Saturday, November 26, 2016

heard her speak

   It was the miniaturist Ambreen Butt who talked about the lengthy steps making her art. The wesselly was a paper surface made of gluing fine cotton to silk - then flattening the sheet with pressured passes of a conch shell. Top to bottom and right to left - over all. Brushes were made from squirrel tail hair put in a pigeon shaft. Tiny distinct marks placed in layers to create the intended pattern. 
    She described the intimacy of working. Sitting on the floor with her painting in her lap, taking the time to do it. "A very meditative process," she said. 
     As she continued about her ideas, she kept coming back to the layers, the process. The words that came to my mind were TEDIOUS and INTENTIONAL and ENGAGED and IMMERSED.   
    Mylar plastic sheets with the slight brushed on layer of transparent acrylic paint. Something for the watercolor strokes to rest upon.     
    Outline drawings of people. Her pushing a threaded needle through the layers of plastic. "piercing the layers with thread" for the six foot tall creation.  
    Gentle mark making with pencils shaved careful to a point for her work "Ideas Of Rightness And Wrongness." How she had trained to apply slight pressure in those graphite drawings.      


    My mind drifting to the nylon thread stitched under burlap and around the tree branch. Selecting shapes from materials I have chopped apart - squashed dirty plastic bottles and slivered aluminum. Laying out arrangements on the burlap screen. The absence of music - shuffling shoes on the floor - my mind engaged - drinking in - floating on - what will click what the materials will speak - the arrangement being next to butted up against another shape. The opened bent back flanges of soda can remind me of The One, like a bird, like a star, his presence  wanting to be right next to mine - active - influencing  leading  cheering and molding our dance together. Mashed and stripped long bean pods from Shanklin Street - a rust fuzzy layer from inside a carpet pad - sunglasses in a bottle. I am placed   where his ways   can be remembered. His hands shaping my heart to receive his mercy and laughter.      
    Ambreen's talk on Saturday left me feeling KINDRED to those important steps of making - what I call lemteyoso.  
   I told her afterwards that "all the time you put into the producing the work will not be appreciated by the audience. But I am glad you told us about the steps and their importance to you." I shook her hand and blessed her. She smiled. And gave me her signature.  
    Collages for me. Arabic letters and resin for her.

bean pods 

fuzzy rust

 me in bottle

being next to another shape

untitled collage
karl marxhausen

Pakistani artist Ambreen Butt website:

Ambreen's presentation in Kansas City.


Monday, November 21, 2016

pods pine needles twisted metal burlap

eighteen years ago i remember stowing plastic debris in a bag, looking along the main street curb. see knit glove (left) and can (below).
shapes were first arranged into a design, then glued to the cardboard. works were christened with a lifenote that the Lord brought to me. over the years these works have spoken purpose from the Lord.
two weeks ago i was stirred up by bean pods (above, below) from an autumn branch laid out like lace across an asphalt road. the dark brown outer covering had been crushed apart by the tires of passing cars. my heart lept. carefully the exotic pressings were laid between paper towels and loaded in my truck. mmm. wow. scooped up bright orange fresh pine needles where root school once stood. excited. when i got home i located burlap from the days i worked with the youth group. found nylon fish line and needles for stitching.   double click on image to enlarge.

then, finding the right straight tree branches to top the burlap (below). seated in the warm sun outside. needle and fish line stitch ed over under through burlap, securing the surface to the branch. four units ready to use (next).

with pliers in hand mater ials were twisted and cut into smaller sections. what came to mind was making resistance bend. the pruner sliced bottles, chunks of alu minum and steel into strips. the ac tivity of breaking apart that which restrains reminded me how stubborn mind-locks can be, my own bull-headed ways, the way tears have released buried pain from my own past,
occasions when jesus infused my soul with his embracing accepting restoring peace.

dirt was washed off items outside in a tub of water.
fabric and items laid on burlap and set aside. designs are set out to be looked over, come back and look again.

Two minute studio view.
torn plastic (below) reminds me of a bird or the holy spirit. yes!! rigid shape is glued to burlap and secured in place with cloth espins until it dries.

flowing arc of colors: silver, blue, silver, gray, red. paint can lids propped out with wood block under the edge. broken fountain drink lid, candy wrapper (below). i like this arrangement. i approve their fellowship and dancing. the rest the the design --- waits.

in crinkled tin (below) i see figure approaching with arms up, robe flowing, face towards me. crafted felt behind make the figure float outward. now the tin becomes someone else to me. partial lifenote is already a love=note to me. one who lifts and supports and tears up my eyes with joy.
profile of singing face (next) cut from fabric of graduation cap.  (below) gray silhouette to the right, rejoicing, dancing, amidst praises and jubilee to the Lord. scrip tures say the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. his life giving hope nourishing depression dispersing presence manifests and lifts our mental and physical state when we sing and speak and lift his name and extol him and exalt and magnify and enlarge and enjoy his personality. 2nd chronicles 20 verse 15 through 29 (old testament) describes a battle the Lord wins, defeating three armies against Judah, when the people spoke words and sang melodies lifting up their praises to their Lord and Savior, with the Lord doing all the fighting Himself.  Let - Me - Tell - You - Something      LE-M-TE-YO-SO       (lem-tay-yoh-soh)