Stuff That Makes The Old Wheels Turn

Alexander DeMaria

Rachel T. Robertson (below)

Well. Happy Wednesday to you all!

I wanted to share some music with you that I have enjoyed listening to when working on my drawings. I need music. It seems to help distract my brain just enough for the ideas to come. If I think too hard about what to draw I always get stuck. So, for your enjoyment here are two artists whose music completely inspires me.

1. Hey Marseilles, To Travels & Trunks.

Matt Bishop - To Travels & Trunks from loc on Vimeo.

Here is what the Seattle Weekly said about them:

“For all the room-filling beauty of the symphonic climaxes on their first full-length album, there’s just as much power– and passion– in the record’s simplest, sparsest moments. What makes To Travels & Trunks so incredibly intoxicating, however, is something less definitive than notes and measures: A youthful earnestness, a genuine, unsullied passion for song, shines through every last second of Hey Marseilles’ music.”

2. Laura Gibson , Beasts of Seasons.

Here is a blurb on her from the Portland Tribune:

“Her clear voice is riveting and perfectly framed by subtle and tasteful instrumentation – muted trumpet, vibraphone, saw and other recorded and found sounds give the music a wistful feel and let these lovely songs of hope and heartbreak gently shine.” - Barbara Mitchell, Portland Tribune

Both artists performed at a small show during SXSW here in Austin. The moment they started playing I knew that I loved their music. The fact that Ms. Gibson and all the folks in Hey Marseilles were delightfully winsome on stage closed the deal for me.

Since this seems to be a sharing post, here are a few visual artists whose work I have been looking at these days. The images for these artists are at the top of the post. I am using my husband's PC as my Mac died last week and I have forgotten how to use this strange machine. I can't move the images around for you so you will just have to bear with some funky formatting for a while. I see that the text is also doing its own creative thing. I am at the mercy of my ignorance. My apologies.

Rachel T. Robertson (Second image)

Just today I found Rachel on Etsy and I can't get enough of her beautiful layered little collages. Her drawing style reminds me of my dear friend Ben. Maybe that is why I like them so much. I am challenged by how she turns her simple little drawings into such lovely treasures. It encourages me to keep things simple in my own work. I would love to own something of hers some day.

Alexander DeMaria (First image)

I saw his work in either Art Forum or Art in America a few months ago in an ad. I am always interested in artists who are working on creating mythology, so when I read his artist statement I was immediately intruiged. The things he writes about his work reminds me of J.R.R Tolkien and his love of mythologies and ultimate creation of many. For me it is a powerful tradition to assosiate myself with as an artist. When I think about creating my own mythology it gives me the freedom to just touch my toes down in reality and make everying else a little bit out of the realm of possibility. Alexander creates these gorgeous, clean, rich drawings that are feasts for my eyes.

And finally, I will leave you with a little sonnet from my friend John Donne. I figure any day can be made better by having a sonnet in it. Enjoy.


That our eares sicknesse wee may cure,

and rectifie those Labyrinths aright,

That wee, by harkning, not procure

Our praise, nor otheres dispraise so invite,

That wee get not a slipperinesse

And senslesly decline,

From hearing bold wits jeast at kinds excesse,

To'admit the like of majestie divine,

That we may locke our eares, Lord open thine.


A Return to Quotidian Delights

April has been a very busy month around the Taylor house. Actually, we have not been spending much time in the house. Our hours have been happily full between the Arts Pastors retreat out at the beautiful Laity Lodge, visiting my parents in Houston, Q conferencing, Wedding Showers, Engagement parties, Blessing ceremony evenings, and a wonderful Artists retreat with the good folks of various villages in upstate New York. We are happy to be home now for a few weeks. Catching up on laundry, sleep and conversation with each other!

In between all this movement I have been stealing moments in the studio. Some days 30 minutes has been all I can spare. I find it is good for me to build the muscle of creating in small moments as I am quite sure that life will only get more full of good things as we go on. Uninterrupted hours in the studio are probably not going to be a reality for me in every season of life. Getting right down to business with out long hours of piddling is something I am happy to be learning.

This is a piece from the new body of work I am making. The images come from a photograph of myself and my brother. We drank a lot of tea growing up.

I have a few more new pieces that I want to share with you but the day is very cloudy and all my pictures are dark and damp looking. In the next few days of sunny weather I should have more to show you.

In the mean time here are a few shots from my first attempt at creating a Japanese dinner. Going to the Asian grocery story is one of my favorite activities. My visual self is very satisfied by all the magical looking dried things in colorful packages. My odoriferous self is overwhelmed by the smell of sea creatures, some dead, some still alive. My global self is inspired by trying to pronounce the names of things in Japanese to the kind people working who are from Latin America. Hearing Japanese with an Mexican accent is quite a delightful experience. It made my day.

Miso Soup, Kim chi, Chopsticks.

Salad with Nasturtium flowers and leaves

Warm yumness