in the pines


It started on Sunday, looking up a song from the series Justified and the play list from u tube on the edge of my computer had a list of blue grass/ blues/ and a Nirvana song. I couldn’t imagine the common ground but as soon as I hit the play button I remembered how much I loved their rendition of Where did you sleep last night. It has been playing in my thoughts from a whisper to a roar for the past couple of days.  Wikipedia states: “In the Pines“, also known as “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” and “Black Girl“, is a traditional American folk song which dates back to at least the 1870s,[citation needed] and is believed to be Southern Appalachian in origin.[citation needed] The identity of the song’s author is unknown.

 This is what I would consider a creative haunting.


Yesterday while gardening had been the plan a too close encounter with the bear family brought me to the drawing table. I looked across to see a textured black coated canvas and plopped it on the easel. I have been loving the deeper shadowy places of spring, the way light falls and fractures through the forest on the way to the earth, or the bottom of the garden to that place where blues turn to purples and disappear to dark ground below.  ‘I stayed in the pines where the sun never shines,  i would shiver the whole night through ‘. FullSizeRender (69)

A slip of orange butterfly weaves and dances from the open field along the edge of the woods and disappears into the mystery of darkness.  I feel drawn to follow its flitting movement, a meandering walk into the lesser known. This is a place I like to take my imagination, to find and explore a less obvious beautiful.  The way we see and represent is such a personal journey.

a morning fb post from a gifted photographer

Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in something ordinary. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
I do not spend a lot of time painting flowers though I love my garden, I adore flowers in doors.  in paintings, Georgia O’Keefe (everything) and Monets waterlilies stir my heart. The holding something until you are finished with it aspect as well – Monet is said to have painted the waterlilies over 250 times in his carreer, a fact I find staggering.  Back to in the pines, Huddie Ledbetter, a.k.a. Lead Belly, recorded over half-a-dozen versions between 1944 and 1948, most often under the title, “Black Girl” or “Black Gal”. 
So is there a point to this ramble?  I have been exploring my process. Where is the beginning? Is it in putting materials together, pulling paints choosing grounds and surface? Is it in the image refinement and alteration or is it somewhere deeper, a dream space that is simply triggered when your eyes fall upon the familiar?  For me the question has more value than the answer. It is a kind of push against the door and as I can only speak from the space of my own experience in the world of women I think there is also desire to be known, to be seen in  the mysterious and darker places without judgement.
FullSizeRender (70)
It’s a long steel rail and a short cross tie
I’m on my way back home
In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines
And you shiver when the cold winds blow
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images very early of a work in progress.

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