Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring, 2011

When I was growing up in a small town in the northeast corner of Ohio, every spring was welcomed with a miracle. The forest floor in the municipal forest erupted in a glory of wildflowers. Much of the forest is floodplain, beech and sycamore predominate, on higher ground large stands of conifers. The wildflower carpet was composed largely of Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) with Trilliums (T. grandiflorum, erectum, cuneatum and a few others,) Hepaticas, Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica,) Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris,) and other ephemerals. I first learned to love native flora there and have carried the memory of that landscape in my heart and mind's eyes ever since.

I got an email from an old friend who has moved back to our hometown to care for aging parents. She is involved in a fund-raising art auction to support the forest. I was immediately thrown back to the sensations of wandering the paths through that explosion of color and abundance. A balm for a flagging, apartment-bound spirit.

Here is the piece I did to contribute to the effort to keep the forest safe- a small bit of debt-repayment to the earth. (Trillium grandiflorum, ©PMLaw/MMXI)

Monday, April 25, 2011

From Ulster County to Kings County

From 1984 till 1991 I lived in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn. I used to walk to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, my path taking me across the bridge over the Gowanus Canal. Now, my odd, bricolage paper-dolls and I are going back to my old stomping-grounds. I am one of twelve artists from Ulster County to participate in a show at the Brooklyn Artists Gym, opening May 14th and running for 2 weeks. 
I was utterly stunned when I was asked to part of this group- in the company of some of the best artists in the area, people whose work I have come to admire and their friendship to cherish.
One of my works chosen for the exhibit: "Greenwoman"

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I know I have no control over my emotions but sometimes I am just blindsided by them. For a weekend at the beginning of March and now this weekend, I am taking part in a professional development workshop run by NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts.) It is for visual artists who need a jumpstart in their careers- as I certainly do. Today's program is over and I am here just feeling like I want to cry. Nothing happened today that was emotionally fraught- as far as I can recall. We considered web sites and social networking- topics I deal with often as a web-designer and networker for my various projects. Yet...

Maybe it is just the immensity of the vision/project before me: to be able to once again live in my own house with room to work, dark skies at night, quiet except for natural sounds, land for gardening, time to be an artist. Oh and be able to sustain it. How am I ever going to achieve that? I know that the lesson from the loss of my home/studio/garden is that it takes more than wishful thinking- or delusions- to have that life but I just see this incredibly long road ahead of me and I am bone-weary already after only 3 years. Today I saw how much more I should be doing.

All I can do is just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Word Project Steps Out

I am so excited- my book, "The Word Project: Odd & Obscure Words- Illustrated" has been featured on the blog: Brain Pickings! I am so chuffed about it that I am having a cup of tea (decaf Earl Grey) and some toast (Rye.) Some folks just know how to live.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bundle Boy

Bundle Boy (1995-2011) 
My dear old boy, Bundle, died this morning at 2:20. He was a good cat and I will miss him. When I lost the house, etc. I had to have his 2 fellow cats, Pixel and Twyla, put down. They were both old and had a myriad of problems and the upheaval of the move was very hard on them. So my dear boy was the only cat who came with me and helped sustain me during the past 3 and a half years I have lived hereHe helped keep my heart open when all I wanted to do was shut down.
He was a good boy and struggled mightily against the ravages of time. As much as I will miss him I am glad he no longer has to struggle so.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


In an earlier post, I wrote about having lost the desire to nest in the rental I which am currently living. I keep it livable but I haven't wanted to decorate or improve it. Chalk it up to having been deracinated almost 3 years ago...

But, it is never too late. I have been feeling flickers of desire for things- creature comforts, the self-expression of decorating, the semiotics of a home. I have been experiencing visions, day-dreams, reveries of a home for me. I can see it in my heart's and mind's eye- the colors, materials and surfaces in my kitchen-to-be; the fabrics and textures and lighting of my future bedroom. I can picture myself painting the walls- a beautiful wax-bean yellow/green, installing the cork tiles on the floors, hanging the old light fixture rescued from dust and grime and restored without losing its begruntled charm. I can see my furniture placed just so along with pieces added as they come. I can see the home evolving in its style that I have come to call "Mahoning," meaning to me: rust-belt/rural. Midwest Wabi-Sabi.
Have I suddenly come into the money to accomplish this vision- no, not by a long-shot. But to me this awakening of desire is a miracle. I have started collecting information on materials, processes, making sketches. I will start keeping them in a folder and I will create an icon for this vision and hang it on my vision-tree in the place of the little book icon I had made to represent my vision of my Word Project book- a vision that has miraculously been accomplished.

It must be an intimation of Spring...