Troubled Saints

There is an old outdoor fireplace with a short broken chimney sitting outside the little house. It is in a state of disrepair, like everything up there by the house, but I am going to repair it. Since I lost my last studio to fire, I have no interest in restoring to its original form or purpose. I am going to turn it into a little grotto to hold a figure— a troubled patron saint— a woman artist statue to look over my new place. I do not know what she will look like yet but I know she will be inspired by a long list of women artists that I admire and that inspire me.
The little grotto sits at the end of a long stone wall that is covered in moss. There are daffodils blooming at the opposite end of that wall right now. I need to clear branches and privet to find the little patch of land behind the giant oak and the mossy wall and then I will start thinking about my little grotto and my little messy saint.
Before the tiny little satellite studio that sat in a sunny spot in my garden burned, I’d started painting symbols on the walls of the building that were nods to my favorite artists. There was a bird for Kiki Smith and a spiral for Louise Bourgeois. I painting circles that were inspired by Eva Hesse and Hilma af Klint — and I was just getting started. I want to return to that project. It may take a different form this time. I’ll start with doing something with the little grotto. It will be the anchor for this new project of mine.
Do you know the artist Séraphine Louis, also known as Séraphine de Senlis? I keep thinking about her lately. Also Maud Lewis and Dora Carrington —oh, and so many others. I feel like their ghosts should be invited to rattle around in my Haint’s Cottage and wild little gardens. I have been imagining a mural—at first with native plant and animal species but now I’m wondering if I might want to pick up with my tributes to all of my favorite women artists— my favorite troubled saints. We shall see. Today that’s where my heart and head reside.

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