Friday, 15 April 2016

Deep in it.

time becomes slightly elastic when i land in New Orleans. 

i fly through the streets on my beloved bicycle, can't leave her alone for a moment though :: when i came out of the Bridge House after foraging for shirts i found her flirting with an almost more splendid velocipede. black feathers, no less. and fringy bits. bells, too.

i'm sure i heard her whimper as i rode her away from him.

i was in New Orleans to work on my preservation dye project at the Press Street Gardens, where i am a sort of de facto peripatetic artist-in-residence and discovered to my delight that Margee Green (the aptly named manager of growing things) has been growing coloured cotton.
blue and green, no less.

this cotton is softer than silk (though it comes tightly packed in hard sharp shells) and can be spun in the fingers to a lovely fine thread

the jars i set up last September are travelling well. i opened one to check and there were no nasty smells, everything behaving just as it ought. so i made nine or ten more and adorned the shelves of the glass house with them

while they were being sterilized in the big cauldron i found time to play on the tracks

possibly a little silly.

my friend let me bundle up a beautiful shiny new damask table runner. new in the sense it has never been used, though i am guessing it's some sixty years old at least.
it will be interesting to see if the preservation dye process manages to get colour into the cloth despite it never having been washed or scoured

i also had the joy of shooting for a new album cover with my friend John Fohl
(the link will take you to his last album from a couple of years back)...more about that when the next is released, fingers crossed my paws make the cut!

and then my friend Shelley kindly modelled for me.

the week in New Orleans went far too quickly.
after a day in the air i arrived back on the west coast
where the streets were littered with eucalyptus :: and where i kicked myself because i wasn't carrying a cauldron.

some of the eucalyptus was neatly piled in brown paper bags. i could have wept.
ah well. i hope someone else found it and used it

i spent my days here doing groundwork for the retreat in May (sold out, no drop outs, sorry)
and gathering materials together

wandering past the church of Saints Peter and Paul at a particularly ice-cream-cake moment

and taking time out for a glass of merlot at Caffe Trieste, so as to play with some paint swatch poetry. the trick is to choose a handful of colours at random, then write a line that corresponds to the romantic appellation of the shade. mostly nonsense but an amusing occupation between walking up and down the lovely hills of that fair city.

though when i reach the top of the Vallejo steps it occurred to me that losing the equivalent weight of this bag from my body would be a very fine idea indeed.

i'll let y'all know how that goes.


  1. very interesting with all the jar dyes , the cotton is it the one you can find in the nature in some countries ? never seen like this , yes the bicycle we love them here in Denmark and use them all the time , glad you enjoy yours

  2. Cotton is gossypium sp
    A natural fibre which was once wild, now "tamed"

  3. Ofcourse you heard her wimper. Velos are like people, they dont want to be alone and hate to see a beautiful companion go.............

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  5. Each moment exquisite, but I especially love that cotton! And the idea of finding a way to engage the poetic naming of paint instead of merely wondering, as I do, who makes those names up and how do they get a job like that?

  6. Can it be true that I have regained the capacity to comment after such a long time? Too exciting! I too hope your paws make it into the album cover. That is a lovely image of your beautiful, capable, wonderfully decorated hands, and of course, of water.

    1. You're here! Not once but twice! Blogger is mysterious indeed :: almost as mysterious as paint swatch names. Maybe there's a connection...

  7. I have seen green cotton before but never blue. I thought at first it was indigo dyed. Thank you for sharing those colours. Fingers are itching now!