I came across a picture of Beethoven at age 13. It’s the earliest known image of him and I attempted to paint him. The music behind him is his piano sonata Op.14, No.2, which I studied and enjoy playing.
Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn-on-Rhine. His musical education began at age four, taught by his father. At eight he played the violin well; at eleven he played Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. His career is well known. There’s a great app available of his magnificent Ninth Symphony, with four versions of it each with a different conductor. You can scroll and see the different instrument parts playing. It’s very cool. 20,000 people attended his funeral and I would have been one of them. I’m a fan!
The task of
the basket: calling
together with messages
condensed into song.
plant wandering seeds,
the dropped lines
into fertilized pockets,
bringing roots to light.
Cut loose but
not lost. Walking on
Today would have been Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday. I’m pleased to have my drawing and poem included in the anthology celebration “Ella @ 100” .
“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”
Happy Birthday Ella.
in my mind
always a surprise seen
It may or may not still be Selfie Day, but I’ve been trying to get a portrait done for the 23rd of each month for my 100 Self Portrait series. I’m on to a new artist to imitate, Paul Klee. This is probably the most abstracted one I’ve done so far–I did my usual mirror pencil sketch and then smoothed it out to imitate Klee’s painting. I think it still bears a strange resemblance somehow.
And of course I had to ask the Magnetic Oracle for commentary.
Fool (almost me)
I am almost me
listening to colors breathe
red blue rhythm
born from liquid joy
As these windows open
who will fool
this naked heart?
And I actually managed to do the NaPoWriMo prompt today: an elevenie poem.
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.
the world is flat and old
and yet it reels
my brain throbs silver gold
just like dead air
it isn’t there
this heat grows ever cold
in pulsing swells
a taunting hell
an absence that won’t hold
Long ago and far away, Jane Dougherty posed her next-to-last poetry challenge, “Painful Silence”, with this evocative migrane-inspired image:
The end of September was right when Nina and I began our break and it took me several weeks to complete the embroidered collage. The repetition of stitching is very satisfying and a good antidote to agitation for me though. So it worked on many levels.
I did Jane’s final poetry challenge too; to be posted at some future date.
I’ve been wanting to do some printing, and since Vanessa Bell, my current artist reference in “100 Self Portraits”, did woodcuts as illustrations for many of her sister Virginia Woolf’s books, I had the perfect excuse. I used one of the prints that I embellished with paint and embroidery for “Straw Hat”, but here’s the original print in two versions with the print from Bell that I used as a reference.
Of course, I can never leave well enough alone. So I painted, embroidered, and collaged on some of the prints I made.
I also have another embroidery idea that I haven’t had time to do yet. It’s on the list.
You can see all of the self-portraits in this series here.
Places Filled (for Sharon Jones)
It hurts. There’s
something just beyond.
Slow it down.
I’m still here.
Got to be the way it is.
I’m not gonna cry.
I learned the hard way.
Sing and be
You’ve got to believe. Freedom
come. Come sing me home.
Words taken from the legacy of the music of Sharon Jones
New York is cold (for Leonard Cohen)
traces sing now?
a voice leaving footprints
on fragments, in absence, ghost path
Beware of Darkness (for Leon Russell)
Trace your voice, gone silent now. No words,
a path unforked, a place untimed.
I’m singing this song, now, to
you. Sounds falling alone,
sense without context.
It was a bad week. When I did these paintings, it was with trepidation, as I hadn’t picked up a brush in quite awhile. But it was easy to get lost in the doing and felt good.
The poems use the secret keeper’s prompts from October 17 (#59):
GONE – SENSE – TRACE – VOICE – PATH
I’ve got folders containing a lot of the WordPress prompts from the past 2 months, although after the first 2 weeks I didn’t do much with them except write some poems, now in a folder marked “needs art”. I’m working on it.