Remembering 9/11

Posted on September 11th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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.

The Beat Goes On

Posted on September 6th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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.

 

What of the general collapse?

Posted on August 19th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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

Posted on July 30th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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.

 

 

 

Expecting Toucans

Posted on July 18th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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.

 

Rain again

Posted on July 5th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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

Posted on June 8th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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.  .

 

Perfection

Posted on May 15th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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,

 

Seeing through a Lens

Posted on April 27th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

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.

Violets and Everything

Posted on April 19th 2021 by Catherine Redmond

Spring Morning, 2021, Archival Digital Print

At last! Spring! We earned it this year enduring a mean winter that even now is hanging on with its icy claws. Sleet/snow last Friday, can you imagine?

Everything is in bloom and I feel so grateful to have been guided up here to the Hudson Valley.  The land has taught me. I’ve become more sensitive to the quiet and the subtle changes in light and color, the goings on of wildlife and plants.

But more than that, I have had time to reflect more deeply on what painting and drawing demand.  It is remarkable what a simple piece of vine charcoal can do.  Even a pencil.  All the world of images ready to come out and be seen stored inside, it just waits for some talent to pick it up and begin.