Poem by Marietta Leis

Studio 2020

Sunlit and ready
Linda Ronstadt singing
her talent oozing
over my space

Outside quiet and still
with spring tentative
and virus stirring
amongst the wind

Me, lackadaisical
with exhibits canceled
and deadlines obscured
and inactivity seductive

By habit I’m here
years of discipline
and passion and purpose
quelled but not forgotten

I pick up brush
I smell the paint
I feel the wood
and my hand responds

Another afternoon passes
with focus and work
gratefully my art
has saved my spirit again

Maybe contributing also
to some peace for a
world in need
and silence to my fears

Catching Up With Gail Rieke

Miriam’s Well asks Santa Fe artist Gail Rieke a few questions.

1. What are you working on these days–themes, materials, projects?

2. How has the pandemic affected your art and process? Or maybe it hasn’t?

3. I’m thinking about book arts…I know you do some book arts that isn’t bound in a traditional fashion. How do you understand and execute the idea of book arts? Can it be words in a deconstructed container?

4. Anything else on your mind you’d like to share?

1 & 2
I am thinking about…
and responding to…
the dialectic between containment and explosion.

I feel strongly that while I am contained
within my home and garden most of the time
because of the corona crisis,
this is a time of explosion of energy
directed against so many aspects
of social, political, economic repression.

Hermeticism: that which is contained
revealed only at certain times
for specific purposes
continues to be central to my work.

Here’s a recently completed travel journal:
Islands and Coastlines: Japan 2019

It feels poignant now that my future travel plans
are mysterious.

It seems as if I am in suspension…
viewing the world through screens and book pages…
a time almost out of time…

If I were to compare it to a computer,
I would say that there are no more defaults settings
and that all the preferences need to be considered and reset.

3.
Categories: book… collage… assemblage… journal
are not so distinct in the work.

I think that the concept of revelation is central to my sense of “book”…
bound or unbound…

Here’s a visual that relates to the conundrum you ponder…
This journal is called The Shape of Time 2018-2019

Is it a book with separate stacked pages?
Is it a collage when they are mounted simultaneously?

***

Editor’s note:
Thank you, Gail! I’m delighted to find out what one of my favorite artists is thinking.