Archive for April, 2010

The Alkahest….

April 30, 2010

Alkahest the much sought after universal solvent, I’m beginning to  think that binary code might be the closest thing so far.

Digital scanning can now can reproduce everything we see and hear by first transforming (dissolving) it into ones and zeroes. Once dissolved this code can be manipulated by “alkahesticians” and  transformed into anything we imagine. Here is my most recent “alkahestic” work.

See more work by Susan and Dennis at Galerie Yggdrasil  our Etsy store


– posted by Dennis


Day – oh

April 28, 2010

Dragon come and  me want go home……I swear, I just can’t take him anywhere. We went shopping at Trader Joe’s, so of course we had to take skosh and it was a complete rout.  It began simply enough, the  customary weekly trip for our staples and an occasional side purchase of a treat or two.  Or five, thanks to my lust for chocolate.  skosh and I had wandered over to the fresh produce and I was deciding between mache lettuce or baby greens when my leg felt suddenly light and unstable. i looked down and skosh had decamped.  He spotted the bananas, and having never seen a banana before, he decided to investigate them by shape-shifting into a bunch of five. Oh god.  The store was packed with shoppers  and I was at a loss as to exactly how to handle his defection…or how to explain the munching sounds coming from the depths of the pile.  An unsuspecting woman reached for the bananas and let out a yelp as her hand hit a hot clinker and a tiny hiss and trickle of smoke arose from the bunch, as  what she thought of as her banana gave another ill-tempered hiss and began to waddle away across the display.  I managed to collar Dennis and whispered to him what the little marauder had done and we attempted to reason with the bananas without being noticed.

Good luck.

By this time, skosh had decided that he was enjoying himself immensely and refused to reshift himself onto my leg, the ‘bananas” began to hop away from us across the display, knocking the genuine articles off onto the floor, this attracted other shoppers who didn’t know whether to be amused or mystified and when skosh-the-bananas decided to do an impromptu jig, we were forced to call for assistance.  Now…try to explain to a Trader Joe’s associate why she  needed to cordon-off  the bananas without sounding like mad things by resorting to the truth.  Each time anyone including us tried to reach for a piece of the ill-fated fruit, she was greeted by a furious clicking and a tiny plume of smoke, or a hot clinker flying through the air. We finally  seized on the idea of insinuating that possibly the bananas were infested with tarantulas, although I’ve  never known of a smoking tarantula, I hoped that no one  else would  make that particular observation.

After about 20 minutes of trying to appear normal, I finally lost it and leaned over the bananas, and in full view of the rest of the gathered crowd I threatened the bananas in the firmest voice I could muster that if he didn’t get back on my leg RIGHT NOW THIS MINUTE I would take away his goth knee-boots and he would be given instead a pair of red high top sneakers and would have to wear them all the time until my leg healed and he went back to the nest and I would tell all his litter mates about the sneakers and he would NEVER LIVE IT DOWN DID HE HEAR ME??

The bananas assumed a thoughtful mein and went silent.  The smoke dissipated.  I heard a tiny “snrk?”  and for a moment time stopped while he thought it over….then my leg felt a little stronger, and I looked down to see a strangely shaped and multi colored bunch of bananas hanging onto my leg that rapidly morphed into skosh, complete with his beloved boots.

Bless the denizens of Trader Joe’s.  Since most people who shop there are a little out of the box themselves, they simply watched the transformation with bird-like interest, then became rapidly detached and went about their respective days.  There was the odd muttering into  cell phones here and there, but that is not out of the ordinary as in every grocery store you will see someone with the phone glued to their ear, giving the ghost on the other end a blow-by -blow of the shopping experience.  “I’m at the produce now… I’m heading for the half and half…do we want yogurt or….um….” in the customary cell phone monotone.  all was suddenly normal.

We got away clean!!  I don’t know how we managed it, and when we were safely home I gave skosh a talking-to about his behavior in public and what I expected of him in future, but about midway through my tirade I noticed that his eyes had glazed over and he had his ipod shuffle plugged into what I can only assume are his ears, so I pray that at least some of what I said had sunk in…..but  I don’t hold out much hope. -Posted by Susan

See more prints by Susan and Dennis at Galerie Yggdrasil our Etsy store

The White Buffalo of Lascaux

April 26, 2010


Seems I’ve come full circle.See this and other drawings by Dennis and Susan at Galerie Yggdrasil  our Etsy store


April 24, 2010

The university I attended acquired a computer during the first year I was there. A gigantic thing, taking up most of a floor in the administration building, the memory was stored on paper cards with holes punched in them. We students viewed the whole idea with deep suspicion. The idea that a computer could have any part in “THE CREATIVE PROCESS” would have been utterly dismissed, article of faith and all that.  And really, as long as the beasts were the size of small houses, or later filled a large room, and more recently had hard drives the size of manhole covers (I wonder about the origin of the term computer crash) I can understand the sentiment. People who actually used the computers were almost as rare as organists, and for the same reasons, both were big, expensive and definitely not portable, if computers  had remained large and cumbersome we might now be attending weekly sessions at oracular computer temples. As for the notion that computers could never be part of the creative process, when my printer is producing a print, I hear it whispering artartartartartart thunk artartartartart………..Posted by Dennis.


See more drawings by Susan Owen and Dennis Kish at Galerie Yggdrasil Our Etsy store


April 22, 2010

A week and a half ago, I was headed through the kitchen to clean up the puddle of cat pee that is my daily cross to bear, since I have the company of 7 indoor cats, and each day at least one of them is fomenting a private grudge in his hairy little brain.  This particular morning, I slipped in the puddle and went down like a stone, my left leg bent under in a way that legs were never meant to bend.  It looked like the number 7…7 cats..kismet.

It hurt like billy-o and I have been for the most part unable to walk on it without crutches and then only very slowly and deliberately.  This infuriates me since I dislike sitting still and always have an active plan mapped out for each day, the only time I am still is when sitting cross-legged on my bed, drawing something that decides what it’s going to be as it comes writhing from the pen.

After the third day of bed-ridden and pain-pill induced zombiehood, I decided that this could not continue and I must trade my lower left leg for a baby dragon who would get me back on our feet and get us moving at the speed to which I am accustomed.  I  contacted my friend Rosa, a dragon elder and a gal with some clout in the fire lizard community, and  pleaded with her to find a likely volunteer.  Rosa is a lovely lady, with skin the color of a constantly moving rainbow and the scent of licorice.  she is a trifle difficult to communicate with since her speech sounds like a 1940’s typewriter, but I have managed over the years to find a language balance.  She is a fine mimic and can speak english if she chooses, most of the time she doesn’t, but you should hear her do her Sarah Palin imitation.  It amuses us all, but Rosa the most, and she ends each standup routine with a sound that resembles nothing so much as a herd of rampaging turkeys…but i digress.

Rosa asked around the various nurseries and came up with Skosh, who is about 3 in human years and full of energy  which delights me since i can now move around at close to the speed of light.  he is also a shape-shifter and can resemble my leg if need be, but requires a lot of wheedling and bribing to do it.  occasionally  he gets bored with being a leg and changes into a combination super-shooter and a roll of handi-wrap.  Kids.  He is a relative of Rosa’s so he also smells like candy…Walnettos…and I just tell eveyone i’m wearing cheap cologne.  i’m an  artist.  I can do this.

I highly recommend this form of perambulation to anyone who is having temporary difficulty getting around, it’s a helluva lot more fun than a hoveround, but  then you don’t have to stay awake half the night telling bedtime stories about roasting knights to a hoveround.  It’s fun, sure, but he thinks the stories I tell him are hugely funny and laughs until clinkers come out his nose, and it gets a little messy.  No, for those of you who might be curious, not fire breathing.  no one, but NO ONE, breathes fire out of season.  It quite simply isn’t done.  Dragons have impeccable manners.

He keeps the cats in line, too.  A well-placed clinker or two from Skosh,and there hasn’t been a rogue puddle since he came to live with us.  think I’ll keep him around for awhile.

Posted by Susan

See more drawings by Susan Owen and Dennis Kish at Galerie Yggdrasil Our Etsy store

Art is

April 22, 2010


A great deal has been written beginning with those two short words.

For me  those words are sufficient unto themselves. ART IS. Save the rest for conversation involving strong drink.

I imagine the painters in the caves at Lascaux, scribbling at the cave walls by wavering torchlight, becoming so excited that they begin barking, ART! ART! ART! in furious amazement. Art is.

Posted by Dennis

Shoes Moods. by Susan Owen

April 13, 2010

Redheads are diverse, complex beings. Depending on the moment we’re equally comfortable wearing our Doc Martens or these Killer, hot, come do me platforms………… However.  We do on occasion have a slight problem with volumizing  conditioner. See more drawings by Susan Owen at Galerie Yggdrasil Our Etsy store

On approaching work

April 11, 2010

Sredni Vashtar has some observations.

It is of paramount importance for an artist of my calibre to be scrupulously clean on most levels, that is to say, clean mind, clean body…take your pick…..however, one cannot begin one’s life’s work with a grody butt.  please excuse the vulgarity.  it isn’t usually like me.The careful choice of a brush is essential.  one cannot perform a celestially brilliant task without the proper tools.

But first, a preliminary power nap.  proper rest is a necessity.  the creative flow must be open to…mfftt…prrrnn…zzzzzzz -Posted by Susan

The present

April 6, 2010

Currently I’m working with a computer and an Epson 2220 color printer to produce “digigraphs”,  made from photos and bearing little or no relation to the original  material. The images  below are the eleventh and thirteenth in a series of “masks”. A mask in the sense that each print in the series masks the source material as well as the images of all the other prints in the series. You can see more of these as well as other prints and also drawings and prints by Susan Owen. at Galerie Yggdrasil


Mask#11 for camera, computer and printer


About art……

April 5, 2010

I mostly hated school, did little more than get by. Some things I did well, like talking and writing, but I  shied away from anything that seemed hard, like math  and the sciences. I liked to make stuff (still do). So……off to art school! One problem, I couldn’t draw! But, I wanted to make things, and two early  encounters  started me on my way, abstract expressionism  and a goat.

I volunteered for the gallery crew  my first quarter of school, patching and painting the walls in the exhibit space and getting to know the younger faculty. Then it was time to unpack a traveling show of abstract expressionist art from New York, suddenly, there it was, an angora goat on a rolling platform with a tire around it’s middle.  When the show opened the gallery was filled with people squinting at the art and asking “but what does it mean?”

Robert Rauchenberg's Monogram

And wow!  There I was, a kid from Akron Ohio who couldn’t draw and liked to make things. Instant validation!

more later. -Dennis