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Rosh Hoshana/weekend work

Today is Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year and beginning of the High Holy Days. We will spend the day quietly; it is a beautiful day and my husband and I will take a walk soon. I am fervently hoping for peace in our troubled nation and in the world.

I’ve been working on canvas board lately, using elements cut out of other (failed) paintings and creating collages. The boards take glue well and also gouache and acrylic paint. I showed the top one to a neighbor and she thought it looked like Alaska, so I gave it that title.

I hope everyone has a good week. Nina

9/11/2022

remember—(breathe)–
sky clear crisp blue–
time stands still once again–
ghostname voices–
bone rattled leaves–
bottomless sings the wind

I’ve rearranged some of my previous poetry from 9/11 into a Laurette poem for Muri’s scavenger hunt. Images also from past posts.

Just Fooling Around

I’ve been messing around with acrylic paint and just having fun. Here are a couple I’m still working on. The corn came about because I did some green and yellow paint streaks and they looked like corn on the cob.

Work in progress. Layering with acrylics is a definite plus. I think this has possibilities.

Perry chilling outside. It looks like it might rain. That would be good. Happy Labor Day. Nina

Labor Day Weekend 9/2/2022

Paterson Great Falls, an unusual view. I am obviously obsessed with this landmark of my hometown.

My switch from gouache to acrylic is going well. I bought a better set (Liquitex) with a lot of colors. Painting on the canvas board is a revelation after painting on a flimsy-ish black paper for a while.

It looks to be a good weekend here in Northern New Jersey. We need rain, though. Nina

Weekend Work 8/29/22

I’ve been painting with the acrylics on board. Kerfe gave me quite a few, in white and black. I’ve used the white ones and these are on black.

These feel very different from the gouache on black paper paintings. Acrylic is a pliable medium and is fun to play with. It can be layered well which works for me and the way I paint.

Have a good week! Nina

Passaic Falls, Paterson, NJ

This was fun to paint-so much so that I painted the same scene twice. I couldn’t decide which one I liked better.

The second one is a little more refined but the first one has more spontaneity and the falls look better. These are both acrylic painted on boards. It’s a nice change after painting on paper.

Another small board. The fish is cut out from something else.

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end. It’s been a good summer as I got to swim and to see my husband starting to heal and get back to himself.

Have a good week. Nina

Father’s Day weekend

We had a nice quiet weekend. My husband is doing better and we took a walk yesterday. This is my last week of Family Leave. It was good to take some time off and it helped a lot.

I posted this one last week but here it is finished. I’ve had more time for art lately. I have a few others started.

Have a good week! Nina

My Sister’s Birthday Weekend

Jane would have turned 69 yesterday, June 12, 2022. I love this picture of her in Greece, 1964, with my mom in dad in the rear and her friend next to her. This photo captured my sister’s essence: sassy, tall, good looking. All that and a bag of chips.

Jane in a contemplative mood. My sister was a smart and troubled young lady. In retrospect I believe she struggled with mental illness all her life. She had a lot of bad luck due to illness. A dancer, she began having terrible leg cramps around age 17. Later diagnosed as Myasthenia Gravis, the damage had been done to her body and it kept progressing.

Jane towards the end of her life. She was incapacitated to a great degree but never lost her inner spirit and great love of people. She helped many of Paterson’s children in her work on the child study team and always called them “my kids”. My sister is greatly missed.

I did some art work this weekend but I’m not sure these are finished. My new larger table area has made it much more convenient for working.

Have a good week! Nina

Thursday Doors: Zen Garden

the entrance is an enso  a glowing blue light
a form that contains nothing  inside of the whole
spirit absorbed by essence  emptied of ego
in silent simplicity  opening, complete

My younger daughter took a few days off from work before Memorial Day, and one of her requests was that I take her as my guest to early morning member hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which are on Thursdays from 9-10 am. I had told her and her sister about visiting the Winslow Homer exhibit that way.

One of her favorite places in the museum is the Zen Garden. It wasn’t open in the early hour, but even after the museum opened to the public at 10, we were able to visit without any crowding–it’s tucked away among the Asian art, and if you don’t know where to look, you probably only discover it by stumbling upon it. It’s a bright open empty room with a rocks and a koi pond with a waterfall on the edges.

I used to post about my museum visits a lot, and perhaps in the future I’ll do a post on the Homer exhibit and also the paintings of Louise Bourgeois which were inexplicably hard to find. We asked directions three times, and only found it by accident in the end. But that meant that only one other person was there so we could really look at the art.

The museum also has many wonderful doors and door-like structures, such as the tiled niche above.

My poem is in the Japanese imayo form, which consists of four 7/5 syllabic lines. There is a planned caesura (or pause) between the first 7 syllables and the final 5. Another feature of this form is that it makes three poems–the whole, and one each with the 7-syllable lines and the 5-syllable lines, similar to a cleave poem, except that somehow it seemed more natural to me and easier to construct. I’ve included the color blue for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #tastetherainbow prompt.

You can read more about the enso here.

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

Tiger Shrike (Draw a Bird Day)

the spirits of the places
I move through
appear as birds–

residents of sidewalks,
street trees, roofs, parks–
the spirits of the places

stopping me, waiting for me
to acknowledge them as
I move through

thinking of someone I’ve lost–
as if they had suddenly
appeared as a bird

It would be very unusual to spot a tiger shrike in New York City, as they reside in wooded habitats in eastern Asia, and are quite shy. But if you did, that would be the male with the mask. The female has more more subtle coloring, which makes the eye appear larger.

Like all shrikes, they used their sharp hooked beaks to impale their prey–insects, small birds, lizards, rodents. They are not considered threatened, although populations are declining.

My cascade is a (belated) response to Brendan’s discussion at earthweal about spirits of place. I’ve felt spirits in certain of my residences, although I haven’t stayed in many places long enough to establish a relationship. But everywhere I go in the city I find birds.

Birds are considered in many cultures to be a bridge between the human and spirit worlds. I know I’m not the only person who has wondered if someone I’m missing sometimes visits me in the form of a bird.