents are here. It's better that way.

She's still in me, but I'm not her. That's what I tell myself, when I wake up scared.

Transitions are hard, and a lot of human beings are having to adapt in ways they didn't know they could, right now. It always has been that way and it very likely always will be.
I'm one of them.
Today I'm a little unsteady. So I give it some thought. There are options, including panic. OR I can put my energy into a bandaid. OR I can give it a day to right itself, take a breath and focus this morning's energy into painting, while the house is quiet, the light is good and the vision is fresh.

Here's the thing. I'm strongly compelled to go with the panic or the bandaid option Doesn't matter why. What matters is that I know that I'm compelled and that neither of those options has worked well in the past. Continuing to chose either would be like running on a wheel. No thank you. Carousels are hellish to me. I'm with Grandma. I like the roller coaster.

So I'm going to go with painting.

I'll let you know how that works out, or if it doesn't.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Poppets

Surprisingly enough, the clouds stayed with us all day and temps stayed just under 100 degrees.
It's a bit surreal. Could be the light, could be a bit of jet lag. I did love the cooler breezes and changing leaves of Wisconsin.

Today I mostly painted Poppets. The plan is to get up early, before Poppet Planet time, to work on a painting that's haunting me. It wants to be done. I have heard.
I want to paint, to write, to sleep. There is never enough time. But I'll try. It's a worthy juggling act. But since I've declared multitasking to be the death of creativity (for myself, at least) I must find another way. Will keep you posted.


Up earlier than early. Bit of time zone hangover. Outside with coffee by 6:40am to find the light diffused by a complete cloud cover. The hummingbirds are already at it, a dove sitting on the fence. I visit the praying mantis guardians on the tomato plants. I've learned to spot them. It's not easy. They are very clever , despite the whole head-eating issue. To each in turn I say what I tend to say to all such creatures, "Hello, beautiful." The air is only slightly warm. I sit, put my feet in the pool. No real clue to the hellish 120's to come in short hours. The rest of the humans are sleeping.
But Soosi is well into her morning routine. My bathroom floor is a sea of shredded toilet paper. Again. Thought taking it off the roll would fix that. But no. Inside, she's a blur of skittering, caroming, leaping, twisting, scratching,tearing through the house, bumping into walls, fighting for purchase on the wood floors in hot pursuit of a panicked twist tie. She and the ceiling fan are the only sounds I'm aware of. The hum of electronics is tucked away, only to make itself known in its absence, like the oboe in symphony. A blackout isn't inconceivable today.
Now it's time to wake the house, start the day and my own pursuit of the October I so long for. Not the one that marches inevitably toward me on the calendar, but the October that lives in my heart. In the blinding-white day ahead, it is elusive as the mantis and as silent. But still I hope to find her.

Wishing you a good day

Monday, September 27, 2010


Wow. Back from MadCon. It's time travel, for sure. It went by in a blip, it seems. Great to see Harlan Ellison and other long-time friends and to make some new friends too.

That was that world. Very likely there are clips and posts up about Harlan's speeches, which were every bit Harlan and then some.

Just getting back into this world, with an interesting transition over the badlands.

It's 114 today. It will be 123 tomorrow. Who was I kidding? October?

I've quite a lot of work to do. I MUST defeat summer. I will.

more later.
hope your weekend was good too

Monday, September 20, 2010


One of the pieces for MadCon. I opted to put this one on big 'feet' instead of hanging. It's more like a cross between a wunderkammer and an ant farm.
Has a real dragonfly, beetles, black widows, rat skull and lizard skeleton, with other things mechanical and not, all painted, sculpted and oddly put together. Oh, and a bee.
"One Half-Remembered August" is the title. But, I remember more.

Orion dodges the camera.

I used to post lots of photos of Orion. He has grown from a kidling who used to mug for the camera to this elusive game caught on camera only by stealth. Waited until he was engrossed in "Holes."

Not so much posting. Too much of doing. The next few weeks will be very full. Mostly I want the hot air to go away. At least mornings and nights are better.
I hope I need a sweater in Madison.

But I did think of you. Hope however your Monday was, your Tuesday is better.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lisa Snellings at American Visionary Art Museum

My kinetic carnival series, "Dark Caravan" is now in permanent installation at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. It opens in an exhibit titled, "What Makes Us Smile?," curated by 'The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, artist Gary Panter, and AVAM Founder Rebecca Hoffberger.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This week's fun.

Aubrey and I love The Birds. It's our favorite 'chick flick.' I'll be making a number of Bodega Bay School students and their feathered friends this season, along with the major characters. This one is Jenny.

Midnight and Magic was because I wanted to do something pretty. So I did.

The board and planchette aren't attached. I thought it would be more fun that way and I was right. It dawned on me, playing with the tiny board yesterday that I'd been thinking of this little one as a representation of a board.
Really though, in the realm of the unknown, why would size matter?

That said, my finger spelled 'h i d e.'

Oh dear.

This is an open edition version of "Rain" inspired by a commissioned one of a kind Poppet. Will put photos of that one up after it reaches its human.

I'm one week away from MadCon, three weeks away from the museum exhibit opening and all that goes with both events. Whew.

Hope your week is going well.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mass and Carnival, Carnival and Mass and 9-11

I'm in the studio, working on the last 2 pieces for MadCon and listening to Leonard Bernstein's Mass, which still holds it's balance of heartbreak and humor. It's 9 - 11 and I'm going to remember this as I always have, appreciating that life is precious and that human beings have a long way to go. I'll spend it with gratitude. I'll renew my promise be the best artist I can be, to be the best human creature I can be.

'Mass' was highly inspirational as I created the 'Midway' sculpture in the image. For me, the music and the events of 911 are tightly wound around this work. And now the memories of months of working on it with Ben and the lessons learned in the years since.

I'll be happy, because enjoying today is the best way I can honor it.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Willard Wigan is an alien

This morning I reached for my robe and slippers almost automatically. The air was that cool. Soosi must sense something, because she's suddenly become Quantum Kitty, occupying multiple locations at once. She chases some invisible object, also of the quantum sort.

Yesterday Aubrey and I passed a house with a sign that said "Free Stuff." She picked up a bronze art deco picture frame that featured a dryad. I picked up two pairs of swim flippers. I don't need any flippers (who needs more than one pair?) but why not? You never know what flippers could become. Or I could just wear them when I get the mail.

I think the word for the day might be 'patience.' Or maybe 'object.'

Free Objects. More to imagining than 'free stuff.'

And I think Willard Wigan is an alien. Maybe he has a shrink ray. I hope so. And I hope, for my sake, he takes this as a compliment. And I wish to see a microscopic Poppet. Of course I do.

Hope your day is good.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day

Saw Machete today. It was great, great fun. But then, I've always been a bit of a tom-boy. Still, Robert Rodriguez is a talented director and Danny Trejo the coolest of the cool.

Today is Labor Day. So we're resting. Tomorrow officially begins Halloween season in this house.

Happy Halloween Season. We eagerly await the first cool breeze.

Already the crows look more beautiful.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

My Blue Garden

...inspired by a small breath of cooler air.

for shame, Washington Post....again

Your poll questions are laughably biased. What's wrong with 1) yes 2) no or 3) unsure?

Or possibly: 1)Yes, I believe the benefits outweigh the risks.
and: 2)No, I believe the risks outweigh the benefits.
and 3)unsure. More research is needed.

You're the Washington Post. If I thought one newspaper in this country didn't have an agenda---just one---I'd sleep a little better at night.

I'm ashamed to be an American.

Posted by: harlikn7 | September 3, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

That's my comment. The article is bad enough, but the poll question (below) really ticks me off. I'm sick to death of meaningless, slanted, bullshit 'polls.' How stupid do 'they' think 'we' are?

If you had a medical condition that medical marijuana might make better and your state allowed it, would you seek a prescription?

For shame, Washington Post, for shame.

yes, we has fun today


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Simple Plans, The Last Exorcism, Taking a Breath

Orion gets out of school early on Wednesdays. He and his friends swam in the afternoon and the water was almost chilly--almost--but at least not the temperature of bathwater or worse. Soon, it will be the kind of water that wakes us, that challenges us and demands adrenaline. Not yet, but this morning the air was cooler, so we start to think about gearing up the greenhouse. We're more prepared to warm it than to keep it cool. Those last few weeks were... impossible. It's an equation-- to create more energy (food) than we use (electricity.) At a point, there was no getting around it.

It's not over yet. I'm not exactly getting a burst of energy. Mostly the news still scares me and I need a vacation. But being able to breath outside of air conditioning is a start.

Speaking of scaring, Aubrey and I went to see The Last Exorcism. The best thing I can say about it is that we saw a preview for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. And had candy.

I'll make every effort not to think overly this weekend. My brain needs rest from the thinking and the writing and the making. It's a good investment. One thing I've learned is that you have to rest. I'm full of visions, but creating art follows an equation too. It takes more than vision. It takes energy and direction too. You can't cheat and you can't force it. Not the 'good stuff.' You might push yourself to meet a deadline, but it will never be your best work. That has to come, and you have to prepare the way and let it.
Now I have Soosi to remind me. She who came home when we stopped frantically searching and let her. As I type this, she helps--fishes paper clips out of the holder and rolls around in them.
I hope you have a good weekend. I hope you renew your energy and spirit and have some fun. There is indeed a time for all things, and this weekend might be for re-creation.