GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

IMG_6743

 

I finally give in

To the see-ling fan

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

 

It keeps time

With my pulse

A regular beat

A-round and a-round

A-rhythm so reg-u-lar

And per-sis-tant

I try to sleep

With a finger in my ear.

Weird.

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

 

I flush

The toil-let

And try

To ad-just the fan

Then tap

On the therm-a-stat

But still

Not-so-still

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

 

I give in

I am up.

Sitting at the smooth and flawless pure white

Kitch-in t-able

A perfect glass of $22 Aveda tea (which I never dare to drink)

Now honors me and

My thoughts.

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUPIMG_6740 2

 

I ache for the loss of Maya

A voice of truth

Her rock solid bellow

Loud and slow

Soft and deep.

…and I ache for those who

Know not

The name

Maya.

 

I ache for the Angels

Of The Normal Heart

And for

Martinez

And all of the

Senseless

Deaths

Children

And our country

Now a land of

Suburban wars

Armed carpools.

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

 

I watch that slick and stunning

Edward Snowden

And Barack becoming

Just

A man of words

With no rock-solid-real-bellow

And I wonder.

I wonder about all we have lost.

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

 

They are shooting

At 7/11

For a piece of

Almond Joy

Service men and women

Returning home

To a care-less country.

CNN is turned off.

Yet still

Not-so-still

I still see-NN.

It’s cumulative.

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

 

And now

The kitchen clock goes

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

With my second cup of golden tea.

These are to be happy times

With pleasant breezes

And sunshine

In a tropical paradise

And now

I will

Climb back

Between my

520 thread

Count sheets.

GA-GUP GA-GUP GA-GUP

IMG_6744

http://www.Tammrasigler.com

 

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THANK YOU….ALL OF MY BIRTHDAY WELL WISHERS!……

THANK YOU ……ALL OF MY BIRTHDAY WELL WISHERS!……IMG_6197

It’s a ”one”

Not an “0”

It makes life so easy

No need

For big hoopla like

Birthday lunches

And surprises or

Fancy, over the top dinners

That naggy feeling

“Am I having fun yet?” or

“Is this special enough?”

But today is just a day

A beautiful day

A walk with a friend

A coffee with another

(I even paid myself)

Image

Phone calls from the kids

Skypes and Facetimes

A few cards from a few

A visit to the Dermie

Image

And a visit to a sick friend

A sweet husband home for lunch

Who pines over a troubled stock market

 

 

A Mexican dive for dinner

With old friends returning to townImage

Such a perfect unobtrusive day…..

SPRINKLED WITH WELL WISHES FROM ALL OF YOU

That made it so very sweet…..

I smiled all day!

…….and even the next day (today)IMG_6198

……. with my spirited students at it again!!!

I am so grateful and I thank you all!

http://www.tammrasigler.com

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MAPPING THE FLOW…..the creative highway

MAPPING THE FLOW…..the creative highway

My poor husband has been bent over his computer all weekend. IMG_5271Something is dreadfully wrong and neither of us know how to fix it. Several calls to a recommended “techie” but no call back yet. Summer weekends and we figure he must be at the beach. My husband, God bless, is not really very computer literate…but he makes up for it in tenacity!  Yesterday we were discussing the possibility of changing browsers…thinking that that might cure the problem …and he thought that the internet browser was Google. I proceeded to explain to him, not that I know SO much,  that the browser was Internet Explorer or Safari which is the highway on which we travel throughout web and it takes us to sites like Google, Yahoo, and such.  I hung on to the idea of “highways” that enable our flow. ….or like our veins that carry and distribute our blood throughout our bodies.  Then I began to think about the “flow” of our creative juices….where they originate and how they travel.

For myself, I know the “mechanism” very well.  Firstly, just the smell alone of oil paint ignites me (it always has, even as a small girl).   Not only in my own studio…but anywhere else…particularly if it is unexpected.   When I’m ready to paint, or if I see something that I want to paint, or even moreso, when I watch my students painting, I get a tugging or pulling feeling in my arms. Not heavy or tired, more like a hard-to-describe vibration/tug. Kind of like when a nursing mother hears a baby cry and her milk begins to flow.  Then I look at my subject. Then my brush grabs the paint and begins to move on the canvas. Then I respond to that move and then the next…and then the next …and so on. I can actually clearly define this path…from my eyes to chest/heart …then down my arm to my hand…then brush…and onto the canvas. My brain is not a part of this flow. After I paint/respond for a while, my brain comes into play with evaluating and editing.IMG_5347

I recently came across a quote from the artist/illustrator, Wendy MacNaughton. I heard my own words echoed…about drawing and painting. It’s all so intrinsic and physiologic. Please click link below and enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/brainpicker/wendy-macnaughton-on-drawing

http://www.tammrasigler.com

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WORKPLACE WORKSPACE…..making it work!

WORKPLACE WORKSPACE….making it work!

Recently I was visiting my son who is a poet.  He lives with his family in a spartan fourth floor walkup in Brooklyn Heights.  When I arrived I noticed a very beautiful table in his main room that I had never seen before. (main room is the room which acts as of the living room, dining room, and kitchen). IMG_4984  It was a very simple, natural maple, shaker-like, and pure design.  I commented on the table and he told me that that was where he writes and that NO ONE touches anything on his table.  So, of course, I began to mildly scan the table top from a distance.  Neatly set on top were different piles of papers each with a paper weight, a few pencils and pens, and no computer.  Very clean, very clear, and very concise.  Nothing random or extraneous.  A place for pure thinking and creating.  I was very touched by the deliberateness of it all.  Then I began to wonder, “Why a ‘table’ and not a ‘desk’.”  …or, more specifically, is there a difference between a writing table and a desk?    Maybe not.  And then, maybe so…..or at least, maybe so to the writer.  Perhaps it clearly points to “purpose” rather than a gathering of all-sorts-of-jobs to be done.  (Of interest, I am sitting at my kitchen table writing this!)  Whatever the case, I felt the importance, and even awe, of that sacred spot.  There was almost a tenderness and respect that the table claimed.

This led me to consider my own studio.  One year ago I moved my studio to another space just exactly across the cul-de-sac of my former space.  It is somewhat larger and configured differently.  IMG_3803 IMG_0602 In this new space I am actually able to have a “dirty” room and a  “clean” room….which is a huge asset.  The best part is that the dirty room has a back wall with a huge garage door that opens up into light and air. IMG_0601

IMG_0600The front room, or the clean room, is oriented so that the natural sunny daylight streams in.  It is, undeniably, a happy place to be.  I always feel like dancing in my space. IMG_0603

My former space was smaller, dependent on artificial light, cluttered, and somewhat claustrophobic, due in part to the cement floor that was painted orange by the previous renter.  I was always tripping over things…so much so that I had investigated purchasing liability insurance in order to be protected incase a visitor got injured.  My very first studio, in 1965, after I graduated from MICA,  was in the basement of our little house.  No natural light at all….but I had researched and created a great light system.  Even though it was less than “ideal”, it was still my own space….well…..well….until I started having babies.  Then we had to divide it in half…the nicer side became the children’s playroom, and I shared my side with the heating systems, pipes and ducts. ….but, it was still all mine.

img106My best studio was the one in Baltimore which was on a separate upper level in our second home.  I truly have my husband to thank for that.  Not only did he commit to it, but he had the vision.  It was light, airy, and large…and perhaps most importantly, once again, all my own.  I was, indeed, privileged.   It was perfect…not fancy….just perfect.

How many painters and writers can, in fact, claim their own space?  How important is it?  Is it essential?….How essential?  And how “perfect” does this space need to be?  I think it’s extremely important….to have a place where anything can happen…..and enough space to be able to put work aside and then revisit it and evaluate it without interruption.  A place where you don’t feel confined and where you aren’t tripping all over yourself.  A place where you can feel ownership of yourself and your ideas.  A place where you can flow.

Just the other day, while I was mulling over these thoughts, I had an occasion to visit an artist friend who wanted to share some of her new work with me.  She works in her home.  I mean IN HER HOME…..as in, all over her home….the kitchen, living room, and dining room.

IMG_5256 IMG_5259 IMG_5258 IMG_5253 IMG_5252She stores her work downstairs in the basement.  I didnt get to see that!  BUT….she makes it work!  My hat’s off to her!….to her committment, dedication, and drive.  I marvel at her ability to be oblivious of her home, her furniture, her living space and to be only conscious of her work.  Her fearlessness of clutter.  With or without a studio, she will make it work!  When I asked her how she does it, she just shrugged and smiled and said, “That’s what I do!”

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A NOT-SO-ORDINARY ORDINARY WALK…abstract marvels!

A NOT-SO-ORDINARY ORDINARY WALK….abstract marvels!

(Looking seeing thinking and a few ah-has)

I’m a walker. IMG_5188I try to walk every day…but I’m not always successful. Sometimes I’m guilty of procrastinating.  I’m more dependable, however, if I have a walking partner.  If my partner is expecting me, I’d better show up!  The other day I was ready to take a walk and I had no walking partner.  Off I went, anyway, on my ordinary route through an ordinary suburban neighborhood. Houses…brick, stone, and wooden siding. Lawns…cut and not so cut, green and not so green.  Flowers…here and there, depending on interest and where-with-all. Sidewalks…cracks, humps and nasty missing chunks.  Asphalt with splats and stains, and curbs irregular.  Hondas, Chevys, Toyotas, and Fords.  Minivans, station wagons, sedans, and work trucks.  Baby strollers, tree swings, gliders, mismatched lawn chairs, and abandoned toys.  Balls, pennies, and run over ballpoint pens and candy boxes in the street. I once found a dollar!  I forgot my earphones. No friend and no music. Just ME…walking, looking, seeing and thinking …and my iPhone.  In a short time I was onto my ah-has…shooting away with my camera.  IMG_5055 IMG_5045 IMG_5042 IMG_2786 IMG_2778 IMG_2772 IMG_5047 IMG_2792 IMG_5051 IMG_5050 IMG_5048 IMG_5040 IMG_5041 IMG_5034 IMG_5130

By the way…this isn’t a new habit of mine. Through the years, I’ve always enjoyed my walks and finding wonder in my “walk-junk.” I’ve always envied the workmen…the street workers. …their freedom of spraying fluorescence paint all over the street….making the great outdoors their canvas. IMG_5030IMG_2299 IMG_2300 IMG_2301 IMG_2302 IMG_2298

And so, some years ago, I bought 6 cans of Rustoleum fluorescents and created a new body of work on unstretched canvas which I called “spreadsheets.”  I borrowed my markings from the Utility Men.  Screen shot 2010-08-28 at 5.33.23 PM Screen shot 2010-08-28 at 5.57.54 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 4.03.03 PM Spreadsheet - Swim Lesson ok WAR ART 50x55

http://www.tammrasigler.com

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HOW DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?…..they are up for grabs!

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?…….they are up for grabs!

Recently someone came into my studio and looked up at me in wonderment, “How do you get your ideas?” he asked. I stopped to think how to answer that question…and without even taking a breath, to my own surprise, I blurted out the perfect answer….”Ideas are all just out there…floating around…when I need one, I just reach up and grab one!”  “But,” he said,” that sounds too simple.”  Well, the answer is yes and no.  “Yes,” it is too simple…. and “no,” because they don’t all work!…..But then, in that case, I just go and grab another….and another…..and yet another….until things begin to pull together and gel. Jan. 1913 055Basically, it’s about being alert and open to any possibility.  Letting ideas in.  Trusting them.  Even if they make no sense…they came from “somewhere”….and their validity will reveal itself later.  DO/ACT now and THINK later.  The thinking is the editing and the bringing of some order….but I know I must leave the channel open for any and every idea!

Usually, when I step up to a canvas, I have NO idea of what I am going to paint.  I make a mark…then another, and another….each mark responding to the previous marks.  Things begin to form and happen. The painting and the ideas begin to churn and mix.  This is scary at first…but a wonderful way to work…no expectations….except, of course, the hopes of a good painting.

Occasionally, however, I do have a somewhat concrete “idea” before I step up to the canvas or enter the print studio.  I specifically remember when I was painting “Toys Games and Puzzles,” I had already pushed the theme for a few years and I  decided that a circus would be perfect next step.  I had already used some clown imagery in some earlier work, so it seemed like a natural direction. I began to study and research the circus in some depth, hoping that by immersing myself the circus, circus imagery would just flow out of me.  I can vividly remember walking up to the huge canvas and starting by painting a large circle (ring) in the center….then I added a 2nd and 3rd ring.  Then, when I started to move through the canvas….nothing worked and nothing came together. NOTHING HAPPENED! Soon I realized that I just wasn’t comfortable with circles and almost without my knowing it, a large square got formed in the middle of the canvas…and then a grid….and then a smudge.  I stood back and wondered, “Now what is this?” Image Houdini….in a box…..it’s MAGIC….and so, my circus theme became a magic theme instead….which, in fact, also related to Toys Games and Puzzles.  This is an example of how a painting can have its own life and how I permitted new ideas to form and take over….even when I thought I HAD my IDEA. (of additional interest….my husband happens to be a magician!….and not a clown!!!)

NOW!

Image

no kidding…..really…….THEN!
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An added observation:  While working on that painting I rejected the circle form in favor of a square.  Squares and grids had been a common and repeated element in my work.  The circle did not appear in my work until I printed my Laurie Anderson suite four years later.8 Laure Anderson - Monkey's Paw 38x30 6 Laurie Anderson - Statue of Liberty 38x30 4 Laurie Anderson - Strange Angels 38x30 3 Laurie Anderson - Ramon30x22

http://www.tammrasigler.com

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GESTURE DRAWING – GESTURE WRITING…..Let it all hang out!

GESTURE DRAWING – GESTURE WRITING…..Let it all hang out!

Recently I came across a delightful piece in “The New York Times” by Rachel Howard entitled  “Gesture Writing.” IMG_4725 As Rachel so aptly describes, any of us who have ever taken a figure drawing class have experienced gesture drawing.  As a teacher of painting, who uses the live model more often than not, and as an expressionistic painter, I continually hear myself stressing the “gesture,” the “attitude,” the “personality,” the “thrust of the hip,” or the “strength of the neck,” the “tilt of the head,” “where is her weight?” “which leg is she standing on?” “what is this figure ‘saying’?”  “what makes her unique?” ”don’t just try to depict her….give me HER,” “find the ATTITUDE!”Image The “gesture” and the “attitude” are where the “action” is.  The “action” is the life of the painting.  Fill your paintings with life.  As I sit here, dabbling with my blog…I now realize  that I am gesture writing!  I am sketching words.  It is such fun to just grab the moment.  The trick/gift of the artist/writer is to somehow know when that moment is THERE…in all of its directness and integrity….when just a few lines say it all ….and when even one more line will rob the energy and richness of the expression. 133_3320

Thank you Rachel Howard, for pulling these thoughts together for us and enabling viewers and readers, who may never have seen the world through “gesture,” to get a glimpse, an understanding, and an appreciation of the “essential mark.”IMG_4695

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/25/gesture-writing/

http://www.tammrasigler.com

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