I think I must be deep into New Artist Syndrome. I love making art. I love going out into the desert to collect my wood. I cannot help but see how each stick fits into a piece I envision as I pick it up, drop it into my sack. I spend time unpacking each bag I collect, sorting wood into potential uses.
These can become my batons. Perfect to smooth into a piece of wood ready to clutch in a hand. Maybe the crystal will go here in this curve.
Other pieces go into my collage box. They have character, texture. One shapes into the curve of a cheekbone, ready for a primitive minimal face on barn wood. The complicated spiral of cliff rose root will be a focal point.
In my wanderings around arid hillsides near Cottonwood and Sedona I have visited with many relatively short trees, adorned with many spiky branches. They most closely resemble bottle brushes. At first glance these yellow palo verde seem to me to be humble, quietly blending into the arid hillsides where they squat. Only as I have become more familiar with them have I begun to appreciate their many adaptations and assets.
From my first encounter, I fell in love with their droppings. At first I thought these to be branches. After I first pulled one of the intricately grained and curled sticks out of the ground I realized these were roots. Sometimes they take the shape of creatures like a snail or a dinosaur. Many times, bird’s wings and deer heads emerge from their tangle. These roots can be six to eight feet long.
In the fall of 1975 my husband was awarded a grant from the Brookings Institute to research and write his PhD dissertation in Washington DC. He was insistent I needed to continue living in the Bay Area. I worked in a classroom in Fairfield, near Travis Air Force Base, teaching children with orthopedic handicaps. My husband believed wecould not aford for me not to work.
To prepare for a year living single I bought my own car, a 1963 Dodge Dart, I found a dog to keep me company, Irmagarde, a 130 pound Newfoundland, and I found several activities to keep me busy. Albany, the city where we lived, offered an adult ed program. I enrolled in a sculpture class.
I have been so busy making and promoting my art, I have not pushed my book, Sensations in Color recently. This morning I will do that. Many of my friends, those who love my poems have not looked into this book. There are no Amazon sales for this since it was originally released.
I carefully designed this book to make it accessible, even to those who might feel averse (great word or this blog, isn’t it?) to poetry. The pages are eight by ten inches. This means most of my brief poems fit onto a single page. The lines are short, making each poem easy to scan. The print is large enough some people can read it even without their glasses.
A free moment in my schedule! My regular group away on a field trip. Time for Virginia History in Miss Hasting’s fourth grade class. That new kid Sonny was pretty demanding. She thought of him, scruffy with dirty blond hair, exuding rambunctious energy, a reputation for a quick temper. Although he stood a head shorter than any other fourth grader, she’d heard he was three years older than any other classmate, Miss Hastings certainly needed help.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"