Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Crickets & Koi !

At the end of August I was deeply involved in a delightful arts and community event
at Sky Lake Retreat Center in Rosendale, New York.

The inspiration for this came from a image on a Japanese scroll
showing poets sitting by a stream, writing haiku and sipping wine.

Here in upstate New York, on a late summer afternoon,
we offered a spontaneous haiku / brush / flute event in celebration of water . . .

People began to arrive, gathering around the gazebo at the edge of the lake.

Brushes and paper banners were ready -

The music began - the sound of the flute traveling across the water.
The first poem was spoken . . .

Crickets tuning again
and again
notes of a flute hover
over summer's drone.

Bobbi Katz 

The first banner was created, lifted up,
and hung on a bamboo pole.

A song was sung - more poems were spoken -
banners were touched with ink and carried forth.
Some kind of dream was unfolding
with voice and note and stroke intermingling in the moment . . .

A step ladder waits
beside the empty banner pole - 
the mind slowly climbs. 

Will Nixon

Tropicana orange juice
taught me faith.


I think the flutes 
sound like water. 
What do the birds think ? 

Violet Snow

The sound of one flute playing
Is not the sound of one hand clapping
Simple is hard.

Harriet Hyams

A promenade of banners began to appear and was viewed . . .

Here are the eight banners that were created -
in response to the words, the music, the space.

 Barbara Bash

 Nancy Ostrovsky

Philip Ellis Foster

 Barbara Bash

Nancy Ostrovsky

Philip Ellis Foster

Phyllis Segura

 Barbara Bash / Nancy Ostrovsky / Philip Ellis Foster

At the end the artists all came up - 

From left to right - Youko Yamamoto (delicious Japanese food) Steve Gorn (music)
Nancy Ostrovsky (visuals) Harvey Kaiser (music) Sparrow (spoken word)
Bobbi Katz (spoken word) Harriet Hyams (spoken word) Barbara Bash (visuals)
Robert Morris (spoken word) Philip Ellis Foster (visuals) Rob Sanducci (music) 
Violet Snow (spoken word) Ami Madeleine - not pictured (music)

Look what you've done
All you people
Out there

What a night. 

Robert Morris

And here I am - happy amongst it all - 
getting ready to clean up !

Thursday, June 11, 2015


I was recently part of an interesting exhibit in New York City at The Westbeth Gallery.
The show was titled "Correspondence" and was curated by my friend Steve Clorfeine.
He had offered boxes of letters and postcards that he had received over the years
to a group of artists to play with, transform, and create artwork exploring, as he wrote -
"Correspondence : relationship across time and space."

I visited his studio this past winter to look through the boxes
and picked up a postcard and some fragments of typed letters.

Here is what I created - and what I wrote about the piece . . .

The image on this postcard drew me in and then the story on the back provided more information.
A boat with a heavy shipment of concrete sinking down slowly in the water.
I added fragments of typed letters to the waves and a cancellation stamp moon to the sky.
Then I began to write out a background field of thoughts and feelings, following the
movement of life within, allowing my inner landscape to be touched by the outer image,
layered, complex, somewhat hidden - giving voice to the weight and goodness of sinking,
dropping down, going deep, letting go . . .

Here are a few of the other pieces that were part of the show -

Two panels from her four panel box that opened to reveal mysterious forms -
so evocative and intimate !

Lanny Harrison - LETTERS TO MIMI
A lively collage using letters that Steve Clorfeine had written to Lanny's mother.

Suzy Sureck - DROP ME A LINE
An exquisite cascading of letters down the wall -
illuminated and dancing with gravity.

Ralph Lee - AIR MAIL
This piece covered one whole wall - playful and flying -
created by the beloved puppeteer and celebration artist.

Gurmi Lama - CHORTEN
A monument to the Buddha or other great teachers.
This one was decorated with small strands of prayer flags
made out of colorful postage stamps.

A beautifully wrought painting of a stack of mail - catalogues, cards, publicity -
that we usually put aside, then throw out.
Giving attention to something ordinary, everyday, and overlooked.

Theresa Antonellis - ONE TO ONE (One Line to One Breath)
Stretching across a wall, each breath a line - in relationship to the page -
to the stroke - to the moment - again and again. 

It was all such an interesting and creative offering !

You can view more of the art from the show here -