April 29, 2007

Poison Ivy

Bokusho - Dansu (dance) 43x36
It's Baackkk! What devil plant pops up just after dogwoods and azaleas have finished a riotous spring display? Especially in woodlands that have seen little or no interference for many years? You got it! It's the one downside to this adventure of reclaiming a lakeside, woodland residence we sold and rebought after 20+ years. My memories of total body, itchy exposure back then will never fade. So I've been taking utmost care as I rip out the long vines that run underground and up trees. Even so, I've got it again. Just one elbow area, not the big coverage... this time!

Just wanted to pass along a couple of helpful hints to battle the itch. Sometimes spit helps if nothing else is available and a spot is beginning to vibrate. Have been told by the 'good ole boys' who take down trees for us that a Clorox bath prevents an outbreak, it seemed to do the trick for me on a finger exposure once, and today I tried black coffee because I was in the middle of something and didn't want to go looking for cortisone cream (which is useless for me anyway.) Twice now, a few drops of coffee has caused the itch to completely cease within moments!

Tying in to this conversation in ways you might not get at first, is the above painting, also recently completed. I'd been trying to work stripes into this series ever since a saw a loooong horizontal striped sumi-e painting in a Korean restaurant some months ago. The next time I had the ink and rice paper out, I pulled some long stripes to see what I could do with them, but nothing computed until I tore them up and went back to the grid. I really like the way it turned out, but look at it closely for a few moments... it vibrates! Or 'makes your eyes dance' as we used to say about certain patterns. Hence the title as well as the tie in to vibrating poison ivy spots.


Olga said...

Horrid p-ivy experience, but WONDROUS work! I do admire how you take a theme and progress it, and this piece reminds me of Bridget Riley, and of oriental calligraphy, and of the light through woodland, and of concrete poetry, and, ... it is just beautiful.

Self Taught Artist said...

an audible WOW escaped my lips when I saw this....

Daphne said...

Hi there. I really love your work. I "discovered" you last week and it's funny because when I saw your work I felt like talking to you immediately but at the same time thought that it would be best to run-away because your work looks like how mine does before I paint it and in general I have this fear that my work will be too influenced by other peoples work if I spend too much time doing research.

However,(!) I am so happy to have found someone who speaks so well about their process.

So, I'm looking forward to coming back to your blog. It's worth the risk.

KJ said...

Wow! Keep those cards and letters coming, folks! Sure glad you're liking these recent additions to the B-group.

Daphne, not to worry about the 'borrowing' thing... we (artists) all get the same feeling/fear that we won't be taken seriously if we aren't completely original. I see other work all the time that makes me say: Geeze! I meant to paint that! Glad you like it, fear not, please return ;-)