Monday, March 29, 2010


Sunday, March 28, 2010

red lake

                         shout out to shep.


talking with an elder about the process of wheat pasting.

my crew (who had never pasted before), loving it.

my favorite part - taking the time to work the paper into the underlying surface.  the paste is all soft + mushy against the pliable paper being pushed into the firm, undulating surface of the sandstone.  how can you not love that?

me with orlando (who sang a nac version of the happy birthday song in the sweat later in the day).

I'm exhausted, but i want to get this out.  I pasted Red Lake today.

I woke up late this morning, around 10:30 or so.  Stumbled out of bed thinking ", I'm not up for pasting today afterall."  Around noon I wandered outside for a moment and thought "...Shit!   The weather is perfect.  It's warm and there's very little wind.  I've got to go paste."  I'd thought I was going to collaborate with someone this weekend, but she pulled a no show (leaving me alone to hang a 14.5 foot piece in 4 parts).  On the 30 mile drive over to Red Lake I rethought through hanging this piece alone but hoping all the while I'd be able to find someone at the old trading post to help me.

Once I got there I connected with Lorenzo who runs the place.  I learned later that he lives above the trading post.  He said he'd run the place since 1991 and thinks the lower part was built in 1891.  (Dig that.)   I love old trading posts.  The inside of this one is totally old school.  

Lorenzo was super nice.  Upon seeing me, he started cracking jokes and giving me shit for not knowing more Navajo after 23 years.  We have a deal going.  I'm going to find a hot, young nurse for him at the clinic where I work and in return, he's going to find for me a hot, young, sheep herder.  (This was all his idea.)  I'd told him I'd try to get there last weekend to hang this piece.  He greeted me today with "....I had four young sheepherders waiting for you last weekend."  I thought "...great.  I've no idea why I didn't come last weekend but really wish I had."

Lorenzo and his three grandsons (by clan), along with the cashier from the trading post, all helped me. And here I thought I'd be installing alone and I ended up having 5 people help me.  Gotta love it.  I asked Lorenzo to document the process with my camera.  These are his photos.  

Once we were done, Lorenzo invited me to join them in a sweat. It was a most incredible end to a day when I thought I woundn't paste.  In addition to the teachings from the wise ones and his own life observations, Lorenzo gave me the name "Hosteen James."  He said "...Chip just doesn't sound right."  

They went a full 4 rounds.  I loved the songs and sharing of the 2 rounds I experienced.

What a day.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

prepping hank

prepping hank for bitter springs, ii

left side on my kitchen floor
(booties from ken)


more faile

"no escape; return sacred land"
faile (

Friday, March 19, 2010

prepping hank 4 bs ii; wrong end of rainbow...


a thoughtful piece by faile 

rocking high country news!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


outside the abbey theater
durango, co  03.07.10

hank's spring pants
cameron,az 03.17.10

While pasting in Cameron today a young Navajo family of four stopped by.  They were great.  When people stop I never know whether they're going to be supportive or say I can't paste here.  

They were curious about the process.  The woman said she thought I'd drawn the images onto the tank (which made me laugh).  I wish I was that talented.  Her husband said he thought I used some type of silk screen process.  One of their daughters ran around looking at the pictures while wearing a pink hat like she was getting ready for the Easter parade.  She had a kind smile which she shared often.  The man said that he and his family live close by and that  they see all sorts of people stopping to take pictures of the pastings I did a couple weeks ago.  That made me feel good.  I gave him my card.  He said his sister has a bead stand a little bit further up the road and she'd like to have some images pasted to her stand.  He said she'd be happy to know how to get in touch with me now.  

All told, I was disappointed with the pasting of Hank in his spring pants.  For some reason, the image didn't jump off of the red background the way I'd anticipated.  The image of Minnie on the other side of the tank seems more grounded and organic.  It works.  The image of Hank doesn't.  O well.  Live and learn.  It didn't help that I made my paste too thick and it almost dried before I could get the image up.  Maybe I'll like this image better if I see in when it's not in shadow.  Maybe.

And then I returned to the long, maroon billboard near Cameron where I pasted lambs + kids a couple weeks ago.  The image of the lamb and kid had been almost totally removed by the wind, rain and snow.  While scraping down the remains of the image the brother of the owner of the billboard pulled up and said his brother didn't want me to use the board.  I told him that I'd talked with the woman on whose land the billboard rests; however, he didn't want to hear it.  I was bummed that I didn't get to finish pasting a new piece and had to leave a partially scraped piece on the board.  With the exception of the family at the red tank, it was a disappointing day.  I have to remember the little girl's smile.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


good day pasting yesterday.  stories to follow...