Monday, May 11, 2009


drypoint & chine colle on japanese paper,
59.5 x 19.5 cm, 1997

An old print. A mess-up but one of my favorites still. My etching press has been sitting idle pretty much since i got it. Makes me wonder that maybe it wasn't not having a press that was keeping me from making prints again. Maybe the desire was never strong enough to begin with? I don't know. I just know i love looking back at the prints that i did make and seeing the works that these artists are making - Jo, Elisabeth, Sarah...

I didn't go home for Mother's Day and wished i weren't so tired not to make the trip. i miss you, Ma. My dad called today and told me that the cousins surprised my mom with a cake at 9:30pm last night. I can imagine my mom's tremendous delight over it. I totally take back what i said about daughters being better than sons, at least definitely not these guys. You guys are really the best of the best. Sorry, Baby, for missing your birthday too. :(.

Studio work is going slow but steady. Nothing that makes my heart beat fast though. Just some re-painting here and there, making some more little spoons, and started a big one that made me realize why big can be so repulsive. Actually, i don't know why, i just want to bury it.

Spring is here but it's still so chilly on some days. like today. but nice to still be under the covers and just read. I've been reading Kevin Brockmeier's books. I am crazy for his writing. Today i came across a passage from his short story The View from the Seventh Layer that i really like:

"...The heart of every house was the kitchen, the soul of every house was the bedroom, and the mind of every house was displayed with hooks and thumbtacks on the walls. But the conscience of every house...was the bookshelves..."

I guess it doesn't make me feel so bad about having so many things around me that i like to have around.

I wish it'll get warmer soon so i can wear my new flip flops.


  1. Wonderful passage Mien...makes me feel better too.
    I like looking at your prints...old, new even the "mess-up ones"...I've been making "mess-up" print artists books lately...have got my printmaking group on to it too...will post about it soon.

  2. That print is lovely, Mien! On first glance I’m thinking of starkly drawn landscapes that stretch far back, viewed from high above, with each hairy line a possible horizon. Or of an only slightly ruffled sea with a small red sun emerging. The vertical lines disrupt this and I go in to look closer and see the grain of the paper and how your lines play with that. So simple, so beautiful.
    Re: huge unloved spoon – why not bury it for a bit and dig it out after the summer and see what it has become? Want to see the small ones…
    Spring is teasing us here, on off, on off, but my rose-bush with its long meandering and rather thin branches is in full bloom and as I went out today to snap off the withered blossoms I stood right inside its canopy and was enveloped by humming and buzzing - wonderful! Felt summery. Flipflops - oh yes.

  3. Your print doesn't look messy to me. I like it, it reminds me of something. Like a tree at a tranquil pond; something from my childhood. And now i'm curious about that author you just mentioned.... though i don't know anything bout him, sounds interesting from just reading that paragraph!

  4. I've been thinking about you a lot lately, so far away and so quiet. The passage you quote struck me right and I checked out the book from the local library. Short stories are usually such a tease I avoid them, but at that first story about the mute man I fell in love. The craft of it is just right, magic in the everyday extraordinary. I haven't read past it yet, stopping my friends to read it aloud to them.
    You wouldn't know it from the scarce activity on my blog but I awake with the feeling of being crushed by my own potential to make and it is both exhilarating and debilitating. It is the precise feeling I have when walking into the library, the feeling of infinity, so much to read and learn and do and only a finite amount of time to do it in. And it is not only my art that I wish to make; clothes and pillows and spinning wheels and and polaroids and books and woven cloth and shoes and kites and spun string and and and all clamour in my head to be made free.
    Your print here is right and good. Do you remember the feeling you had when making it? Has your Make hidden itself in those lines hibernating, can you poke it awake? Will it be angry or ashamed? grumpy or timid? or will it and you find joy after an argument at the press? The lines left between you a record of the conversation, intense, but silent. Does it miss your old friend too? Loneliness can stifle the breath that brings movement to your body after dreaming. You are a Maker and Artist and Friend to others. I think sometimes even a blog can stifle the process, the pressure to conform to the self you have revealed to us. But Makers are chameleons. They change and grow and hit the wrong notes before the right ones. Show us or if you’d make it a private share. I want to see even just the snippets. I could send you images of the bits of my Make too, the photos too blurry or ugly to post, but contain some bit too important to forget. Sometimes our Make needs to be pressured by an outside force, the show I entered recently scaled a barrier inside me. The pressure to finish revealed I can still make larger things, I can push beyond the momentary bouts of uncertainty to a finished thing, imperfect as it is. And yet it feels right and good, a child I can love.
    A giant spoon I can nestle with seems divine. Could I be the big spoon or the little one? or is it a mother cupping me in her belly? Is the surface soft white? Paper or string or tar or plaster? Will you bury her this month and unearth her with the coming summer or fall? a Make reborn?

  5. hello Red red

    i love the print, so subtle. a whispering simmering certanty of some sort... you know!

    i love your passage quoted too, its so hard to balance all of it all, don't be so hard on yourself, they know you love... etc. ;)

  6. Mien, this print is beautiful, I'm speechless. I can't imagine what your un-messed up works look like. Please keep publishing I love looking at your work and reading your thoughts.

  7. i have come many times to look at that print, i can't get enough of it - was too shy to tell something about it, since it puts me into such a deep and peaceful contemplative mood that words become a burden... Mien, it is fabulous.

  8. I absolutely adore this print Mien. Reedy, space for breath...