Friday, June 4, 2010


Having arranged (but not yet bolted together) all the panels that currently are finished, I am back into painting mode -- and happier for it, I must admit. The task of teaming up panels and arranging them in the way they ask to be arranged is fascinating and fun, but doesn't probe as deeply into my inner thoughts and feelings as does the creation of individual panels.

This morning I had the pleasure of a Feldenkrais class with Carol, a friend of a friend who comes down from Salt Lake occasionally. This is my fourth class with her, and we focused on therapy for my hands, which can be almost crippled at times from hours of gripping palette knives and rags, and cello fingerboard and bow, without proper energy or alignment. One of the many things I learned (or, I should say, re-learned, since I already knew this at some level) is to ground my body as I move and work. This means literally to feel my feet on the floor and carry that connection all the way up my body, and back down again. The energy that comes from this simple awareness is amazing. When I sense that energy move up my spine and then out through my hands and fingers, the action I am taking, whether at the easel or the music stand, just flows.

Part of the reason that the Feldenkrais method speaks so strongly to me is due to the background that I have in modern dance. My memory of expressing myself through dance has lain dormant for years, but when Carol teaches me something, I frequently find that I already know it, usually on an intuitive level. Thus practicing Feldenkrais also puts me in touch with that movement-based, expressive history that I have, and the lesson becomes much more than just dealing with aching hands, for example.

I sense that the Feldenkrais work will lead to additional benefits as well. In addition to freedom from pain and greater flexibility in hand and finger movement, the grounding that these movements give me and the contact with that intuitive past may also help me to delve more deeply and develop new levels of expression.

The 12"x18" piece pictured above, as yet untitled, is going into the show. It makes me think of all the biotic life that one finds both in the sea and in the sandstone.


Barbara said...

A beautiful new piece - your choice for title will be interesting. I too play the cello, although I haven't pursued my love for it in the past few years. And, yes at my age(64), the hands begin to react in sometimes painful ways to playing the cello and to over-exuberant painting. Thank you for the information re:Feldenkrais. I will be researching to find out more about its benefits - sounds fascinating. I understand the feeling of having a new body of work ready ahead of time for your show in July - no wiring, labelling, and photographing the night before. I've just finished installing a show at my co-op gallery(reception is tomorrow), and it was such a joy not to feel harried with last minute tasks. Wishing you much success with the upcoming exhibition.

Nancy said...

Barbara, thanks so much for your comment. I'm fascinated that you play the cello; the combination with painting seems rich to me but I haven't really explored it yet. I also knit and crochet, sometimes with some weaving. Yarns and textiles are so beautiful. And I have written and edited. I look forward to exploring your blog in more depth. Best wishes for your reception tomorrow (mine is July 3d) -- I love "Genius" and wish I could see it in real time and space.