How does it go down
your way over
there far from
here distance imposed
is greatly sensed.

Do you sink or
bouyant head
spinning as questioning
rocks your core
I reinvent the wheel.

Like Sisyphus pushed
strong armed strongmen face
retribution for lust for
self- aggrandizing

Do you keep your
balance in purity
fatalism or
surrender to
I just work.

Are you well on
your raft alone or
befriended in touch
with only yourself
It’s a new one for me!



– Diane Sophrin
  Vermont. 8.15.20



click here to open in PDF format










No plot here
no conspiracy though
it could’ve been probably
just good use of

man made himself
what are you so
surprised at this is
why homo sapiens
created god

suffering at their own hand
as only humans can
making a dive now
for chaos for ugly

the good ones
merely careless
while the roaring crowd
relishing declination
gives delusion its approval.

But I meant to talk
not about baseness
but the undone world
as I knew it rebuilt
with some degree of care
on ashes of past conflagration

now like a phoenix a golem
molded out of breath and ash
mixed to paste with every sort of fluid



– Diane Sophrin
  Vermont. 8.26.20



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Spheres of Destiny & Variants



This new, ongoing body of work, Spheres of Destiny & Variants follows along the same parameters as the other recent double-sided assemblages; the Swingeing Spots, Big Looming Assemblages, Spots of Retribution and Dark Spots & Black Holes. Why this persists I am not sure! It offers itself, it suggests, or with stronger imperative, demands. I oblige. Click on any image for larger images of each group seen sequentially: first, the Spheres of Destiny and below them, the Variants:


The configuration/reconfiguration of the assemblages comes next, along with the photographic documentation. This aspect of the work is maddening. The impulse to track, know and document these groupings is compelling, unforgiving. Perhaps the final manifestation must wait for exhibition, when the pieces will naturally suggest, demand and determine specific assemblages – or perhaps not even then!

At this point in time, one double-sided diptych Spheres of Destiny I and II has made its way to Budapest in my stead, currently exhibited in the HORIZONT juried exhibition of the Society of Hungarian Painters (Magyar Festők Társasága). In fact it was the exhibition theme which led to this format of spherical paper diptych with central horizontal gap.

Here in Vermont, the work on this series is ongoing – both in terms of continued grouping and documentation of new assemblages, and the making of more new pieces. The newest, still in their early stages of formation, are large, boulder-like, sisyphean.












What good do they do
these colors
these circles
like the sun
an eclipse that’s it!
eclipsing all that is right and good
leaving just the ghost of a black hole
don’t look straight at it!
the truth will scorch
your eyes
in the papers
stained and puckered
what to do with the eye’s delight
when the heart bleeds.



– Diane Sophrin
  Vermont (7.16.20)



click here to open in PDF format



Swingeing Spots



What are these circles and why do I keep doing them? They began in 2019 with the Black Spots of Winter and I have been working with black circles, spots and holes ever since. These Swingeing Spots, are the latest. As with the Dark Spots and Black Holes, Spots of Retribution and Big Looming Assemblages, these newest two-sided pieces are arranged, layered and photographed, creating what are for now, impermanent groupings.

Click on any image below for larger images seen sequentially.


“Time, in the Great Collapse – new works, thoughts and poems”





Time, in the middle of the Great Collapse, to post new works and another small poem entitled When the Heart Bleeds; also, some thoughts on Budapest artists, contemplations on fascism and more Brecht.

The new works, Swingeing Spots, can be seen here. What are these circles and why do I keep doing them? They began in 2019 with the Black Spots of Winter and I have been doing these ever since. Am I taking the easy way out by continuing to follow this thread? I do see the obvious referencing of natural structure, reflecting an ailing nature. Now we are at one with nature. But is that enough?

The form and content begin with a simple attraction of the eye. It’s the eye that guides now, not arbitrary yet not consciously meaningful. Is it just automatic form-making? I don’t really need to know this. The point is that I have neither used up these forms nor this particular media, although under different circumstances other forms, other media could do the job equally well. Not arbitrariness but fluency?

But why this apparent invisibility of the hand? There is no brushwork, little gestural mark-making. The application of color and tone, the creation of texture are all created by basic printing processes – offset, relief, stencil, transfer. Is this legitimate? Why not? The essence of a print being pressure rather than duplication (although that sometimes occurs), in this case simple pressure of the hand itself is where manual expression comes into play, the physical assertion of a human hand at work. I am satisfied.

It’s been nearly two years since visiting the Budapest studio of László Alföldi (here) and Éva T. Horvath (here). Éva’s powerful relief collages and 3D constructions and László’s nuanced paper prints both left a strong impression. I was particularly drawn to László’s technique of layering multiple sheets of freshly inked papers under pressure, then peeling the layers apart to create compelling visual textural effects. I don’t know if I have unconsciously revisited his process in my newest work or if I, following my own independent thread, have found myself in an overlapping spot of commonality. I don’t really need to know this either. It’s enough, I think, to point with acknowledgement and appreciation in his direction.

Suddenly and inevitably the mind swings without warning from Budapest back to Vermont – and to what has become My American House Arrest. Being forced to cancel the fall flight (the fourth cancellation) with no idea of plan or future stuns. I have yet to inform my Hungarian friends and colleagues but that will happen next. Alternative ideas for my fall Book of Chaos exhibition at the Nyitott Műhely (Open Workshop) emerge slowly and must be explored.

Meanwhile, It’s always there – an imperative to write about this mammoth realignment of reality. Navigating this new and strange present continuous, absorbing this many-pronged assault consumes an undefinable portion of the psyche. Last night, exhausted by the day’s events, a sense of being unmoored took over. The mind churns in the substrate, trying ceaselessly to comprehend, define and respond appropriately in both personal and political contexts.

“Call to Arms- new assemblages, new poems, new decade, more Brecht”



Time for more words, on the start of an eighth decade. What a heavily weighted time to face such a marker – not so much for celebration though we tried our best. So I put the bookmark between the pages and now re-opening to the paper stub, can observe how far in this book I have progressed.

The newest works are titled Big Looming Assemblages – not so much because they loom. I have just posted a new short poem titled Big Looming which tries to describes what in fact does loom.

Some logistical questions surfaced this morning over breakfast; where and how to obtain what food. Still not ready to post Brecht’s Dream of a Great Bellyache. That well may come later, when it is felt.

Following that conversation, more significant questions percolate and clamour from the depths. I seem to be calm about giving up small things in life, but how many of these small things does one give up before the fabric of self starts to fray or tear? Of what is the self composed? How much change gives opportunity to challenge and expand the self, at what point does the scale tip and compromise identity? Some rise, others fall. We are not there yet, far to go, but are moving with startling speed towards the bend in the road that others in the past have traversed, beyond which there is no return.

Questions that are about small challenges, but of course then there are the big ones, those that truly loom. About the common good, about the big plans, about movement, about freedom, about history, about fascism.

On that note, one part of a long poem by Bertolt Brecht:


Call to arms

We hear, you have been taken sick with tuberculosis
We entreat you; see this
Not as a turn of fate, but
As an attack by the oppressors, who
Exposed you, poorly clothed and in damp housing
To hunger. That is how you were made sick.
We charge you take up the struggle at once
Against sickness and against oppression
With all possible cunning, rigour and tenacity
As a part of our great struggle, which
Has to be waged from a position of weakness
In utter misery, and in which
Everything is permitted which will aid our victory, a victory
Which is the victory of humanity over the scum of the earth.
We await your return, as soon as possible
To your post, comrade.

– Bertolt Brecht. Svendborg Poems. 1939.
  Translated by Tom Kuhn and David Constantine