Martha Miller

My self-portraits have long been a primary means of expression and are rarely about surface appearance, but an inner reality. They speak of my spiritual connection to the unconscious through my dreams, and through larger energies and archetypal systems such as tarot and astrology. The creative process itself is a portal to the unconscious. All artists speak of being in “the zone” while making art. It’s a gateway to that bottomless well, that timeless dimension.

miller2 cancersouthnode

Martha Miller, Cancer South Node/Self, mixed media on paper, 22 x 30 in., 2024.

miller3 snowmoonfiveofcupsself

Martha Miller, Snow Moon and Five of Cups/Self, mixed media on paper, 22 x 30 in., 2024.

miller4 horseheart

Martha Miller, Horse Heart, mixed media on paper, 15 x 22 in., 2024.


Stephen Burt

These works were created using improvisatory methods: ink washes of red, blue, and green were laid semi-randomly on the paper. While I have an idea of what I will draw I deliberately leave the washes rough, inviting accident, hitting the “wrong” notes. Once dry, the forms suggested in the crenelated pigment are picked out using vine charcoal, a medium easily erased and adjusted. Conté crayon in black and white is then added to define the forms. This is my methodology, which harkens all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci’s admonition “to rouse the mind to new inventions” by looking at stained walls, clouds, and the like. But even before I encountered the genius of Leonardo, since I was a small child, I have found it easy to “see” in this way, to find faces, figures, and animals in woodgrain and clouds. Learning to use this imagery has taken me much longer.

In these recent works, The Dragon of the Apocalypse and A Whale’s Dream in the Anthropocene, I have tried not to edit the imagery, to let the imagination run a bit wild, to plumb the unknown, to give breath and depth to the imagination, to challenge myself to think differently about how I communicate. It is a way of being in the moment that I have found essential to finding my voice.

I want to create images that simultaneously frighten and entrance. I want to make it clear to the viewer that it is time to pay attention if we wish not to follow the Ivory-billed woodpecker, the Dodo, the Great Auk into oblivion. It is clear now that our writing and language have not prepared us for the challenges and crises of our current world. In fact, language has been used to cleverly obscure the very real and pressing issues of our time. We are at a precipice; species are disappearing before they have even been discovered in the Anthropocene, the great whales are dying off, their populations a shadow of what they once were. We seem incapable of the drastic actions necessary to stop the destruction and yet . . . the arts, creating images that speak to the current climate chaos just may help nudge our collective consciousness into action.

Burt 01 Dragon of the Apocalypse

Stephen Burt, The Dragon of the Apocalypse, ink and conté crayon on paper, 44 x 32.5 in., 2024.

Burt 02 A Whale's Dream in the Anthropocene

Stephen Burt, A Whale’s Dream in the Anthropocene, ink and conté crayon on paper, 22 x 30 in., 2024.


Rachel Robbins

All Seizures Great and Small

Temporal lobe epilepsy can be controlled to some degree with medication, but aspects of it leak through day to day as you go about trying to mind your own business. Déjà vu, the taste of color, the smell of sound, an earworm from a nonexistent song, a sense of rising from your body and looking down to see everything washed in water. Intense dreams, you know, life. Sometimes if your brain “zigs when it should zag” you get pieces which need to be set down someplace so you can go along your merry way until next time. I paint focal seizures and intense dreams. I don’t paint tonic-clonic seizures. I used to, but they scared me and made me cry.

IMG 0311

Rachel Robbins, Aurora or Aura, acrylic, charcoal, alcohol ink, building paste, compressed gold leaf, 30 x 40 in., 2024.


Lesley McVane

So much of our private lives takes place in the space we call home. It is there that we are free to explore the secrets that we have accumulated. The bedroom is the womb to which we can escape and shut the door on the conscious world. It is the place where we can quietly, consciously, process all that we have experienced during the day. It is where we awaken during the night or in the early morning from our dreams and where we try to find meaning from the dreams we can remember. Do these dreams represent the unconscious? Do they give us enough information to awaken our unconscious feelings, thoughts, and desires? And if we do recognize those feelings, thoughts, and desires, do we confront them? Or do we leave them in the bedroom and open the door and walk away?

IMG 0312

Lesley MacVane, Behind the Bedroom Door.






Image at top: Martha Miller, Leo Moon Conjunct Pluto/Self, mixed media on paper, 22 x 30 in., 2024.