Thursday, May 14, 2020

What is or not going on up there

I made this last week I think (my sense of time is eluding me, it already feels like at least a month ago but it wasn't). This is definitely how I feel these days, my head is not right / not present / has been replaced with something else entirely.
But I am grateful to have received a few relief grants. One in particular is related to a residency I had been looking forward to but of course can't attend this summer. Oak Spring Garden Foundation has been particularly generous in providing our stipend to us even though we can't attend this year. The contract asks for a presentation and new work, so I made a book, my first during quarantine.
The covers and straps are made from two different types of milkweed paper, and the pages of harakeke. I had made the milkweed paper at home and the harakeke paper in Australia a couple years back at Barb Adams' beautiful paper studio. The structure is from the wonderful Interlocking and Woven Book Structures, one of my favorites because it allows single sheets to lay flat and requires no glue, only paper straps.
I had made the book a while back when I was re-practicing the structure and it turned out to be exactly right for rhododendron drawings. Lots of plant life in here.
This is the sketchbook I've been drawing in since about late Feb or early March. I use both sides of each page and weight the book every day after doing wet drawings (with interleaving glassine) to try and keep it as flat as possible over time.

On the other side of the circular drawing is a quick pencil sketch of a little bird I saw sitting in the middle of my front lawn this past weekend. It was big enough to be out of the nest maybe but still shedding its down and not ready to really fly, only travel a few low feet at a time. I noticed it because mom was feeding it and then flew away. Baby started to look around and later I saw it had moved, still searching and cheeping. It didn't look like a good situation. The next day I saw it behind my house, hopping around and not looking any further along in figuring out how to fly or eat or survive.

Yesterday on the way back from the garage I looked down to see it torn to pieces on the border of the back lawn. I don't want to move it but am not sure if scavengers will clear the rest. During a walk I was thinking about how long humans now live, a less short and brutish existence, but maybe we're fooling ourselves. I'm still not able to work as I used to, but grateful to be doing anything at all.

No comments: