Walk with Me Here

Rearranging furniture in my living room today, something I used to do a lot of when I was younger. I don’t have a lot of options because I have a very large, heavy slab of giant sequoia sitting on three rocks as a “coffee table”. Finding ways to work within the confines of this massive presence, that I cannot move without big help, and the fact that it’s just me to do the moving — again.

Stopped to check email and found a link from Robert Wilkinson at Aquarius Papers talking about the dance between the planet mercury and the sun happening right now…with mercury in direct motion, racing ahead of the sun (making a “superior conjunction”)…he says, “At this conjunction, mind is no longer following life, trying to catch up to it. Now mind races forward as herald, catching glimpses of knowledge, perception, and understanding that shows us where life is headed in the near future….we’ll use the ‘fusion of life and mind’ to reconstruct, repair, and/or restore harmony, balance, and connections between the individual and the collective, and the links between the conscious and unconscious sides of life. This could mean links within us related to the past and some social wreckage we went through, or restoring some sort of inner harmony related to past ‘storms.’ Any repair or reconstruction work we do can show us the constructive results of prior destructive events that stimulated us to new accomplishments.”

Many people think the country is in big trouble (few political details needed) with waves of hopelessness, disgust, intense judgment of others, bullets flying for real and masquerading as words, spoken and written, with the real intention of causing harm to all life forms. I want to race beyond these old stuck mind-sets, personally and collectlively, and begin to live again in ways never-before-seen.

[“Walk with Me Here” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort]

Three wishes…

[Looking for a genie in a bottle.]

1.   I wish I had made this art work.
2.   I wish I could make work like this in my own words.
3.   I wish I could see this work in person.

Simon Evans

(for larger images go to this page click on image and then enjoy portfolio)

Everything I Have, 2008
Pen, paper, scotch tape, white out
60 1/4 X 40 1/8 inches

Symptoms of Loneliness, 2009
Pen, paper, scotch tape, correction fluid
28 1/2 X 39 3/8 inches

One Hundred Mix CDs for New York, 2008
Mixed media
57 1/4 X 79 1/4 X 2 1/2 inches

The story behind the art…

Saw a wonderful Indie movie on PBS last night called “Between the Folds” about the art of paper-folding (origami.) One artist, Chris Palmer, talked about how we only see about 1/3 of the art in any final artwork hung on a wall.  The real part of the art itself, the other 2/3, is in the making of it. This process is much more than the art itself. As he talked about this, he was carefully folding, unfolding, refolding about an 18 in square piece of paper for 5 hours as they filmed him.

Seeing the process of the art-making, or actually doing it yourself, is the profound part of the art: the story of it.  This is what the Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour is about, giving you glimpses of this process. It is about the artist and the space called the Studio, and what happens there because of the movement of the artist’s hands. Come to the Studio Tour on March 19-20-21 and let yourself be inspired to sprout the artist within you.


More of the paper folding art:

Chris Palmer

Paul Jackson

Vincent Floderer

See links and descriptions of all the paper artists in the film here.

Poetry: the land speaks and a cowboy listens

John Dofflemyer, another  “stream” from the Kaweah Land and Arts Festival, steward, rancher, poet living on Dry Creek in the Kaweah River Watershed:

This poem was posted September 21, 2009 on his Dry Crik Journal


I grope in the shadows, run my hand
along the familiar and feel the soft
moss on forgotten piles of granite.

Surely a thread of grace appears
here in the half-light, illuminated
between the stone-cold dead

and the musty smell of living –
surely there is some solace
missed by the genius of science

in these scattered, fractured ruins
where I may rest my head and relax.
Off in the valley, bright head and

red tail lights stream urgently
to the churning wind above me,
the wings of ravens returning

from the fields, a squadron strung
high for miles to the oak trees
beyond the ridgelines we never see.

©John Dofflemyer

Do you want some Dry Crik poetry books on your personal library shelf?
Find them here.

More from the land and arts festival…

Paul Buxman: painter and farmer from Dinuba

At the Kaweah Land and Arts Festival, Paul talked gently and reverently about his work and life.  He told us to live our life and then paint it, so that the art-making really becomes secondary to the actual living itself.  Many artists “live” for their art, instead letting the art emerge from the simple living of the life.  I loved having the wafts of oil paint scent come across the air at Kaweah Oaks Preserve as Paul painted on Saturday.

When you meet Paul one of these days, ask him to tell you about lazy susan on his kitchen table.




About Paul, from his website:

Farmer and Artist Paul Buxman has been farming and painting the San Joaquin Valley for over 40 years. His dedication to discovering sustainable farming methods have influenced people world wide. He has been the subject of many documentaries including National Geographic, PBS, Sixty Minutes, Bill Moyer, CBS Nightly News, California Heartland, Canadian Public Broadcasting, Australian Public Broadcasting and many local news broadcasts.

His art has had a strong impact on many people in America, not just collectors, but on other painters as well. He teaches and “preaches” simplicity and honesty as key to great art. He encourages others to paint what they know. “Painting should be a visual autobiography. Paint those subjects with which you are the most intimately acquainted.”

Paul works primarily in oil, but he also works in pastel.

He has held exhibits at the Fresno Art Center, The Hanford Art Center, The Haggin Museum in Stockton, The Bakersfield Art Museum, The Modesto Art Museum, The Great Valley Center in Modesto and the beautiful Villa del Sol d’Oro in Sierra Madre, California.

His works have been displayed in the Senate Chambers in both Washington, D. C. and California. His paintings are in small and large, public and private collections throughout the United States of America.

The palmistry of mountains…

There comes a time…

when you see something that pretty much sums up everything,

when you are gifted a glimpse, ever so feebly, of your life from so broad a perspective you may as well be looking down from the moon,

when poet people from the past show up in today, and the past is changed, like time moves backwards instead of forwards (which it does sometimes),

and you know the place where you live so well that you can point to the exact spot, on a map with no road signs, no town names, no boundaries of any kind…but just fine black, delicate lines, tracing the wrinkles, like in a human palm, of mountain and valley, where water has had the audacity to rush and drop over rocks and sand, seeping into roots of willow, sycamore, and mugwort (used by local Native Peoples as the equivalent of holy sage.)

Tonight I pin-pointed exactly where I live, on such a map, offered as “art” in a 12 foot, or more, by 6 foot, or more, lithograph quilt of the Kaweah Watershed, “hung” on a gallery wall.

Headliners for the Kaweah Land and Arts Festival on November 6-8, artist Matthew Rangel and writer/photographer John Spivey are exhibiting lithographs and photographs throughout November at Arts Visalia Gallery, 214 E. Oak, Visalia CA, open Wed-Sat 12-5 pm.

10DueEastfromMoroRock-largeStronghold – Due East from Moro Rock, lithograph
©Matthew Rangel

John Spivey
“We are part of something so profound that to call it random acts of chaotic probability, or to alternatively call it God, simplistically reduces this profundity to a shadow of what it really is. The ultimate answer to this environmental question is that we all have to learn how to live in relationship with this profound nature of life.”

©John Spivey, from exhibit at Arts Visalia “Luminosity of Stone
see also, johnspiveyfurniture.com

Spivey is author of The Great Western Divide, CrowsCry Press 2006.
“Is your mind abundant? How has it come to its present state of being?  Is is full of the nuance and fluidity of life or is it rigid and barren, painful and lonely?  It is never too late to come back to the fullness of who you really are, to come back to knowing.  Are you willing to restore the abundant landscape of your mind, maybe restory it? Is there an original story, one without words, only just knowing? Put another log on the fire if you wish to go further into all of this.  You need to stoke the fire a little for yourself.” page 45


New work ©Elsah Cort one of nine images finished today
in the form of 5X5 inch cards in a series called Square One.

Digital collage
from original mandala painting
and photograph of Kaweah River at my favorite swimmin’ hole
at the home of friends who live on Dinely Drive in Three Rivers.