Sagacious Serendipity – folded message

 

folded messagefolded

 

A working studio becomes layered with a deep and wondrous treasure trove of raw material. When I become a camera the possibilities of framing chance encounters with surreal and inspiring compositions are limitless. This series shares my captures of random juxtapositions that caught my eye. Some I may use as source ideas for painting, but all are complete in themselves as examples of sagacious serendipity.

The scraps of writing and doodles are taken from my version of a sketchbook which consists of bits of paper I scribble on as I moodle around the studio.

Sagacious Serendipity – VERN

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vernA working studio becomes layered with a deep and wondrous treasure trove of raw material. When I become a camera the possibilities of framing chance encounters with surreal and inspiring compositions are limitless. This series shares my captures of random juxtapositions that caught my eye. Some I may use as source ideas for painting, but all are complete in themselves as examples of sagacious serendipity.

The scraps of writing and doodles are taken from my version of a sketchbook which consists of bits of paper I scribble on as I moodle around the studio.

 

Blog Tour!

magical_mystery_tour_bus

 

I have been greatly honoured by a nomination from Ina (http://inaweblogisback.wordpress.com/ ) to participate in the Blog Tour. This is a journey through the blogs of poets in which each writer shares his or her insights into the hows and whys of their work.

I admire and have been deeply inspired by Ina’s poetry so for me this nomination is akin to being invited to leave the sand box and go skinny-dipping with the big kids.

The process of participation is to answer four questions and to nominate other poets.

 1. Why do I write what I write?

I am a visual artist as well as a poet but wrote ‘poetry’ long before I made art. I still have poems I wrote as a teenager in England, endearing and precious to me but too embarrassing to share. I wanted then to be a writer but was discouraged. In the 1970s, after coming to live in Canada, I lived communally with visual and performing artists and writers. Their energy and work inspired me again to create. I began to tentatively write again and, for the first time make art. Many years later I studied visual art seriously, taking my BFA and teaching degree at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Throughout this time I continued to write, most often inspired by the intense emotions of relationships, the challenges of poverty and hard times and occasionally by my art. I discovered that the poetic form of expression came more easily to me than prose and danced well with my painting. A 25-year career teaching art and raising a family took a toll on personal creative work and it wasn’t until I retired that I once more had the luxury of time to write and paint with any viable focus. Deep relationships, love and the loss of love through divorce and other agonies, existential questions and the paradox of spirit continue to inspire my writing. However, it wasn’t until I began blogging on Word Press that my art and poetry began to fuse. I now consider them to be almost a single entity.

2. What is my writing process?

Sometimes my art evokes the poem, sometimes the other way around. I work hard at both as I wasn’t born with inherent talent for either. On rare occasions an artwork or poem seems to slide effortlessly into existence but mostly I struggle/dance to reach an expression that resonates with integrity in head and heart.

For many years I needed the tangible reassurance of pen and paper to write. I still need to get my hands dirty making art, however, I now mostly compose poems directly onto my laptop. I enjoy the ease of editing on screen rather than scratching out and rewriting on paper. The work I publish in my posts I then save in the blog page I have created for this. But I write much that I don’t publish on the blog, very personal poems to people who are close to me.

I am an owl by nature and the moon is my mistress. My time is my own now and I like the silence and mood of deep night. This is my creative time.

3. How does my work differ from other genres?

I never consciously follow any form, classical or otherwise. I write as I paint, intuitively and open to the whisperings of the muse. However, having said that I admit that after the first draft given by the gods I read my words over and over, usually out loud, because I honour the tradition of poetry as spoken word. If it doesn’t sound right to me I rewrite and rewrite until it does. I have no formal background in poetry as I do in visual art. I confess that I often feel I am forever a beginner when I read the accomplished poems of writers I admire. But a beginner’s mind is not such a bad thing and I continue to grow. I do what I do because I must, as I must breathe and love and feel.

A dear poet friend recently wrote this about my writing:

“I admire that you so unabashedly put yourself out there. ….. It’s like it pours from the well of whatever is going on in your life and this is your language…rough, refined, complicated, colourful, lyrical, chaotic, luminous, dark…”

It is words like this that inspire and balance me and remind me that I am heard and do touch others. This is my genre and my passion.

 4. What am I working on at the moment?

I have exhibited and sold my art but have never published. I have long contemplated putting together a book of my art and poems, hard copy or eBook. I slowly play around with the idea of this. I wander out there on the web looking for a shining portal but always get lost in the jungle. I understand that I need to work towards this on my own in a real way before I can submit to anywhere. I have developed enough confidence in my work through feedback from blogging and other friends to consider this as a possibility, now I just need to do the legwork. Meanwhile I paint and write with my next shared post in mind. My art and poems are born from love, a belief that magic is real and that anything is possible.

I initially hesitated at paying this forward as it reminded me of the blog award system that I abandoned some time ago. However, this is not an award, subtly different yes, but different enough for me to feel okay about the following nominations. In fact I am proud to share these poets who have filled my heart and head with sensuality, deep feeling, fascination, wonder and inspiration.

My nominees for this Blog Tour are five poets I admire very much. They are all very different in their approach to poetry. They may or may not choose to continue the Tour. I hope they do accept but in the end I understand that this is not what it is all about.

 Carl, brilliant writer and poet sharing his dark challenges with words that pierce to the bone.

http://stillfugue.com/

Ese, Empress of haiku, Priestess of sensual writing, Queen of the camera.

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com

Jana, gentle explorer of who we are and why. Sensitive poetic and philosophical wanderings through deepest essence.

http://poetryoflight.org/

 Mari, voice of profound and masterful poetic expression. Metaphorical searchings into the very heart of what it is to be human, in words and art.

http://starsrainsunmoon.com/

Steven, amazing poet, artist, film maker…unique approach to combining words and images within the limitations of a blog…dream weaver.

http://poemimage.wordpress.com

Invitation to Play 5

invitation to play

Well my friends, as Robert suggested I have captained the ship and tonight I bring it into its final dock…

Invitation 5

…and I am surprised as anyone with the results. I have been laughing all the way through the final stages. The Joker Muse was certainly present as I fine tuned our painting.

I began by adding Steven’s suggestion of  scales on the mermaid-like figure on the right. Then I enhanced the small face at top left a little – Marina’s suggestion. Neither of these details are easy to see even when you click to enlarge. I also enhanced the face and upper torso of the ‘mermaid.’ I did this very intuitively and was amused at her expression and her ending up with three breasts. Enter Joker Muse.

All that remained was resolving the mystery of the central green area. I saw nothing I could expand on despite your evocative suggestions. As I often do in such a situation I layered, with darker and lighter, swirled in some lines, always ‘listening’ visually  to what the painting was saying to me. Suddenly the face you see appeared. I accepted it and went with it although its humour was the last thing I expected. I added ‘scales’ to the left side, fish-like protuberance from the head to connect to the ‘mermaid’s’ scales, also difficult to see on screen. The humorous, lustful look of the green face toward the ‘mermaid’ was never planned, just happened…the influence of the Joker Muse. So there it is, and who am I to judge what the painting wants to be?

No doubt, this process could continue, but as captain I am saying we are home, with laughter and relief that ‘all’s well that ends well.’ Nothing wrong with a touch of humour in art even though more profound results were anticipated.

I thank you all sincerely for your wonderful and willing participation in this ‘Invitation to Play’ series…it has been a fun and rewarding experience for me and I hope it has been also for you.

I am ending with a brief  gallery showing the process of this communal painting from beginning to end:

For the concept behind this challenge please see ‘Invitation to Play 1′.

The ‘Invitation to Play‘ painting is a found image photographed in a local park in East Vancouver. I don’t know the artist but will credit you if you contact me. I thank you for inspiring the title for this post.

Invitation to Play 4

invitation to play

From your suggestions and ideas I have worked to strengthen and bring out the forms in the painting.

Invitation 4

The process to date:

Ina suggested drawing in black and I have done this in a few places, to emphasize details and introduce some new elements.

I followed Robert’s idea to create more structure using Burnt Sienna and or Raw Umber. I applied both on the circular form and the emerging form on the right. He also suggested I consider evoking a portrait and or figure. I painted with this in mind and I think you can see the results…not realistic but rather a loose, ambiguous hint.

Steven’s central black rod…a simple application with interesting results.

Carl’s ‘ochre gold’ for top right corner, to reflect same on bottom and left side of arc is done, although this colour on the arc has now been covered.

Babajij’s Purple micro dot has been placed but it is difficult to see on screen. It is in the eye of the bird-like figure.

This stage of the process was clearly about establishing and defining form and I believe this has happened, however strange those forms may be. I made many intuitive changes to help in this process: Lightening Ina’s reds and pulling them around the composition – Seeing and bringing out faces in the bird-like figure – Playing with the undefined possibilities on the right by layering, adding linear elements and shaping with Red until this somewhat puzzling figure emerged – Toning and increasing intensity of all colours.

I made a couple of very small changes to the central mystery but its secret remains unrevealed.

I think we are now one or two posts away from completion. Fine tuning is needed next.

I welcome your comments on what we have created together so far and also ask  for your suggestions and ideas for fine tuning any section of this work.

Thank you as always for your participation…the game continues…

For the concept behind this challenge please see ‘Invitation to Play 1′.

The ‘Invitation to Play‘ painting is a found image photographed in a local park in East Vancouver. I don’t know the artist but will credit you if you contact me. I thank you for inspiring the title for this post.

Invitation to Play 3

invitation to play

Still far from resolution and quite rough but here it is as it stands right now.

invitation 3

The process to date:

Steven suggested adding white but gave no details, so I applied it with a palette knife, to top left, top right and around the circular form.

Jana suggested a mix of Burnt Sienna with Ultra Marine Blue applied in the top left quadrant with a palette knife. I obviously used more blue than sienna. The resulting triangular form felt too isolated so I continued it around the circle. I then began building onto the right hand whites using some blues along with touches of colours already used. I ragged in more yellow and strengthened some of the reds. I layered all of this a number of times, putting on and taking off with a palette knife and sometimes wet rags.

The central area remains a mystery to be solved and has also lost some of its previous dominance.

The painting has gained a little more composition and form and we are now at Stage 3:

Once again I ask you for your suggestions, especially for the emerging forms, but also for colour, application techniques and general direction.

Thank you as always for your participation…the game continues…

For the concept behind this challenge please see ‘Invitation to Play 1′.

The ‘Invitation to Play‘ painting is a found image photographed in a local park in East Vancouver. I don’t know the artist but will credit you if you contact me. I thank you for inspiring the title for this post.

Invitation to Play 2.2

invitation to play

Layers 3 and 4 of the four colour requests submitted for Stage 1.

First up is Ina’s layer 3 Red applied with a wide wet brush:

Ina's Red

As always I grow attached to each layer and want to keep it, or at least leave much of it revealed as I apply the next layer. I admit I was carried away with Ina’s red and regret not leaving more of layer 2 showing through. I tried to recover it by scrubbing with water but had left it too late, acrylics dry fast. But no matter, each successive layer is made richer by what went before.

Second is Robert’s layer 4 Cad Lemon Yellow, rubbed in with a rag and scraped with a palette knife.

Rob's Yellow

When I applied Robert’s yellow I found myself entering the next phase of the painting, Stage 2, beginning to introduce composition and form. I didn’t mean to engage in this so early but it just wanted to be there. I don’t usually like to center the focus of the work, preferring to place it to one side or the other for a stronger composition; however, wanting to preserve the top center turquoise area led to this somewhat symmetrical arrangement.

So something is emerging although still rough and as yet, unresolved. Which leads us to Stage 2.

Stage 2 from you: As communal participants I ask that you now look at what’s happened to date. I welcome your comments but also am soliciting your suggestions, without which this process will grind to a halt. I need you to suggest how I might proceed from here. I understand this is not as easy as Stage 1.

Ask yourself...what do I see and how can my vision be made more tangible?

Ask yourself...which colours and forms might be made more important and which less important?

Ask yourself…should more colours or black or white be added and where?

As before I will act on the first 3 or 4 suggestions received. Thank you very much for your support, thoughts and ideas.

For the concept behind this challenge please see ‘Invitation to Play 1′.

The ‘Invitation to Play‘ painting is a found image photographed in a local park in East Vancouver. I don’t know the artist but will credit you if you contact me. I thank you for inspiring the title for this post.

Invitation to Play 2.1

invitation to play

The first two layers of the four colour requests submitted. Photo #1 is Sam’s turquoise applied with a sponge:

DSC07794As often happens after I apply the foundation layer of any painting I wanted to keep it and say, well that’s it then…perfect…nothing else needed. I liked this layer a lot and had to let go of that precious possessiveness in order to proceed, take the risk. This layer applied with very wet sponge, apply and let dry, 5 or 6 applications. I love the way the washes found their own formations of light and dark tones.

Photo #2 is Gary’s layer, teal with burnt and raw sienna.

DSC07798Gary requested ‘random swirls with fingers and brush’. I applied the teal first with a fat wet brush swirling with loose and dancing arm movements. When dry I placed small heaps of burnt and raw sienna onto canvas and using my fingers spread them out in random circles adding water to thin and increase coverage. I also scratched swirls into the paint with my fingernails.

Tonight I will be adding Ina’s red and my only concern about this is that the resulting red and green combination will look too Christmasy. After Ina’s red I will apply Robert’s yellow and then post the results. Two things I’m enjoying in this challenge so far are using colours I wouldn’t have thought to use together and the surrendering to others of a certain amount of decision making.

The painting is in early stages yet but I am interested in your comments as I will be all the way to the end.

For the concept behind this challenge please see ‘Invitation to Play 1′.

The ‘Invitation to Play‘ painting is a found image photographed in a local park in East Vancouver. I don’t know the artist but will credit you if you contact me. I thank you for inspiring the title for this post.

‘The 100′ #87 – Mezcal Mi Amigo

Tequila Sprite

He is the cover of my book.

His signs are enigmatic,

an ancient coupling

of plant and earth.

He is mystery and music.

He dances me through nights

when muses fail and

desolation sucks my soul.

He is companion, comfort

and consolation

when my love is far away.

He is the desert sun

when light is quenched

by rain drenched days.

He fills me with fire,

when icy winter

clenches bones.

He calls to me

from white beaches,

streets of coloured heat,

and flowering Jacaranda trees.

He is illusion and magic

leaping from reality to dream

and back again.

I know him as trickster,

magician and friend.

Like a woman he caresses me

inside and out.

Like a woman he comes and goes

with the ocean moon.

I hold him inside my blood

as I would hold the one I love,

drinking his fragrance,

inhaling his deep intoxication

on unshared pillows

of a bed too wide.

Painting and poem by clinock.

‘The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of text based art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.

Dual

Duel

It’s a fast and frantic dance

around the corpus collosum

these days -

a crowded floor,

confused music,

stumbling movement,

crushed toes and egos.

Always has been this way

I guess and

always will?

Spinning yins and

gesticulating yangs

yelling and threatening.

Black versus white.

Frolic becomes fight,

man and woman,

ideologies,

church and state,

hate,

woman and woman,

man and man,

the loss of love,

war.

What if the gods lay down

and slept it off?

What if the waltz

was more fascinating

than the weapon?

What if a vast silence

descended

and everyone

took the day off

and listened

in quietude

to what one other person

wished to say?

The world continues

to turn gracefully.

It is only the animal

who-man who

is too clumsy

and deaf with self

to follow the music

of the spheres.

Get down

and boogie

the night

away –

it takes two

to -

and more.

And many more

equals

peace.

Poem and Acrylic painting on canvas. 20″ x 30″ by clinock.