ART AS STORY

All my artistic leanings have the central theme of art as story.   It doesn't matter what story you're going to tell or how you're going to tell it. What's important is it that a word is written, an image is drawn, a moment in time is captured. The story is shared, and as it is passed from one to another, so is the energy contained in the light threads from which it was woven.

 So many times the stories remain inside of us, like a field of bones buried in the yard by a very smart dog. He seems quite peaceful in his Buddha Zen dog self, moving about his days basking in the sun, enjoying his daily walks with his humans, and the treasure of routine. Then, seemingly without warning, he is compelled with a fervor and urgency, to go about digging for the buried piece of history.  His nails become tools, raking thru the earth and throwing aside anything that comes into their path, until the desired object is at last unearthed.   He always remembers where to find them, after years of forgetting that he had ever left them there in the first place.  They were always there waiting for him where he had buried them..underneath.

On hardened soil, in the rocky ground, and under the watchful eye of an unfolding night sky, lay my skin and bones.  I may unearth one piece of bone rather quickly, and go to town on it, chewing and gnawing the pieces up into a writing frenzy. Some find their way to my visual palette, and  when I put the bones together they fit so perfectly- It is as if that pre-determined moment was there all the time, wondering why it took me so long to find it.  Yet, there may be others that have to decompose some more, the skin still hanging in pieces off the meat, too raw, too fresh. Some may ever remain behind, buried deep and unrecovered, for the next dog that follows to discover. The true story is now only a ghost, along with it's teller, lost forever.

UNDERNEATH 

 I am dusting off the remains now, like an archaeologist in the den of an excavation site, of what I have buried. The large, soft camel hair brush gently removes bits of sediment  from the calcified remains, and the face

    of a warrior emerges, fearless and full of courage. Her war paint covers her high cheekbones in shades of scarlet, yellow and streaks of blue indigo.  I see her luminescent  features reflected back at me, and they are the same as mine. She is expressive, bold, and creates artistic works that jar the deepest cracks in my soul, urging them to melt back together, as if I were fusing one of my encaustic wax pieces.  She has a determined. piercing  look in her eyes, and lots of dirt under her short nails.  She is  not unlike the dog. When the time was right, she  went to work without hesitation, and with great intention. Clumps of Earth zing past me, creating a  wild spray of raw umber flashing by the corner of my eyes.  I bow to her, the strong she inside of me, and all the warriors who have the courage to unearth the truth and find voice for their stories.