in the afterglow
doesn’t always fit
with old formulas
and then multiplied
the sun rises
and wing it
with why not
explain say yes
for something else
My collage, inspired by Nina’s recent painting, above, is not at all what I intended to do. Not even close. I feel like this is a good metaphor for life, the way my life is, anyway, now and for as long as I can remember it. Nothing is as it appears, even in its imagining.
And what is the point of my poem? Does it have or need one? I’m not sure, but it travels in a kind of parallel to my train of thought these days also. As David Byrne said so aptly, maybe it’s time we stopped trying to make sense out of the nonsensical. Aim as truly as you can and see what happens.
Earthweal asks this week if our poetry can be sufficient for the world we live in. How do we define “enough” of anything? Everything seems to be both too little and at the same time too much.
We want definitive answers when there are always only more questions to ask. There’s no guidebook, no map. It’s a circle, not a line. There’s no way of knowing or controlling where the things we begin will end. We can only do our best to say what we think needs to be said, do what we think needs to be done, and be good listeners and caretakers to the world.
Couple of closeups
Black and white.
Color added. Also the first three dimensional rock; I glued a pebble on and tried to connect it with the broad turquoise blue stripe.
Black and white. I think I liked this better than after I added color. Too late now.
Same pebble, color added. Not sure if it needs another color.
Black and white.
Color added. I went a little crazy on this one. No regrets though.
I will seal these and put them around the neighborhood later. Have a great day!
Couldn’t Stick to Black and White
Well, I told you I’d show the black and white rocks before I messed with them. And I just can’t resist adding color. Color is such a beautiful thing.
I’ll post some better closeups tomorrow. I got the idea today to do some high quality prints of the rock designs and use for greeting card (I am almost out of my latest batch.).
We watched the Apple TV series “Defending Jacob”. It is very well done and disturbing. The weekend was quiet with random fireworks going on in the neighborhood. It will probably get worse over the Fourth of July; luckily my daughter’s dog doesn’t seem upset by it.
Thank you for all your kind comments. I was away from the blog for too long. The community is so supportive. Also, as we are laying low, I won’t be going in to the city to see Kerfe. That’s why we started the blog in the first place, to share our artwork together. She is prolific and a poet. I know it means a lot to her that I started posting again. K., you are the best.
I wanted to approach Alice Neel’s painting “Symbols”, my prompt-choice for The Kick-About #5, in a different way than I had done previously. The inspiration for this 3-D collage came when I was cleaning out some papers and came upon the paper insert for the Evanescence cd “Fallen”. The cover photo of Amy Lee seemed to echo the face of the doll Neel had painted.
upon my end I shall begin–
I’m going under
I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems
without a thought without a voice without a soul
the truth drives me into madness,
my spirit sleeping somewhere cold
no one’s there–
never was and never will be
save me from the nothing I’ve become,
return to me salvation
maybe I’ll wake up for once,
fallen angels at my feet
let me stay,
bow down and stare in wonder
I know who you are–
the goddess of imaginary light
This was music my younger daughter played over and over in her adolescence, and it was fun to go to YouTube and pull up the songs. I still like them. Maybe I even like them more now. Amy’s voice is a force, and she can be way over the top. But the gothic flavor of the music seemed also apt to the painting.
As I did recently, I did the main collage on a fold out card so it could stand up. I then created a field of paper flowers and a purple sky inspired by the lyrics of the song on the Fallen album called “Imaginary”. Then I photographed it from a few angles. Above and below are all the individual elements.
The poem is a cento, composed from lines in the songs on the album.
How does all this relate to Alice Neel’s painting? As reflected in my previous collages, I think Neel is addressing her struggle as a woman, a mother, an artist, a person constrained by family and cultural circumstances. She lost her oldest child to her husband’s family who considered her an unsuitable mother. The life she chose was not easy, but she never gave up her need and her right to make her art. Must a woman be only a virgin mother or a childless whore? And why should gender determine who we are or what we can be at all?
You can see the other collages I did based on this painting here.
I would be remiss if I did not include a few Evanescence videos. If it’s not your style of music, you can turn the sound down and just enjoy the visual barrage.
And here’s a live version of “My Immortal”, the hit from “Fallen”. That’s the song I remember coming out of my daughter’s room.
Rocks in the Neighborhood
One of the places I like to put rocks is on little walls like this. I was so happy to see that kids started painting rocks and adding them to this wall. There are almost twenty of them on there now. I put rocks places where a lawn mower wouldn’t run them over and possibly mess up the machine.
One of my neighbors goes to Montauk a lot. She’s been bringing me the most beautiful stones; as Kerfe says, it will keep me busy for a while.
I hope everyone is doing well and being careful. In my state (NJ) and Kerfe’s (NY) the cases have slowed down thanks to our governors Murphy and Cuomo. Places are opening up and requiring masks and social distancing. I feel I’m one of the fortunate ones: I’ve kept my job, get along pretty well with my spouse and daughter in quarantine and most of all that my pool has opened with restrictions. I’ve developed knee problems and swimming is the best thing for it. Sadly the three town pools are not opening (mine is private) and I feel badly for the children.
This too shall pass. Hope everyone has a good weekend. Nina
The Kick-About #4 ‘Orphée’
More wonders from The Kick-About and a new prompt suggested by me!
Our previous kick-about together was a game on the theme of happy shades, which originated a showcase of reflective, nostalgic and mediative responses. Phil Cooper’s Orpheus-inspired prompt has led some of us at least down some shadowier, more mysterious paths, as we consider alternate worlds and the allure of leaving this one.
“The sea is often described as a mirror and the mirage (Fata Morgana) on the horizon is literally looking/entering into another space. These are caused by layers of successively warmer air (shown as horizontal lines) working like a series of eyeglass lenses. It is a world that does not exist but is utterly real to the viewer.” Pencil on Fabriano. 56 cm X 56 cm.
“A Saturday stroll in the blistering summer heat turned into search for other-worlds and distorted realities, which I found in the ripples and reflections of the Ooka…
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I don’t know why I’ve become obsessed with rocks. I’m just going with it. Little kids like them and my neighbors get a kick out of it. If they think I’m a crazy old lady, so be it. They’re not wrong.
Latest batch almost done. I have to give them the Liquitex spray treatment or the paint would wash away.
Another recent painting done in gouache. I still like to paint on paper and I’m sure I’ll get back to it…but someone dropped off a beautiful bag of beach rocks today!
The Oracle was simple and direct today. Humans aren’t in the picture at all.
listen to winter
rain and sun
green through birdsong
deep summer air
Nina and I used to collaborate with the Oracle on a semi-regular basis. I’m hoping we will do so again soon.
Painting mandala rocks is a thing: people cast their own symmetrical rocks, mark them with a stencil and paint these perfect rocks. They are beautiful. I’m not going to post one because I don’t want to do so without permission.
Mine look very similar to each other because I had a production line going. They were very relaxing to do. The one on the bottom is for a friend who requested it.
Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend.
trails flames of solstice–
moon shines dark
Inspired by Nina’s gouache painting, above, and Frank Tassone’s #Haikai challege to choose our own summer kigo.
Nina’s painting made me think of flowers and butterflies. And when I saw the photo of Martha Graham dancing in the Times, I felt immediately that she must be holding the moon.
Summer solstice this year coincides with a solar eclipse of the new moon. Magic is afoot!