February 28th, 2006
broken bikes (that can never be fixed),
notes wildly scribbled in secret notebooks,
like proust i am an old teahead of time,
pieces of string holding up my collections,
i collect experiences and phone calls, and human pains,
while waiting for the mail.
February 25th, 2006
Isn’t it plain the sheets of moss, except that
they have no tongues, could lecture
all day if they wanted about
spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear
the black oaks along the path are standing
as though they were the most fragile of flowers?
Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, I am as good as dead.
Every morning, so far, I’m alive. And now
the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
and burst up into the sky–as though
all night they had thought of what they would like
their lives to be, and imagined their strong, thick wings.
*the first page I opened it up to this morning.
**for my girls
***I heard a great interview with the poet laureate Ted Kooser on npr this week, about why poetry is important. you can find it here.
****don’t cha love asterisks? I do.
February 22nd, 2006
Every day now I spend an hour or so in a local cafe doing some writing. Working at home it becomes necessary to go out into the world and see other humans, lest you forget that there is actually a world out there, full of people moving their bodies about, doing various things, interacting. I have become increasingly superstitious about my cafe choice. It has come down to ‘where I have come up with the most ideas in the past’, where I have felt the writing flow out of me in consistent waves. Currently I feel like I can only work at Mishka’s, having something to do with the energy of the place. It is a serious ‘working’ cafe, full of people focused on their school work, typing away furiously on laptops, each in their own little portable worlds. I didn’t like it at first. it felt cold, lacking intimacy. But for some reason that focused energy is fueling me, like a collective consciousness of sorts, everyone’s thoughts feeding each other, little neurons firing and sparking and infecting the one next to it. Sometimes I sit, just waiting for a idea to hit. When it does I am hurled into the throes of creative possession. There is a wonderful excitment that comes with it, of feeling like you are invincible, that you have captured that illusive “idea”, and all those people who are in their own little worlds, drinking their tepid coffee, have no idea what you have just done. Though they might be able to see it by the spark in your eye, and the shift of your posture.
An empty cup rimmed with cappuccino scum sits on the table in front of me. time to switch to a green tea,
time for watching the words flow out of that magic pen.
time for to sit and listen to other people’s conversations for a moment.
time for a reward of that cookie i was eyeing earlier.
February 20th, 2006
The problem: Trying to write a post that is intelligent and enlightening, when I all I really want to do is tell you about how yesterday I felt the earth beneath my feet, carried sticks home on my hat, ripped a hole in my beige cordoroy pants with my bike chain, and wrote in my journal about how I have been craving the woods lately.
“The biggest hinderance to understanding a work of art is wanting to understand.” ~Bruno Munari
February 17th, 2006
So many things on my plate right now. Things I am excited about. Book submissions in the mail (which I’m very proud of), radio interviews, postcards at the printer, illustration projects, talks of gallery shows, a writing assignment for a design magazine, and ideas that seem to come in by the hour. Ironically I am not tired, I am energized.
Last night I realized that I have reached a new place with life/work, (the two are inseparable for me). I wrote to someone this morning: I am fascinated by things that shift our perception (maybe without our knowing it.) By the idea that it is not necessary to make huge changes in our lives, but only to look at our current surroundings a little differently. Force ourselves out of our comfort zones. To me that is the role of the artist. I know some of this may sound a little obvious, it is not groundbreaking in concept. But for the first time in my life I have started to understand more about what it is I want to say, what my voice is. It is not so much about the ego, but more about the idea. This is why guerilla art has become so huge for me. It’s the ultimate in non ego, letting go, putting stuff out into the world, working for fun, and releasing attachment to outcome.
The ulitmate presentation of this shift in perception is a project that works on many levels, so that it could be understood and enjoyed by both an eight year old and a eighty year old. That is the goal anyway, what I strive for now.
The truth is I know less about the direction that i am heading in than ever before but more about what I am drawn to.
This life is just one big experiment. and right now I’m just having a lot of fun.
I feel like I want to write more but I must eat lunch and ride my bike to the post office. The winds have just picked up and it looks like a storm is on the way.
February 14th, 2006
I just completed this postcard for a friend’s gallery, distill, which is having it’s third year anniversary in Toronto on March 3rd, 4th, & 5th. It is by far my favourite gallery in the city, located in the European-like Distillery district. Everything is made by hand by some of the most amazing Canadian artists. Alli has always been the kind of person who has an incredible knack for putting things together, (whether it’s clothes, or a room, or a garden), her home has always been a work of art in itself. So much so that you want to spend time just looking at everything. Her approach seems to be about simplicity, little details, with the element of surprise thrown in. perfect.
A recent article in the UK edition of Country Living had me falling in love with a victorian stone cottage in Scotland. Sparsely decorated with things found in nature, it gave me the idea to string up all of my seed pod collection and display it in a mobile form. I am so happy with it I want to string up everything! The best part is that the owners of the cottage have an online store called Papa Stour, which sells everything found in their home, items handcrafted by Scottish artisans. My favourites are the cans of twine, the handmade journals, the porcelain bowls, the egg cosies, and the circle paintings by Catherine Chalmers.
February 11th, 2006
February 10th, 2006
“Being an artist, maybe moreso than making art, gives you a way of thinking where you don’t need all the other things that normally people would think necessary. It’s a space where the mind and the self is at the center. So in that way you can sustain yourself with very little.” ~Rikrit Tiravanija
February 8th, 2006
Sitting in a caf