I’ve been spending a lot of time on autobiographical blog assembleges the last couple of weeks. When I tried to stop, my daughter, Jessica, called me up and insisted that I continue.
Actually her request, when clarified, included a plea for a full-on written testament to our existence and those of our people.
I read something very interesting not long ago about singer/songwriter Greg Brown. Brown is a man with a beautiful baritone and an earthy sensibility. Some of his inspiration comes from the journal written by his sweet, earth-mama granny. This is from a story I wrote when he came to town last year.
“The family were farmers, what they would call subsistence farmers — big gardens, orchards, milk the cows, gather the eggs from the hen house,” Brown said. “My grandmother on my mother’s side ran a sawmill with a steam locomotive when I was a kid. My father’s mother lived in the Ozarks, knew all the birds and animals and plants. She wrote a journal and was a poet and a conservationist.”
Brown elaborated on his grandmother’s influence in a 1998 interview with web author Sandy Carter for Z Magazine.
“Ella Mae was a remarkable woman. She lived in the southern Ozarks and her mother died when she was young. She had only a second-grade education, but she had this innate love of reading and writing. “And she kept this journal that recorded family history, descriptions of nature, moments of everyday life and poems, really very beautiful poems. She copied this journal for each of her seven kids and when I was 18, my father gave me that journal. I was beginning to write songs about that time and through reading her journal, I learned about how to write about things that were bigger than just me. There was a deep calmness and wisdom in her.”
My grandmother, who raised me, is now suffering with a severe loss of her short term memory. There will be no more recollections from her of the life she lived. It’s not like I ever got the straight truth from her anyway. There were things she didn’t know and alot more she would not recall because it wasn’t acceptable. Her sons (my dad and uncle) got into trouble early and . . . well, that’s for later. If it will help deepen my children’s sense of themselves I will work for my mojo.
What I want to do today is to take a break from biography and get back to my art space.
I haven’t created with my usual madman pace over the last two weeks. It just go to the point where I realized I’m adding things to my etsy shop and not selling much. I decided it was perfectly reasonable to take a break.
The smoke from the north state lightning-strike fires of 2008 zapped my energy too. I see it’s back today after somewhat of a break in previous days. Hey, what’s so bad about a lack of oxygen for three weeks? I hope George W. is deprived. I can’t help it.
I have made a batch of stamps in the last few weeks and I learned something.
This is a fly.
It is not carved on the soft eraser material that is Staedtler Mastercarve
It is carved from the Dick Blick version “Soft Cut” which is less wonderful. It’s harder to carve, more rubbery and it even seems not to hold the ink like the Mastercarve. I’m glad I bought a shit load of the Soft Cut. I must stop being a cheap skate.
I attached the thin Soft Cut blocks to wooden Jenga blocks to make it easier to print.
You can see that this is a gnome.
I did more Mayan faces. These are about the size of a quarter. They were done with the Staedtler. The clown is closer to the size of a dime. I glued a block on this stamp, too.
I also got around to adding an element of color to the living room of our home. Since we rent I can’t add color to the walls by painting them but I can accessorize.
I was deeply yucked out last week looking around my work/live space and had to do some reworking and brightening. So part of my creative energy has gone this week into painting a mirror just the right yellow color.
The mirror is still too small but it’s much brighter. It now balancing out other red and yellow elements.
It took me three days on and off at leisurely pace and three coats to cover the plastic, fake-wicker frame.
Here is one of those flattering photos of myself in full fish-mouth pose, oh yes and the yellow mirror.
I have a killer San Francisco flashback just about fully cooked.
It’s about arriving on Folsom Street and moving to Dore alley. Great pix.
Check back tommorrow. I’m creating some art for it.