Archive | November 2021

Thursday Doors on Friday: Red Doors

In the beginning you can divide the questions
into a multitude of forms.
For your second act define your journey.
Offer your voice to the silence of light.
Remember to open the secret red door.
Do you know why?
It’s too early to be the end.
Simple, really.

For the Kick-About prompt this week I did a collage inspired by Leger’s painting The City. When I consulted the collage box Oracle, it gave me some cryptic advice about a red door. Which led me to search in my files for any red doors I had photographed–perhaps one of them was the secret city door of the message. The one above I had obviously noticed on more than one occasion, as I had multiple photos from different dates.

It certainly looks as if it could hold a few secrets.

Here’s a preschool door–on weekdays there are strollers parked both inside and out. Who knows what secrets reside in the mind of a 3-year-old?

And here’s a handsome red church door, in an old building that I’m sure holds many of its own secrets.

As always, you can see more doors and join in Thursday doors yourself here.

The Kick-About #41 ‘La Ville’

Inspired by Leger’s vision of the city.

Red's Kingdom

From the ephemera of the last KA’s flowers of fire, to the more concrete energies of Fernand Leger’s La Ville, it’s another showcase of new works made in a short time by an eclectic group of creatives. We have ‘all sorts’ of different work in the mix – and quite literally this time too! Happy browsing.

Tom Beg

“I wanted to create an abstract image that conjured up the feeling of climbing some obscenely huge tower and looking down on the endlessly sprawling megalopolis below.”

Vanessa Clegg

“I don’t know why, but Léger’s work reminds me of liquorice allsorts, with a touch of fuzzy felts (remember them?) thrown in… So I spent an enjoyable afternoon playing with sweets, attempting to recreate something vaguely Léger-like, at the same time gobbling the residue – eating the art! Can’t recommend it highly enough!”


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Thursday Doors:  Cover the Earth

a rainbow
repatterned into
a grid of
layered hues–
come closer, look inside now–
behind the door, more

The doors and windows of this Sherwin Williams paint store on Amsterdam Avenue always catch my eye and makes me smile.

The actual entry door is to the side, complete with the symbol and motto “cover the earth”.

Sculptured door update: this now appears to be a building lobby, with a central garden/atrium inside. But strangely, not only is there no address number to identify the building, but all the surrounding buildings have their own numbered doors with mailboxes for tenants inside. Is it possible they are sharing the inside space and this is the “package room” for multiple buildings? The buildings are all 6 story tenement-style buildings, most likely walk-ups, with businesses on the first floor, so none of them have lobbies or doormen. I like that idea, if it’s indeed the case.

It’s supposed to get to freezing here next week, but in the meantime the flowers in the park are still blooming.

As always, you can see more doors and join in Thursday doors yourself here.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument: Thursday Doors

just a
common soldier,
a young farmer dressed in
blue—more likely to discover
his death
through illness than in the heat of
battle—but death is death,
and war knows no

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, in Riverside Park, is a memorial to the Union soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War. Designed by brothers Charles and Arthur Stoughton, with sculptures by Paul E M DuBoy, it was dedicated in 1902.

It has been in bad need of repair for many years. Despite several attempts by local officials to allocate money in the city budget, the monument remains fenced off, “awaiting funding”.

Nearly 100 feet high, it was patterned after the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens. Surrounding smaller monuments contain lists of New York volunteer regiments that served in the war, as well as the names of Union generals and battles.

I took these photos on two separate occasions, one a mid-morning last summer, and one on a recent early morning. The light was strange and kept changing on the recent day, at least as it appeared in the photos. It didn’t seem so at the time.

There are also three cannons on the walk way leading up to the monument.

While doing research on the Civil War troops, I discovered that most were farmers in their 20s, and that the Union soldiers were much more likely to die of disease than battle, as the camps were overcrowded and unsanitary. The reverse was true for those who served in the Rebel army–most of them died while fighting.

My poem was written for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday–the prompt was to use the butterfly cinquain form, and include a color in the text. But it was also written in remembrance, on this Veteran’s Day, for all those who have served their countries in the hopes of defending the dream of a free and just world for all.

As always, you can join in Thursday doors here.

The Kick-About #40 ‘Flowers Of Fire’

Some fireworks to light up your November.

Red's Kingdom

After the gothic shadows of our last Kick-About together, how about a bit of flash, dazzle and colour? Inspired by the delightful illustrations from various collections of Japanese firework catalogues, the Kick-Abouters are lighting things up with a vibrant display of new works made in a short time. Whizz bang ooh ahh indeed!

Marion Raper

My first idea for this wonderful topic was to do some machine stitching on paper, as I thought I could get some exciting and interesting firework patterns with this. However, my sewing machine had other ideas and although I have used this method before, my needles kept breaking and I had to opt for plan B – hand stitching. First I used acrylic inks as background and then added various threads, sequins and oddments from my stash. As I sat sewing it came to me that life is like a firework! It starts…

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Eastern Screech Owl: Draw a Bird Day

eyes that penetrate
beyond fear

I had a dream awhile back about hearing a bird calling. Looking for the source, I found it was a tiny owl. It let me get up close to it, but when I tried to take its photo, it went into my daughter’s shirt pocket and hid. Of course I had to try to identify what this owl could be.

As with my hoopoe dream, I recognized it immediately when I saw photos. The Eastern Screech Owl is a robin-sized owl, and would easily fit into a pocket. They are common throughout eastern North America, and though they prefer woodlands, have adapted to living in both cities and suburbs. These owls do not build nests, but depend on tree holes that already exist, often those abandoned by woodpeckers. They will also use nest boxes. Active from dusk to dawn, they eat mostly insects and small rodents, but have been known to catch small fish, as well as frogs and lizards. They also eat other birds, as owls are prone to do.

Their call is unusual, more like a whinny than what I would associate with an owl. Definitely not a screech.

Owls are considered old souls, prophets, protectors, keepers of ancient wisdom. They are also associated with death. But as with the Death card in the tarot, death is never just an ending, but a beginning as well.

As to what my dream meant, I still haven’t puzzled it out.

I didn’t have time to paint an owl this week, but I did a third quick drawing without looking at the page. A good exercise which I should repeat more often.

Claremont Stables (Thursday Doors)

of course things
change—never the same–
what seems to
be always
travels through what was not there
before—shifts slightly–

doors open
to new forms other
shadows faint voices almost
glimpsed through altered light

I remember when Claremont Stables, on West 89th Street, was full of horses and you saw riders frequently in Central Park. Now the bridal paths are used for walking.

I did see a policeman on a horse the other day–but it’s been a long time since I saw anyone else on horseback in the city.

Although once scheduled for demolition as part of a “renewal” project, the building was landmarked in 1990 and thus spared. I think the architecture is definitely worth preserving.

Built in the late 1800s and closed in 2007, the stables are now part of a school, with Ballet Hispanico occupying the next door building.

Claremont Riding Academy has its own Wikipedia page where you can read a bit more about the history of the building.

My poem, a shadorma, is once again is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

And as always, you can join in Thursday doors here.

November 2021

what carries the truth?
wind scattering fallen leaves–
fragile, decaying