Partners in Art

Well, I'm feeling much improved from my now-vanquished infection. Antibiotics--truly a triumph of modern times.

So I will now continue with my infrequent postings in the typical format, but before I do, there is one more acquaintance I'd like to share with you. There are many more than that of course, and I will try and add them as I think of them. This one, however, I fortunately remember.

The "M" I sometimes reference both here and on my Twitter feed is actually my lovely partner, Rosalynn Rothstein. She wears a great deal of creative hats, both the figurative and the literal varieties. But mostly she is doing two things: painting and arranging flowers.

And not just putting flowers in a damn vase either, but practicing the Japanese art of ikebana, and specifically, the sogetsu school. It's kind of like martial arts, in that they have particular styles and master teachers. I could try to explain the difference to you, but I'd just get it wrong.

The part that we can all appreciate is that it forms some awesome syncretisms between her flowers and her paintings. The flower arranging is all about balance, and both space and negative space, and throwing all these elements out of proportion. And her paintings, which she has previously referred to as landscapes, find themselves mimicking natural instances of balance and inbalance as well.

Her paintings are bright and colorful, rhythmic and abstract, and at the same time, they tend to put people off balance. Especially in Portland, the land of cutesy proportioned, baby-like animal paintings, they cut through the fog like uprooted trees and landslide scars. Nature may be totally sweet, but it's massive weight hasn't forgotten how to kick your ass. Bacteria, beetles, and boulders can all rend the flesh off your pretty little arms, and we should remember this, even when looking at the most delicate flower.

Rosalynn's work is available for viewing on her website, The Modern Forest, and is normally hanging around Portland somewhere. Right now she has a quilt sculpture piece at The Launch Pad Gallery, and some paintings at the Way Post. For the ikebana, there is always some around the house, and on our front porch. Sometimes she leaves them in public places as well, though those are not around for long. Especially in front of Stumptown, where people like to throw away pretty flowers. Damn you, Stumptown.

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