Sunday, September 21, 2008

art and bones

i snapped this last night on my way home from our art group gathering. if i get my camera out at the end of a long day, it's gotta be a shot i absolutely can't resist. in the morning i take pictures of everything. by nighttime nothing calls me. i don't know what it is about these signs and lights that i love so much... maybe it's that after driving 50 miles through flat, open country, i can't resist the color of the signs and the flashing-ness of the red lights. finally! after driving in an almost straight line for an hour i get to turn and see some color to boot!

i left at 8 a.m. to drive to roxanne's, about an hour and forty-five minutes north of here. i love this drive and took a bunch of pics while driving, but evidently it wasn't a good day for photos while driving. most of this area used to be underwater, and from what i understand the white settlers drained it for farming. so i'm driving on a former lake bed... there are lots of formations like this one that just jut up from the surrounding flatness. i really like them.

farther down the post i've shown one of the paintings i worked on at roxanne's... it was wonderful -- the whole day. sharing techniques and supplies. getting new ideas. eating good food. roxanne has some pics up already on her blog if you'd like to look. i took very few pictures -- i wanted to paint and talk.

gathering up my stuff in the late afternoon, i started for home. i had to stop for groceries first, and that devil caffeine twisted my arm 'til i broke down and got a mocha for the road. oh that sweet, tasty goodness! my next stop was one of my all time favorite places,

the petroglyph cliffs just south of the oregon california border. i've changed the tint to sepia to try and bring up some contrast...

they go on and on for what is about the length of a city block. to say that i snapped a lot of pics would be an understatement. i just snapped, and snapped, and

snapped. this is my favorite art. period.

the last time i was there i found a few owl pellets at the far end of the petroglyphs, so i wanted to see if i could find some this time. at first i only saw small bones scattered everywhere in the dry soil at the foot of the cliffs, but after about a half hour of walking and picking up tiny bones, i started to find owl pellets. and then i found a LOT of owl pellets. they were all over the place. i was beside myself with bone joy. grrl, kate, jo, i thought about you. you would have loved it...

i've barely begun to photograph or take apart the pellets... life seems to be happening faster than i can document it these days! but i do have a photo of

this one... with a bird skull and many bird bones in it.

and this one of a mouse skull, which was laying near the owl pellets.

i could hardly believe my good fortune. gratitude fills my bones!

i started this page yesterday at roxanne's and finished it with some wax and nickel azo yellow when i got home. roxanne gave me the lace and those big brads (which i looked for at safeway on the way home but unfortunately they didn't have them. what?!!). thank you roxanne for your generous kindness throughout the day!!

left and right page -- the hand belongs to one of the 'bog mummies' found in denmark (nat'l geographic photo). i got a bunch of national geographic mags earlier in the week on my other trip. they have the coolest photos/articles. bog mummies with orange hair intact after more than a thousand years!! i've been cutting up old dictionary pages and gluing them down a lot in this journal. something about it...


  1. Hi how are you? I like your blog and would like to become friends are you up to it?
    Come and visit my site sometime, and please comment. If you do, I will do the same thanks,
    and take care.

  2. Interesting post... all dem bones! I am going to have to start keeping an eye out for you (but I do think some of those kangaroo bones might be a bit big to send across). I did see a dead echidna the other day, so next time will stop and pick it up for you. I hear their quills are quite sought after. Sadly we do get a few that are killed on the roads (echidnas are my favourite!).
    Looks like you and Roxanne had a wonderful, arty day. I love the lace and brads she gave you. Can you let me know how you did the lace? It looks sort of rusted???
    About to go and visit Roxannes blog and see what else you girls got up to.

  3. Oh Lynne, I got your fabulous package today, and I feel so guilty as I have yet ot send mine. Stand by for the blogpost featuring you.

    And I KNEW you had petroglyphs in your bones...just knew it. Yeah,. I have a dead echidna in the garden waiting to be ready to get the quills off. They are mating now so lots of them squished on the road.

  4. Hey Lynne! I just love these day trips with you. I always learn so much AND my favorite art are the ancient ones also! - bones and owl pellets, probably not so much. My favorite pic is the first one - I really, really like it!

  5. hi jesse, thank you! i will visit your blog, and thanks for leaving a word here...

    hi jacky... i had to google 'echidna' because i didn't know what one was -- wow, they are sweet!!

    on the lace and brads, all i did was paint them. i think that first i saturated the lace with burnt umber paint, and then i just smeared misc. colors on as the moment called for. same with the brads... very simple...

    grrl, i've been meaning to e-mail you and tell you it was on its way, and, if you have any questions about contents to let me know... i'm glad it got through to you okay. when i send my tree flag package i'll stick in some owl pellets...

    oh yeah, i have petroglyphs in my bones -- i think i used to BE a petroglyph painter. : )

    hey jeane! i thought about you as i was writing this post -- figure you've had enough of bones by now! thank you about the first pic. i sat there and snapped away, periodically looking in my rear view mirror to make sure there wasn't someone back there expecting me to actually drive!

  6. Amazing landscape .. so different from here!
    You girls must have the best time getting together.. so much artsy thinking all gathered together.. Must be hard to leave.

    I so love those petroglyths.. What an experience that must have been... I would have loved to have been in their presence ...

    I love your little finds in the pellets.. I found a tiny bird skull and beak earlier this year in a owl pellet... This one was in a wide open marsh area. I am crazy for skulls of any kind!

    You sure pack your adventures full. what a life!!! Thanks for sharing them!!

  7. What a post, lynne! Ancient symbols, animal skulls, and bog mummies. It's so YOU! And your pages are my favourites so far...feels like I'm entering a very visceral world.

  8. Oh Lynne, this post is wonderful! I love the petroglyph cliff photographs, and your finished journal page looks amazing with the wax. Thank you so much for the links as well. I am so glad we met... Roxanne

  9. hi gwen, yes, it must be so different than where you are, although i think the basic principle of wide open spaces must hold both here and there.

    gwen, i know you would have loved the petroglyphs as much as i did (or maybe more, but i don't know if that's possible). it's indescribable to be in their presence. a complete experience...

    this is my first bird skull! you can imagine how excited i am! i was just writing to grrl not long ago that i would LOVE to have a bird skull. i found several on this day but they're so fragile i don't know if i'll clean them up very much. i've already broken one, which was quite hard to take, as i'm sure you can imagine.

    thank you for coming by!

    lol, kate! yes, mummies and bones, that's me! re: the pages... i feel like i'm having more and more fun doing them. just letting go. i did my first collage last night for the course, and one of the things that struck me was how much i'm already in the spontaneous groove from working more and more that way these last weeks...

    hi roxanne! i finished that page when i got home, even though it was late! now i'm working on the other pages i started at your house. i just found some bark outside that i glued to the page -- you've got me on the texture thing...

    and smiling here that we met!

  10. Hi, I found your blog through Roxanne's and I love it!
    I love the work you have created at her home, sounds like you had such a lovely day :-)

  11. My kind of day! The petroglyphs and the owl pellets...the cherry on the top. The thought of such a long stretch of petroglyphs makes my mouth water. How wonderful is that! Love the journal pages!

  12. I am crazy about your art, and your bones. . .

  13. First, the artwork is lovely...I enjoy your work in general (as you know) but this one in particular says something to me.

    Second, I envy your closeness to this's a space I'm completely unfamiliar with, and would like to explore sometime!

  14. Hoe do you keep finding those amazing bones?!? I think I am going to start calling you the bone whisperer

  15. hi ann, thank you -- i love your blog/s as well! yes, we did have a lovely day... sharing ideas and materials is a surefire way to amp up the creative process it seems.

    lol, robyn! i wish i'd thought of that for a post title - 'the cherry on the top'! dang, it would've been perfect. yeah, you would have loved it... and i would've loved sharing it all with you.

    thank you so much sarah. i'm smiling here. : ) i'm crazy about your art too...

    thank you, machinarex, about the painting... the photo is of the 'scent generating' tree i saw last week. oh, i know you'd love to wander in the woods here -- and around the petroglyphs. this part of california is nothing like what most people envision as california.

    lol, seth! the bone whisperer, i like it! all i can say is that this has been an extraordinary bone summer...

  16. How fun that you get to play art with a friend! And the results are amazing! Beautiful, just beautiful work, er, PLAY!!

  17. hello... u I am convinced are surrounded by sacred space... those petroglyphs made my jaw drop. I used to scribble symbols like that as a child and lately i have been doing it again... was writing about Arizona all morning so nice to see this.

    Your collage is really depth.

  18. YOU are unbelievably cool - I have an owl pellet embedded in an art work from a dear friend who has passed - you brought up his spirit here - thank you - so so so cool...

    xox - eb.

  19. I love your owl pellets - I am still looking out here for them - I hear the owls, but can't find exactly where they hang out!!! Wish I had saved the owl pellets from the kids' hands on science classes!!! LOL


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