Saturday, October 30, 2010

Acadia postcard number 8 - take two

One of this things I've recognized about this time in Maine is the feeling of being able to act on whim.  I had a little drawing I did of the ocean yesterday and I copied it and layered it in to the postcard - take two.

Acadia postcard number 8

"What will you do with your one wild and beautiful life?"
-Mary Oliver

( I don't have her book of poems with me, but I think that's how that line goes)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Acadia postcard number 7

Little red cruiser bike I borrowed for my remaining time here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Acadia postcard number 6 - syzygy

At first it looks like a made up word for a Scrabble game, but the definition of syzygy has to do with the "spring tide" when the sun, earth and moon are all lined up.  When this happens there is a large tide.

One of the reasons I wanted to come to Acadia was to try and understand (visually) my fascination with the horizon where the air meets the water at the ocean and the rise and fall of water along the shore.   I studied tides today and learned that the human race has long been intrigued with the tides and the gravitational pull of the moon and sun on the large water bodies of the earth.

How do I describe my longing to be near this tidal movement which seems so very essential to our existence?  I've started with multiple images of water and air in varying densities on top of each other, we'll see where it leads.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I skipped a day

Already the commitment fell short.  I had good intentions (really what are those?) of posting yesterday but I got caught up reworking the class to kids that I am teaching in exchange for this wonderful opportunity.  Thirty kids last night and we talked a bit about design and then observed and photographed skulls, leaves and animal pelts.  I still get a charge seeing someone's face light up as they "do you see this?  look at this?".

I was a frantic woman this morning.  I didn't get out of bed when I wanted to and then spent the morning chasing waves and fog in frustration and discontent until I realized that what I really needed to do was just sit and listen to the waves.  That's really why I'm here, to watch the curl of a wave and the way the light skims the top of it and rolls through it as it crests and falls. And it does it again, only different, time after time.

The Fish

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled and barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
--the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly--
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
--It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
--if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels--until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.
Elizabeth Bishop

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Acadia postcard number two

"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread" - John Muir
From the visitor center in the park.

This image is in honor of my friend and artist, Jenni Fraser, lover of trees...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

acadia postcard number one - little fishies where have you gone?


The first morning

Where do I go, what do I do?  What do I see, what do I write?  What do I hear?

On the way

I was awarded an artist in residency at Acadia National Park for two weeks, October 23-November 6th. The excitement and anticipation have been bubbling and rumbling since I received the news earlier this year.  I flew in to Albany to visit my mom and then headed up to Maine.  Yesterday I stopped at the Maine Wildlife Park to work on my Captivity series.  Every time I cry.  I try and be open minded about what each wildlife park and zoo is trying to accomplish.  But when I see a bald eagle that is in a cage too small to extend its wings for more than a moment of flight, or two barred owls characterized as shy and solitary on the information sign displayed in their pen on tree limbs with no place to hide, I question the park's role as stewards and protectors.  The park grounds are spacious for picnic groups and concerts but I am continually surprised at the size of the enclosures, a bobcat pacing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Golden Eagle behind glass




Barred Owls

Red Tail Hawk

Wednesday, October 13, 2010