Mek at Work in Progress (10000hoursleft) recently received the One Lovely Blog Award and invited us to also post 7 facts about ourselves (3 1/2 each). Luckily we each have half a fact that works with the other to make one!
Kerfe: I begin every morning with coffee (cream, no sugar) and Brown Cow vanilla yogurt with fresh berries (blue, straw, black or rasp). I like iced coffee in the afternoon and herbal tea before bed.
Nina: I was skipped twice in elementary school thereby missing the basic facts of mathematics. To this day I count on my fingers. I was always the youngest kid in the class and graduated high school at 16.
Nina: One of the times I got skipped was (I think) because of a drawing I did of Kate Smith sitting on her moon and singing “when the moon comes over the mountain”. I wish I still had this drawing and for that matter I wish I had all the drawings I’ve ever done.
Kerfe: I was voted “most artistic girl” in my senior class of high school. But I really always wanted to be a cheerleader.
Kerfe: My first job (after babysitting) was working for my older brother at the University of Maryland, where he was a student employed in the physics lab. I can’t remember how much I made, but they couldn’t find any college students willing to take the job at the salary offered, so it couldn’t have been much. My brother asked me if I would like to try, so I worked on Saturdays during the school year, and during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I measured data graphs with an instrument that traced the contours, doing several readings of each to make sure they were correct, and typed punch cards for the computer (this was 1968). We lived in Bowie, Maryland, at the time, which was near the University, but moved out of working range in the middle of my junior year–thus ending my career in science.
Nina: I’ve been playing the guitar since I was about 12 years old. That would make it around 56 years of more or less playing the guitar all the time. I bought a Martin with babysitting money; it’s a small parlor guitar and not worth a lot of money but it’s my favorite possession. It never goes out of tune.
Fact 1/2 plus 1/2:
Nina: I received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati in 1969.
Kerfe: I attended the University of Cincinnati in 1970-71.
I was a student at FIT 1971-73, graduating with an AA in Fashion Design.
Nina: I received an AA from FIT in 1974.
The universe finally got its timing right around 1975. We were both employed as textile designers at Fair-tex Mills, Kerfe in knits, and Nina in prints. A friendship was born!
Our Wordpress avatar, above, which you may recognize, was put together from drawings we did of each other in 1978 (Kerfe by Nina on the left, and Nina by Kerfe on the right). The drawings that start this post are our 2017 updates, 40 years later. We look just the same, right? (or maybe even better).
Another enigmatic family photo. What is Blue Gate? Where is it? Cute how there’s two shots of Jane framed within this doorway or porthole. I’m thinking I should paint the outside black.
The photograph. Undated but she looks around 17 here, maybe older.
I’ve been to sea before
I’ve been to sky between
I’ve gathered gifts of air
the road under my skin
I’ve asked the why and where
the where of going round
the why of what I seek
the where of why I’m bound
I’m bound to sail away
my mind tells me to roam
but anchors pull my heart
and sing my wandering home
I’ll sing a lullaby
of needle under skin
the waves will help me fly
the spiral shell within
I had been working on this collage, so the dVerse prompt for a song spurred me to finish it. In our mid-teens, my best friend Alfie and I would play our guitars with the radio on and write our own songs for hours, either at her house or mine, but I haven’t written any lyrics since then. Where are all those songs now?–I don’t know, although I do strangely remember one, a love song I wrote for her when she had a crush on a boy she met over one summer.
And Joni…this song (and album) are just about perfect. Always lodged in my brain.
Alfie and Joni:
Here is a shell for you
Inside you’ll hear a sigh
A foggy lullaby
There is your song from me
I forgot how much I like Pelikan watercolors. They are very immediate in that you don’t need to put water on all of them first to “warm them up”, so to speak. They go on very easily and the colors are great.
I did a brushstroke of each color and it reminded me of a bunch of heads. The drips were accidentally on purpose.
My new Pelikan set. Highly recommend these if you’re looking for a set of pan watercolors.
Lune shining through me
like a galaxy
Wings I can not see
This self-portrait uses the same Klee painting for a reference as my last one, but I have done it in collage, as I said I hope to do. I’ve taken more liberties this time as well. The round face reminded me of the moon, and that was my inspiration for my choice of collage papers.
The poem uses the lai form, which I saw on dVerse in early June, but did not have time to attempt then.
It’s a New Moon today…start something!
You can see all the self portraits so far here.
To run and
be bound, to keep the
yes it goes
on, held and released, goes on
and is the path not
paved with our feet? All gonna
meet at the end. Let
your voice travel between em,
those lines that surround and catch
the singing, all the
hymns of light, blues of Midnight–
trailing that Rider.
What a beautiful boy he was. But his face grew into his music. I was lucky enough to see the Allman Brothers a few years back in one of their NYC residences.
Shovel poem using two lines from Gregg Allman’s song “Midnight Rider” (read the last words of each line straight down).
imperfectly caught life–
between thinking and acting out–
completed inside the border, this face,
this arrangement of edges on intersections
intersections on edges of arrangement–this
face, this border, the inside completed
out—acting and thinking between
life caught imperfectly–
Instead of painting this one, I used Neocolors, which worked well through layering to give the irregularity of each color Klee produced with paint. It was a real challenge–trying to get the geometry while maintaining at least a little resemblance. I think I want to try this one in collage as well. It would be like assembling a puzzle.
The circle shape of the head inspired the poem, which was also a challenge. It uses the palindrome form, where the second half reverses the word order of the first half with one word as connector. Finding words that work in both directions is also like solving a puzzle…well I do like to play with words.
You can see all the self portraits in the “100 Self Portrait” series here. Four-fifths to go.
I have two pieces of art and a poem inspired by the great Nina Simone and her song “Wild is the Wind” on Marianne Szlyk’s musical blog “The song is…” You can see them here, along with a fun essay by Bill Cushing on not driving. Marianne has also included a link to the song, as well as a variety of other musical pleasures.
“The song is..” features a lot of interesting writing, art, and music, so take a look around while you’re there.
Teresa reminded me on last month’s selfie day that I’ve been falling behind in my monthly self-portraits. This is another one based on a Vanessa Bell painting, with commentary by the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. I did it twice, although I’m not that crazy about either version. Perhaps I’ve been away from painting for too long. Or maybe it’s the blue in the eyes.
in elaborate languages
in moon skin
beneath the shadow
You can see the entire self-portrait series so far here.