Monday, May 31, 2010

the Pony

The fire sculpture I mentioned before. The Pony is the equivalent of the Burning Man on the east coast, built to be set ablaze at a Delaware festival called Playa del Fuego this weekend. It's cleverly made to evolve as it burns, as different thicknesses of string and rope burn at different speeds, allowing the outer skin of the giant pink My Little Pony to peel off and reveal the awesome black skeleton horse inside, with moving wings. Other fine details include yellow daisies applied with hot glue, which melt and fall away from the skulls underneath. Photos from the last weekend of the build by the Connecticut Oak Burners group.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

in the details

The arch murals at Kaia Yoga in Westport I've been working on with a bunch of my former roller derby team mates (oddly enough), are nearing completion. Some photos Slim Fast took of me on metallic duty. Last photo, Jen, the designer and yoga teacher, and handstand expert.

Friday, May 21, 2010

horse spirit

Horse energy continues swirling into all my cracks and crevices, sweeping out the cobwebs and dusting off old atlases. Including an invitation to help an artists collective build a giant fire pony (more on that later), and an illustration of a mysterious horse spirit for that same group (above). And I ended up here last week (below). I can't wait to see where this is going.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

sacred circles

Chiru of the High Tibet was picked by the Junior Library Guild for their fall book club list, which means a few thousand libraries will be getting a copy. That's pretty awesome. They asked me to write something about my connection to the book, which made me remember an incident that happened in college, one of those that probably informed more of my life after that then I realized till I sat down and thought about it.

Many years ago when I was studying illustration at Rhode Island School of Design I started seeing strange men in long red and yellow robes around campus. I followed them and found them in the museum, sitting cross-legged on a platform, carefully tapping colored sand out of metal pipes to make intricate patterns in a very large circle. I went every day to watch them, and learned that they were Tibetan monks making a sand mandala. After days and days of this work, they cheerfully swept it all into a pile and threw it in the river. This was when I first heard of Tibet, and where I fell in love with the culture, the art, and the landscape, which I soon began studying. Painting those landscapes and making mandalas for Chiru, alongside the magnificent words of Jacqueline Briggs Martin, was a tremendous experience.

Video of a similar mandala-making event at UVM, and beautiful photos in the Adrian Oxbrow link above.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dark Heavens

I've been collecting links to extraordinary things here on the blog to the right. Including the website of Hamid Sardar who has a most unbelievable exhibition of photographs of Mongolian nomads and shamans at the Tibet House in NYC. A few of his images here to make you go see it.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

my kingdom for one horse

An intense horse nostalgia is creeping into me. It's been something like 18 years since my family sold off the last of our horses. We had a big herd. I was literally soaked in horse as a teenager. A tragic end to my gelding, Scott, and some other rough incidents snuffed out my horse craze. And my mum's. 

I took care of a friend's farm in the summer for a few years, and got to ride their Clydesdale once in a while, and that was extremely satisfying. But I never had the desire to go back to the kind of backbreak and heartbreak horses can give you.

This week though, at the oddest times, I'll suddenly smell horses, or hear and feel the sensation of Scott's breathing on the right side of my head. At any moment I can close my eyes and remember swimming with him on the lake as if it was real, and I can put my arms around his neck and feel the dander on my fingers. I scratch his cheek then reach up to his ear, which he hates, and he swings his head away with a very un-horse-like grunt he'd make when I was irritating him. And then I miss him so intensely it's nearly unbearable. 

And as I write a fierce lightening is splitting over my roof, and birds are singing from the soffets next door. Wood smoke is coming from somewhere.