8.19.2016

mineral meditation / venice








Please join me for a very special Breathwork Meditation.

This is part of a series of Mineral Meditations. This month we will focus on FLUORITE, a great stone for clarity. You will get a mineral of your own to work with and take home with you. During the circle we will talk all about this very special mineral: how to clean and care for it, you'll learn about its specific energy and properties, and you will get the opportunity to experience its healing qualities during our meditation

Saturday, August 27th
10:00 am - 12:00 noon
Venice, CA
$45
Space is limited / to reserve your space please RSVP to me.
laurenspencerking @ gmail . com 
The location will be emailed to you when you RSVP.


Breath is what connects us to each other, to every thing, to all times. 

The Breathwork Meditation is a two part active, rhythmic breath that is very healing. Though the breath is simple to learn it is quite powerful and profound to experience as it clears emotional blocks and stuck energy. It opens you up allowing you to connect to the deep current of energy that runs throughout your body. By quieting the mind you create space to listen with your heart, leaving you feeling peaceful, grounded, and expansive. You learn to become a healer for yourself with the breath as your tool. 








8.18.2016

full moon // august









FULL MOON






Green Corn Moon
Thursday, August 18th, Aquarius, 2:23 am PST

In the last few years Aquarius energy has become increasingly difficult for me, so much so that even going into the energy of Aquarius for this post has been hard. My South Node is in Aquarius, which means it's traits and wisdom are ones I entered into this lifetime with, and I am learning the ways of the Leo (my North Node). Despite my chart saying I am so comfortable in it's energy because it is so known to me, it is a very challenging sign to me lately. So, this month I want to turn the tables on you. I like to do this every once in a while, to have you exercises your own inner wisdom on how the cosmos are affecting you. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself and sit with these next two weeks:
- Where can you be more flexible, spontaneous and social in your life?
- Is it hard for you to take a break from working so hard and being so focused? If so, try taking a break. See how it feels.
- What does it feel like to stop and acknowledge what you have done and what you have achieved? Are you too quick to rush to the next to-do, or are you always focused on what's next?
- Take a few breaths and focus on the big picture... what do you see?
- Do you sometimes use the Aquarian energy of the big picture to "rise above" any troubles or difficulties, pain or sadness? Do you use this energy to bypass certain emotions and truths?
- What change are you ready for?








Rebecca Horn, White Body Fan, 1972

8.10.2016

ten







TEN

A new interview is up... ten questions, five from me - five from Hiro, about our show at Regards in Chicago this past April. 
Read the full interview here



10.

HS : Echoing your question 2 – What is your relationship with the color black, or darkness as a medium, color, feeling, concept?

LSK : This really is the crux of the work. Even beyond the work, this question bleeds out into my life, and not just my life, but I think into life itself.

There is a kind of mystery in darkness, and a kind of possibility. In the place of no thing there is the possibility for any thing… for every thing! This potential feels so vital and fertile to me. In the darkness there is transformation and communion. Love is often made in the dark, it’s the time of dreaming and silence. It’s the place of the unknown. It has depth. In many ways I am calling for a reclamation of this word. Fear has been so embedded into it, when really darkness holds the most potent power and potential for transformation.

Van Gogh said about darkness, “One of the most beautiful things by the painters of this century has been the painting of darkness that is still color.”






8.02.2016

new moon // august









NEW MOON






Green Corn Moon
Tuesday, August 2nd, Leo, 1:44 am PST

We move into August with a giant roar from our inner Leos! Last month, and throughout the summer, we have had a lot of creative energy flowing through us. Summer is naturally a creative time, with all it's fire energy. This month we are getting an extra boost from Leo to release and express our inner voice and ideas out into the world! It's a time to be bold and expressive, to have courage and confidence, to radiate our inner light and strength! For some of us who are more introverted this doesn't come easily, but the energy of this new moon in Leo will make it easy to find ways where it feels natural to shine.

This new moon also carries with it energy to help us restart, to look at things that have been happening or things we have been focusing on with new eyes. It will help us see where we need to shift our focus, or come at the issue from another direction. Check in with yourself about the things you have been gripping to tightly. Ask yourself - Is it time to look at it in a new way? Maybe it's time for a new direction, a clean slate, or just a new way of looking at what's right in front of you.

Be brave this new moon! Express from your heart!


And don't forget to make your new moon wishes, read more about how to do that here.








Constantin Brancusi, Le Coq, 1924

7.19.2016

full moon // july









FULL MOON





Thunder Moon 
Tuesday, July 19th, Capricorn, 3:56 pm PST

Full Moons are always times of heightened emotion, as they can be more volatile. One of the reasons for this is that during times when the moon is full the sun and moon are in opposing signs. So this can create a pull within us, or a divide, allowing things to come up through that crack. Or it can feel like two waves crashing against each other. It is always extra emotional as we feel pulled in two different directions, especially right now with the sun in the sign of Cancer  (a very watery and emotional sign).  And we have the Moon in Capricorn (a very focused driven sign). It is a challenge for us to hold two emotions at once, especially if they are opposing. At times we can feel this conflict. But, today I have been thinking a lot about the opportunity full moons give us to see the opposite point of view, or the other side of the coin. They give us a chance to see where we are strong and where we are growing. To love something in another that is not like us, and perhaps that makes us love something in us even more. To understand a new facet of ourselves, perhaps that dark side of the moon we never see. All of this just takes us deeper into our relationship with the self. 

There is also a configuration happening right now in the sky between the sun, moon and Uranus that is all about holding two oppositions. This T-Square alignment is calling for us to have a willingness to look at our need for relationships and freedom. How can you have both simultaneously? 

It's also a great time to take risks with your creativity and in your creative practice. You will most likely be feeling a surge of energy right now around your creativity. Stretch yourself! Take some risks!







Sam Falls, Untitled (Copper Tear), 2012

7.17.2016

mineral meditation







Please join me for a very special Mineral Breathwork Meditation.

This is part of a series of Mineral Meditations. This month we will focus on PYRITE. 
You will get a mineral of your own to work with and take home with you. During the circle we will talk about it's properties, how to clean and care for it, you'll learn about it's specific energies and properties, and you will get the opportunity to experience its healing qualities during meditation. 


Saturday, July 23rd
10:00 am - 12:00 noon
Venice, CA
$45
Space is limited / to reserve your space please RSVP to me. 
laurenspencerking@gmail.com
The location will be emailed to you when you RSVP.



Breath is what connects us to each other, to every thing, to all times. 
The Breathwork Meditation is a two part active, rhythmic breath that is very healing. Though the breath is simple to learn it is quite powerful and profound to experience as it clears emotional blocks and stuck energy. It opens you up allowing you to connect to the deep current of energy that runs throughout your body. By quieting the mind you create space to listen with your heart, leaving you feeling peaceful, grounded, and expansive. You learn to become a healer for yourself with the breath as your tool.






7.05.2016

new moon // july








NEW MOON






Thunder Moon
Monday, July 4th, Cancer, 4:00 am PST

How are you breaking free? I have been thinking a lot about freedom these past weeks. What that means in respect to my life, and the unexpected freedom that has been a gift to me during times when I experience great loss. 

This new moon is in the sign of Cancer, a very watery sign. It is an energy all about feelings, and feelings that are personal, not of the other or the more universal. They are about the ebb and flow of our inner emotional bodies. Water has movement, it is powerful yet fluid. I think about water a lot, as I am a Scorpio (which is a fixed water sign, it has the depth of the water, into the darkness and the part of the unknown, but it is stubborn and sometimes harsh) and I have a rising sign of Pisces (which is another water sign, but more of the physic and compassion of connection to others). How can I learn to be the water of the Cancer? The water that is personal, that is about understanding how to nurture myself, how to feel my feelings, how to connect to the flow within myself. How do I learn to not only embrace and accept, but to also ride the waves of my emotional body? That's what this time is about. 

This is also a time of release, release from wounds. And a time of freedom! Mars has been in retrograde since April 17 and it finally went direct on June 29th. This retrograde has slowed us down in many areas, but mostly I have noticed that it has brought up a lot of anger, frustration, aggravation etc... which I have talked about before. It has made our lives and relationships more difficult. BUT! It has also freed up so much of that energy in our bodies! If you have been allowing Mars to pull that energy up and out of you then you will be feeling much lighter and more at ease right now. And possibly some watery emotions could be flowing more easily. What have you broken free from during this Mars in retrograde period that has allowed for more freedom, ease and flow?

During these next few weeks try to focus on nurturing your emotional self. Find ways to allow yourself to be more free with your emotions, even if only to yourself. Take away the judgment and the restrictions on what you feel and when you feel it. How can you not just allow the bigger waves to come but also how do you not get stuck or drown in those waves, but learn to ride them? 

Don't forget to make your new moon wishes today. You can read more about how to do that here. It's a great time to use the energy of Cancer and wish about anything around the areas of home, family, self love, compassion, emotions, healing, support, or patients. 








Jane Dudley - Martha Graham technique Bennington School of the Dance 1938

6.20.2016

-














Issey Miyake A.POC blouse and gloves

Edith Dekyndt

Ue-no-Hakama (Trousers) of the Emperor Reigen in White Hailstone Pattern Weave. Edo Period, Kyoto National Museum


full moon // june







FULL MOON






Strawberry Moon
Monday, June 20th, Sagittarius, 4:02 am PST

Happy Full Moon! Happy Summer Solstice!
This is our second full moon in Sagittarius in a row... pretty rare. And it is the Strawberry Moon! This moon draws its name from our early Native Americans, signaling it is time to pick the ripened fruit. To ride the wave of this metaphor a bit... take a moment to think about what has ripened in your life? Think back 6 months ago to December 11th when the New Moon was in Sagittarius. What was happening then? What were you working towards? What was important to you then that might have blossomed into a reality now? And then think back even further, to a little over a year ago, on May 2nd, our last Full Moon in Sagittarius. How have you grown and changed over this past year? What are you now ready for? What old skin have you shed? What new energy are you now in? These retrogrades have shifted a lot for us over the last few months. And it has been a really difficult time every step of the way. It's good to take a moment and reflect back, to see how far you have come. 

This Full Moon occurs at 29 degrees and is opposite Venus, the planet of all things love. It also squares Chiron (all things karma)... so guess where that leaves us? In a ripe time to be exploring relationships! This 29 degree mark is a clear indicator that things are headed in a new direction, and will lead you to unexpected places. There is a fated quality to it, so whatever is happening in your life around relationships - trust it. This is positive!

With the Summer Solstice today in the sign of Sagittarius (interestingly enough, a sign associated with the winter months) it is a great time to look ahead. Where are you pointing your arrow? In what direction will you head in during these next 6 months? Maybe it's time to change direction, or maybe things are already pointing to a road you have not traveled down before. 









James Lee Byars


6.06.2016

last words






Last words... on The Dreslyn and a peek inside the studio, with photos by Claire Cottrell.  


















6.03.2016

new moon // june








NEW MOON





Rose Moon, Flower Moon, or Strawberry Moon
Saturday, June 4th, Gemini, 7:59 pm PST

Right now seems to be a time of "I don't know." This mindset can be used to your advantage, but just make sure you aren't tricking yourself, or playing down your own internal wisdom. But it really does seem to be a time to be in a state of curiosity, to really be looking, paying attention, discovering in each moment. Thing are shifting for us all right now. Big life changes, and if you have been open during the time of these difficult retrogrades then things are blooming for you in the most amazing ways! 

There are still three planets retrograding with Neptune (a very slow moving planet, be aware how it might try to slow you down) entering the mix on the 13th. Luckily Mars goes direct on the 29th. Until then there is still some work to be done. I did notice this last week how the planets are still pulling stuff up from the past to be cleared. A lot of stuff being cleared around sex and our karma with sexual energy. Pay attention to your dreams and don't be surprised if things are surfacing there. You can read your dreams right now as a map to what you are clearing in yourself and what you are facing. These retrogrades have been hard, but ultimately they are evolving us, and getting us ready for the next 5 years. 

Spend some time connecting this month. Connect to yourself, to nature, to others, to how you can be of greater service, to your gifts, to your guides... Connecting is really important right now. It's a time to create a bigger life for yourself, one that matches the size of your soul. Create a life for yourself where there is joy, and a sense of belonging, where you feel purposeful and fulfilled. These are all great things to make wishes about this month. Use the energy of the moon and of Gemini to call in this way of living, this way of being in the world. For more info on how to make your wishes, see here







Elizabeth Atterbury


5.26.2016

new moon mineral meditation







Please join me for a very special NEW MOON MINERAL Breathwork Meditation.


This is part of a series of Mineral Meditations. This month we will focus on KYANITE. 
You will get a mineral of your own to work with and take home with you. During the circle we will talk about it's properties, how to clean and care for it, you will learn to work with it's energy while setting some New Moon wishes, and you will get the opportunity to experience its healing qualities during meditation. 


Saturday, June 4th
10:00 - 12:00 am
Venice, CA
$60
Space is limited / to reserve your space please RSVP to me. 
laurenspencerking@gmail.com
The location will be emailed to you when you RSVP.



Breath is what connects us to each other, to every thing, to all times. 
The Breathwork Meditation is a two part active, rhythmic breath that is very healing. Though the breath is simple to learn it is quite powerful and profound to experience as it clears emotional blocks and stuck energy. It opens you up allowing you to connect to the deep current of energy that runs throughout your body. By quieting the mind you create space to listen with your heart, leaving you feeling peaceful, grounded, and expansive. You learn to become a healer for yourself with the breath as your tool.







5.20.2016

full moon // may








FULL MOON






Milk Moon 
Saturday, May 21, Sagittarius, 2:14 pm PST

These retrogrades have been no joke. These last few weeks have just been so difficult. I don't know one person who isn't feelin' it - feeling stressed, angry, overworked, overwhelmed, hopeless, frustrated, ungrounded, making mistakes, confused, etc... Guess what? It's not really you, it's the retrogrades. I mean... it's YOU. But what these retrogrades are doing is putting pressure on places inside us which are causing things to erupt and surface. It's a good thing to feel them, look at them, they might be things we need to revisit from the past, clear them, and so on, but it's not easy or comfortable. 

In February Mars went into it's own sign, Scorpio, where Jupiter has been transiting. Mars is the planet of willfulness and vitality, power and adventure. It's impatient and wants to get things done and wants them to happen now! And Jupiter is all about being cautious, slow, and methodical. Well, guess how that leaves us feeling? Frustrated!! With Saturn also retrograding we might find projects starting and stopping, no flow happening. We are finding ourselves being more angry and annoyed and passive aggressive. 

To get the benefit of this energy we can't be unconsciously reacting. We have to catch ourselves when we go to a quick habitual reaction: being angry, yelling back, responding from our egos without thinking about what we are saying. These reactions get in the way of what is really going on, what we really need to be looking at: what is coming to the surface. There are many ways to grow and move forward in this energy. I will also say that with the nature of retrogrades - ie planets appearing to be moving backwards - I think there are two groups of people right now. The ones that think they are growing and moving forward unscathed, but who are actually regressing. And the ones who feel like they are moving backwards, stuck in an old place, but who are actually moving forward and growing. 

Practice patients, stopping and slowing down, taking a deep breath, not reacting, avoiding arguments, thinking things through. 

With the Sun in the sign of Gemini and the Moon in Sagittarius we are in the realm of the mental, signs that are about knowledge, learning and communication (which will get easier with Mercury going direct on the 22nd). Gemini seeks information; Sagittarius seeks truth and meaning. It's a great time to be breaking through to something new. The retrogrades are pulling up lots of old stuff, lessons unearned, energy that needs to be cleared... and once it is where do you want to be headed? Use the energy of Gemini and Sagittarius to understand what's coming up for you, to find meaning in it. This isn't a time of just reacting unconsciously or "rising above it" to get through it. There is truth in what's happening that can help you grow. 

Don't forget to put out your crystals, minerals and even your jewelry with stones in it, to be cleared by the light of the full moon. I like to leave mine out in the sunshine the following day to balance the male and female energies. 








Blown glass vase from the Met. 2nd-3rd century AD, Roman

5.12.2016

from around














- the sound of spheres - audio clip from the Golden Record aboard the Voyager spacecraft

- flipping out over this edit from the documentary Il Capo made about a quarry in northwest Italy (thanks Cecilia)

- just watched Werner Herzog's The Land of Silence and Darkness, fell in love. (see more here)

- some nice photos of Raf Simons' (for Dior) clothing from A Bigger Splash

- a great piece from Afterall about the Golden Record and the criticism and challenges it faced

- All We Can Do Is Dance: Waves - a beautiful dance on the coast of France

- the unsung women of Ireland's battle for freedom - The Sisterhood of Easter Rising 

- a clock being built that will chime every 10,000 years (thanks Meredith)

- if you are in the art world and cringe at some of the press releases that you set your eyes on you will love this... hilarious (thanks Ann)

- another great interview with Patti Smith - "I was part of a truly new generation, where everything had to be redefined: God, sex, everything."

- Silent Sound Live Inspired in part by Victorian entertainers Ira and William Davenport, who were famed for attempting to contact the the dead using their ‘spirit cabinet’, the live performance of Silent Sound features the artists seated within a soundproof cabinet, designed to echo the Davenport’s spirit cabinet. Together they repeat a spoken phrase, with their voices being fed into their Silent Sound machine where it is embedded silently into the live musical recital. The work features an original score created by J. Spaceman from the band Spiritualized.

- so excited for this film - Albert Serra's La mort de Louis XIV, starring French New Wave mascot Jean-Pierre Léaud as the Sun King






Wiener Werkstatte // Francesca Minini // still from the lovers on the bridge

5.06.2016

new moon // may









NEW MOON






Milk Moon
Friday, May 6th, Taurus, 12:29 pm PST

Taurus is showing up just when we need it. I am sure you all have felt challenged in the past few weeks... it's all of those planets in retrograde that I mentioned in the last post. Retrograde times are no joke. And we now have FIVE planets retrograding. Some will go direct during the month of May, others we will have to wait longer. Here's the list so you will know when you can breathe again:
Jupiter until May 9
Mercury until May 22
Mars until June 29
Saturn until August 13
Pluto until September 26

Retrograde times are tough, but they are also valuable. They help us restructure and create a new relationship to our outer world that mirrors our inner self. So they are times when old beliefs, ideas or patterns will fall away, often by being triggered to come to the surface first. You are not alone if you have felt very reactive lately (thanks to Mars), agitated, gotten in a fight, encountered passive aggressiveness, etc... I can almost guarantee that anything that is being triggered and coming up is coming up to be cleared. Pay attention to everything in your life right now, this is a time of transition and clarity is available to us all if we are willing to look, and you might not have to look that hard. What are you ready to let go of to move forward? It's time to recreate yourself. 

The energy of Taurus can help us navigate this time. Taurus is good at teaching us about abundance, self worth, helping us to see what we value. Really think about your worth: what makes you worthy? Also, what do you truly value? Taurus helps us learn to be more on the physical plane and enjoy the physicality of our bodies and the joy of being human. It's a time to pay particular attention to the senses, and pleasure, and joy! Cooking dinner for someone you love, walking barefoot on the grass, standing out in the rain, giving someone a longer hug... all of these things are not only in alignment with the gifts of Taurus, but they will also help us survive the retrograde times. 

Be in JOY!

And... don't forget to make your New Moon wishes tonight. It's a good time to use that Taurus energy, wish for anything that involves pleasure, allowing more joy in your life, having more abundance, more sense of self-worth, being more clear about what your priorities are, etc... You can read more about how to make your wishes here








Rodin, Embracing Figures


4.28.2016

new moon mineral breathwork meditation











Please join me for a very special NEW MOON MINERAL Breathwork Meditation.

This is the first in a series of Mineral Meditations. This month we will focus on DANBURITE. You will get a mineral of your own to work with and take home with you. During the circle we will talk about it's properties, how to clean and care for it, you will learn to work with it's energy while setting some New Moon wishes, and you will get the opportunity to experience its healing qualities during our meditation. 

Saturday, MAY 7th
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Venice, CA
$60
Space is limited / to reserve your space please RSVP to me. 
The location will be emailed to you when you RSVP.
laurenspencerking @ gmail . com

Breath is what connects us to each other, to every thing, to all times. This is a two part active Breathwork meditation that is very healing. Though the breath is simple to learn, it is quite powerful and profound to experience. Clear emotional blocks and stuck energy allowing you to open up and connect to the universe, dive deeper into the self, and tap into your truth and intuition. Through quieting the mind you create space to listen with your heart. Leaving you feeling peaceful, grounded, and expansive.







4.21.2016

full moon // april









FULL MOON





Grass Moon
Thursday, April 22, Scorpio, 10:23 pm PST

Ahh... it's like putting on my favorite cozy sweater. We have arrived at our Full Moon in Scorpio. I am a Scorpio, and having 5 planets in Scorpio I feel very at home in its energy. I think Scorpio energy can feel really good or really challenging depending on what sign you are, for some signs it's really tough. It's a very intense sign and it's energy wants to take you into the deepest darkest crevasses of your being, of your soul. It doesn't shy away from the other half of life, the parts that are heavy, and icky, and not pretty, and dark, and shadowy. It wants to face these parts of the self and of life because there is just as much truth to be found in them as there is in the others, and its energy isn't afraid of what might be found in these places. Scorpios are above all else dedicated to the truth in things, they want the truth, even if it's painful. And right now with the Sun in Taurus I feel there is an opportunity to see the beauty in these things, these parts of ourselves. How do we look at the ugliest of truths, the shadowiest of desires, the most destructive parts of ourselves and still hold them as something beautiful? Beautiful because they are a part of us, just as much as all the things we try to show to most of the world, and highlight, and live from every day. I think there is this idea out there about living in our "highest truth", or our "brightest self", or with grace... or whatever New Spiritual word you want to use. I always find that inauthentic. It totally denies half of who we are. What is it like to live holding both parts as equally true? Equally you.

Full Moons have a lot of pull on us emotionally, so I am sure things that you thought you were over with are surfacing. The Moon pulling out those last bits that have been hidden in you. Ride those waves and let it flow. I feel during these next few days it's important to enjoy those parts of ourselves. To allow the energy of the Sun in Taurus to help us ground into those parts of ourselves, not to let them overtake us, but just allow them some space to be seen and explored, and maybe even released. And we can hope for transformation during this time, Scorpios are the master transformer. See how much you can enjoy this time. See how much beauty you can find in it, and if not beauty than at least acceptance, or the willingness to just be brave enough to look at those parts of yourself. 

Try standing outside tonight in the light of the Full Moon, letting its light shine down on you, illuminating all parts of you, the dark and the light and everything in between. Feeling seen. And feeling the beauty in you because you are made up of both.

And don't forget, right now we have FIVE planets in retrograde: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and Mercury. Retrograde times are really tough - especially if you are resistant to change. Retrograde times are really about interruption. The purpose is to: interrupt, stop, and change the motion of life, living in a brief period of chaos. This interruption causes a lot of things to come up, "go wrong", crumble, change, etc... but it is really an opportunity for the old to break away so that you can realign your body and life to the NOW. The way to do this is to not go up (to spirit or the mind) and transcend the difficulty by being above it, but to surrender to what is happening and go down into the body, the body knows how to transform and flow with the energy that is coming into your life. 
Keep thinking of every challenge that comes your way as an opportunity.  








South of Sun - Haris Epaminonda


4.19.2016

the gleaners







The Gleaners



by Lauren Spencer King

There is a print that hung in my mother’s bathroom. Within the frame are three women working in a field. They are bent over at the waist at such an angle that you can’t see their faces. Their labor looks hard and tireless, but also necessary. They have layers of blouses, skirts and dresses all in muted colors and the soft brown tones of the earth upon which they are silhouetted against. Each with their head covered and their hair tucked into bonnets, their aprons tied around their waists and then tied again to form a pouch in which they hold the scraps of wheat they are collecting. All three women hold small handfuls of leftover mismatched stalks. 

This print is a replica of a painting entitled The Gleaners by the french artist Jean-François Millet. The original was painted in 1857 on the heels of the French Revolution. It was not well received when it showed for the first time in the salon. It made the upper-class uneasy about their already unsteady position in relation to the uprising of the working-class. But, Millet was committed to painting things as they were, nothing was idealized. His aim was to reveal the truth about living, what it was to be human, to reveal that struggle. No pastoral scenes of leisurely picnics or elaborately dressed women having a fête in the garden. All of the innocence and frivolity of the Rococo period died with the royal family. His paintings were about representing the hardships of the everyday. They depicted the work of farmers and bread makers, of a husband and wife praying over the fresh grave of their child. His paintings were of people trying to survive the circumstances of their life, of unforeseen losses and defining hardships that became their namesake. Millet himself grew up in poverty and on a farm; if anything he was just painting what he knew, and telling the story of where he came from. 

The Gleaners now hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. I saw this painting with my mother when I was living there. She was visiting for the holidays and we spent the day at the museum. I remember seeing it across the room, the humble subject matter hanging in its heavy gilded frame. I called her over as I walked towards it, with a feeling in me like we were going to visit a family heirloom, something that belonged to us. In its presence I felt a feeling of familiarity, not just because I recognized it from years of looking at the print, and seeing slides of it in art history classes. But also because since I was little I was told that we were related to the painter, who shared his last name with my grandmother. Her maiden name was Millet and she was a painter herself. In the story of this occupational and genealogical connection my mother always did the telling convincingly, but would sometimes hint at a tiny bit of doubt, on whose account I do not know. “I mean, I don’t know, it’s just what nana always said…,” she would sometimes add on at the end. It always made me wonder if this was something that really was true or if this was just a family fiction, something my grandmother had only wanted to be true, and used her greatest skill to create a fantasy for herself, constructing her ideal identity. 

My grandmother died when I was just reaching my early adolescence, so it was never something that I could confirm with her. And this was a story my mother only told me, never my brother, or anyone else in the family. Now that she has also died it falls on me to decide if I want to make this story a fact, and to choose how I want to do the telling to others. And to my future children, who could carry on the bloodline of this story or not. To call it a story seems right, as stories can be both truth or fiction. But what do we call something that has elements of both?  Perhaps those are what we call memories. 

I came across this print recently while packing up boxes. I stared at it trying to decide if it was something I wanted to keep. This is the process I have to go through with every single item in my mother’s home, which is the house I grew up in. The importance of objects takes on a whole new definition when someone dies. In one moment they are just things, and in the next they become imbedded with new meaning. My mother’s nightgown, her sheets, her eye glasses strewn all over the house, stacks of check books with just a few checks missing in each, a drawer full of important documents and old passports, her makeup brushes, a basement full of old christmas decorations and many suitcases that were used only once… these are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of things that are left of her. These objects take on the role I need them to play in my grieving. At times they become a stand in for her. In others they become clues to piece together more of who she was. And at their worst they are merely empty shells and burdens. A house full of objects is what I have left of her. 

The work of gleaning was traditionally done by women. The task fell upon the women to comb through what was left from the harvest. It’s how the poor learned to live with so little. It’s the gleaners’ job to pick up the scraps of what has been left behind, it’s how they fed their families. They spent long, arduous hours every day searching carefully through the fields for the forgotten, the lost, and the discarded, trying to piece together something that could in no way fill the void, but what was only a substitute. It’s what they did to survive. 








4.07.2016

LSK at Regards









Very happy to share that I have a show opening with Hirofumi Suda at 
Regards Gallery in Chicago.

April 16th - May 28









Everything is Finished Nothing is Dead
watercolor on paper on panel
2016