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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birthday Fabriano Artist’s Journal

My pal Jayne gave me this ter­rif­ic jour­nal for my birthday.

I think just look­ing at it gives you an idea of how won­der­ful it is — just to have around. Draw­ing on the paper is FAB­u­lous. Even has a rib­bon bookmark. 

Just click on the image to trav­el to a page where you can get one. 

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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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