Thursday, November 7, 2019

Come to be with Me

It was less of a plague, more like mild nausea
the frogs started appearing after the rain
One came in and hid itself from me
I kept the lemon tree wet for it
this visitor from another world
Come to be with me
Every evening it sang its song, slowly drawing me
closer and closer to it until finally it revealed itself to me
I cupped my hands around its body barely holding it
Its wet skin anointing the palms of my hands
Did it worry it would never leave my kitchen, did I
or did it give it no thought at all
and instead got to work wowing me
with it's impressively loud creaking tenor
Singing me toward freedom

R. Moore

Thanks to writer Maria McLeod for encouragement.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


Cha cha changes. Summer is waning away so soon. I'm just working doggedly for clients and myself, enjoying the pace of my various activities. Working on the property and thinking, ever thinking. I walked down into the little hollow where the barn is, the other night after sunset, and took these pictures of the sky through the trees. The light felt like that of murky dreams and faint memories of summer places. Small valleys, fields surrounded by trees, shorelines, dirt pathways, and damp sheets.

August. Softly dies earlier material. Drought that is natural. The ground and trees are drier now and for the first time I saw a news story illustrated with a map of the earth showing the places where water supply is becoming a real problem. I feel the imbalance but I forge on, looking for sparks of inspiration.

At college in the mid 80's I remember thinking that the whole nukes fear message in the media blinded us to many other things that were going on at the time. Chief among them the pollution created by our own appetite for cheap goods. We caused environmental degradation, resource mismanagement, institutional racism. And now we're running out of fresh water.

When I sat to write this this morning I was not sure where I was headed with it. It's always surprising what trickles out in the moment my hands hit the keyboard. I am slowly gaining greater connection to what I am making, saying, conveying, dealing with, whatever. And as always it's good to just show up everyday and see what unfolds. That's what I look forward to, the unfolding of my one unique life.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Flag waving

My thoughts on Patriotism

Summer has arrived. It is the season of patriotism and I am again reminded how I am two things, Canadian by birth, American by residency. I feel like both and I feel like neither. This is something I think about often, what am I tied to? Where do my loyalties lie? I think the answer is; in the land. My loyalty is to the land I am on and to the region I am in, regardless of which side of the border I find myself on. My Canadian husband was with us at home in the U.S. on Canada day and we shot off American fireworks on my rural property. My daughter has recently obtained her Canadian citizenship so it was her first official Canada day as one of us. That was Monday. Thursday was July 4th and the fireworks were all gone. My daughter made pickled beets and I laid on the couch marveling at her. When my daughter was young she always spent the holiday with her American father so I was generally on my own. It was often just another semi-gray early summer day in the Pacific Northwest. It felt weird that we had no familiar thing to do together and that because of the crazy political climate we are in as Americans currently it's hard to to drop the knives and join our voices in song. Doing so feels so trite, all the quotes about liberty and images of waving flags on social media, not to mention the blue glitter eye shadow and color coordinated outfits. I watched this flag flapping in the breeze on my walk today. I stood under it for awhile and then made this video of it's shadow.

Some things that are inspiring me right now are:
Artist Heidi Gustafson's Almanac of Divination

T'ang Boogie is probably the first "film d'artiste" created by a modern Chinese painter with his own works. In 1973, with the help of film maker Tom Tam, T'ang Haywen gives life to the random paths of ink on paper.

Netherlands artist Diana Scherer seen here on IG

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was hot so we went for a walk in a shady wetland. We walked along the narrow boardwalk and talked about school mostly. Stopping now and then to peer into the dark shallow water, I made these photos of the clouds reflected on the surface of the water. Looking down but looking up, seeing through and seeing nothing but the whole sky where the bottom of the marsh should be. I like how these pictures look like double exposures but aren't, with the clouds making a ghostly light effect on the water and trees.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Winter Contemplative

The studio below freezing.

Tracks and shadows.

Tracks and shadows.

Flowering currant prunings.

Moss and snow, flat light.

Snow erosion.

Ditch melt.

I am working hard. Sticking to routine and watching the mad parade of life as it passes around me. It's been snowy for what seems like forever and I have been fascinated by changes in the light conditions that accompany it. The thick cloud to no cloud and low sun getting higher. The snow is such a material change, sometime in February I wrote in my journal that I was distracted by the snow. The sparkle of it. It's a mercy in the winter around here because of the added reflected light, even on a dull day there are the most interesting light effects in the presence of snow. It's all melting now and getting worn away day after day as the temperatures rise and fall.

An artist I know began posting what she called snow drawings and that encouraged me to share the photos I had been taking of the changes in the snow and the "drawings" that are created.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Suicide season

Before you pull the plug consider
the faces of the people you saw
on your last day.
Maybe go back out and study a few more
just to be sure.
Give some consideration to the abstract after the angst is past
life really does go on, the wound heals over itself again and again.
A flesh knot of remembrance.
From where I sit thinking about death I am filled with so much sadness
that any of this has to end, the party, the hearts broken.
I see the faces of the already lost and wish them back
I would take them all back
and say we suspected this but could not stop it.
But please reconsider while you have the chance
perhaps change your mind, if the material allows.
But it's not that simple and we can never know
the horror of the mind gone rogue, depleted of life's persistent force.
Plan your memorial, pick a date and invite your friends and family over
present the plan to leave them and let the cards fall
make your case for leaving early,
share your plans for the afterlife, share what you believe in
play a song or two, let the music wash over everyone in the place
retire to your room and slip away under a blanket of knowing that people actually cared about you.
Maybe it won't end your pain but it might soften the landing knowing you went willingly
and bravely into that good night.

Sunday, December 23, 2018


Line made with Buttermilk, Nov 22, 2018 9:10am, Samsung Galaxy 4 
Rowan Moore Seifred, Not for reproduction.

It's that time year when I add it all up. All the actions, all the practice, all the ideas, questions, conclusions. What I learned, what I forgot. On this day 357 of 2018. I add it all up and look at where I have been and where I am. 

I would say I am in a good place. My health is reasonable, as is the health of those nearest to me. There is so much gratitude in that mere fact that I could stop here but I will continue.

I enjoyed my design work this year as I normally do but this year was just a bit more pleasurable mostly due to my own attitude. I am extremely fortunate to work the way I do and I kept that fact in clear focus to get through the tougher days. I am grateful to my clients who provide me an opportunity to ply my trade. 

I read a lot. One of the best practices I have managed to cultivate this year was morning reading. I finished 8 books which is a major accomplishment for me. This brings me to another practice, a more challenging one, social media use. I have been struggling to avoid that one. Really it's just the device that is the draw, wanting to pick it up and hold it. It's all totally insipid. I read more about our developing digital lives and that in turn has broadened my thinking about my art practice. I have worked very hard to filter the information that I consume online. 

I thought a lot about existing in a liminal space. I spoke less often. The more I read and avoid the tendency toward distraction, the deeper I can feel myself go into where I want to, to expand my thinking. I shared a first piece called "Permission to Contemplate" and continue on that line of exploration into making art. I am slowly creating a community around the work and that feels good. I pushed drama and excess aside in favor of reaching my true goals. 

While I still have not written a coherent artists statement I am not worried. It's coming to me slowly, and I see that it is a thing I may never know fully. My mottos for this year include "know thyself". I have worked doggedly here. It helps my work on both sides of the spectrum. I kept things simple. I have also come to understand that no one is coming to save me. No one is assigned to the task of making things right for me, this is my responsibility alone and this has been a most freeing realization. Empowering in fact.

So, to conclude. I am grateful for everything and I plan to stick to my daily routine and avoid wearing the devil's mittens. 

Monday, November 26, 2018


I made a painting for a friend's sons' birthday. It is of a boy in a hat he knit himself. My thoughts lately have been with friends who are facing life altering challenges. Illnesses, transitions, aging; no one escapes these things. Life is fraught and I am perpetually happy and sad together. Words fail me and sometimes I feel helpless, I keep my head down and work on controlling my own inner state. In the interim I listen to music, beautiful songs made by broken humans, and I sing along.  Sometimes I cry, sometimes I dance.

Handle with Care
Traveling Wilburys
Been beat up and battered 'round
Been sent up, and I've been shot down
You're the best thing that I've ever found
Handle me with care
Reputations changeable
Situations tolerable
Baby, you're adorable
Handle me with care
I'm so tired of being lonely
I still have some love to give
Won't you show me that you really care?
Everybody's got somebody to lean on
Put your body next to mine, and dream on
I've been fobbed off, and I've been fooled
I've been robbed and ridiculed
In daycare centers and night schools
Handle me with care
Been stuck in airports, terrorized
Sent to meetings, hypnotized
Overexposed, commercialized
Handle me with care
I'm so tired of being lonely
I still have some love to give
Won't you show me that you really care?
Everybody's got somebody to lean on
Put your body next to mine, and dream on
I've been uptight and made a mess 
But I'll clean it up myself, I guess
Oh, the sweet smell of success
Handle me with care
Songwriters: Bob Dylan / George Harrison / Jeff Lynne / Roy K Orbison / Tom Petty
Handle with Care lyrics © BMG Rights Management, The Bicycle Music Company

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