Here & Now, Art (Six Questions for Terese Garcia), Kay Sekimachi, Lynda Barry, Ghost Town Living, Boris Potschubay, Kalush Orchestra, Aldo and Jaded.
HERE AND NOW
Artist Terese Garcia’s answers to the Six Questions are featured in the ART section, below. But first, a quick update:
I have lots of work on the table during the last months of 2022, and that’s about it. I’m thinking of making a change to my work priorities during 2023—if it’s even possible! More about that later. Recently, I was also thinking of my father, Nick, on Veteran’s Day. His life, before and during WWII, was one of hard work and risk. Here he is wearing his Merchant Mariner’s uniform with (mostly Filipino) service staff for a ship he was working on:
Terese Garcia’s art incorporates multiple media such as paper, thread, and fabric. Sewn lines evoke writing and language as well as landscapes. Empty areas of fabric and paper seem to be quietly listening or making space—for some creative movement and emergence. That listening, that consideration for time and space is something I think I sensed in Terese when I met her some months ago. I’m honored to present her answers to my six questions here today.
SIX QUESTIONS FOR TERESE GARCIA
1. Where did you grow up and how did that (or any other significant experience), influence your art?
I grew up in Covina, Ca. a suburbia that influenced me to want to not stay there for too long. Before the 70s it used to be filled with orange groves and in fact was the third largest producer of oranges in California, hence the City Emblem being the orange. The area was fine, safe, and hot where temps would reach up to over a hundred in the summer. It seemed like a room rather than freedom and at the same time this perhaps forced me to go within, rather than rebel too much outwardly, like running away.
There were many sadnesses, dysfunctions, and traumas as well as family celebrations, get-togethers and laughter. When times weren't despairing, I was treated with a lot of love by my parents, brothers, and sisters. It sounds like a paradox, but welcome to the American family.
I'm not sure if it influenced my art and writing at all except that I was surrounded by a quiet neighborhood at night and the sounds of children like myself in the day. This yin and yang sound difference I feel did represent at a deeper level how I perceived the world. Now, I see them as opposites that are also complementary.
One thing that did influence me was our backyard. We had birds of paradise growing in different parts, three different large-size trees, two of which were oak trees and a large swath of green grass with a winding stone path that separated both sides. The path ended with three steps going to a lower level of a cement area with more greenery around it and then brick. I remember going out and sitting in silence or playing by myself, watching the ants and different insects go by.
I also remember drawing my family members under one of our trees, in the shade, and wanting to be the next female Van Gogh while listening to different bird songs. All in all, I felt it was a peaceful and welcoming gift that was for everyone, and that inclusivity helps me reflect that this backyard must, on some level, contribute to how I feel when I create art, poetry or meditation. Since that time, I've changed so much that places like my backyard are a type of consciousness that can rise within me out of meditation and not attachment.
2. What’s your creative process like?
My creative process is mindfulness/observation and an inner knowing to be adventurous and let the process become a bright intelligence that's not afraid of anything. This is why I use a variety of media and ways to say what I do and don't. I'm able to naturally focus only on the art right in front of me and I truly get into it, like a meditator absorbs his, her, or their meditation. And as such, this process cannot be misunderstood that it's paradise—because it's not. What it is, is truth, honesty, purity, patience, and passion.
3. What puts a damper on your creativity? What do you do—if anything—to remedy that?
I feel that the only thing that could do this is if I was in a situation where I was no longer able to create. But, because the principles of Buddhism are real to me, even though I'm not officially a Buddhist, I would want to believe that I'd move past this attachment and try to understand that the damper could be an opportunity for something that's more in the present tense. Ultimately, I guess I'm the only one that could put a damper on my creativity. If this happened, I would re-enter therapy, nature walks, more meditation, etc.
4. Does age [any age] factor into your creative process, and if yes, how?
I'm fortunate in that my age, thus far, hasn't been an issue for my creative process. What can be an issue is my work. I have to have a day job to afford my art and writing, but this isn't a complaint. My job is demanding and all-consuming when I am there, so that can be an issue—that I can't currently spend more time doing my art.
5. What are you working on, currently, and what impels or inspires it?
For my writing, I continue working on my second poetry manuscript and it's been slow-going. However, I just finished writing a short Family Tree history that was passed down from my dad's grandmother to him, and then to me when I was in my twenties. It starts in the late 1850s and ends in the early 1920s. I'm not using ancestry.com since I want to stick with my dad's storytelling. As I said, it's very short but I found it interesting. There's a story behind how it got transcribed in written form but then got lost. For my art, I've been working on a body of work throughout the whole year and am currently working on a brand new piece (mixed media), after finishing a trilogy.
6. What’s your favorite imperfection?
This is a great question, but then again all of these are!!!
My favorite imperfection is not knowing when to stop or let go. This is why I'm on the path I'm on, to learn how to laugh more and have an open heart.
“Art is the step you take or don’t take, not the beginning or end. Either way, the intangible, the unknown and the impermanent are the energies existing somewhere in my work.”
Terese Garcia is a non-representational artist and was born in Hollywood, Ca. She was raised in the city of Covina in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County. When she was young, with her family, she visited the pyramids of Teotihuacan, Mexico, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. These ancient, natural and human-made wonders had a profound impact on her in the vein of creation and were part of she being an artist.
In 1986 she was awarded a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Along with her major studies, she took art classes in the University’s Art Department, and it was during this time that she understood her true vocation to be an Artist. And she has been, since that cathartic period. She later went on to attend OTIS PARSONS SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN in Los Angeles and studied Fine Arts-Drawing & Sculpture. After experiencing some life-changing events, she began abstracting her imagery of figures and, over time, has become a powerful and committed non-representational artist whose focus is on the experimentation of materials in each piece she creates, via philosophies such as mindfulness, duality and nothingness. In 1993, she relocated to the Monterey Peninsula where she still resides.
Her inspirations to make art today are: nature, timelessness, current realities, and living in the moment.
Her work is in private collections, nationally. She’s had numerous exhibitions throughout California and in New York. She self-published “ABSTRACT DESIGNS TO COLOR” coloring book for children and adults in 2008. This was sold in bookstores on the Monterey Peninsula. In 2010, she was chosen as an Artist-In-Residence by the VERMONT STUDIO CENTER, Johnson VT., for writers and visual artists around the world. She was also awarded by VSC an Artist Grant. She accepted this award for a four-week residency.
Garcia’s work is represented and she is known by art communities, regionally, to be a rare abstractionist and experimentalist. She has been an arts advocate, arts educator, and art volunteer on the Peninsula with organizations such as California State University, Monterey Bay, the City of Salinas FIRST NIGHT ART WALK, Open Ground Studios, HOPE Services for the Disabled and Ventana Inn Gallery. She continues to create with the depth of silent observations and poetry.
I recently learned about Kay Sekimachi (article by Dave Weinstein in CA Modernist), and am fascinated with her experimental and evocative weaving art:
Lynda Barry’s secret to drawing people from Draw Together with Wendy Mac (newsletter). And then this wonderful interview with Barry, where she also talks about the origins of her interest in comics and drawing (note: R. Crumb’s work both inspired and scared her): “How to silence your inner critic and draw like a child”:
They say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Some people might find a run-down desert ghost town to be scary or sad. Brent of “Ghost Town Living” bought the tiny, isolated ghost town of Cerro Gordo, in Death Valley, and is obsessed with the wabi-sabi beauty of old, forgotten buildings and materials. His enthusiasm and joy for restoring the buildings, in his own imperfect way, is infectious:
I’ve been thinking about Ukraine, and the liberation of Kherson, today. To say it was “hard won” is an understatement and I hope it sticks. Anyway, I was tipped off by Disquiet (on sfba.social) to a musician named Boris Potschubay (Jogging House). Check out his ghostly electronica “Compilation for Ukraine.”
“Stefania” by rappers Kalush Orchestra. A song originally written by Muzychuk Tymofii and Anton Chilibi, it was dedicated to frontman Oleh Psiuk's mother, and has become something of an anthem in Ukraine.
In a roundabout way, Jogging House led me to Aldo and Jaded, who perform “Do Me a Favour” (by Arctic Monkeys); I like the mournful guitar riffs:
Thank you for reading Eulipion Outpost. More next weekend . . .
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