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Weekend Work 8/16/2021

I had a few of these going, not necessarily finished. I just thought I’d show you. Work has been on an upswing due to the Delta variant. More patients calling wanting testing because of exposure.

Here are two that happened to look good together. Makes sense as I mix a color and use it in multiple paintings.

I am still fixated in the gouache on black paper. My goal is to make the viewer’s eye move around the whole thing.

We went to our first gender reveal on Saturday-my cute manager at the office who is having her second kid. Working with young people makes me feel gratitude that I’m still relevant. My folks are in the front and me (ochre t shirt and husband Dr Wilson next to me). It’s a girl!

Have a great week.

A Visit to the Met

My friend had morning tickets to the Alice Neel show at the Met and invited me. I haven’t been to New York City since Kerfe’s birthday in January 2020. The city seemed the same but different. All the restaurants had these outdoor areas gussied up with plants. I wouldn’t like to eat in one because if someone walked by smoking a cigarette I’d lose my appetite.

I’d seen an Alice Neel show with Kerfe a few years ago and I remember it as mostly portraits. This show was a retrospective and had a lot of pieces I liked so I thought I’d show you. Here were some of my favorites:

Sorry I didn’t write down the titles. I also didn’t photograph her drawings which I liked a lot.

This last drawing was done by Neel when she was in a mental hospital for a year. She had a very intense life which showed in all her work but especially this drawing:

I should have photographed some of the portraits which made up her main body of work. Her expressiveness and technique inspired me and I’d like to do some larger paintings one of these days.

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Postcards from Kerfe

My friend Kerfe has kept me inspired this crazy year with these postcards. Today I decided to share them.

Thank you, Kerfe, for your years of friendship and encouragement. And to all our WordPress friends, happy 2021!

The Ekphrastic World Anthology 2020

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I have 3 pieces in The Ekphrastic Review Anthology.

Here it is, at last! Our first anthology!

Download your free copy here!

Our goal is to make The Ekphrastic Review and this ebook anthology of talent go viral. Will you help? Please share this free book with your holiday list, on your Facebook pages, on Twitter, Youtube, in your writing groups, with your students, on your website, everywhere! 

This anthology celebrates five years of The Ekphrastic Review. Thank you to all of our writers and readers for making this amazing journal and community possible!


Gift from Nina

Nina painted me this beautiful rock as a holiday gift.

It looks great on the window sill next to my advent calendar which is filling its winter landscape in nicely.

Thanks Nina!

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

My poem, “Talking to Andy”, inspired by Warhol’s iconic soup can, is posted today at the Ekphrastic Review along with work by Marcy Erb and 15 other writers. You can read it here.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review

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My poem “Free at Last” was among those chosen to accompany the painting  “Ninos”, by Fidelio Ponce de Leon, at The Ekphrastic Review.  You can see the artwork and read it, along with the rest of those selected, here.

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My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Variation on a Theme

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I spend myself with what if.  I pray to spirits I don’t believe in about things I don’t really know if I want.

What do I want? A light-filled room?  Applause?  Kind words, a gentle touch?

And you? Not even the imprint of your body remains in the furniture.  But you haunt me with your past, the one that spills over into my present and keeps me tangled in lost hours, restless days, sleepless nights.

It’s easy to keep repeating variations on the same inner monologue, difficult to quiet it and focus on something that is beyond the boundaries of myself.

And so I talk to the trees, like Chet Baker did. Do they listen?  They give me mornings of birdsong, flowering into green and then transforming into autumn harvests of red and gold.  Their branches, when naked, dance against clear blue skies.

I talk to the stars—
they pull me out, glimmering–
circles of the moon.

Is that listening?

It’s close enough.

summer tree close up s

The prompt for NaPoWriMo today asks us to write something inspired by another form of art.  For NaPoWriMo last year, all the art I used for the month of April was inspired by the painter Joan Mitchell.  And I have not stopped using her art as inspiration–lately I’ve been obsessed with her tree paintings.  Both paintings, above, were inspired by them.

autumn tree close up s

And so I thought to compose a poem about trees.  The reference today to Frank O’Hara, who was a friend of Joan Mitchell,  got me looking at his poems to see if there were any that talked about trees.  There were, and I modeled the beginning of my haibun on his “Meditations on an Emergency”.

But I also was thinking of Lerner and Loewe’s song “I Talk to the Trees”.  I like Chet Baker’s version, here with Bill Evans and Coleman Hawkins.

I talk to the trees
But they don’t listen to me
I talk to the stars
But they never hear me

You can see some of Joan Mitchell’s tree paintings here.

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A poem and a sketch

Kerfe gave me a set of magnetic poetry words and they are cool. At her urging (I’ve been pretty dormant) I illustrated a poem. Here’s the poem.

I think it cool that you can see my reflection in the metal easel. Very windy in NJ this morning but yesterday I saw some little snowbell flowers emerging from the earth!

1/13/2019. Still here.

The first page of the journal Kerfe sent me. The pages are nice and rough. I still don’t have an art space but at least I did a few journal/drawing entries.

He was right outside my window! It was extremely cold with a brisk wind.

I entirely forgot about Draw a Bird day. Just happened to come across a couple of good birds.

And a hawk my friend took outside his house.

I will not forget about February’s Draw a Bird day: a beloved WP tradition.