Sunday, April 27, 2014

What the Living Do

Some friends recently tweeted to each other this interview with Marie Howe  and I was so glad to see it again. When I think of my late colleague Bill Bohné I am reminded to keep on with what the living do and to live well while I'm at it. Howe is good at getting at the liminal spaces in an ordinary day and the unexpected sacred. When I listened to the story and heard Howe quoting her dying brother I imagined Bill could have said the same, "This is not a tragedy. I'm a happy man...When I'm asked if I could love I can answer yes."

In fact, Bill said as much by being loving and engaged until his last. He was concerned about craft in art, about living well, about teaching, about maintaining the art-ness and weirdness of our discipline, and about celebrating. I'm still mourning him and perhaps feeling sorry for us not to have him physically here. I am living. I remember you.

Mourning sleeves in a swimming pool. 
I first encounter's Howe's work through her poem Part of Eve's Discussion in a college course on the Religious Poetry of Asia. It was the liberal-artiest type of class that one can take in a liberal arts college and the kind that could have been total underwater basket weaving. Instead it was beautiful and unexpectedly practical. Some of the poetry and ideas of that class stuck, rooted, and enriched my thinking and my mourning. In addition to Howe's book of essays Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, the class read Robert Hass' Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa (Essential Poets). I've most recently returned to that book for subject matter in my beginning printmaking class. In fact we were sitting around a table in the printshop reading haiku when I learned Bill had died.

In honor of Bill, art, and wit, here is one of my favorite haiku by Kobayashi Issa (translated by Robert Hass).

A bath when you're born,
a bath when you die.
How stupid.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hungry Turtle

Recently got to work with the newly emerging Hungry Turtle Farm and Learning Center in Amery, WI to produce four illustrations to go in their new building. Hungry Turtle is "committed to supporting sustainable agriculture and land stewardship through education, innovative partnerships, and programming."

I'm excited to continue to work with Hungry Turtle and look forward to seeing how their work grows in Amery. In fact, they'll be hosting Turtle Scouts, their own Land Scout troop! Pretty exciting.

Below are the four illustrations that went up in the windows of the Hungry Turtle building.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Found Painting

Palette from my studio. Best painting I've made in a while.