Thursday, August 22, 2013


Stone & shadow astride its empty place on Ha'Penny Rd. Peacham, Vt

Dearest Readers,
Fullness and emptiness are the yin and yang of essence. Like the stone and its missing place in the picture above, presence and absence are interconnected and inseparable from one another. Friend and blogger Ruth Schowalter of Coffee with Hallelujah has challenged fellow spiritually minded bloggers to explore the concept of fullness in honor of this week of seemingly endless full, fat August moons.

In the last year, my art has been focused on both form and non-form. 

The Hole after a year of rain and snow
I dug a deep hole a year ago at the Carving Studio andSculpture Center in West Rutland Vermont as part of Sculptfest 2012. I lined it in marble shards, and created a 14 foot aspen ladder from branches that I had gathered and lashed. It was intended to be an earthwork-meditation on my mother’s death, and on my own aging. It was that, but it has also turned out to be simply an aesthetically pleasing cylinder of emptiness. I visited the site in June, and was surprised to find the hole in perfect condition. There was rain water in the bottom from a deluge the previous night, but the director of the sculpture site said the hole always drains out quickly. How amazing!

Closeup of The Hole one year later, with rainwater draining out
While digging last summer, I began drawing images of surging and rising, energy in direct opposition to the notion of emptiness. I thought these pieces were wings, but the abstract swelling shapes seem to express a wellspring of spirit bubbling from inside.  The image below will be in the “More” show at Brenau University’s Sellars Gallery in Gainsville GA, September 17th-December 15th.
The Fullness of Being, acrylic on kraft paper 35" x 39", 2012

I’ve finished two paintings of similar whirlwinds of life since arriving here in Peacham VT, and am working on a third. 
Night Whirlwind-acrylic and pastel on canvas 42" x 36", 2013

Morning Whirlwind-acrylic and charcoal on canvas 44" x 40.5", 2013

Golden Dawn in progress-acrylic, pastel, charcoal and ink on canvas 39.5" x 42"
These paintings complement the drawings of holes I did in 2011, anticipating the digging of last year’s hole. Click here to see the hole drawings.

I leave you with three images of fullness and emptiness along Ha'penny Road, and a humorous poetic chapter from the Tao Te Ching.
A triangle of emptiness

Strange swollen galls on an evergreen trunk

Full moon from my studio window, Peacham VT 10pm

Thirty spokes
Meet in the hub.
Where the wheel isn’t
Is where it’s useful.

Hollowed out,
Clay makes a pot.
Where the pot’s not
Is where it’s useful.

Cut doors and windows
To make a room.
Where the room isn’t,
There’s room for you.

So the profit in what is
Is in the use of what isn’t.
-Lao Tzu

1 comment:

  1. Dear See See, I am pulled into the beauty of your images and thought. I read this entry when you first posted it but needed to return to it in order to go deeper into your ideas.

    I'm in love with the push and pull of emptiness and fullness. And love your images of surging and rising which resulted from your digging a hole! And then your hole fills with water and empties.

    Thank you for being articulate about your artwork and deep thought. My understanding of you and the world expands. My life is made better because of you.

    Thank you also for the Lao Tzu poem. Congratulations on your image being accepted into the "More" show.