Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images ar©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Distracted normality

I gave myself the task today to get one bit of art down on paper. I also gave myself the freedom to just do it fast and not care where it would end up - in a print, online somewhere, or in a pile of other art - or tossed.

I have been doing a lot of writing and creating art for my book ideas, which keeps me on the keyboard, not the drawing board. The fluid motion of making a line when drawing or painting does not exist while typing. I was feeling stuck, heavy footed, heavy worded. This piece is just a small step back to fluidity.

I've spent a lot of energy this year care taking animals that I know are most likely not going to make it. It affects my flow. After 8 years, I can now say that. And this too makes me want to paint, to free my body up. It also makes me want to walk up to Old Oak and sit with her, my head pressed into her skin. Soak in me, Old Oak, I'll take you places, I'll draw your lines someday.

I yearn to take one animal on a long walk, and document it only in photos. No words. But which animal? Picking one means leaving so many behind. My tendrils are connected to so much, might it be time to snip something in a spring pruning?

I suppose many could look at this piece and decipher many meanings. I know what I feel in it. But while lying in bed this morning I was thinking of myself as a little girl, and how that girl came along on all my art journeys and transitions - my art is full of both child and woman. But I feel my writing is talking more to the woman, not the child. That's not a problem, I just woke up thinking about the child - the one that never felt heard, but learned to entertain herself in nature or where ever she was taken in adult land. I remember someone once told me, "Be nice to her, that little one," and it was those words I awoke too.

I feel huge transitions might be coming. I feel a need to put bigger canvases on the wall and mark them with large strokes. I haven't worked on a large piece for many months. Sometimes I think these yearnings are a panic, where the artist or woman retreats back to a former medium, style or product that feels safer because she did it once and survived or gained some kind of satisfaction from it - either emotional or financial. But other times, like today, I feel a small voice urging me to let go, let go, let go, and go forward - to what will be.


Anonymous said...

Be fearless and be true, Katherine. Keep listening to your heart song. I like this piece a lot!

Anonymous said...

Continue to be fearless and true, Katherine. I like this piece a lot!

cattywumpus said...

HI Katherine
I just discovered your blog yesterday, and was deeply touched. I have a particular fondness for older animals. I have decided to ration your posts to myself: 2-a-day. I am an illustrator in Boston, blogging about my two cats. Your photography is lovely.
Keep painting, drawing and writing!

Apifera Farm said...

Thanks Buck Mom- I will do my best in a world full of sharp corners! Catty- I looked at your site and I know you- when I was starting out eons ago I remember your work and I see you have a new cat book out, wonderful!We had 25 cats here at one time! Down to 12 [phews] and no, they aren't in the house. Cheers.

sjor said...

I love the honesty in both the piece and your writing - Love you work x (Can't compete with the amount of cats - just 2 here :-))

Lis said...

I am in total awe of your honesty, bravery of heart and total compassion for yourself and for those blessed 4 footed ones who orbit through your life. You inspire in me a deep desire to explore my life, my heart through words, images, sock puppets - it all is a process of discovery, celebrate and great love.

Thank you for allowing us these glimpses into your world and heart. I know I am more fearless knowing that you are out there doing this beautiful work.

xo Lis

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~