The Last Morning Glories, 2021, Archival Digital Print
The fullness of those Morning Glory leaves has given such pleasure this year. But, the soppy summer, rain every day in July, seemed to prevent many blossoms. They are deep cobalt blue when they appear. As the freeze approaches, these last few seem especially precious and important. I wanted to show the velvety quality of all those vines and leaves so they almost seem like the house’s public hair.
Upside Down Downtown, 2001, Collage on rag
Twenty years ago, the night before what we now all call 9/11, I was having dinner with a friend from the gallery with her little black and white puppy, Tuxedo. We ate in the kitchen at the back of my floor-through loft at 156 Chambers Street. There were two ceiling-high windows that were filled with the North Tower a few blocks south. One of the things that we discussed were the Artist Studios in the World Trade Center, a program developed for artists to have space to work and magnificent views over our beloved city. My gallery had arranged for me to get one of those choice spaces and yet I kept putting off doing the finishing things needed to make it happen In a dreamlike state, whenever I was asked about it I’d automatically mouth: “Well…it will take care of itself….” but for some reason I could never get myself to do that last thing I needed to do to make it happen, some paperwork I recall or maybe just a phone call. It was like I went into a hypnotic disconnect whenever it was mentioned. Yet it was a real opportunity, one I wanted. My gallery friend, again, urged me as we were drinking red, eating pasta with tomato sauce as the North Tower smiled down on us. She said to get on with it, that she had already spoken to the director of it who was waiting for me to complete whatever I hadn’t. “It’s yours!” she emphasized, “Just do it!” “Well…it will take care of itself….” I blankly repeated.
It is things like that come back to me as we honor all who perished and who living were forever changed, hurt, and scarred. The smallest incidents seem now to glow with meaning. It may be the nature of tragedy that we seize on anything that gives us an explanation of our supreme connectedness. My friend is now thriving in Texas, Tuxedo has already gone to God, as have all of my pets from then and here I am living out in the country in the Hudson Valley far removed from Tribeca and the reminders of those events. That evening sitting with my dear friend, enjoying our meal, patting her sweet new puppy, and catching up on things, marks for me the last moment when things were normal. I feel so lucky to have lived before that day and to have known life before Terror overtook us.
Lunch with Mat Knife, 2021, Archival Digital Print
This is the ebbing of summer and the trickling beginning of fall.
The corn is at its end,
the peaches are perfection.
I made way for my plate
on the worktable so I could get through with it
fast and get back to cutting a lino plate.
The long weekend is delicious and
so is the corn and the peach.
Night Critter, 2021, Archival Digital Print
How harried and anxious this period has made us. Health worries, ourselves, our planet’s it all seems in a state of collapse. How does a person move through this with grace and continued contribution? The beauty of this night critter is a certainty. I hold onto these certainties about beauty and form as my salvation.
Plants on the Porch 2021, Archival Digital Photo
I post an image like this every summer. The lushness, the variations in color and the range of greens are nourishing. When I think of all the summers I spent surrounded by concrete and isolated by air conditioning, I wonder if the trade off was worth it, though at the time, I thought it was.
It’s a jungle out there, 2021, Archival Digital Print
I continue to comment on the weather. It rules everything now. Our rains continue day after day and we have rarely had a clear sunny day since early June. Looking out the other morning, it was so lush and so hot and humid I expected to see apes swinging from trees and toucans hopping from branch to branch, a Hudson Valley Rousseau.
Waiting for the Rain to Stop, 2021, Archival Digital Print
I spent more time in the car waiting than I did caring for the flock. The rain was in deluge mode for most of the day. Like many artists I search for the unified field theory of what I see and feel as I work. Why this not that? Why here not there? Why transmute it in this way and not that way? An artist does nothing if not make thousands of decisions as she works.
Tree with an Itch, 2021, Archival Digital Print
The Eastern Catalpa has frequent itching which Nicky helps treat. Now Nicky came to me three years ago, a stray who must have been left because she is spayed. About the same time another starving Maine Coon Cat — whom I also named Nicky aka Nicodemus because I thought they were both male — and because I had only glanced at both of them on separate occasions out of the corner of my eye and I thought they were the same cat. Slowly over the months this Nicky got closer. Today she is almost tame. No touching though. But, the other Nicky, the Maine Coon, now named Demus, remains very wary. Both have been fattened and are fed outside twice a day. One wonders at the callous treatment of these sensitive beings and also my good luck that they live with me on the land. .
Truck and Red Maple, 2021, Archival Digital Print
The moment when conjunctions of two or three forms sit in the space with such precision and rightness, we know that surely the universe seems perfectly planned. This Red Maple had a brother who was closer to the picture plane, but it was taken down in a wind storm several years ago. The stump shows on the right,
Chickens and Geese, Archival Digital Print, 2021
I’m thinking here of those early French photographs I saw at The Met a long time ago. It was the Gilman Paper Photography Collection, a trove of early photographs that changed me. That show altered the course of my thinking about photography and its possibilities.