Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chains to be shown at the Saatchi Gallery, London!

I received an email today from the Saatchi Gallery in London, regarding my placing in the Saatchi Showdown online competition. "Chains" will be shown at Saatchi Gallery, scheduled to open in October 2008.

At first I didn't believe it, I hadn't heard about the gallery opening, it is a year behind schedule. But there is a link to the virtual tour of gallery on The Saatchi website. It looks too good to be true! I'm beside myself!

Thanks again to all of you for your constant support! ~ Alice

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Black Butterfly

It was our 28th wedding anniversary yesterday, so I did this as a gift to Steve. The past month or so working on the portrait ended up being a kind of intense period of introspection for me as well. I think this was partly because of completing my White Album series of portraits of my kids, and feeling more like concentrating on myself at last, but it has also been a time of personal growth and transformation.

There were several unusual spiritual moments for me while working on this portrait. One was a near out of body experience while on a walk in the park, which spurred me to write my first poem in 30 years. You can read the poem "Fairfield Avenue" back further in my blog. A few days later, I started seeing black butterflies. Not so unusual in summer I suppose, but I don't remember seeing this particular type in Chicago, maybe it's due to our changing weather patterns. The odd thing was that I had just found a photo of a black butterfly online at RedBubble
had favorited it and commented on it. Then a black butterfly fluttered around me several times while I was walking that same afternoon! It happened again a couple of days later, this black butterfly flying in loops around me as I walked. Odd that the only black ones I saw, also seemed to notice me as well! Almost like they knew of my transformation. So, that inspired my second poem, "Black Butterfly" and I decided to incorporate a black butterfly into the drawing.

Just a couple of days ago I came up with a way to add the text of the poem to my work. I used my home printer to print the text onto a letter sized portion I cut from the pink backing paper. After I printed it, I pieced it back together with acid free tape. The mylar film is translucent, so the text shows through in a subtle way.

The piece was made to fit a vintage distressed frame I found at my local antique shop. It is really in a bad way, but I think it suits me - I'm a bit rough at the edges myself these days. But I figured it's now or never to expose more of myself. :)

Steve likes the gift by the way.

The Poem:

Black Butterfly

Bemusing muse

Black butterfly

Came through the ether

Mystical wings

Encircled me along the way

Enraptured on a summer day

Music painted on the sky

Black butterfly

Blown in from far off dust

Astral soul

Dressed in stardust

Black butterfly

Draw me perfect

Emergent from this coal black shell

Wet wings spread in joy to stand


Flawless at the artist's hand

Evanescent passion lies

In our wavelengths intertwined

Black butterfly

Never caught

Light gently in the mind

Bring luminous thought

(c) Alice McMahon White 2008

"Black Butterfly" 22 x 18" charcoal on mylar drafting film (c) Alice McMahon White

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Poem: Fairfield Avenue

Walking long to the essential


Fair field

Glinting cut-crystal-challis-brilliant summer afternoon

Recalling the morning

Soul meeting soul

Hungry for Your Love touch and gaze


Found deeper

Expression in shared thought

And so


Overflows flesh




In the fair field

Half-century of being

Finally down decades

Lay back childlike on perfumed grass

To lift face to vapor mist clouds

Just now masking sunshine

How many years since this child play?

Neglected play

Forgotten play

An artist's game different with maturity

No longer hunting hares and lambs in cotton candy clouds floating through opal sky

This time

More metaphoric visions

More abstract thoughts

Up on

High breezes

Painting pastel strokes

Fast and slower

Eyes entranced by wing-feather

Cloud edge wisps

Rhythmic movements

Tendrils break free and rejoin

Come Together

First meeting

First kiss

Long separated jigsaw puzzle pieces

Found again


In the interlocking re-union

Timeless inevitable moments of

Anam Cara

Too soon

Gusts blow off the muse

Revealing blinding sun

Moments of truth lost to reality

Shared words




Back on the path from fair field

Down Fairfield Avenue home

Mourning morning

Dove and blood red songbird

Sing requiems for


Found and lost before it occurred

© Alice McMahon White 2008