Observing how NOT to be an artist

busy ants devouring skullI came upon this anthill today near the Plum Tree Grove. Thousands of ants scurrying to and fro, mandibles munching away on what remains of a skull.

It was ironic for me, to watch them moving at full tilt, while I try desperately to gear down, precisely so that I can better appreciate moments such as this.

It’s not easy, letting go of the insatiable chattering in my head about concepts, techniques and materials. When not at PCEI, I look constantly for advice and inspiration wherever I can find it. Today’s find: Barry Lopez in Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape.

To hear the unembodied call of a place, that numinous voice, one has to wait for it to speak through the harmony of its features—the soughing of the wind across it, its upward reach against a clear night sky, its fragrance after a rain. One must wait for the moment when the thing—the hill, the tarn, the lunette, the kiss tank, the caliche flat, the bajada—ceases to be a thing and becomes something that knows we are there.