Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Skinning the Cat

The past few weeks, I've been back-and-forthing, via facebook, with Steve Edwards, author of, _Breaking into the Backcountry_. (For a brilliant review of Edwards' book, check out Susan J Tweit's blog-review:
Steve had posted a line from Springsteen's, "Atlantic City," which led to the aforementioned back-and-forthing.

In my most recent FB message to Steve, I mentioned Springsteen's development as a songwriter, musician. How his newer songs are far more hope-filled, less dark and negative. Further, and what I didn't mention to Steve, is Springsteen's taking audience requests for songs (not his own) during his recent concerts, and then he and the E Street Band would play them.  *sigh*  To have such depth of knowledge of one's art---'twould be a wonderful thing. I hope to get there, myself, regarding my writing.

The past handful of years have brought me into occasional working contact with Susan Tweit. I've been able to see, up close, how one particular writer makes it work: the "doing of the thing." With my current collaborating with Sherrie York, I'm seeing how another artist, and in a different medium, "makes it work." Will I take either's way as my own? Hopefully, I'll figure my own way. But will both of these craftswomen inform and influence the forging of mine own path? I hope I'll be so wise.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Have I Done?

Okay, roughly a month and change ago, I kinda closed my eyes and did a slightly scary thing, asking a local artist, Sherrie York, to be "my artist" for an upcoming regional library art show. For this show, artists and writers would work together: the writer creating a haiku, and the artist creating the corresponding/matching artwork.

Now, I've had several book reviews published in a local monthly (Colorado Central), and a few essays in a quarterly based in Crestone (Desert Call), but otherwise, there's not much for me to point to regarding my writing, other than scrawled spiral notebooks. Sherrie York, however, is a "real artist." She has folks asking for her stuff, asking her to lead classes and the like. And her work is phenomenal. (Hence, folks asking for her artwork and instructionings.) Thinking of asking Sherrie to be my co-conspirator made my nervous system crackle. Nonetheless, I had little to lose in asking, just my pride, so I emailed her.

She agreed, but you already know that. What you might not know is to what degree Sherrie has taken my invitation and run with it, to stretchy and experimental places. She's teasingly blaming me for "costing me so-o-o-o much money!" Seems my haiku has nudged her to experimenting and playing around with various aspects of her printmaking: inks, mica to be included in the ink (because my haiku uses words like, "sparkly," "glistens," and the like), and even a "baby" press.

I was honored when she agreed to join me, was gladdened to hear she was playing around and having fun with her "half" of our collaboration. However, I never expected her to go this far. Yikes, what have I done, this time?