Source Material

By Rebecca Haseltine
09/20/16

This is risky to do, but I’d like to share some source material.  It’s risky because these are photographs of nature and art will never be as beautiful as nature. Art is something else, maybe less about beauty and more about the longing for a kind of beauty that expresses what we can’t see.

Actually it was the experience of looking at the water and stones and roots that sits inside as source material. The pictures remind me of that experience. If I share them, you won’t have the experience to refer to – all you have is the photo. This is another risk – that communication will be flat.

The pictures are a means of note-taking; the camera has replaced the notebook. These events of nature simply occurred and I happened to see them.  Nature is an undirected and messy thing – and the phenomena are huge, microscopic and orderly at the same time. I hope to have something undirected and messy in my work and can only hint at the deeper levels.

What I see here are flow patterns in water and in wood.  But wood isn’t only wood – it is a record of a tree having lived, and the wood shows something about that process of living.  And it looks to me so much like the movement of water.

And the patterns and movements of water are not just about flow – the mind and action of water shapes the plants and also shapes us – in ways that we are still learning. The action of water within our interior landscape is huge, microscopic, orderly and messy.

 

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Inner Matrix

Rebecca Haseltine 04/11/16

Here are some stages of one piece in my next series — based on tides, glial cells, and autonomic balancing. This doesn’t mean this is what the pieces are about, necessarily. That will be up to the viewer. These sources are just that – the beginning inspiration. In this piece in particular I began to see things that were different from the source. I like that – that a piece can begin with one set of connections, develop new connections along the way, and then once it is shown, create images in people’s minds that could be anything – related or unrelated to the piece’s beginnings.

 

 

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ink, chaos

 

 

Version 2

more days, flips, layers

 

 

Version 3

several days and accidents later.

 

 

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Understory

Rebecca Haseltine  03/20/16

 

These images show a sequence of steps that are mostly invisible in the final pieces.

This project grew out of grief. There were dozens of wildfires burning up and down California last summer (2015) during our fourth year of drought. A 150,000 acre fire burned in the Kings Canyon area, destroying some of the most beautiful wilderness in the state.

I chose photographs I had taken of bleached cedar roots – from trees killed not by fire but by logging – and the images looked like bones to me – tree bones.  Then I made drawings from the photographs.

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Even though I focused on the shape of the roots, these pencil sketches started to look like anatomical drawings, so then I added somatic drawing.

 

 

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Then I poured ink on top of the drawings, and this ended up looking like fire, accidentally but appropriately.  It  also looked like a lot of other things.

 

 

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During this process I wasn’t going for an image, just layering wet ingredients on top of dry to see what would show through. When the pieces are backlit, especially hung in front of a window, you can see the ‘bones and sinews’ showing through.

 

 

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Last two photos by Judy Reed Photography

 

 

 

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Rebecca Haseltine 03/17/16

Sense # 6

 

Welcome to this forum.  I will be sharing mostly process notes – notes about creative process and inspiration, and specific background info about artwork in progress.  I want to share an inquiry that includes art making but isn’t limited to that.

The art speaks for itself, so I don’t do this for the art.  I want to create conversation with others about creative process – whether you are an artist or not – so I invite comments and questions.  And if you are curious about the work and you want some background, you may find it here.  For example, I may post studio shots of work in process or research photos that give me seed ideas to explore.

Art comes out of a collective pool of shared information – I want to open up a dialog to acknowledge this in some way – so please join me!

 

 

 

 

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