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It’s Selfie Day! Self Portrait #18

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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.

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dreaming
in elaborate languages
asleep
in moon skin
singing
beneath the shadow
of time

You can see the entire self-portrait series so far here.

wavering

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dislocated map
the trees have changed positions
air and light play tricks

hiding in the miasma
the zone between yes and no

I was inspired by Colleen’s tanka challenge photo this week to pick up a brush and paint, something I haven’t done much of lately.  I used gouache instead of watercolor on the rice paper, which is worth trying again I think.

Deer Skull in Camouflage 

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I don’t really know where these skulls come from. I’d like to think they died peacefully in the woods and were found a while later. In truth they may have been shot and killed so I guess it’s ironic that I’d paint one in a camouflage pattern. 

I’m no expert but I think this is a young one. Only three points. Thank you, deer. 

Tribal deer skull

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I like to pretend I’m a member of a tribe when I paint a skull. I imagine it’s going to be used for a ceremony. This is one of the deer skulls I got last week: a wonderful specimen, probably a pretty young buck with developing antlers. 

Here is a view with the antlers and my messy bedroom in the photo. 

Tracings

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Touched by tracings of
stars.  Holding life as breath in
surreal clarity.

Spellbound. Network of charms whirled
through passage to safe harbors.

Original image, left, altered through the magic of Photoshop.  Words for tanka from Colleen and the secret keeper.  Colleen also provided the inspiration image below.

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“The magic of childhood is the strangeness of childhood–the uniqueness that makes us see things that other people don’t see.”
–Maurice Sendak

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
–Roald Dahl

Another Batch

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I’ve been producing a lot of cards. Here are some from the weekend. 

I cut up paintings a lot to make cards. I’ve done a lot of different paintings and they are mostly just sitting on a table in my art room. They look like this:

Call and Response: Pairs and Surprises

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the pebbles
rolling all over the place
always in pairs

come explore
the unexpected
wonders
“There is no rush”
magic
surprises
really just the beginning

Claudia McGill is calling:  time for another response.  This time I painted the junk mail, and then collaged.

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You can see other calls and responses here.

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A New Batch

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One thing I use and sell art-wise are my greeting cards. My supply was running low so I got the assembly line going: cut up the painting, rubber cement onto the blank cards, leave under a brick for a while and then draw some more on the image and outline. It’s very relaxing. 

Fox (?) Skull

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Found by my friend in Eagle Rock Reservation, he was kind enough to give it to me. As per the genius skull collector Alan Dudley (the book is Skulls by Simon Winchester gifted to me by Kerfe and an invaluable reference) I soaked the skull in a bucket for many weeks to clean it. At first I thought it looked like a large dog such as a Rottweiler. Now I think it is probably a wolf. 

Couple of close ups:

Parrot (Draw a Bird Day)

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Parroting

Language becoming
noise words without meaning
footnotes to the air

Answers taken given
traded for babble

Particles of lies shared
on repeat screeching
chaos manifested

I meant to write a quadrille (44 words) with the secret keeper’s words this week, but I wasn’t paying attention really, and the “6-5-6-5-6-5-6-5” I wrote down beside each line became syllables instead of words.  I also meant it to be more about the birds. I used all the words though!

Now to the subject at hand:  The parrot is painted with the new gouache I got for Christmas.  I wanted to do something bright and colorful to start, and a parrot seemed the perfect subject.

Parrots are symbolically associated with voices, words, communication, and the power of truth.  They do not keep secrets.  They are also linked to color magic.  And, like many birds, they serve as messengers between heaven and earth.

They are also endangered, due to habitat loss and the pet trade.  These intelligent sub-tropical birds can live 80-100 years; a pet parrot is a lifetime investment, requiring enormous amounts of attention, care, and intellectual stimulation to thrive.  Needless to say, both birds and humans are better served by leaving these social animals in their natural habitats, and protecting those habitats.