In August I saw this piece at the Arkansas Arts Center in an exhibit of their permanent collection. Afterward, I couldn't stop thinging about it. First, it's Iggy Pop, who I love and adore and try to channel when need be. Then there's the Staple Singers, which have been in steady rotation on my life's soundtrack for many years now. Moving to the bottom of the piece, there's Iowa City, a place my husband spent many formative years. And finally, December 18 is his birthday! I wanted to look at it again but couldn't remember the title or artist. I contacted the museum and they gave me the information and even sent me the catalog for the show it was originally in called "Stitches". They are nice folks over there in Little Rock. The artist is Jenny Hart.
Sep 19, 2011
When I saw a hanger full of very fancy ties lying on the couch after one of James' Saturday yard sale outings I thought, what is about the stripe that I'm so atrracted to? I think about stripes a lot and draw them over and over. I could easily slip into to painting only stripes for the rest of my days.
My friend, who is not an artist but indeed loves art, saw a link to this Agnes Martin video and sent it my way. She said she thought of me because of "1. abstraction, 2. stripes, 3. how she talks about art". It felt good to have someone not familiar with Agnes Martin see her work and say 'i see you in here somewhere'.
I've watched this many times over the years and every time I take away a new gem. For example, this 'vacant mind' idea she speaks of is a place I spend a lot of time trying to get to. Thinking is important in the studio, but not thinking is equally as important.
Agnes Martin Interview (20:00 version, 1997) from Chuck Smith on Vimeo.
Sep 11, 2011
This is a visual record of a home I spent a lot of time in. Recently, I had the opportunity to walk through before it was sold to take pictures of the details that are important to me. This is memory.
Every afternoon as the sun sets light pours in. People who had spent years in the house would comment on the magnificence of this light, as though each time was the first time. Beyond the architecture and the light, there was something transcendent about the space. Whenever I walked onto the porch it was like going through a worm hole into another dimension, a place just beyond this reality. There was a vibe to it, a peacefulness, that was so resonant you could almost hear it. Granted, my friend who lived here was the type of person who welcomed everyone with open arms and brought out your best self. But there was more to it than just her kind nature. Even she acknowledged the house held an inexplicable spell.
I miss my friend every day. I’ll miss this house. I’m sharing these deeply personal photos in honor of her memory and the future artwork they'll inspire.