new drawings : egyptian waters
I’ve just completed a new series of drawings. Drawn on rag vellum with ink. You can see the whole series at my portfolio. These drawings are made using a series of marks that make up a vocabulary which when placed in order create a story about water. The marks are a hieroglyphics. A series of marks that when deciphered tell the story.

You can always find my work at : stella gassaway : memory landscapes

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bird arts : flocks make art

The New York Times is featuring a wonderful presentation and essay about the patterns of Starlings in Rome. The images remind me of drawings many, many little marks to create the visual pattern.

It feels a bit like watching X Files.

from The New York Times:

More and more, as surrounding habitat is flattened, we may find fragments of the wild world coming home, literally, to roost. The abundance of starlings in Rome is partly the result of climate change — they used to go farther south before Roman winters warmed up. Bird-watching thrives on the recognition that the urban and the wild must be understood together. We are, after all, urban and wild ourselves, and still figuring out how to make the multiple aspects of our nature mesh without disaster.

The series of photographs in the multimedia presentation puts me in an altered state.

Point your browser to link below.

Birds – European Starlings – Rome – Richard Barnes – Jonathan Rosen – New York Times

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FOUR YEARS AGO : Senator Robert Byrd

I picked this up a few days ago and read it again.
No words can express my sorrow and frustration. The loss of human life, destruction of Iraq and global instability.

Speech delivered on the floor of the US Senate
by US Senator Robert Byrd
March 19, 2003 3:45pm

I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marveled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great Republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.

But, today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.

We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split.

After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America’s image around the globe.

The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.

There is no credible information to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11. The twin towers fell because a world-wide terrorist group, Al Qaeda, with cells in over 60 nations, struck at our wealth and our influence by turning our own planes into missiles, one of which would likely have slammed into the dome of this beautiful Capitol except for the brave sacrifice of the passengers on board.

The brutality seen on September 11th and in other terrorist attacks we have witnessed around the globe are the violent and desperate efforts by extremists to stop the daily encroachment of western values upon their cultures. That is what we fight. It is a force not confined to borders. It is a shadowy entity with many faces, many names, and many addresses.

But, this Administration has directed all of the anger, fear, and grief which emerged from the ashes of the twin towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But, he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war. If we attack Saddam Hussein, we will probably drive him from power. But, the zeal of our friends to assist our global war on terrorism may have already taken flight.

The general unease surrounding this war is not just due to “orange alert.” There is a pervasive sense of rush and risk and too many questions unanswered. How long will we be in Iraq? What will be the cost? What is the ultimate mission? How great is the danger at home?

A pall has fallen over the Senate Chamber. We avoid our solemn duty to debate the one topic on the minds of all Americans, even while scores of thousands of our sons and daughters faithfully do their duty in Iraq.

What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?

Why can this President not seem to see that America’s true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?

War appears inevitable. But, I continue to hope that the cloud will lift. Perhaps Saddam will yet turn tail and run. Perhaps reason will somehow still prevail. I along with millions of Americans will pray for the safety of our troops, for the innocent civilians in Iraq, and for the security of our homeland. May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us.

We are humbled by this darkness.

We are humbled by this darkness. We feel hopeless, helpless and lost.

It took me some time to write about reading this letter. Until I read this my whole feeling about what happened in Virginia was a numbing drone. No opportunity to reflect on the loses and sorrow.
When I read this I cried.

Imagine for a moment you are this sister.

The statement by Sun-Kyung Cho, sister of Seung-Hui Cho, on behalf of herself and her family:

On behalf of our family, we are so deeply sorry for the devastation my brother has caused. No words can express our sadness that 32 innocent people lost their lives this week in such a terrible, senseless tragedy. We are heartbroken.

We grieve alongside the families, the Virginia Tech community, our State of Virginia, and the rest of the nation. And, the world.

Every day since April 16, my father, mother and I pray for students Ross Abdallah Alameddine, Brian Roy Bluhm, Ryan Christopher Clark, Austin Michelle Cloyd, Matthew Gregory Gwaltney, Caitlin Millar Hammaren, Jeremy Michael Herbstritt, Rachael Elizabeth Hill, Emily Jane Hilscher, Jarrett Lee Lane, Matthew Joseph La Porte, Henry J. Lee, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, Lauren Ashley McCain, Daniel Patrick O’Neil, J. Ortiz-Ortiz, Minal Hiralal Panchal, Daniel Alejandro Perez, Erin Nicole Peterson, Michael Steven Pohle, Jr., Julia Kathleen Pryde, Mary Karen Read, Reema Joseph Samaha, Waleed Mohamed Shaalan, Leslie Geraldine Sherman, Maxine Shelly Turner, Nicole White, Instructor Christopher James Bishop, and Professors Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, Kevin P. Granata, Liviu Librescu and G.V. Loganathan.

We pray for their families and loved ones who are experiencing so much excruciating grief. And we pray for those who were injured and for those whose lives are changed forever because of what they witnessed and experienced.

Each of these people had so much love, talent and gifts to offer, and their lives were cut short by a horrible and senseless act.

We are humbled by this darkness. We feel hopeless, helpless and lost. This is someone that I grew up with and loved. Now I feel like I didn’t know this person.

We have always been a close, peaceful and loving family. My brother was quiet and reserved, yet struggled to fit in. We never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence.

He has made the world weep. We are living a nightmare.

There is much justified anger and disbelief at what my brother did, and a lot of questions are left unanswered. Our family will continue to cooperate fully and do whatever we can to help authorities understand why these senseless acts happened. We have many unanswered questions as well.

Our family is so very sorry for my brother’s unspeakable actions. It is a terrible tragedy for all of us.

Works on Paper Juried Show : I’m IN!

I’m pleased to tell you that one of my drawings has been selected for Main Line Art Center : Works on Paper juried exhibition along with more than 25 other artists. I’ve previewed the work and am very excited to be included in a show with so many excellent works.

The selected drawing privy path is from a series of plein air works in my Rare Earth Series.

I hope you will join me at the reception on friday June 1st.

Works on Paper

May 18-June 8

First Friday June 1, 6-9 pm
Juried by Jacqueline Van Rhyn, Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Print Center, this show highlights works in a variety of media created on or of paper.

Wednesday, June 6, 1pm
Join juror Jacqueline Van Rhyn as she discusses the work selected for the exhibition. Free and Open to the Public.

Main Line Art Center
Old Buck Road &
Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041

Privy Path

plein air
pencil and pastel on paper
12″ x 17″

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Yesterday during our afternoon tea break I looked out the window to find a lone window washer. Looking at him floating on the grid of windows was an intriguing sight.

I thought… what a great job it would be to float down the sides of buildings; looking in on the honeycomb cells of urban life. What would I see that surprised me? Would anything surprise me at all? Would I be lost in the zen of washing windows — noticing only the glass surface I would cover with soapy water and squeegee clean with rhythmic geometric motions?

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