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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.

I

Galah Cockatoo (draw a bird day)

galah–
colorful clowns,
a loud mouthed gathering
of white crested coral–
life indwelling
wild, full

A Badger’s hexastitch for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday and Draw a Bird Day.

Galah cockatoos are native to Australia, where they live in large flocks on open grasslands feeding on seeds, berries and insects. But they also can be seen in urban settings, where their raucous calls and adaptations to human habitation are often considered nuisances. The word galah means fool or clown in the Aboriginal language of Yuwaalaraay and is used as such as a derogatory term in Australia (or so the internet tells me…any Australians reading this can confirm or deny)

Cockatoos are highly social and intelligent, and are bred and sold as pets. But these very traits make them not only very high maintenance, but possibly destructive and dangerous. I’ve written about this before–these animals should not be confined and separated from the flocks that are their natural social groups.

Atlantic Puffins (Draw a Bird Day)

Atlantic Puffins are seabirds that breed in large colonies on cliffs or offshore islands along the North Atlantic coast of both Europe and America.  When not breeding, they spend most of their time on the ocean.

Each time I look for information about the birds I draw, I find declining numbers, even if they are not yet endangered.  Habitat destruction.  Declining food sources.  Overhunting.

Puffins are no exception.  How to reverse these trends?

Crucial to finding the way is this:  there is no beginning or end.  No magic formula to suddenly turn things around.

It’s a process.  No moment exists when the fragility and interdependence of ecosystems reaches perfect balance, when humans can relax and ignore the repercussions of our behavior.  We must remain always aware, always learning, always willing to make necessary changes to insure continuity.  To keep the circle connected and alive.

I challenged myself to see if I could take Merril’s quote from Jo Harjo and do a prosery for dVerse. It actually fit the theme of Draw a Bird Day quite well.

“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

Here’s some information about Atlantic Puffins:
–Their wings become flippers underwater. They are excellent divers and can reach depths of 200 feet.
–The hinges on their beak allow them to carry several fish at once.
–They have been observed using sticks as tools.
–Their nicknames are sea parrot or clown of the sea. Puffin chicks are called pufflings.
–Puffin colonies are referred to as a burrow, a circus, or an improbability.
–Puffins mate for life and often return to the same nest or burrow. They lay a single egg which both parents brood for several months.
–They spend the winter on the open ocean, rarely returning to land.

cascade

falling
gravitating
sheer and continuous
sparkled currents rising
in reflection
flowing

A badger’s hexastitch for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt, the photo by Trent McDonald, below.

Trent’s photo made me think of all of Sue Vincent’s photo prompts, and all the watercolor mandalas I painted in response to her images. Thanks, Trent, for the equally magical landscape.

This badger’s hexastitch has a very cinquain-like feel to me–not intentional, but I think it works.

Poem up at the Ekphrastic Review

My prose poem Passing, inspired by “After the Storm”, by Istvan Farkas, below, is posted on The Ekphrastic Review today.

Picture

It was before and then it was after. The ground was reflected in the monochromatic sky, rising in the disappearing drizzle, held momentarily by the scattered light. The canopy could not be breached, not even by the unveiling here and now.

You can read the entire poem here.

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

Ibis (Draw a Bird Day)

ibis
graceful, silent
keeper and creator
measuring magic by the moon
Thothbird

For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice and for Draw a Bird Day, a didactic cinquian.

The Egyptian god Thoth was often represented as an ibis, or an ibis-headed man. Like the sacred ibis bird, he was associated with knowledge, wisdom and the moon, but also much more. Scribe to the gods, he taught men to write. He was the reckoner of time, “he who balances”, a scientist and magician.

Millions of ibis birds were mummified in Ancient Egypt as offerings to Thoth. The sacred ibis is now regionally extinct in Egypt, although it is still found in other Sub-Saharan African lands.

One species of ibis found in eastern American coastal regions is the glossy ibis. From a distance it appears to be a mostly uniform dark color, but close up its feathers become an iridescent rainbow.

Today is #WorldMigratoryBirdDay. The glossy ibis flocks that breed along the NE coast migrate to the Gulf of Mexico for wintering. As with all shore dependent migratory birds, saving our natural shorelines are one key to their survival.

Also linking to earthweal open link weekend.

when skies tendril (May 2021)

It’s May! I haven’t done any artwork for a month, having used art from the archives for my April NaPoWriMo posts at kblog. So it felt good yesterday to ignore the moving boxes and pull out my watercolors and paint. I did two paintings, below–a landscape and some impressionistic flowers.

I then cut them into one inch strips and wove them together for my grid. I also did some further experiments, cutting some of the strips into one inch squares and arranging them in different ways. But that’s for another day with more time to think.

The moon visited me at dawn yesterday. It was dancing with the clouds. The Oracle managed to insert it into my May verse. Well we know how She feels about the moon.

wild winds grow full
of flowers
listen to Maysongs
birds seeding spring air
with gardens rooted deep
in the fertile paths
that follow the wandering moon

Weekend work 4/26/2021

Kerfe likes my landscape. She saw this last week and wanted to see how it would come out. I’m not sure this one is done. I messed around with it a lot this weekend.

I messed a lot with this one too. Again, I don’t know if it’s done. Editing it on my iPhone, again, changes the color (well I manipulate the color). With all of these paintings I’d rather they be seen in person. I am happy to show them here and I appreciate the support of all who like and comment! Kerfe knew when we started this blog that it would be a good way to get our art there. Thank you all!

And have a good week. Nina

Eagle Owl (draw a bird day)

spread your wings
carry the night in
silent flight

The eagle owl is both one of the largest and longest-lived owls. With wing spans up to 6 feet, it has no natural predators, although it is sometimes mobbed by crows. The leading causes of death– electrocution, hunting, and poisoning–are man-made.

Nesting on cliffs or rocky outcrops, it has a wide distribution throughout Europe and Asia. I love its binomial name–Bubo Bubo.

Eagle owls are solitary, territorial, and nocturnal. They can more often be heard, having a large number of vocalizations, than seen.

For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice.

Finishing up a few paintings

Actually the two I posted last week. I’ll post them as the before and after just for kicks.

I messed with this one and wound up cutting it out and mounting it on another piece of black paper. It’s pretty wobbly. Even though I weigh these paintings down as I go this one has fabric and heavy painting on it.

The one I showed you last week and how it looks now. I spent a lot of time painting this weekend as well as starting to get my small yard cleaned up. As I’ve mentioned we have a beautiful copper beech tree and I spend many happy hours under it.

Have a good week! Nina