Collage: Maun Elephant, 2018

Maun Elephant, 2018, Oil paint on Yupo cut-outs, stapled, 26" x 40"

Maun Elephant

Like most of my collages, Maun Elephant is cut from Yupo and stapled to Yupo. Because glue is not as lasting as a strong pin, I hold the collages together with stainless steel staples. I’m not hiding this process; the staples are undisguised. The colors in these collages come from oil, acrylic, ink, and graphite painted on sheets that were then sacrificed to the scissors. The method of cutting has to be straightforward – continuous and usually counterclockwise around the outside edge of the form. This is drawing rather than surface molding. The open and commonplace manufacture shows. It is not my tricks in performance that matter, it is the way we read the path of the line. If the raw nature of it annoys you, that’s the beginning of enjoying it.

 

Maun Elephant is in admiration of my friend Debra Stevens and her Elephant Havens project in Botswana.

Isleta, 2016

Isleta, 2016, Oil and ink on Yupo, 26” x 80”

Isleta, 2016

 

Isleta just means little island, but the place is like a knife. The Tewa word for this open place of sun and wind is Shiewhibak. At this pueblo on the Rio Grande, on a spit of ancient lava, light bleaches the fields to dry colors. Albuquerque is shouldering in from the north. The land is both bucolic and fierce. Rabbits and cattle love this place, and, nearby, there is a casino that supports it.

Wushan and the color of the Yangtze

Wushan, 2017, Oil and ink on Yupo, 26" x 80"

Wushan

 

I was contemplating the water as we sailed on the Yangtze. I did this for hours there, and on the Li river. Every body of water has its own color. The Li seemed dark under its reflections, and the Yangtze a thick sage tea. It’s tempting to call it jade, but the Yangtze has more threat and promise than even the most beautiful stone. When we came to Wushan, the bittersweet red arc of the bridge appeared. At a distance it is fragile, nothing more than a mark. It carries a highway above the river. It seems the perfect red calligraphy commenting on the powerful hills.

Poems by Dennis Boatright, Paintings by Mary Vernon

Fields at Mora, 2016, Oil and graphite on Yupo, 26” x 80”

Fields at Mora

The Fields at Mora

Dennis Boatright, 2017

As Atlas lay down a piece of the globe

A remnant became a totality

Heartened was I to have stumbled across it

With its yellow patch of the sun’s memory

And the blue of the ocean’s refrain

But the presence of the grass

Oh how it presented its secrets to me

As If I were the only one who could see them

So I promised myself that one day I would return

To lie under the dark presence

And become a brother of the earth there

With the gray blue sky as my forever view

In the wondrous and final grasp

Of the fields at Mora.

 

Moon at Caprock, 2018, Oil on gessoboard, 12” x 16”

Moon at Caprock

Moon at Caprock

Dennis Boatright, 2018

The orb

Shadowed and pregnant

Is a dweller we all know

She is the origin, the maternal

Of all

Marking her way by taunting us

Blurred today

Bombastically orange sometimes

Recedingly blue from her perchless perch

Dangling like a great opening

A door to our fate

Imbuing the chaos below

An emotional mother is dangerous

To her children

And we are come forth from her milk

This somatic treasure that allows

The seen to become the known

Like the way the hills pour onto the fields

But not really

For how can they be separate or

Even blended

When the essence of both

Is born of her eye

And makes me wonder if night is her day