May Days in the Studio

"The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh."

-   Philip Larkin, The Trees

 There is nothing like the days of May, blowsy, mild and open like a peony bursting into blossom. I have to step around the alstromeria and creeping hyacinth growing around my studio stairs. As I walk up, I feel a giddy sense of anticipation. I'm  'beginning afresh' in the studio; larger collage works on panels (12" x 24"), letting myself loose after a series of tightly composed smaller works. The colors in the new work echo the garden colors: red fingerprints the color of cyclamen, bits of sari fabric capture the glow of alstromeria and paper strips the inimitable gold of California poppies.

All this in preparation for an upcoming exhibit as part of our town's monthly "ArtAbout", a festive occasion that takes place once a month. Local artists take over different businesses for an evening and fill them with art. Musicians congregate and the town echoes with the sounds of blues, jazz and the occasional outburst of loud rock from nearby fraternities. It all adds up to a lot of people on the sidewalks, moving from one venue to another, eager to see the night's offerings. I'll be showing my work June 11th at the USE Credit Union, which serves the local universities.   I wish you all could be here so I could meet you in person and talk of art and all things visual. In lieu of that, I'll keep you posted about more works coming out of the studio heading towards the ArtAbout.

Pictured above: Pattern Redux, © 2010, detail and Red Chrysanthemum, ©2010, detail