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Digital experiment using layers from the Tayasui Sketching app + Procreate app on IPhone 7. Excerpt from the novel Chokher Bali by Rabindranath Tagore. November 15, 2016.




For lifelong companionship, it’s not necessary to live together.

We have gone as far as we had to go.

From here, our paths diverge.

It’s better for both of us.

I will atone for my mistakes by serving other people. If you settle down, I swear, I will be really happy.

Now I have no grievances in this life. Life has done us a big favor by bringing us together again. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to resolve our grievances.

I was at fault, but you didn’t let your love for me wane.

Your Binod will learn to live with the help of this thought.

Before leaving, all I will ask is that…

..in our next birth, you should only belong to me.

Don’t belong to anybody else.


From the last letter of Binodini to her beloved Behari. 

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Digital painting made on ProCreate app for IPhone. November 11, 2016.



Dark days here in California.
Days of mourning, but also poetry, catharsis, resolve for Resistance.

The Sun broke through the clouds today.

Words, thoughts, and memories flowed and something beautiful is emerging from the summer blush, the gentle nights, the dawns of Bahia de Los Angeles down in the peninsula.

The blood and ink spilled on the battlegrounds of a war lost before it began.

Red like the heart, yellow like the fire, orange as the light.

Some days all of this will make sense. The humbleness of things not going your way, not going as predicted.

For now huddle with your familiars, write manifestos, memorize lines of poetry

To leave as flowers as you bid your adieu.

In the end nothing mattered, not eloquence, preparedness, not even expertise.

It boiled down, as it always boils

down

to

emotion.

In love, in war, in politics.

These scars will become constellations.





I recently switched to an IPhone.

I was  always an Android/PC person, but did it all for the camera (and the IPhone 7 larger screen, which brings it closer to a tablet). Today after some research I downloaded ProCreate, a painting and layering app and Tayasui Sketching, a drawing and watercolor app. I’m looking forward to exploring them with my Sensu brush. The layers aspect of ProCreate pushes this app beyond what I was used to with Paint Commander, my Android painting app. If I don’t sound as my usually excited self is because I’m still numb.

The spontaneous construct above was an experiment with ProCreate inspired by Rothko, some photographs I took in September in Baja California, the recent elections and the high-strung feeling running through social media- especially related to some alarming episodes of intolerance already happening.
I guess things have to fall apart before they are made anew, and I guess the heart has to break in a myriad of pieces to become a mosaic, a kaleidoscope. This was the autumn of earthquake faults and fractures, of buildings and people.

There is a Japanese custom of repairing broken antique vases with gold, making the wound not only visible, but the whole more precious for having being shattered.


I was dead then alive. Weeping then laughing. The power of love came into me and I became fierce like a lion then … then tender like the evening star.


~ Rumi 

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Dear Single Reader (as Stephen King used to say),

I fear you might have given up on me.

Here is what I have to show from the months of June – September: the publication of my first academic research paper, presented to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) International Conference in Santiago de Chile.  I went there in June, and from there onto Buenos Aires.

This, and irresponsible happiness.

Late September was Baja California, Mexico, and its searing sunrises.                 Halloween saw me as Frida; Diwali, the Indian Festival of Light ( October 30- November 3) saw my home, and heart, ablaze.

“Being a candle is not easy; in order to give light one must burn first.”

Rumi 

Happy last night of Diwali, the Indian Festival of light. This is a time where light banishes darkness,a time of renewals and new beginnings.

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Photography and Digital Manipulation. March 6, 2011.

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Ink and coffee on paper.

One more post before the month is over. I still have a lot of sketches to share and  am working on finding time to do some more collages (wow, the previous sentence needs to have more conviction to it!). Lots of changes going on around the world…. I am just sitting and seeing it all turn.
Wanted to share some words I received today:


Events of these past weeks remind us that as designers, faculty, engineers, authors, landscape architects, students, and architects we build landscapes and cities that fuel revolutions. Of knowledge and of hope…..Act of civil disobedience in Tunis and in Cairo are fueled by the spark of indignity. And in their Main Squares, we are reminded that Cities are embodied energy too. Below are words on cities. There are many.
 
Come, let yourself fall with me into the lunar scar of our city, scratched by sewers, crystal city of vapor and mineral frost, city witness to all we forget, city of carnivorous cliffs, city of immobile pain, city of immense brevity, city of the motionless sun, city of the long burning, city of the slow fires, city up to its neck in water, city of playful lethargy, city of black nerves, city of three umbilical scars, city of yellow laughter, city of twisted stink, city between air and worms, city of ancient lights ,old city nested among birds of omen, new city next to sculpture dust, city reflection of gigantic heaven, city of dark varnish and stonework, city beneath glistening mud, city of guts and tendons, city of violated defeat, city of submissive markets, city reflecting fury city of anxious failure, city woven with amnesia….
 
Carlos Fuentes
See you in February!

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image

The Archangel Michael leads the Army of God. According to Wikipedia, {argh}. Michael is an Archangel in the Christian, Islamic, and Hebrew traditions.
He is the patron of the warrior.
I love the power of iconic images, the symbolism of the Catholic faith I have left behind yet respect in its ability to give visual comfort to the afflicted.

Justice is represented by the sword. How do we define it? I found these thoughts of comfort, as I have been slaying dragons and cutting the last of the hydra-heads. I am a woman who knows evil, yet art in the form of protective, powerful imagery gives solace, hope for deliverance and, of course, just retribution (hell hath no fury…etc. etc.).

Someday some abstract rendition will come out of this; I will be able to process it all and turn it into art, or in one of Ghadah’s women/girls..but today I am literal like a church fresco, I tell my story as if to pheasants, through illustrated stained- glass windows. The via crucis is made not by twelve stops, but more like one hundred and nine, or seventy-seven – a year-long Lent. I am a cathedral of crutches* and all the lessons are learned on my skin.

image

So, on Justice:

The great American trial lawyer, Gerry Spence, wrote, “There is no power like the power of justice”.
British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, in a speech to the House of Commons in 1853, stated, “Justice is truth in action”. 

image

The above picture represents the “power of justice”.

The shield protects, the sword destroys. The power is strong, like the young warrior. The power comes quickly, as if on wings, out of the heavens.

[ source here]

Here’s to shining fingernails, the female version of swords.

* more on this and local art happenings in the next post.

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"How fine you look when dressed in rage. Your enemies are fortunate your condition is not permanent. You're lucky, too. Red eyes suit so few. " Cheshire Cat 2.1. Ink on tracing paper. June 30, 2010

From Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951).

Cheshire Cat: Oh, by the way, if you’d really like to know, he went that way. 

Alice: Who did? 

Cheshire Cat: The White  Rabbit. 

Alice: He did?

Cheshire Cat: He did what? 

Alice: Went that way. 

 Cheshire Cat: Who did? 

 Alice: The White Rabbit. 

 Cheshire Cat: What rabbit? 

 Alice: But didn’t you just say – I mean – Oh, dear. 

Cheshire Cat: Can you stand on your head? 

 Alice: Oh! 

 

  

It must be Halloween in July (seriously, wasn’t it Christmas?).   

I have material for three new posts and some serious  retroactive editing to do; have been drawing, reading short fiction, poetry, and fascinating stories about forensic art curating- all of which I will share with related art.  But let me start with saying that at times intense reading  (input) for the ambitious –or obsession-prone– designer/visual artist can be considered a passive-aggressive behavior, when so much needs to be in output mode, expressed, exorcised. Indeed, Julia Cameron in her Artist’s Way asks us to refrain from reading for one week, as we need to temporarily pause others’ voices and opinions to recognize  and strengthen our own.   

Lately my work, alas,  has been hindered: I had to hunt (and was haunted[1] by) a ghost with sixty-four  teeth. The wheels of karma turned and I , who once called someone-undeservedly- a ghost, have had to suffer one.     

Hello,  setbacks.    

So for today’s art, folks, this page is my canvas and my collage. This is where the work is done.  

Let me tell you about the Cheshire cat. He appears to di-sappear only to re-appear!    

All this to say (and yes, Art is process, it is a filter, it exorcises…it is a strainer, a sieve.  She is a savior):   

Ink on Paper and digital collage. June 29, 2010

I have been walking under a black cloud for three months   

Holding my breath   

Only it was not a cloud   

-though it hung like a pale, hungry moon-   

It was the Cheshire smile of a ghost   

Useless, hideous ghost that would not go away   

Spoke maddening riddles, multiplied hydra-like,   

Says I…. I….I….   

    

That single grin is fading again   

Waning   

And I, tethered, am starting to exhale.   

    


Thank you. How about how good it feels to finally forget forgive you.

   

 [1] Definitions from  The Free Dictionary:  

haunt // (hônt, hnt)   

v. haunt·ed, haunt·ing, haunts   

v.tr. 1. To inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.   

2. To visit often; frequent: haunted the movie theaters.3. To come to the mind of continually; obsess: a riddle that haunted me all morning.4. To be continually present in; pervade: the melancholy that haunts the composer’s music.   

v.intr. To recur or visit often, especially as a ghost.   

haunt   

vb 1. (Myth & Legend / European Myth & Legend) to visit (a person or place) in the form of a ghost   

2. (tr) to intrude upon or recur to (the memory, thoughts, etc.) he was haunted by the fear of insanity3. to visit (a place) frequently4. to associate with (someone) frequently   

n 1. (often plural) a place visited frequently an old haunt of hers.   

 

 

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