Hello Wonderful People,
We hope this finds you well and that summer (or winter for those of you in the southern hemisphere) has been as amazing as it can be. We are back after an absence last month, something we regret but constraints on other projects forced us to delay that dispatch. We will fill that dispatch out in time and get it posted as it was a special anniversary for us - the 10th year of running our gallery - Desert Archaic - in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
Welcome to this full moon Dispatch of August 2022. This is Jeannie and Kyle and you are receiving this ditty in your inbox because you have subscribed to our intentionally confusing project; some of you are even supporting members!
This months dispatch has three parts:
- Observing Quietly
- All that the Rain Promises and More
Thank you for reading along, for your continued support and thank you eternally to our paid supporters of this project - you have been so gracious in your patience as we integrate this new idea into our beings, a process slow but which we are determined to see through to the end.
We set our tools down in late July and drove up to Marble Colorado so that I (Kyle) could attend the thirty third MARBLE/marble stone carving symposium. I like to joke that this event is what I wished art school would have been like, which is true and not really a joke at all. We love the community of carvers at this event and next year Jeannie plans to carve the stone as well, and I can't wait to see what she will create.
MARBLE/marble is best thought of as a futuristic interplanetary renaissance workshop phenomenon where one comes to toil with stone and emancipate the mind from common forms. An endurance test not for the faint of heart. Cutting and grinding and chiseling away until all which remains is the perfect form of mind and earth.
Far up in the Colorado mountains one finds the town of Marble - home to a still functioning marble quarry. Each summer a cadre of misfits and true believers gather near the site of an old mill - whose millwork adorns and constructs much of the Lincoln Memorial. Today's stone carvers gather in the woods and carve that same yule marble perpetuating this long tradition.
Sculptors make dust and bring to light stone created from the remains of small sea creatures 350 million years ago. One chips away the stone and becomes the first being to experience that once living surface after all those years.
I set out to MARBLE/marble this year to find a new way to understand sculpting stone. There is a fascination with this medium inside of me I cannot shake, but until now I've been unable to find a way in which the material truly resonates with my mind. An intention set, I endeavored to learn and absorb from the collective knowledge of the gathering.
I began by breaking my large stone into three pieces and began to carve each piece individually as part of the whole.
The act of breaking a stone creates features and surfaces one could never make by hand. The shear force and energy involved shatters ancient bonds between crystals expressing magic in every exposed facet. By breaking this stone I allowed the rock to create it's basic form upon which I would then add my voice to the converstation.
Each of the three resultant pieces I carved individually in a completely experimental fashion. I worked the stones as I work my paintings. Sketching on the surface with lines slowly pushing in with shapes. Allowing the form to slowly evolve until as if by magic a composition begins to appear.
Before this carving I have always worked first by seeing a form in the rock and then attempting to attain that form. With this carving I've been able to let the rock see the form inside of me and then discover this in the rock. This intuitive conversation with the stone is exactly what I've been hoping to find in stone carving.
Working this way also allows greater use of the material - I am not simply cutting away the stone - I am drawing ideas in the material slowly erasing them as I push deeper; always experiementing and understanding what the stone is capable of. This stone is ancient and yes it is to be carved but not wasted. In this slow process if carving directly into the surface of the stone I feel as though I am working in my sketchbook - carefree to experimebt knowing in time this sirface will be erased and a new firm will emerge.
I did not finish this triptych - I even left it in Marble to vist again and again for years to come. There is much work to be done and much to be leared from this rock - our relationship will be a record of communication between the sculptor and the form of the sculpture - Im oh so excited for this to unfold.
I had a truly transcendental experience in the creation of art at this years symposium. After many, many years of constant creation I am thrilled to feel this new spark of inspiration inside of me.
This summer has been one of much silent observation. Solo hikes and forays with loved ones, reveling in the immeasurable wonder of this world. In June I (Jeannie) was on a mountain adventure, riding horses with my sister in the Roosevelt National Forest. We stopped by a creek to enjoy some snacks near a tiny cascade edged with wild roses. In one of the blazingly pink blossoms was a bee, ebulliently gathering, and seemingly dancing in, piles of pollen. This was the moment that set my excitement spinning at the possibilities of gathering these tiny living moments into mini meditations.
All that the Rain Promises and More
Here in the southern Rocky Mountains its mushroom season, and we are so grateful for it! The rains are few and far between, but when it does rain the earth bursts forth in fruit! It is quite spectacular. So in this short window while the fungal fruits are presenting themselves to the outside world, we are in the forest looking for them, for food, medicine and dye.
I'm often asked about my favorite mushroom guide books and my response is always to suggest the following two books which will keep one learning for years. Mushrooms Demystified and All That the Rain Promises and More by David Aurora are THE books for your mushroom identification journey. All That the Rain Promises and More is the field guide that should always live in your pack during the rainy seasons, and MD is a voluminous compendium that goes hand in hand with the field guide. It is a world into deeper knowledge on the subject.
There are many more books that I like, and use, but those are recommendations for another time. You can check out all of Jeannie's recommendations on her website.
May the rest of your August be bountiful and beautiful,
Kyle & Jeannie