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May Day

stitched blue tondo undone s

Breath held, returning
we rise, dance the beginning
open to the sun.

Spiraling blessings hum wind,
blood lines quickening, bowing.

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, with synonyms for sing and celebrate.  This painting/embroidery is one of the Joan Mitchell inspired pieces I was working on for NaPoWriMo and didn’t finish.  So it’s still in progress.  I will definitely complete this one, but the rest may be put on hold (along with a pile of others…)

stitched blue tondo undone close up s

I’m feeling at loose ends, and I need to put my work space in order so I can find what I’m looking for.  Still many boxes unopened as well.  Time to regroup…but May is starting out with plenty of sunshine!  That feels good.

Is That a Human Voice? (after Toshikazu Yasumizu)

jm 2a right blk s

Mountains circle a city
of women dancing like feathers.
Mountains circle a city
of women dancing like feathers.
Silence embraces the flowing.
Silence embraces the flowing
patterns, bending with the wind.
Turning, repeating, transforming, rising–
silence follows.

jm 2a right close up s

Bending with the wind, turning.
Where are the birds?
Repeat and follow.
Bending with the wind, questing.
Opening, questing–
repeat and follow.

jm 2a left close up s

Embrace these wings, bending with the wind.
Turning, repeating, transforming, rising–
silence follows.

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The NaPoWriMo prompt for day 5 was to take an untranslated poem, pair it with a photo, and make a poem referring to both.  I chose to use one of the artworks I did for this month instead of a photo, and I used a Japanese poem by Toshikazu Yasumizu, “Is That a Human Voice?”, partly because I love the title.  You can see the poem and the translation (which works well with my embroidery also) here.

jm 2a blk s

The embroidery is once again based on a painting by Joan Mitchell.  The calligraphic nature of Japanese writing reminds me a lot of the marks of stitching.

logo-napowrimo

I’m also linking to dVerse open link night.

Dancer

Let’s just call her a random dancer because it looks nothing like my sister.

Kind of a tough angle with her face tilted up and sideways. I recognize the earrings: they were made by Marcia Tucker (deceased) who was head of the New Museum.

A couple of little studies on black paper. More dancers to come.

Kill the Buddha 1 and 2

web 83 skill the buddha magnetic

I went to the storage room the other day to look for and photo some old collages and finally decided to look in the portfolio I knew had some very old work in it.  99% of the contents consists of collages, but there were a few drawings and paintings, and this was one of them.  1983, yikes.  That was about the end of my art work (except for the knit designing I did) for many years as my oldest daughter was born in 1985.

On the Road has published a provocative prompt (and unfortunately the last one) this week, based on the Zen Koan  “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”  Of course I had to consult the Magnetic Oracle.

remember to dance
like ghosts laughing in rhythm
with vast foolishness

web close up s

I also wrote my own interpretation of the prompt, based on my painting, which is titled “Web 1”.  Although I did not find a “Web 2”.

the net is fragile–
disintegrating, holding
what was never there

webclose up 3 s

At the Hawk’s Well

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In 1916, W. B. Yeats wrote a dance play, “At the Hawk’s Well”, inspired by Japanese Noh theatre (to which he had been introduced by Ezra Pound) and Irish folklore.

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The Japan Society recently had an exhibit of UK artist Simon Starling’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Yeats’ work, along with some of the art that inspired both him and Yeats.

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I watched the beautiful video of the hawk dancing several times

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and then I drew masks until my hand cramped up and my legs hurt from standing.

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When I looked at the drawings, it struck me how humans have always struggled to understand and live their lives well.  We are united in both sorrow and dignity, all cultures, throughout history, all over the earth.

hawk-comp-2

 

Postcard Fiction: A Call to Arms (Freedom #2)

brave-soul-1s

heedless-sky-2s

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imagination-4s

dance-of-fate-5s

When I began my response to Jane Dougherty’s prompt “Freedom”, I first looked in my collage box of faces for couples that seemed to work together.  At the same time I was thinking about the Secret Keeper’s words for the week of October 3rd:  BRAVE – TEND – PURE – LEAD – DANCE .

I decided to do a Cento Poem, one that takes its lines from the works of other poets.  I like to play with words, and this is also a good excuse to read a lot of different poetry by a lot of different poets.  So I collected poetic phrases that contained the words (not that difficult with google at your fingertips) and played around with different arrangements.

dance-of-fate-s

This couple seemed to fit the spirit of the words.  And given the state of the world, perhaps I was anticipating the state of mind I would need for 2017…

1024px-ilya_repin-what_freedom

O my brave soul!
Untended there beneath the heedless sky
leap and sparkle, dance and shine
in a world of pure imagination
Up and lead the dance of Fate!

 Poets, in order of appearance:
Walt Whitman, Sidney Lanier, Sarojini Naidu, Roald Dahl, Aeschylus

poets-6s

chanting light

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sweet blue music s

I found this painting when I was looking through a portfolio.  It’s from a few years ago, fairly recent.  I think the source of the image was a dance review in the newspaper.  This is what the magnetic oracle had to say about it.

For the Elusive Trope’s Magnetic Poetry Saturday Challenge.

Try it and see what it has to say to you…

Degas: A Strange Beauty Indeed

ballerina close up s

My dentist’s office is just a few blocks from the Museum of Modern Art, so after my appointment yesterday I spent some time there before I went home.  I wanted to see the Dada exhibit, and it was fun, but the Degas exhibit overshadowed and overwhelmed it.

monotype comp 1

The exhibit explored Degas’ process, starting with his extensive use of monotype printing.  He was able to get quite a lot of detail using copper plates.

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He also did some prints using celluloid, the photography film of the day.

dancer comp

But then he started adding color to his monoprints with both pastel and watercolor.  Wow!  It’s impossible to fully control this type of printing, so maybe that’s the secret to the other-worldliness of so many of his pastel works.

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The exhibit then went on to talking about how all this work influenced his drawing and painting.  This is a good lesson for all of us perfectionists.

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A page from a sketchbook shows Degas exploring.

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And here’s a look at how a sketch became a painting.

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My favorite part of this show was the room of landscapes though.  Here Degas used oil paints when printing, in colors this time.

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He used pastels over the printing on some of these as well.

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The labeling for this exhibit was also excellent.  It’s only there a few more weeks, but if you happen to be in NYC…be prepared for the crowds, but highly recommended.

degas quote

Summer Storm

eye landscape s

sky angered
rock reflects silent
edges
worn away
earth angles
ready
to trip
the unwary
brambles
begin dancing
lightning sings
sharp
serenade

close up eye 1s

It’s true…this collage makes no sense.  Both collage and poem are a response to Rattle Poetry’s Ekphrastic challenge for May.  Once again, my poem was not selected, which leaves me free to make my own art for it.  Any excuse to use body parts in a work of art…landscapes are full of them, right?

close up eye s

Especially when brambles are dancing to lightning’s song.

You can see the original art, and the artist’s selection of a poem to accompany it here.

 

It’s Leap Day!

never be ordinary s

Time to dance!