Collected Works

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The Colour of Water

From Famous Poets and Poems:

Though the great Waters sleep, by Emily Dickinson:

Though the great Waters sleep,
That they are still the Deep,
We cannot doubt --
No vacillating God
Ignited this Abode
To put it out --

SPIRIT SONG OVER THE WATERS. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

THE soul of man
Resembleth water:
From heaven it cometh,
To heaven it soareth.
And then again
To earth descendeth,
Changing ever.

Down from the lofty
Rocky wall
Streams the bright flood,
Then spreadeth gently
In cloudy billows
O'er the smooth rock,
And welcomed kindly,
Veiling, on roams it,
Soft murmuring,
Tow'rd the abyss.

Cliffs projecting
Oppose its progress,--
Angrily foams it
Down to the bottom,
Step by step.

Now, in flat channel,
Through the meadowland steals it,
And in the polish'd lake
Each constellation
Joyously peepeth.

Wind is the loving
Wooer of waters;
Wind blends together
Billows all-foaming.

Spirit of man,
Thou art like unto water!
Fortune of man,
Thou art like unto wind!

1789.*

Trouthe

From the Poetry Foundation:

Truth
BY GEOFFREY CHAUCER

Fle fro the pres, and dwelle with sothefastnesse,
Suffise thin owen thing, thei it be smal;
For hord hath hate, and clymbyng tykelnesse,
Prees hath envye, and wele blent overal.
Savour no more thanne the byhove schal;
Reule weel thiself, that other folk canst reede;
And trouthe schal delyvere, it is no drede.

      Tempest the nought al croked to redresse,
In trust of hire that tourneth as a bal.
Myche wele stant in litel besynesse;
Bywar therfore to spurne ayeyns an al;
Stryve not as doth the crokke with the wal.
Daunte thiself, that dauntest otheres dede;
And trouthe shal delyvere, it is no drede.

      That the is sent, receyve in buxumnesse;
The wrestlyng for the worlde axeth a fal.
Here is non home, here nys but wyldernesse.
Forth, pylgryme, forth! forth, beste, out of thi stal!
Know thi contré! loke up! thonk God of al!
Hold the heye weye, and lat thi gost the lede;
And trouthe shal delyvere, it is no drede.

      Therfore, thou Vache, leve thine olde wrechednesse;
Unto the world leve now to be thral.
Crie hym mercy, that of hys hie godnesse
Made the of nought, and in espec{.i}al
Draw unto hym, and pray in general
For the, and eke for other, hevenelyche mede;
And trouthe schal delyvere, it is no drede.

Lessedra2016

These are my entries for the 2016 Lessedra Painting/Mixed Media Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria. I mailed them off this morning - which was the last date of acceptance for postmarked entries!!! Under the wire but I made it - whew!

Left image is titled: Evolve

Middle:  Transpire

Right:  Unfold

For information on this competition please look to the link that can be found on my main page.

Dream

The Dream Vision - Goucher College Faculty:

        The typical dream vision is a medieval work of literature which takes advantage of medieval dream psychology's acceptance of the notion that some types of dreams could communicate wisdom to the dreamer. The source of this dream might be God (a truly prognostic "visio"), the devil (sometimes a form of sexual temptation like an incubus or succubus), or natural causes. Typically, the dream vision occurs in a predictable series of stages:

1) the dreamer falls asleep in the midst of some life crisis or emotional impasse;

2) the dreamer, almost always a male, finds himself in a beautiful natural place (locus amoenus), often an enclosed garden filled with beautiful plants, animals, etc. (hortus conclusus);

3) the dreamer encounters a guide figure who instructs the dreamer and/or leads the dreamer to one or more allegorical visions;

4) the dreamer may interrogate the guide figure about the significance of the visions, but often this does not produce satisfactory results;

5) something within the dream causes the dreamer to awaken before the full significance of the dream can be explained, though the audience is left with a few highly likely choices which are likely to stimulate debate about important cultural values that are in contention or undergoing change.

     Parliament of Foules, Book of the Duchess, and House of Fame, are Chaucer's surviving "dream visions."  He may have written more because this genre was as popular in Chaucer's era as "reality TV shows" in our own, or "film noir detective movies" in the 1950s, or Shakespearian tragedies in the 1600s. The genre faded out in the Renaissance, but it was well-known enough for all the great poets of Chaucer's era to try their hands at it. The dream vision Pearl was one of five long poems known to us in a single surviving manuscript by the anonymous "Pearl-Poet" (AKA "Gawain-Poet" depending on which of the biggest of the five poems critics like most). William Langland, who also lived at the same time as Chaucer and "Pearl-Poet," confined his entire lifetime poetic output to a single, immense and immensely complex poem known as The Dream of Piers the Plowman.  The oldest dream visions were Latin poems like Cicero's Somnium Scipionis ("The Dream of Scipio"), in which the younger Roman politician, Scipio, dreams he is visited and instructed by his ancestor, Scipio Africanis, who defeated Hannibal of Carthage. (Cicero's version was lost until its rediscovery late in the Renaissance, but a later version by Macrobius survived, and it was Macrobius' retelling of Cicero's tale that Chaucer knew.) That poem introduces a special feature of dream visions not shared by many medieval versions, "the soul flight," in which the guide figure takes the dreamer into the heavens from which they can contemplate the entirety of human and divine existence. It's a breath-taking strategy, and one which is used in Boccaccio's Il Teseide (source of Chaucer's "Knight's Tale") and given by Chancer to the hero of the Troilus.

       Interpretive approaches to the dream vision have become considerably more complex since Constance Hieatt's early attempt to discover the authors' motivations in covert political messages or social commentary.  The "vision" creates a wonderfully complex aesthetic event that suffers from "reductive" criticism that argues authors cast their poems as dreams only to avoid social or political persecution for commenting on highly charged topics.  Certainly this can happen, but it hardly explains the enormous density and layering of the most complex poems, like Chaucer's "The Book of the Duchess," Langland's "Piers Plowman," or the Pearl-Poet's "Pearl."  For instance, Chaucer embeds his visions within other visions, multiplies "guide figures," and develops both the "Dreamer" and the "guide" personae until they approach what E.M. Forster called "roundness," the illusion of realness.  Langland's Dreamer undergoes dreams within dreams, witnesses mystery-play-like pageants within dreams, and angrily disputes the meaning of his dreams within the dream.  The Pearl-Poet's Dreamer and guide figures may be the most subtly layered of all, transforming their paired identities from jeweler-and-lost-gem to parent-and-lost-child to body-and-lost-soul to . . . something else, as the stanza groups work out their intricate mathematical schemes and the poem's content plunges toward the central mysteries of human existence.  Though these poems pre-date Freud and Jung by four centuries, they often suggest psychoanalytic insights about personality, psychic defenses, self-delusions and self-discoveries which Freudian and Jungian interpretation seek to explain.

Blue Pearl

If you Google 'blue pearl' you get a lot of hits....mortgage companies/cartoon characters/bands/animal hospitals/etc.

If you hit on 'blue pearl meditation' the Times of India states:

Despite it being tiny, the Blue Pearl is the seed that contains the entire universe. It represents the supra-causal body through which the supra-causal state of consciousness is experienced. It moves like lightening and the seeker can see it emerging from the eyes with rapid speed. Blue Pearl is the vehicle through which the soul leaves the body after death and travels to different astral zones, depending upon one's stage of spiritual evolution.
Swami Muktananda says: "One day, after the Blue Pearl has remained steady for a long time, it will expand infinitely, and its light will fill the universe. Then, with intense wonder, you will see that the whole universe is shimmering and scintillating with the Blue Light. You will realise that you yourself are that light, and the feeling of smallness will vanish once and for all".

We live in a fascinating world.

Structure & Structure 2

Absolute amazement at the architecture of nests and webs and twig junctures and naturally congregated flotsam and jetsum that surround our every days, if we are lucky enough to see them and pay attention. Small miracles of natural invention.

These are two separate pieces that are both structures and correspond together as well as stand alone.

Arrangement

Wiki says (in regards to a musical arrangement):

In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work.[1] It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging differs from orchestration in that the latter process is limited to the assignment of notes to instruments for performance by an orchestra, concert band, or other musical ensemble. Arranging "involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings.... Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety".

Dictionary definition of the word as a whole:

noun

1.
the action, process, or result of arranging or being arranged.
"the arrangement of the furniture in the room"
synonyms: positioning, disposition, order, presentation, display; More
a thing that has been arranged in a neat or attractive way.
"flower arrangements"
2.
plans or preparations for a future event.
"all the arrangements for the wedding were made"
an agreement with someone.
"the travel agents have an arrangement with the hotel"
synonyms: agreement, deal, understanding, bargain, settlement, pact, modus vivendi
"we had an arrangement"
3.
MUSIC
a composition adapted for performance with different instruments or voices than those originally specified.
"Mozart's symphonies in arrangements for cello and piano"
synonyms: adaptation, orchestration, instrumentation
"an arrangement of Beethoven's symphonies"
4.
archaic
a settlement of a dispute or claim.

Outburst

a sudden release of strong emotion

a sudden outbreak of a particular activity

a volcanic eruption

a sudden emission of energy or particles

A Little Piece of Theatre

This is my chair for "Take A Seat for Habitat" 2016. 100% of the funds from this auction go to Habitat.

I believe 33 artists were invited to volunteer their talents which will be on view at the Mayfair Mall August 13 - 26 - more information can be viewed on the Habitat website:

http://www.habitatvictoria.com

I chose to do a little theatre piece in the vein of what I used to do quite a few years ago - that is, paint sets for the Oak Bay High Community Theatre Society.

Is this scene a simple romance....two goldfish; one male, one female...he's handsome, she's beautiful....all alone in the pool in an idyllic setting...violins please... OR is it a Thriller? Two simple goldfish alone in a pool with no means of protection whilst Morning Glory insipidly shows her seemingly open and tranquil face when Da Nah! Da Nah! Da Nahhhhhhh! her tentacles reach out and they are never seen again.....? Either way it is a fun little theatre piece and I hope it gains Habitat a few dollars!

Complicated

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Poems and Prose Poems of Charles
Baudelaire, by Charles Baudelaire.

Two poems from this EBook:

WHAT IS TRUTH?

I once knew a certain Benedicta whose presence ailed the air with the ideal and whose eyes spread abroad the desire of grandeur, of beauty, of glory, and of all that makes man believe in immortality.

But this miraculous maiden was too beautiful for long life, so she died soon after I knew her first, and it was I myself who entombed her, upon a day when spring swung her censer even in the burial-ground. It was I myself who entombed her, fast closed in a coffin of perfumed wood, as uncorruptible as the coffers of India.

And, as my eyes rested upon the spot where my treasure lay hidden, I became suddenly aware of a little being who singularly resembled the dead; and who, stamping the newly-turned earth with a curious and hysterical violence, burst into laughter, and said: "It is I, the true Benedicta! It is I, the notorious drab! As the punishment of your folly and blindness you shall love me as I truly am."

But I, furious, replied: "No!" The better to emphasise my refusal I struck the ground so violently with my foot that my leg was thrust up to the knee in the recent grave, and I, like a wolf in a trap, was caught perhaps for ever in the Grave of the Ideal.

INTOXICATION.

One must be for ever drunken: that is the sole question of importance. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time that bruises your shoulders and bends you to the earth, you must be drunken without cease. But how? With wine, with poetry, with virtue, with what you please. But be drunken. And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, on the green grass by a moat, or in the dull loneliness of your chamber, you should waken up, your intoxication already lessened or gone, ask of the wind, of the wave, of the star, of the bird, of the timepiece; ask of all that flees, all that sighs, all that revolves, all that sings, all that speaks, ask of these the hour; and wind and wave and star and bird and timepiece will answer you: "It is the hour to be drunken! Lest you be the martyred slaves of Time, intoxicate yourselves, be drunken without cease! With wine, with poetry, with virtue, or with what you will."

Cocktail Party

Part of the "Painting on the Edge" show at the Federation Gallery (Canadian Federation of Artists) August 16 - Sept. 4, 2016

Cocktail Party Selective Attention Predilection Self-Absorption Manipulation Missing the Beat.
Tuning our attention to just one voice from the multitude.
The Cocktail Party Effect.
Tuning in the Single Voice and Tuning out the Others.
Immediate detection of matters of Importance
Your own name.
Singular attention to a detail while missing all the rest.
Isolation.

From PsyBlog:

'For psychologists the ‘cocktail party effect’ is our impressive and under-appreciated ability to tune our attention to just one voice from a multitude. At a party when bored with our current conversational partner — and for the compulsive eavesdropper — allowing the aural attention to wander around the room is a handy trick.

Perhaps only the most recidivist eavesdroppers are aware how special this ability is. But even they might be surprised — and worried — by just how much we can miss in the voices we decide to tune out.'

Wiki's interpretation of the Cocktail Party Effect:

'The cocktail party effect is the phenomenon of being able to focus one's auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room.[1][2] This effect is what allows most people to "tune into" a single voice and "tune out" all others. It may also describe a similar phenomenon that occurs when one may immediately detect words of importance originating from unattended stimuli, for instance hearing one's name in another conversation.[3][4]'

T.S. Eliot wrote his play The Cocktail Party in 1948.

Wiki says: '.....The play starts out seeming to be a light satire of the traditional British drawing room comedy. As it progresses, however, the work becomes a darker philosophical treatment of human relations. As in many of Eliot's works, the play uses absurdist elements to expose the isolation of the human condition. In another recurring theme of Eliot's plays, the Christian martyrdom of the mistress character is seen as a sacrifice that permits the predominantly secular life of the community to continue.'

Wiki definition of Cocktail Party:

'A cocktail party is a party at which cocktails are served. It is sometimes called a cocktail reception. A cocktail party organized for purposes of social or business networking is called a mixer.

A cocktail hour is sometimes used by managers of hotels and restaurants as a means of attracting patrons between 4 pm and 6 pm.

Some events, such as wedding receptions, are preceded by a cocktail hour. During the cocktail hour, guests socialize while drinking and eating appetizers. Organizers of these events use the cocktail hour to occupy guests between related events and to reduce the number of guests who arrive late.

Although it has been said that the inventor of the cocktail party was Alec Waugh of London,[1] an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press in May 1917 credited its invention to a certain Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr. of St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Walsh invited 50 guests to her house on a Sunday at high noon for a one-hour affair. "The party scored an instant hit," the newspaper declared, and stated that within weeks cocktail parties had become "a St. Louis institution".[2] It is however unlikely such an obscure individual could be the progenitor of the cocktail party.

Alec Waugh noted that the first cocktail party in England was hosted in 1924 by war artist Christopher Nevinson.' 

Closet

From the Oxford Dictionary:

NOUN

1. chiefly North American, A cupboard or wardrobe, especially one tall enough to walk into

2. used to reveal a state of secrecy.....

ADJECTIVE

secret; covert

VERB

shut (someone) away, especially in private conference or study

ORIGIN

late Middle English (denoting a private or small room): from Old French, diminutive of clos 'closed' (see close1).

Bouquet

The subject and context of this piece are self-explanatory....a blaze of bouquet...bouquet blaze.

Window

Windows

By Charles Baudelaire – Translated by Aleister Crowley

Whoso looks from without into an open window
never sees so much as he looks at a closed window.
There is nothing more profound, more mysterious,
more fertile, more darksome, more dazzling, than
a window lighted by a candle.

Beyond the waves of roof I see a woman, middle
aged, already wrinkled, poor, always bending. She
never goes out. With her face, her clothing, her
gesture - almost nothing - I have reconstructed
the story of this woman - or rather her legend, and
sometimes I tell it to myself, and weep.

If it had been a poor old man, I could have recon-
structed his history just as easily.

And I lie down to sleep, proud of having lived and
suffered in others.

Perhaps you will say to me “Are you sure that your
fairy tale is true?”

What does outside reality matter to me, if my
imagination has helped me to live, to feel what
I am?

Note:
This translation was originally published in the
December 1915 edition of Vanity Fair.

From the Poetry Foundation:
Charles Baudelaire
1821–1867
Charles Baudelaire is one of the most compelling poets of the nineteenth century. While Baudelaire's contemporary Victor Hugo is generally—and sometimes regretfully—acknowledged as the greatest of nineteenth-century French poets, Baudelaire excels in his unprecedented expression of a complex sensibility and of modern themes within structures of classical rigor and technical artistry. Baudelaire is distinctive in French literature also in that his skills as a prose writer virtually equal his ability as a poet.

Water

Water, is taught by thirst. by Emily Dickinson

Water, is taught by thirst.
Land -- by the Oceans passed.
Transport -- by throe --
Peace -- by its battles told --
Love, by Memorial Mold --
Birds, by the Snow.

Midnight

A Clear Midnight - Walt Whitman

THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
lovest best.
Night, sleep, death and the stars.
 

From poets.org:

"This final poem in the section “From Noon to Starry Night” in the seventh edition of Leaves of Grass (1881), is, in the words of Edward Hirsch, “about releasing the soul back into the universe.” Hirsch, who has defined a poem as “a soul in action through words," connects Whitman’s poem with the essay "The Poet" by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a mentor of Whitman’s: “Here we find ourselves suddenly, not in a critical speculation, but in a holy place, and should go very warily and reverently.”

Momentum

Mass in motion.The strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes...The impetus gained by a moving object or idea...

Container

An object that contains something....synonymous with vessel....a person into whom some quality (as grace) is infused....a boat...a tube or canal....contained/restrained/poised/calm...contain/have/hold/control...to be self-contained/complete by itself...to be a self-container...

International Collage Exhibition and Exchange 2016

The last seven of my 13 entries for the 2016 collage exhibition and exchange. I haven't done this for a couple of years and it was really fun putting my entries together and sending them off. To find out more about this event please go to the link found on my main page.

International Collage Exhibition & Exchange 2016

13 collages sent and received by Dale Copeland in NZ for exhibit and exchange. These are my first six...with the last seven to be shown in the next image.

Border

Borderline on the edge one sided two sided three sided four or more. Every garden has a border. Keeping order. The grass is always greener.

Grass Patch

My patch of grass your patch of grass their patch of grass and ours. Nature apparently knows no borders but we are part of Nature and we certainly know all about them. What can you own really and who will remember you owned it and why do you care in the end run. Isn't the grace of and consideration for what you own as important as the fact that you own it?

Neighbours

Characters in community that bind and separate....which have distinct affect....

la frontiere

I am always drawn back to line and how it describes and separates and what that exactly means. Small often mundane things of nature that are at once taken for granted and precious depending on where and how you are looking and what you see.

le carre d'herbe

From Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman:

...

Collecting I traverse the garden the world, but soon I
pass the gates,
Now along the pond-side, now wading in a little, fearing
not the wet,
Now by the post-and-rail fences where the old stones
thrown there, pick'd from the fields, have accumu-
lated,
(Wild flowers and vines and weeds come up through the
stones and partly cover them, beyond these I pass,)
Far, far in the forest, or sauntering later in summer,
before I think where I go,
Solitary, smelling the earthy smell, stopping now and
then in the silence,
Alone I had thought, yet soon a troop gathers around me,
Some walk by my side and some behind, and some
embrace my arms or neck,
They the spirits of dear friends dead or alive, thicker
they come, a great crowd, and I in the middle,
Collecting, dispensing, singing, there I wander with
them,                                                    [is near me,
Plucking something for tokens, tossing toward whoever
Here, lilac, with a branch of pine,
Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pull'd off a
live-oak in Florida as it hung trailing down,
Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of
sage,
And here what I now draw from the water, wading in
the pond-side,
(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me, and
returns again never to separate from me,
And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of com-
rades, this calamus-root shall,
Interchange it youths with each other! let none render
it back!)

And twigs of maple and a bunch of wild orange and
chestnut,
And stems of currants and plum-blows, and the aromatic
cedar,
These I compass'd around by a thick cloud of spirits,
Wandering, point to or touch as I pass, or throw them
loosely from me,
Indicating to each one what he shall have, giving some-
thing to each;
But what I drew from the water by the pond-side, that
I reserve,
I will give of it, but only to them that love as I myself
am capable of loving.

,

Lessedra 2015

These are my submissions to the 2015 Lessedra Mixed Media Competition (all three 15 X 15 cm each). I played with soft pastels and inks with brushes and pens.

I look forward to seeing some images from this show as can be seen as background to the opening photo op, and I always enjoy reading the line-up of artists as it is an truly international mellieu (and then you can look them up to see if they have a website - most obviously do). Nice. The winners have images shown after the fact....but I would get a kick out of being able to actually see some of the images from the show more closely. Some day I will simply have to go to see this show for myself...but for now....I have included a photo that Georgi has recently sent me. Looks like another great show!

 

,

Lessedra 2015

These are my submissions to the 2015 Lessedra Mixed Media Competition (all three 15 X 15 cm each). I played with soft pastels and inks with brushes and pens.

I look forward to seeing some images from this show as can be seen as background to the opening photo op, and I always enjoy reading the line-up of artists as it is an truly international mellieu (and then you can look them up to see if they have a website - most obviously do). Nice. The winners have images shown after the fact....but I would get a kick out of being able to actually see some of the images from the show more closely. Some day I will simply have to go to see this show for myself...but for now....I have included a photo that Georgi has recently sent me. Looks like another great show!

 

At The Dance

Pen and inks and cut Japanese papers. What is abstract and what is real and what is illusion and what is somebody's sales pitch and what is simply safe to believe because it doesn't exert any effort. Perspective. The Meaning of Art still elusive and the Value of Culture often not understood until it is taken away from you and then perhaps for many not even then if the pitch is slick enough or brutal enough to make you believe this is indeed the life. I prefer the Werewolf.

Reality once removed and then again....looking at the familiar from different angles and celebrating the beauty of it. Not being safe in the evaluation of what is important and then not being afraid of your choices and moving forward. Allowing the different viewpoints and then embracing them and evolving.

Leaves

I am reading In Monmartre by Sue Roe and it is such a good read. I revisited through this inspiration the work of Maurice de Vlaminck (he was a professional violin player which I had not known before) and the use of colour straight from the tube quickly applied and then set to doing this piece...under the influence of Vlaminck but not obviously a copy of his work.

The idea of focus and what it portrays to the viewer (and says about the artist and or what the artist is trying to convey) is also peeked in this piece. 

It took me four months (not continuously...but rather meditatively and then sporadically working on areas to bring the focus of my intent to life), at least, to paint Infernal Blues. I had a concept that I wanted to illustrate...without making it too simple graphically - there is a more definitive focus to that piece.

It took me one day (granted it is a smaller piece altogether as well) to do The House On The Hill....as it is not about focus at all (or perhaps best put as a lack of focus in any linear sense) but rather about feeling (poetic focus?).

It took me four days to do the original Leaves. Part of this is because I had done the other two pieces (one side of the spectrum to the other) and so my mental state was ready for it. However this is a piece that focuses on what would appear to be a smaller part of the whole...it is a close up...a blow up...with some parts in more focus than others.The use of vivid colour along with line helps to play this. I then changed it....ha! So... after many days of study I realized there was no breathing room for the eye to focus and give relief....so I added white. Not quite sure that I have learned anything truly great...but I have learned something...and that is good.

It is interesting to note that caterpillars and moths both go through the same stages of metamorphosis but that some moths utilize bits of debris and/or leaves and actually use their silk to wrap themselves in a 'nest' to go through their change.

 

the House on the Hill

Lots of little things going on in my head with this piece....using line without using my favourite drawing utensils....using a bigger brush on a smaller surface....the use of red but not necessarily to entice in a soothing mode (red being a colour I note that people are attracted to because it is bright and alive and....)....the idea of nightmares without the easy way out of relaying them as evil but rather simply as fears....which can at times of course in reality be helpful and positive if you face them and deal with them. Still....also not an attempt to be ugly but to have a sense of beauty and balance...as well as to deal with the idea of focus as in being in focus or not being in focus and what does that actually convey in the artwork? 

Infernal Blues

The Divine Comedy is Dante Alighieri's epic story in which he is escorted through the nine circles of Hell by the poet Virgil. I will admit that I have never sat down and read the poem from beginning to end, but I have probably read all of its passages randomly throughout my life. I have lots of thoughts and interests in this poem and none of them based on educated knowledge of poetry, but rather my own lay personal attractions and musings. I for example am interested in the fact that he made the inner circle of Hell, ice. Those sinners so cold and remorseless that even the inner fires of Hell could not thaw them. How very wicked indeed. I am also fascinated (although of course the religious/cultural affects of ideology during the 14th C is of interest as well) by the political story in and behind this poem. Dante wrote all three books (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso) of the Divine Comedy while he was exiled for life from Florence by the leaders of the Black Guelphs, the political faction in power at the time, due to his political beliefs.

Spark notes says:

Dante’s personal life and the writing of The Comedy were greatly influenced by the politics of late-thirteenth-century Florence. The struggle for power in Florence was a reflection of a crisis that affected all of Italy, and, in fact, most of Europe, from the twelfth century to the fourteenth century—the struggle between church and state for temporal authority. The main representative of the church was the pope, while the main representative of the state was the Holy Roman Emperor. In Florence, these two loyalties were represented by the Guelph party, which supported the papacy, and the Ghibelline party, which supported imperial power. The last truly powerful Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, died in 1250, and by Dante’s time, the Guelphs were in power in Florence. By 1290, however, the Guelphs had divided into two factions: the Whites (Dante’s party), who supported the independence of Florence from strict papal control, and the Blacks, who were willing to work with the pope in order to restore their power. Under the direction of Pope Boniface VIII, the Blacks gained control of Florence in 1301. Dante, as a visible and influential leader of the Whites, was exiled within a year. Dante became something of a party unto himself after his exile. His attitudes were, at times, closer to those of a Ghibelline than a Guelph, so much did he dislike Boniface. The pope, as well as a multitude of other characters from Florentine politics, has a place in the Hell that Dante depicts in Inferno—and not a pleasant one.

Snakes & Ladders

Snakes and Ladders was a very popular board game when I was little - all based on the roll of the dice as to your fate - and the fun and magic of entering a world where you climbed ladders and slid down snakes was exciting. The concepts of Destiny and Choice have hugely played upon my conscious as well as unconscious self - as of course they must do on some level for us all.

Wiki says:

Snakes and Ladders originated in India as part of a family of dice board games, that included Gyan chauper and pachisi (present-day Ludo and Parcheesi). The game made its way to England and was sold as "Snakes and Ladders", then the basic concept was introduced in the United States as Chutes and Ladders (an "improved new version of England's famous indoor sport"[3]) by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.[4]

Known as Moksha Patam, the game was popular in ancient India and emphasized the role of fate or karma. A Jain version, Gyanbazi or Gyan chauper, dates to the 16th century. The game was called Leela and reflected the Hinduism consciousness surrounding everyday life. The underlying ideals of the game inspired a version introduced in Victorian England in 1892.

Snake and Ladders (Gyan Chaupar), National Museum, New Delhi
Moksha Patam was associated with traditional Hindu and Jain philosophy contrasting karma and kama, or destiny and desire. It emphasized destiny, as opposed to games such as pachisi, which focused on life as a mixture of skill (free will[5]) and luck. The game has also been interpreted and used as a tool for teaching the effects of good deeds versus bad. The board was covered with symbolic images, the top featuring gods, angels, and majestic beings, while the rest of the board was covered with pictures of animals, flowers and people.[6] The ladders represented virtues such as generosity, faith, and humility, while the snakes represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, and theft. The morality lesson of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through doing good, whereas by doing evil one will inherit rebirth to lower forms of life. The number of ladders was less than the number of snakes as a reminder that a path of good is much more difficult to tread than a path of sins. Presumably, reaching the last square (number 100) represented the attainment of Moksha (spiritual liberation).

Pendant Lighting

Paint, colour, lines....oh me oh my....my travels to oz. Nature through a myriad of lenses, the need to control as a reflection. Lit nature tamed to our satisfaction. Don't go into the forest.

The Werewolf

I painted this...and a hundred other paintings which I painted over and over on the same canvases in my efforts to understand painting and my relationship with the art. It is a long process for me and I somehow thought that by painting and painting that I would come up with a shortcut, but for me there is none. That being said I have learned a great deal about something or other along the way as you cannot really help that if you are in the least bit interested.....

I am interested in things that have something to say. The great (and not so great) painters in all traditions throughout the ages have used stories and allegories as their subject matter which of course reflected the interests of their patrons...but the artists personal takes on those themes brought something more to their works than a simple visual technically mastered representation.

I am also interested in things that are implied. Harold Bloom in 'The Art of Reading Poetry' (2004) starts:

"POETRY essentially is figurative language, concentrated so that its form is both expressive and evocative. Figuration is a departure from the literal, and the form of a great poem itself can be a trope ("turning") or figure."

All this to say that I know this painting is ugly. That beings said there is something beautiful about it as well. I painted this piece for the Richard Brautigan poem "A Boat".

O beautiful
was the werewolf  
in his evil forest.  
We took him
to the carnival  
and he started  
   crying
when he saw
the Ferris wheel.  
Electric
green and red tears  
flowed down
his furry cheeks.  
He looked
like a boat
out on the dark  
water.

Richard Brautigan, “A Boat” from The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster.

Key Note

I strangely...often do not create images this way but I really really love it when the line drawing is given precedence over the cut papers or when the cut papers have a direct relationship with the lines and space to enhance them and give them room to live.

Mystery

I cannot decide whether this one should sit this way or be turned 90 CCW so that the blue bit is in the top left corner....it's a mystery.

Castle

Somewhat literal and somewhat playful and lots of imagery of imaginary proportion...the stuff of castles.

Nest Bundle

This is a pen and ink portrait of the Nest Bundle in its prime.

Carnaval

There is a formality to this piece as well as Cabaret of a Dophin both of which I did for the Massey Christmas Small Works 2014. It is satisfying to arrange colours/textures/images with cut papers and there is a spontaneity in the creation that is perhaps not apparent because of the formality of the layout and medium.  Solitude and concentration in the moment and an appreciation of beauty, complexity, and openess - to create images that no matter what the size or format give room for thought and contemplation. It is one thing to have an idea or follow an idea, and then a completely different thing to offer that idea with room for alternate interpretation and unique individual voice. The viewer is necessary to complete the experience of what has been created.

Taken from Wiki: Art as Experience (1934) is John Dewey's major writing on aesthetics....

Dewey's theory, here, is an attempt to shift the understandings of what is important and characteristic about the art process from its physical manifestations in the ‘expressive object’ to the process in its entirety, a process whose fundamental element is no longer the material ‘work of art’ but rather the development of an ‘experience’. An experience is something that personally affects your life. That is why these theories are so important to our social and educational life.

Such a change in emphasis does not imply, though, that the individual art object has lost significance; far from it, its primacy is clarified: the object is recognized as the primary site for the dialectical processes of experience, as the unifying occasion for these experiences. Through the expressive object, the artist and the active observer encounter each other, their material and mental environments, and their culture at large.....

Cabaret of a Dolphin Doing a Back-flip/Arrangement With Apple

The Surrealists had some very interesting names for their works as in Dali's "Mae West Lips Sofa" and Andre Breton's "Le Dejeuner en fourrure" and these names of course reflect the pieces. The oddity of the subjects themselves are intriguing and not without humour although they are at the same time rather creepy. Irony and a sense of the irrational and the ever continuing quest for what it is all about: what people tell you it is all about; what people insist it be all about; what you can do to challenge what it is all about.

Alphabetically Backwards

This is a collaborative of three (alphabetically backward:  Christine Reimer, Carolyn Kowalyk, Bonnie Helm-Northover) seen here in the making showing three stages. We each started with a 20 X 20 panelboard, made our preliminary marks and randomly (pick a straw, any straw) passed it on to the next person who added and altered leaving something of the original. This again was passed on to the artist who had not as yet touched that panelboard for the third stage: each panelboard has been creatively considered and altered by each artist. After much discussion and good cheer each artist took home the panelboard that they had started with in the first place, drastically and fantastically changed. Each of us now has a work of Art that we have engaged in but that we would not naturally create singly. Very interesting!

Lessedra 2014 entries

These are my three submissions to the Lessedra Mixed Media competition for 2014 and I was accepted and am in the exhibit which is always fun. This is the year that I am going to really get in to painting and I am looking forward to the challenges. As I write this I note that today is Wassily Kandinsky's 148th birthday (December 16) which is a day well worth celebrating! It also amazes me, as he was born a century and a half ago and still to this day so many people are not tuned in to 'modern' art and rather gravitate to art that is perhaps rendered beautifully but gives you nothing to think about that is new and challenging. I am not saying that beautifully rendered is bad (it is definitely better than horribly rendered)....just simply that inspiration given by a person who was born so long ago has had a huge impact upon me and I rue the fact that more people don't see it my way.....ha!

The news is crazy....people killing children in schools...people killing people in cafes....these people are not thinking in new and challenging ways.

White Raven

From the Introduction by Nicole Stanbridge in the exhibition book for Urban Thunderbirds / Ravens in a Material World:

"...As the exchange of ideas between lessLIE and Rande Cook became more concrete, the title 'Urban Thunderbirds' was proposed by lessLIE. The many connotations suggested by the title allowed for the discussion of cultural appropriation, Coast Salish mythology and tradition, and the consumerism of urban culture. In 'Ravens in a Material World', Rande Cook also wanted to address issues related to urban consumer culture but, further to that, he saw this part of the exhibition taking on personal narratives more directly. The Raven, in Kwakwaka'wakw tradition, brought the light to the people. Cook sees this also as the role of the artist. In both parts of the exhibition - in the art of lessLIE and Dylan Thomas (Urban Thunderbirds), Rande Cook and Francis Dick (Ravens in a Material World) - personal concerns that are expressed and articulated in the work extend into commentary on current events and issues that affect not only members of First Nations communities, but all of us as inhabitants of this country."

I have heard and read many variations on How Raven Stole the Sun over the years....and it is just a luscious and gorgeous story in all its variations. In my recent search this is what I have to share:

From a blog (www.magma.ca/~jbremner/blog/months/RavenStealsSun.htm)

- Raven Steals the Sun

 According to a Haida story, in the beginning the world was in total darkness. The Raven, who had existed from the beginning of time, was tired of groping about and bumping into things in the dark. Eventually the Raven came upon the home of an old man who lived alone with his daughter. Through his slyness, the Raven learned that the old man had a great treasure. This was all the light in the universe, contained in a tiny box concealed within many boxes.

At once the Raven vowed to steal the light.

He thought and thought, and finally came up with a plan. He waited until the old man's daughter came to the river to gather water. Then the Raven changed himself into a single hemlock needle and dropped himself into the river, just as the girl was dipping her water-basket into the river.

As she drank from the basket, she swallowed the needle. It slipped and slithered down into her warm belly, where the Raven transformed himself again, this time into a tiny human. After sleeping and growing there for a very long time, at last the Raven emerged into the world once more, this time as a human infant.

Even though he had a rather strange appearance, the Raven's grandfather loved him. But the old man threatened dire punishment if he ever touched the precious treasure box. Nonetheless the Ravenchild begged and begged to be allowed to hold the light just for a moment.

In time the old man yielded, and lifted from the box a warm and glowing sphere, which he threw to his grandson.

As the light was moving toward him, the human child transformed into a gigantic black shadowy bird-form, wings spread ready for flight, and beak open in anticipation. As the beautiful ball of light reached him, the Raven captured it in his beak! Moving his powerful wings, he burst through the smokehole in the roof of the house, and escaped into the darkness with his stolen treasure.

And that is how light came into the universe.

This story was told to me, with wonderful effects, one summer in the Great Hall of the Museum of Civilisation in a performance called People of the Salmon

- Additional aspects of the story are told in Stories From Alaska and the Northwest Coast:

The world was instantly changed forever. Mountains sprang into the bright sky and reflections danced on the rivers and oceans. Far away, the Eagle was awakened and launched skyward - his target now clearly in sight.

Raven was so caught up in all the excitement of the newly revealed world that he nearly didn't see the Eagle bearing down on him. Swerving sharply to escape the outstretched talons, he dropped nearly half of the ball of light which fell to the earth. Shattering into one large and many small pieces on the rocky ground the bits of light bounced back up into the heavens where they remain to this day as the moon and the stars.

The Eagle pursued Raven beyond the rim of the world and exhausted by the long chase, Raven let go of what light still remained. Floating gracefully above the the clouds, the sun as we now know it started up over the mountains to the east.

The first rays of the morning sun brought light through the smokehole of the old man's house. He was weeping in sorrow over his great loss and looking up, saw his daughter for the first time. She was very beautiful and smiling, he began to feel a little better.

- The Story of the White Raven is told in the same vein on the website of a Legal firm with the name White Raven:

Our logo draws upon a fundamental oral history from the Northwest coast in which Ravenbrings light to the world. Raven is a cultural hero who brings about the earth as we know it through a series of events, tricks and accidents that have come to be called "Raven traveling"stories. This legend tells of the time a long, long, time ago, when human beings first occupied the earth and it was dark, completely without light. At this time, Raven was white. All of thesupernatural beings asked Raven to obtain the light for the earth, which a Chief kept in a fine, old growth cedar bentwood box. Raven transformed himself into a grandchild born into theChief's family. He quickly grew as a child and eventually cajoled the light from his grandfather.When he secured the light he took it and flew through the smoke hole in the longhouse, and in doing so became black. We chose the white raven logo because it represents Raven in his purest form, sacrificing to bring light to the world for the betterment of all of humanity.

Two Eggs

This nest is a compliment in many ways to Nest #12 which is a beautifully determined and solid nest made from obvious bits of natural and manufactured found treasures.

This nest - Two Eggs - is equally solid but more intricately woven and this creature of nature utilizes or has still access to finer material which then in its natural beauty gives the appearance of being delicate and softer in 'nature'...albeit the mystery and value of this nest is equal to all and less to none.

The subject of adapting to your environment and utilizing your natural environment and working with your environment and what that actually means to development and survival and quality of life - success - is pushed to the forground when I think of the juxtaposition of these two nests.

Nobody In The Lane

BLACKBERRYING - BY SYLVIA PLATH

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,  
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks—
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.  
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,  
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me  
To the hills’ northern face, and the face is orange rock  
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space  
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths  
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.

Nest #11

The nest macro and micro simultaneously - simple and complicated.  Again the structure of a nest is a thing of amazement and beauty to me: the search for appropriate materials (some of which in some nests are found objects from not natural sources but that do the job adequately and also brilliantly nonetheless). There is the most subtle interpretation of kenetic. From the vantage point, you are the bird and that implies movement - unseen but understood. The upclose engineering of the structure as you near your destination no doubt brings pride of ownership...be the bird. Ha!

Nest 12

I am in the Summer Small Works and Sale at the Massey Gallery - AGGV - again this summer and submitted this as one of the pieces for that show. This nest is made from twigs and bark and has a shaggy sensibility but is carefully and securely attached to a sturdy branch with a leaf hanging from it for camouflage/decoration...an aspect that I find entriguing and quite simply lovely.

Brown Paper Bag

I attended UVic in the Visual Arts department part time in the 80's as I had a son who kept me happily at home and otherwise occupied for a good portion of my days and nights. Drawing classes typically centered around a live model or a still life and in one class Don Harvey (taught drawing and painting and was head of the department as well at the time) brought in a crumpled paper bag as our subject for the day. This I will admit was looked upon with some disdain certainly by me as a crumpled bag has a great many facets and planes and of itself is not at first sight the most 'romantic' or 'scintillating' object - but at the end of the class we all took our brown paper bags and pinned them up in the foyer of the olde army hut we called home in those days...and it was a revelation to see so many different paper bags - everyone drew a different paper bag. Wow! How something so mundane and commonplace (especially in those days as brown paper bags were commonly used to pack lunches in) could end up being so remarkable when the individual parts were shown but unified together as a whole made a huge impact on me.

I like to draw in many different forms with a variety of mediums but I began 'cheating' in those days by drawing with a variant on cross-hatching - the like of which you see in how I have drawn this particular paper bag. It has come to my attention in the last few months that what I do with this is very similar to 'Zentangling' which is the use of drawing patterns combined together to create an image. Who knew I was a Zentangler?? Another revelation....and one that was great as I have created a Zentangle monster out of a friend of mine who is creative in her own way but who has never thought of herself as having any visual art talents....as I bought her a Zentangle how-to book and supplies and she has spent the last few months enjoying what you can do with pattern applied with ink and crayon on paper. Simple pleasures.

This piece is an ode to Don Harvey. He was an excellent teacher open to showing his successes and failures - but he didn't suffer fools lightly. I loved that about him. I haven't seen him in years but hope he is still in good health and creating.

Nest #6

This is the first painting that I have done for a while and much larger than I usually work (it's 3' X 4') - and I am very proud of it. I have sat before it for a few minutes every day for the last few months. As so often happens... I didn't intend this from the start... but when I had finished, the nest reminded me of bones which then set me to thinking of our bones - the skeleton - as the nest for ourselves and how amazing that is - how supportive (ha!) and how incredible and awe-ing. And the fact again that as do nests our skeletons follow a template but are nonetheless each individual and speak to and tell of the being who inhabits them. And so in a way this is a self-portrait - although in a very general sense because I am a person political who likes abstract. It is as in a forensic slice for the microscopic view....thin and flat on one hand and then not when viewed through a different lense.

And then further...as my thoughts went and now have stayed sitting before this piece, I see that it is definitely personal and not something for everyone or perhaps anyone else. I see that it also makes iconic statement. I grew up fundamentalist Christian and have every respect for persons and people who believe of every system....respect is there for the historical and the individual who believes. Looking at this piece in this way...the crown of glory is the brain and the heart is worn on the sleeve but the brain is centre stage and the bones....the system that holds these parts together... has to be strong and positive and supportive.

Be what you may and what you will as long as you are supportive...and if you want to manipulate me or insist that I be like you or follow your own crede without love for my individuation and if you will not welcome change and the natural evolution of things....and give respect as I give...or strive to give....well to hell with you.

iconic/ironic.

Eggs

This was my entry in to the Mystery Show at red art gallery for 2014 http://www.redartgallery.ca which is always a fun event made more so by the fact that it took place in their new digs in the centre of things in Oak Bay Village.

This is the first year that I did something similar to what I had done before for the Mystery Show (the first two years I tried to make it a 'mystery') but I have been making nests in various forms for a year now and they are just so appealing to me as a form and as a subject. 

Eggs are obviously the important part of a nest and in mine there were five so there is some significance to this I suppose but not a great deal other than each egg is different: the eggs all come from the same nest and they will share characteristics no doubt and basic elements but they are separate entities.

Nests 7,8 & 9

These are the three works of no larger than 15 cm X 15 cm that I have entered in the Lessedra Gallery International Painting and Mixed Media Competitin 2013. There is a link to their website on my main page.

If you are Alice you can view things from both a micro and a macro perspective and in these small works I see the universe as nest - my previous nests were more the nest as universe.

Movement and direction and attention to detail and the line following wonder with a definitive intent tinged with humour. Have you seen the works of Kent Monkman? on the subject of intent with humour....http://www.kentmonkman.com

 

Pieces Of Glass/ Sticks & Stones/ Red Dot

These are the three 8 X 10 works I have available in the Massey Gallery, at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, for their Xmas Small Works Show 2013.

Totem

As in Circus, I used a fine nib to draw on the paper and then collaged to the lines, giving emphasis to the lines and respecting the lines by staying out of their way. The collage elements compliment the lines and give them definition.

The juxtaposition of Circus and Totem, which are identical in size, is to show the use of the same mediums, implements and products to different effect.

It occurred to me much later, and this is simply a passing comment as it was not at all my original intent (and indeed it is simply commentary as in conversation), that Alexander Calder and Joan Miro were both very interested in circuses (and lines) and now when I see Circus I think of them (in the abstract). With Totem I am definitely reminded of its namesake and then also somehow reminded of Willem de Kooning's Woman series....and as a result (and again in the abstract as in how what we do has echo of what we know or have experience of) I now look at his Woman paintings with different thoughts as in fact they could be viewed in the light of totems.

Wiki says:

A totem is a being, object, or symbol representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry (or mythic past).[1] In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem. Normally this belief is accompanied by a totemic myth. They have been around for many years. They are usually in the shape of an animal, and every animal has a certain personality, e.g Owl:
The Owl - Wisdom, silent and swift and wise.
Although the term is of Ojibwe origin in North America, totemistic beliefs are not limited to Native Americans and Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Similar totem-like beliefs have been historically present in societies throughout much of the world, including Africa, Arabia, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Arctic polar region.

This piece won an Honourable Mention at the Sidney Fine Art Show 2013 and was purchased. I have not been given the details of who purchased this piece and so firstly I would like to say thank you, as it is an acknowledgement of the beauty of the line and the idea that follows it. I believe there is some privacy code (it was my first time at the Sidney Show) which is fair enough - although from the artist's side of things it would be lovely to have a connection with the person/s who now have possession - and I think it would be an open and fair practice for the seller to ask the purchaser for permission to divulge who they are to the artist. Whaddayathink?

Circus

Nests have been on my mind lately. As with any particular thing that you put your mind to (telephone poles for example), after a certain degree of concentration to detail, it becomes apparent that although they (whatever grouping the mind is contemplating subject wise at the moment) may be the same in purpose and intent they are not the same in all detail. The nest taken apart and looked at separately by its parts, rather than as the whole, and then reassembled really translates back to what interested me before I started thinking about nests - patterns. Although, again the idea of the nest is worthy of contemplation and I haven't finished with it yet.

I was asked to give a workshop at Opus in June, 2013, and thinking on what I could possibly have to offer (collage work at its basics is not a complicated endeavour...you throw this and that together and paste it down on paper...or whatever else you might want to paste with stuff) I decided that the 'idea' was what I would like to discuss with any that chose to participate. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the small but adequate space was nicely filled.

As always the idea is to fill the space without fear. I love Micron pens (I love to draw period...which I am sure I have said more than once on this website) and so with a very fine nib I applied marks to page.Then, for Circus, I chose to cut and paste in tune with the lines but not necessarily to stay out of their way. I used the rhythm of the lines to conduct the flow of the piece with an end result that is full of sound and movement and rather fun...but with a little tension...all the good aspects of a circus. An echo of the original lines can be seen and faintly heard.

Nest 5

Almost a decade ago I sat down with a couple of my pictorial Art History tombs and drew a set of nine individual faces taken from different classic paintings - all displaying a gamut of emotion and personnae in a sense of theatre. These indeed have proven to be rather popular with students of theatre I have had the good grace to know and share time with.

I note that often my work even when boiled down and abstracted when done in a set or a series, or even singly, will exhibit different attitudes. I am a creature of my environment and my own experience.

There is to me a sense of the beautiful to this nest which is different as for example to the sensibility shown in Nest 4. Beautiful is over-played and under-appreciated in our society. Beauty is something we should all strive to comprehend and create but  it is often difficult to fight the established concept of beauty. Power is misrepresented as beauty. The Queen not showing her true image of the Witch and the Crow.

I do not mean to say that I see the Queen or the Witch in this piece. I think it is beautiful and that it has a sweetness to it and that it is rather hopeful and open.

Nest 4

This nest was my entry for the second annual Mystery Show at red art gallery on Oak Bay Avenue - June, 2013. All forty works accepted were created 10 X 10 and not signed on the front with the idea that a purchaser would not know who the artist was until after purchase. I like the spirit of this as it is fun-loving and rather in the form of a game and so I was happy to enter a piece that was different altogether from what I entered last year (which was a figurative painting of a Jazz musician playing the piano).

I am rather fond of this little nest as in creating it I realized fully that if I were to do another - by hand - even though it is small I would not be able to create another just like it. And I wouldn't want to. It is drawn with pen on watercolour paper and then acrylic 'dots' were 'collaged' on the work which was then coated with acrylic medium to seal and protect and then mounted on board.

Nest 3

This is the nest abstracted. What is the nest? It is lovely by its very concept. It protects and offers sanctuary. It does not need to conform to other species nests but it does have to be structurally sound and secure. Each bird type makes a nest to suit its purpose but the specifics of how this is achieved is individual and unique. The nest loved and well established is a place wherein the structure of other nests can be explored and celebrated. 

It is important to value your own space along with others. Nests have need to be different according to the geography and culture and elements available and inhabited. 

In doing this nest series I have discovered a fabulous array of nest photos and nature based sculptures based on nests. It has also keenly focused awareness of my street, my neighbourhood, my city, my island, my country...and the extensions...

 

Nest 2

This is the nest selected. It is an extension of Nest 1 but still speaks for itself. It owns the space inhabited. It shows its intricacies and some of its parts. It exhibits its worth and value. Your view of it will be personal and be given its due and right but it will still offer and inhabit its own persona - it is important in its own right. There is perspective and the understanding of this is large. It is important to create your own nest and to be your own nest and to at the same time value the beauty of other nests and nurture their rights while maintaining yours.

Nest 1

There is a Haida story with variations of how Raven stole the Sun. I am not an expert in mythology but know that the Trickster is part of many aboriginal north american stories and  that  the Trickster is both a creator and a teacher who at times also reveals the chaos and foolhardiness in life - these stories are all delightful. In this early 21st C I see the genuine and good common sense of these stories - the folk lore to teach important value to be passed on to the generations following... much the same as the folk tales of olde Europe and Asia (and everywhere else). There are many sadnesses... and stories of terror and grief and isolation that are experienced wholely and felt today in the human maelstrom...but these epic stories of ingenuity and intellect and survival amidst the suffering and darkness are energizing and forward beyond any time. These stories should forever be passed on. How else can people survive?

This work came of my fondness for crows/ravens - the witch and the apple which were the echo and mirror image of the Queen but the more honest representation - and my frustration with organized religious and political beliefs across the world which do not embrace peoples but which rather propel hate and suffering and dislocation  - and the story of Raven (cousin to the Crow) and the Sun - and the (origin Aesop) story of the Goose that layed the Golden Egg.

The nest was the last element brought to this piece and naturally the culmination. How you make your nest is important. What is brought to your nest is your culture and your integrity and your hope. We are responsible for what we teach. 

From Wiki:

Avianus and Caxton tell different stories of a goose that lays a golden egg, where other versions have a hen,[1] as in Townsend: "A cottager and his wife had a Hen that laid a golden egg every day. They supposed that the Hen must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and in order to get the gold they killed it. Having done so, they found to their surprise that the Hen differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were assured day by day."[2]

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, illustrated by Milo Winter in a 1919 edition
In early tellings, there is sometimes a commentary warning against greed rather than a pithy moral. This is so in Jean de La Fontaine's fable of La Poule aux oeufs d'or (Fables V.13),[3] which begins with the sentiment that 'Greed loses all by striving all to gain' and comments at the end that the story can be applied to those who become poor by trying to outreach themselves. It is only later that the morals most often quoted today began to appear. These are 'Greed oft o’er reaches itself' (Joseph Jacobs, 1894)[4] and 'Much wants more and loses all' (Samuel Croxall, 1722).[5] It is notable also that these are stories told of a goose rather than a hen.
The English idiom, sometimes shortened to "Killing the golden goose", derives from this fable. It is generally used of a short-sighted action that destroys the profitability of an asset. Caxton's version of the story has the goose's owner demand that it lay two eggs a day; when it replied that it could not, the owner killed it.[6] The same lesson is taught by Ignacy Krasicki's fable of "The Farmer":
A farmer, bent on doubling the profits from his land,
Proceeded to set his soil a two-harvest demand.
Too intent thus on profit, harm himself he must needs:
Instead of corn, he now reaps corn-cockle and weeds.
There is another variant on the story, recorded by Syntipas (Perry Index 58) and appearing in Roger L'Estrange's 1692 telling as "A Woman and a Fat Hen" (Fable 87): A good Woman had a Hen that laid her every day an Egg. Now she fansy’d to her self, that upon a larger Allowance of Corn, this Hen might be brought in time to lay twice a day. She try’d the Experiment; but the Hen grew fat upon’t, and gave quite over laying. His comment on this is that 'we should set Bounds to our Desires, and content our selves when we are well, for fear of losing what we had.' Another of Aesop's fables with the moral of wanting more and losing everything is The Dog and the Bone.

Processes 10 to 13

These are the last four of the collages submitted to the 15th International Collage Exhibition and Exchange for 2013. The collages are titled Process 1 through 13.

Wiki says:  Process philosophy (or ontology of becoming) identifies metaphysical reality with change and development. Since the time of Plato and Aristotle, philosophers have posited true reality as "timeless", based on permanent substances, whilst processes are denied or subordinated to timeless substances. If Socrates changes, becoming sick, Socrates is still the same (the substance of Socrates being the same), and change (his sickness) only glides over his substance: change is accidental, whereas the substance is essential. Therefore, classic ontology denies any full reality to change, which is conceived as only accidental and not essential. This classical ontology is what made knowledge and a theory of knowledge possible, as it was thought that a science of something in becoming was an impossible feat to achieve.[1]

In opposition to the classical model of change as purely accidental and illusory (as by Aristotle), process philosophy regards change as the cornerstone of reality–the cornerstone of the Being thought as Becoming. Modern philosophers who appeal to process rather than substance include Nietzsche, Heidegger, Charles Peirce, Alfred North Whitehead, Robert M. Pirsig, Charles Hartshorne, Arran Gare and Nicholas Rescher. In physics Ilya Prigogine[2] distinguishes between the "physics of being" and the "physics of becoming". Process philosophy covers not just scientific intuitions and experiences, but can be used as a conceptual bridge to facilitate discussions among religion, philosophy, and science.[3]

Processes 1 to 9

These are the first 9 collages I have submitted to the 15th International Collage Exhibition and Exchange for 2013. There are 13 in total and they are titled Process 1 through 13.

Wiki says:  In systems theory and philosophy, basic processes, or logical homologies as they were termed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, are unifying principles which operate in many different systemic contexts. For example, feedback is a principle that figures prominently in the science of cybernetics. Natural and industrial processes utilize basic processes such as feedback.

There is a philosophical system known as process philosophy, created by Alfred North Whitehead; related to this is process theology.

Feedback is a process in which information about the past or the present influences the same phenomenon in the present or future. As part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop, the event is said to "feed back" into itself.
Ramaprasad (1983) defines feedback generally as "information about the gap between the actual level and the reference level of a system parameter which is used to alter the gap in some way", emphasising that the information by itself is not feedback unless translated into action.[1]

Oscar

http://www.oscarpeterson.com

I sat in the audience enthralled and bewitched by Oscar Peterson many years ago - just amazing - so beautiful and rich and warm and full was his sound with his trio. His parents were immigrants from the West Indies and Virgin Islands and he and his four siblings grew up in Montreal where they were all encouraged and taught to play a musical instrument.

From this family and teacher support and dedication he grew to be a master of performance and composition. "His “Hymn To Freedom” became one of the crusade songs of the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States. It is still performed frequently by choirs worldwide." (from his website)

"Oscar Peterson has an extensive discography of his trio and quartet recordings, as well as his recordings with many of the other jazz greats. His varied albums include recordings with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Joe Pass." (from his website)

From the bio page on his website: "Preferring not to use his celebrity status to sway public opinions, Mr. Peterson nevertheless remained dedicated to the belief that his native Canada has a responsibility in leading the world in equality and justice. With this in mind, he took a firm stand to promote the cause of human rights fair treatment for Canada’s multicultural community. In recognition of this effort, Mr. Peterson was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor. He had been inducted as an Officer of the Order in 1972."

Joni

http://www.jonimitchell.com

I have not really spent a great amount of time painting over the last decades - other than sets which are large and have an immediate purpose to partner with the other aspects of theatre (lighting/costumes/complimentary imagery to the text/etc....). The immediacy of collage and the spontaneity of working with papers to paper as well as drawing with pens to paper are naturally appealing to me. I am an idea person....and often because of this trait I change my direction of mind often...all the possibilities flooding in one after the other: with collage and pen to paper I have got to stay to task and it is NOW and the concentration of what I am thinking and feeling in that moment. When I paint on canvas... the methodical layering of colour to colour gives room for thought...and room for thought brings in different thoughts....and I have been known to spend months on a single painting. With these portraits I discovered wood panel....and I can draw easily on these....and then play with the paint...which has more of an immediacy to it for me...so much fun! I am going to master the canvas one of these days...but ever so pleased to have panel to play with now.

I am not sure if this link will work for the duration (and so then I will have to remember to come back and find it in the archives and then relink) but a good friend of mine who possesses this painting told me of this interview today...and so I will share it here. Jian Ghomeshi from CBC interviews Joni:

http://www.cbc.ca/q/2013/06/11/joni-mitchell-1/

Joni is another person in her own right who creates in her own right for the sake of sharing and communicating from her life experiences because that is simply the right and natural thing to do. Her global appeal, for all the correct and justified reasons, at basis stems from the heart of a Canadian prairie girl.

Glenn

Glenn Gould... http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca This is the Glenn Gould Archive on Library and Archives Canada, and will give information on Glenn Gould without trying to sell you anything. I think if anything it is pretty obvious, when you know even a small bit about Glenn Gould, that he wasn't easily bought. He simply was himself - a magnificent musician and a curious and creative working force in the Canadian story.

The Way I Feel

I was involved in the Mystery Show at red art gallery http://www.redartgallery.ca in June 2012. Artists were invited to submit one small work in a style not well known/differing from the general style that people identify readily with each artist involved, and to not sign the work on the front but rather on back...anyone purchasing a piece would not know the identity of the artist until payment received. A fun concept - playful and interactive for all involved. As I am best known for collage work which is abstract in nature I chose to do the portrait that you see here. 

The ability to create and communicate and share what we care for and what we can contribute is the joy and satisfaction in life. 

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

Valkyrie I II III

These three small works were my submissions to Lessedra's 3rd Painting and Mixed Media Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria - December 14, 2012 to February 15, 2013.

http://www.lessedra.com

Wiki says:

In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (from Old Norse valkyrja "chooser of the slain") is one of a host of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freyja's afterlife field Fólkvangr), the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin. There, the deceased warriors become einherjar (Old Norse "lone fighters"). When the einherjar are not preparing for the events of Ragnarök* the valkyries bear them mead and they eat their fill of the nightly-resurrecting beast Sæhrímnir (this beast is brought back to life again to provide sustenance for the following day). Valkyries also appear as lovers of heroes and other mortals, where they are sometimes described as the daughters of royalty, sometimes accompanied by ravens, and sometimes connected to swans or horses.

* In Norse mythology, Ragnarök (UK /ˈræɡnərɜrk/,[2] US /ˈræɡnərɒk/ or /ˈræɡnərək/[3]) is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water. Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in the Norse canon, and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory.

 

Poppy Pods

Karl Marx is often quoted for his comment " religion is the opiate of the people" - or a variant on this.

In my search on this term I found that it was used first by the Marquis de Sade....the epitome of rebellion:  there is some thing about him and his life which should shock the values of each and all. Sadism is derived from him...a frightening and horrific concept. And yet at the same time his drive to make statement with action against the status quo amazes me...and without doubt his influence in this regard has been momentous. 

His commentary on the 'opiate of the people' as used in "Juliette" is extremely poignant in my opinion.

Wiki says:

In the Marquis de Sade's Juliette, published in 1797 (trans. Austryn Wainhouse, 1968), Sade uses the term in a scene where Juliette explains to King Ferdinand the consequences of his policies:
Though nature lavishes much upon your people, their circumstances are strait. But this is not the effect of their laziness; this general paralysis has its source in your policy which, from maintaining the people in dependence, shuts them out from wealth; their ills are thus rendered beyond remedy, and the political state is in a situation no less grave than the civil government, since it must seek its strength in its very weakness. Your apprehension, Ferdinand, lest someone discover the things I have been telling you leads you to exile arts and talents from your realm. You fear the powerful eye of genius, that is why you encourage ignorance. This opium you feed your people, so that, drugged, they do not feel their hurts, inflicted by you. And that is why where you reign no establishments are to be found giving great men to the homeland; the rewards due knowledge are unknown here, and as there is neither honor nor profit in being wise, nobody seeks after wisdom.
I have studied your civil laws, they are good, but poorly enforced, and as a result they sink into ever further decay. And the consequences thereof? A man prefers to live amidst their corruption rather than plead for their reform, because he fears, and with reason, that this reform will engender infinitely more abuses than it will do away with; things are left as they are. Nevertheless, everything goes askew and awry and as a career in government has no more attractions than one in the arts, nobody involves himself in public affairs; and for all this compensation is offered in the form of luxury, of frivolity, of entertainments. So it is that among you a taste for trivial things replaces a taste for great ones, that the time which ought to be devoted to the latter is frittered away on futilities, and that you will be subjugated sooner or later and again and again by any foe who bothers to make the effort.

Daybreak

September light amazes me every year....it seems to bring with it a type of quiet as if the world has entered macro dimensions. My yard is my own universe filled with a soft quiet and white light which is is entered and departed easily enough by the myriad of birds that breakfast, lunch and dine at my feeder.

I live a three minute walk from the shoreline which is fed by many strands of Bowker Creek. I have only seen these Sandpipers early in the morning or late in the afternoon generally where the creek hits the shore or in some of the little discreet alcoves and pools carved out of the natural rock. I don't believe they live here all year long - probably some breed here in the Spring and Summer but perhaps other typesWinter here. Not being an expert, but merely someone who delights in birds, I think this variety is named Common Speckled.

Whiskey & Velvet

I have to start this off by saying that I am a Canadian...and although the personage that I am about to talk about here was not...and her country is my focus in this dialogue...I follow no illusion that my own country is in any way morally or intellectually superior...alas, it is not.

If you search the web for Janice Joplin...for all the information you are given on her talents and her drive to create and the concerts she performed with the bands she performed with and then all the details on where....most of what you glean from the information given is a heavily multitude of details on her drug and alcohol abuse...all of this in legendary colour and in to the nitty-gritty. Somehow the human aspect of her particular life preferences - the small but defining glimpses in to who she might actually have been as a person are missing (okay...well we know she liked Southern Comfort and Heroin...I rest my case). I have not read a biography on Janice. I am just speaking at this moment on what you can find out about her if you decide to use the most accessible reference route - a search engine on a computer - to satisfy a mild curiosity which might then persuade further interest of investigation about a young woman who was a major player in the American music scene during a volatile and motivating and challenging time in recent history. She came from a respectible family and graduated from school and went on to attend college/university (although she did not graduate - but this is not extraordinary). In the bits and bobs that I glean in between the drug highlights it is apparent she liked vintage and she liked Big Mama Thornton and the Blues....that gets us somewhere. We are told she felt an outcast at school....but so did and do lots of people...she sang in the choir...that is a specific choice and it tells of the personality and a sense of community. It is briefly conveyed that she was interested in art before she was interested in her own personal participation in music...well that tells again something more of the temperament. What artists inspired her? And...did she like to read? She liked the Beat poets...so I think she must have had some interest....She cannot have come from all of these normal angst problems of youth with all of her natural talents...and not have been a person of personal human interest. Every site wraps her up as the poster child for rebellion...they wave their flags with her easily enough. But... what did she talk about when she just talked about what she thought? When she had a lucid moment what were her moments? The people who are giving the masses the information out there - in this world of...dare I call this communication (methinks not)? - are not giving anything that resembles intellectual content. Just the facts...but no...not the facts at all. Sorry...no I'm not - this is just crap. Janice would now - in this script - pour herself another Southern and who knows what. It is such a load of...to bear.

These thoughts are all brought on to me from the sheer disillusionment of how I sit at the age of 59 years - 10 years the junior of Janice who died at the age of 27. She lived and died in a time of disillusionment and aspiration...the aftermath of WWII and then Vietnam and intrinsic social upheaval due to racial stupidity - Civil Rights and Feminist Rights - mixed with the youthful energies and hope for a brighter future...with the joined despair and fear that this hope was unreachable and unattainable in the human experience.

And really in an America that still blatantly screams and demands for all of its citizens the right to bear arms and kill but denies all citizens the right to love and to - or not to - bear children with whom they choose - when they choose - as their human right...well...she was probably right in her disillusionment and her subsequent wish which became her death.

A nation that, no matter what the party, believes that they - in this 21st Century - have some kinship with Gawd which gives them the right to make decision which does not advance the freedom of all peoples to choose for themselves their own path to right-eous-ness...within guidelines that protect and preserve the value of all peoples, is not a forward moving nation. To die of old age in a world less progressive than what you aspired to in youth is not a poster concept for Pro-Life.

I drew this Janice image from a photograph with her eyes nearly closed...but I have chosen to open them.

I included this image in a book put together by Dale Copeland - Puniho Art Press - wherein 56 artists submitted a work and text under the theme of 'Exhibit No Fear.' I wrote:  "To celebrate feminine delight in all things of beauty amidst the angst and anger of a world that denies human rights to live and love and believe as a natural and inherent choice is an exhibition of no fear."

Garden

I love to draw and simply love drawings, period. Coloured Micron pens - how cool is that! This piece turned my thoughts to Jack Shadbolt who was such a lucscious and remarkable artist. It's all in the details and he made them fresh and alive every time...everything's there and more.

"Transfigured" - A film by Stephen X. Arthur (5:30, 35 mm, 1998) is just fabulous. "Touched Alive was the original name of the earlier short film made by animating 27 paintings of Canadian West-Coast modernist Jack Shadbolt. The one-and-a-half minute film was produced independently by Stephen Arthur in 1996. It was then expanded to a five-minute film, using over 80 paintings, produced and owned by the National Film Board of Canada. The new film, completed in 1998, is called Transfigured."

On Youtube I found: "Life's Imprint: Lithographs by Jack Shadbolt. This half-hour documentary follows Canadian artist Jack Shadbolt over a 9-month period as he worked with lithographer Torrie Groenig to produce a four-part colour lithograph. Footage includes Shadbolt in his now demolished Burnaby home studio, and follows the creative ups and downs of one of Canada's finest Canadian artists, who sadly passed away in 1998.

Originally broadcast on CBC, Bravo!, and Knowledge Network, and produced/directed by John Corry, Bodega Media Ltd., with the support of the National Film Board of Canada and Knowledge Network."

If you click on the addresses below you can see Life's Imprint (in three separate parts) on Youtube.

http://youtu.be/fsRKjhtJ0Ic

http://youtu.be/ij9v1weMcpc

http://youtu.be/DhVMybpAXPk

 

 

 

Into The Night 1

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100105-earliest-galaxies...

Anne Minard
for National Geographic News
January 5, 2010

Compact, ultra-blue galaxies spied for the first time in the deep universe are the most distant—and therefore the earliest—galaxies anyone has ever seen, astronomers announced today.

These galaxies started forming just 500 million years after the big bang, which is thought to have occurred around 13.7 billion years ago. That pushes back the known start of galaxy formation by about 1.5 billion years.

The objects were spotted in pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, a new camera installed in 2009. (See some of the first pictures taken by the upgraded Hubble.)

The Hubble images, combined with data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, show that the newfound galaxies are relatively small, and they appear very blue, a color linked to lighter elements such as hydrogen and helium.

Hydrogen fusion inside active stars creates heavier elements such as iron and nickel, which get spread across the universe when massive stars explode.

These elements cause modern galaxies to glow in a rainbow of colors, so the extreme blueness of the newfound galaxies suggests that they formed before very many massive stars had lived and died.

"We are looking back 13 billion years and finding extraordinary objects," said Garth Illingworth, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and leader of one of Hubble's survey teams.

"We are looking back through 95 percent of the life of the universe."

Tiny Galaxies Were Only the Beginning

The deep Hubble view also reveals that the newly illuminated region is extremely active, said Rogier Windhorst of Arizona State University, leader of one of the other teams that analyzed the new data.

"If you look hard enough, you can see galaxies of almost every shape."

The snapshots represent an epoch in the early universe when galaxies were believed to be tiny toddlers. Most were just 5 percent the size of the Milky Way with one percent of its mass, UCSC's Illingworth said.

These galaxies are likely the beginnings of the theorized process of galaxy growth in which small galaxies gradually assemble into bulkier objects. "These are the seeds of the great galaxies today," Illingworth said.

Into The Night 2

Anne Minard
for National Geographic News
January 5, 2010 cont'd:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100105-earliest-galaxies...

What caused the major re-ionization event 400 to 900 million years after the big bang?

During this event, something triggered a heat wave that stripped electrons from the neutral hydrogen that filled the universe.

The charged gas shifted rapidly from being opaque to being transparent, ending what's known as the cosmic dark ages and giving rise to the types of galaxies, stars, and other objects familiar today.

(Read (National Geographic's): "Most Distant Object Found; Light Pierced 'Dark Age' Fog.")

The mystery is a "whodunit that is essential to understanding the formation of the structure of the universe," Illingworth said.

A steady increase in starlight from early galaxies is the prime suspect for generating the needed heat.

But so far, the concentration of galaxies in the universe appears to drop off the further back in time astronomers look, and the new findings confirm that theory.

If the truly primordial galaxies—which are as-yet unseen—were very dense, experts say, they could have had the critical mass necessary to trigger the re-ionization event.

The James Webb Space Telescope, due to launch in 2014, may identify the culprits for the re-ionization event by spotting these primordial objects.

Until then, Illingworth said, "we're pushing Hubble to the limit to find these objects."

Into The Night 3

The Greeks named the sun Helios, but the Romans used the name Sol, which is still in use today. Due to the important role the sun plays in our lives, it has been studied, perhaps, more than any other object in the universe, outside our own planet Earth.

The Sun is the closest star to Earth. It is by far the largest object in the solar system, and contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System (Jupiter contains most of the rest). Its strong gravitational pull holds Earth and the other planets in the solar system in orbit.

Our Sun is considered to be an average star, meaning its size, age, and temperature fall in about the middle of the ranges of these properties for all stars. It is only 4.6 billion years old. Some of its material came from former stars.

The four planets nearest it are rocky, terrestrial worlds — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. After that are four gas giants — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter lies the asteroid belt, which includes the dwarf planet Ceres. Beyond the orbit of Neptune one finds the disk-shaped Kuiper belt, in which dwarf planet Pluto resides, and far beyond that is the giant, spherical Oort Cloud and the teardrop-shaped heliopause.

Into The Night 4

This is the last in a series of four. I do not watch a great deal of TV - but I do watch it - and I love movies and good dramas. I am always happy when I set down to watch TV and there is a science program/me on! Fractal geometry and the theory of relativity and the history of great minds with huge curiosities meticulously searching possibilities and recording the details. The cosmos revolving around the Earth and the stunning discovery and acceptance finally that it does not but that we are one in a myriad of galaxies...but why, and how, and what, and where, and on it goes.

I used oil pastels in this series and then, hand made and other, papers were collaged over the background with acrylic medium.

Unravelling the Higgs particle

BY CHRIS WICKHAM, REUTERS JULY 5, 2012

Scientists at the CERN research centre near Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday unveiled their latest findings in their search for the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle key to the formation of stars, planets and eventually life after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.

WHAT IS THE HIGGS BOSON?

The Higgs is the last missing piece of the Standard Model, the theory that describes the basic building blocks of the universe. The other 11 particles predicted by the model have been found and finding the Higgs would validate the model.

Ruling it out or finding something more exotic would force a rethink on how the universe is put together.

Scientists believe that in the first billionth of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was a gigantic soup of particles racing around at the speed of light without any mass to speak of. It was through their interaction with the Higgs field that they gained mass and eventually formed the universe.

The Higgs field is a theoretical and invisible energy field that pervades the whole cosmos. Some particles, like the photons that make up light, are not affected by it and therefore have no mass. Others find it drags on them as porridge drags on a spoon.

Picture George Clooney (the particle) walking down a street with a gaggle of photographers (the Higgs field) clustered around him. An average guy on the same street (a photon) gets no attention from the paparazzi and gets on with his day.

The Higgs particle is the signature of the field - an eyelash of one of the photographers.

The particle is theoretical, first posited in 1964 by six physicists, including Briton Peter Higgs.

The search for it only began in earnest in the 1980s, first in Fermilab's now mothballed Tevatron particle collider near Chicago and later in a similar machine at CERN, but most intensively since 2010 with the start-up of the European centre's Large Hadron Collider.

WHAT IS THE STANDARD MODEL?

The Standard Model is to physics what the theory of evolution is to biology. It is the best explanation physicists have of how the building blocks of the universe are put together. It describes 12 fundamental particles, governed by four basic forces.

But the universe is a big place and the Standard Model only explains a small part of it. Scientists have spotted a gap between what we can see and what must be out there.

That gap must be filled by something we don't fully understand, which they have dubbed dark matter. Galaxies are also hurtling away from each other faster than the forces we know about suggest they should. This gap is filled by dark energy. This poorly understood pair are believed to make up a whopping 96 per cent of the mass and energy of the cosmos.

Confirming the Standard Model, or perhaps modifying it, would be a step toward the holy grail of physics - a 'theory of everything' that encompasses dark matter, dark energy and the force of gravity, which the Standard Model also does not explain. It could also shed light on even more esoteric ideas, such as the possibility of parallel universes.

CERN spokesman James Gillies has said that just as Albert Einstein's theories enveloped and built on the work of Isaac Newton, the work being done by the thousands of physicists at CERN has the potential to do the same to Einstein's work.

WHAT IS THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER?

The Large Hadron Collider is the world's biggest and most powerful particle accelerator, a 27-kilometre looped pipe that sits in a tunnel 100 metres underground on the Swiss/French border. It cost 3 billion euros to build.

Two beams of protons are fired in opposite directions around it before smashing into each other to create many millions of particle collisions every second in a recreation of the conditions a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, when the Higgs field is believed to have switched on.

The vast amount of data produced is examined by banks of computers. Of all the trillions of collisions, very few are just right for revealing the Higgs particle.

That makes the hunt for the Higgs slow, and progress incremental.

WHAT IS THE THRESHOLD FOR PROOF?

To claim a discovery, scientists have set themselves a target for certainty that they call "5 sigma." This means that there is a probability of less than one in a million that their conclusions from the data harvested from the particle accelerator are the result of a statistical fluke.

The two teams hunting for the Higgs at CERN, called Atlas and CMS, now have twice the amount of data that allowed them to claim tantalizing glimpses of the Higgs at the end of last year and this could push their results beyond that threshold.

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Unravelling+Higgs+particle/68870...

Tones & Shades

In this piece I revisited a more architectural concept: the bones are drawn in and then the details are worked with attention to allowing space for the structure. There is a musical sensibility in the mathematics and colour of course plays a large part in this.

There is always a problem to solve when making a piece, and often many problems to solve or reconcile or to choose not to reconcile because that in itself solves the problem at hand. Each piece has its own character and how substantial that character depends upon the commitment to solve or represent honestly the concept. 

I am not adverse to beauty and embrace it - but I always too want to see some mental acuity and am most moved by art that does not pretend to the Muse but rather honestly engages in a  direct conversation and storytelling with the imagined audience (that audience initially being oneself), albeit perhaps not in an obvious way. A single stroke for each thought is perhaps unattainable (especially for me as I am a mistress of the scribble in both mind and actuation) - but still a greatly fun goal and adventure well pursued. Reversely the creation of a complete thought is penultimate.

Between The Blades

I found a great website with Collage Artists http://www.collageart.org and from that page I submitted works to the 14th International Collage Exhibition and Exchange (the websites for this are shown on my Home Page and on my Bio Page). The challenge is to do 13 collages but I only managed to do 10 this year...next year I will be more organized (it is Festival time and I also have other Shows I am working towards) and do the 13. Wonderful to have this connection to peoples across the globe interested in the same medium through the fine efforts of Dale Copeland and others in New Zealand.

After painting with acrylic it was great and somewhat challenging to come back to collage...and working in such a tiny format - no bigger than 8" X 10" - with my sensibility is very detailed and concentrated work.

This is the first piece in the set of 10.

 

Pure Spanish Soul

No. 2 - 14th Annual Collage Exhibition and Exchange

I am rather fond of this piece...could you possibly put more stuff on an 8" X 8" ????

....yes.....

After April, 2012, this work will be in the permanent collection of Aotea Utanganui, the Museum of South Taranaki in New Zealand.

Heart and Soul...not The Blues

No. 3 - 14th Annual Collage Exhibition and Exchange

I spend a great deal of time hopping from....   space    ....toabsolutelynospace...

It's amazing really how you can know something intellectually and practice it successfully in a frequent enough pattern to feel accomplished...and then quite suddenly and without incident find that you are once again perplexed by the intrinsicly simple aspect of putting something of consequence onto a surface.

 

Soon You'll Change To Be The Best

No. 4 - 14th Annual Collage Exhibition and Exchange

The name of this piece comes from a childrens poem...

by C Richard Miles :

Caterpillar, caterpillar, crawl, crawl, crawl;
Don’t fall off the garden wall.
Caterpillar, caterpillar, eat, eat, eat;
Grow so fat on your furry feet.
Caterpillar, caterpillar, rest, rest, rest;
Soon you’ll change to be the best.
Caterpillar, caterpillar, try, try, try;
One day you’ll be the best butterfly.

Promotion of crawling, sleeping and eating in order to make something of yourself is slightly amusing...but for a caterpillar that is the height of industry. Ya gotta love the Ugly Duckling theme...and truthfully the age of Who You Knew is gone the way of the Do-Do...it is What You Do that really counts...and actually always did...we just didn't know it.

Edmonton

No. 5 - 14th Annual Collage Exhibition and Exchange

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta and had friends of Ukranian decent (as well as many other national origins of course...as Canadians come from everywhere and that is who we are). Ukrainian eggs are amazing. Although I didn't consciously intend to fashion this collage after them...a friend pointed out that this piece reminded her of those eggs and I agree. Not any where near as intricate and beautiful...but an echo nonetheless. Part of my history if not my ethnicity. 

Canada has the world's third largest Ukranian population with only Ukraine itself and then Russia in the population lead.

Do You Speak English?

No. 6 - 14th Annual Collage Exhibition and Exchange

There is a dialogue going on here and some kinetic communication and I don't imagine it is completely in English. Within my memory of 'not that long ago' the buzz sonic was English as the language of the business world...in the near future everyone in that business world will have telephones that automatically translate in real time from one language to another....and perhaps from the everyday adherence to this concept in more future time, this will simply prove to be the next step at arriving at one language for all...but body language and the ability to empathize are languages that also need translation for many....so many ideas...so many things to do....

I have seen them riding seaward

From T.S. Eliot’s The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

"Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .                               10
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo....."

The bit about riding seaward comes at the end. This is the poem that made his name and was considered 'the' masterpiece of the modernist movement.

I LOVE the description of the evening being spread out like a patient etherized....

Too bad his views on humanity were so enormously flawed.

I like the visuals in Eliot - his ability to give colour and texture - I can 'see' this poem vividly.

I greatly admire Harold Bloom who, although acknowledging Eliot's genius, doesn't think much of him. A major reason for this is that Elliot was anti-semitic.

Anthony Julius created quite an uproar by writing a book on Eliot's anti-semitism in 1995: TS Eliot, Anti-semitism and Literary Form.

Quote from an article Antony Julius wrote for the Guardian, Saturday, June 7, 2003:

"This does not mean that I read Eliot's poems as anti-semitic statements by their author. I do not read them and then conclude: this is what Eliot thought. Instead, I read them as being in themselves anti-semitic. I am referring here, of course, only to the five poems that I identify in the book as anti-semitic, not the whole of Eliot's poetic output. These are the poems: "Burbank," "Gerontion," "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," "A Cooking Egg," and the posthumously published "Dirge". I regard Eliot's purpose in writing them to be the exploitation of anti-semitic discourse, a view of them consistent with their limited number, and with the comprehensiveness of their address of anti-semitic preoccupations. Eliot's offence lies in his willingness to give offence, in his deployment of anti-semitic language. Eliot's anti-semitic poetry is very deft."

 

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are the only birds who are able to fly backwards...besides the fact they can hover...fabulous creatures...they zip, zip...and then hover, land on my feeder...and then zip away again.

The Aztec god Huitzilopochtli is often depicted as a hummingbird. Aztecs wore hummingbird talismans which were prized as drawing sexual potency, energy, vigor, and skill at arms and warfare to the wearer.

The Hummingbird is depicted in the Nazca Lines which are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru - about 400 km south of Lima. Scholars believe the majority of these were created by the Nazca culture between 200 BC and 400 AD.

To read about these go to http://www.unesco.org and then Search for Nazca Lines.

 

 

 

 

Another Door

RHAPSODY ON A WINDY NIGHT

by: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

"TWELVE o'clock.
Along the reaches of the street
Held in a lunar synthesis,
Whispering lunar incantations
Dissolve the floors of memory
And all its clear relations,
Its divisions and precisions,
Every street lamp that I pass
Beats like a fatalistic drum,
And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium..."

On the Modernist movement, writer and critic Roger WhitneyShattuck (1923 - 2005) wrote: "To a greater extent than at any time since the Renaissance, painters, writers, and musicians lived and worked together and tried their hands at each other's arts in an atmosphere of perpetual collaboration." 

Ezra Pound (1885 - 1972) is credited with promoting Eliot through social events and literary gatherings and 'literally' helped start his career...Ezra Pound's credo was: "Make it new."

Of Ezra Pound, Wiki says:

"Working in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, Pound helped to discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost, and Ernest Hemingway. He was responsible for the publication in 1915 of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and for the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote of him in 1925: "He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. ... He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying ... he advances them hospital expenses and dissuades them from suicide."[2]

Outraged by the loss of life during the First World War, he lost faith in England, blaming the war on usury and international capitalism. He moved to Italy in 1924 where throughout the 1930s and 1940s, to his friends' dismay, he embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler, and wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Oswald Mosley. The Italian government paid him during the Second World War to make hundreds of radio broadcasts criticizing the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in particular Jews—broadcasts that were monitored by the U.S. government—as a result of which he was arrested for treason by American forces in Italy in 1945. He spent months in detention in a U.S. military camp in Pisa, including 25 days in a six-by-six-foot outdoor steel cage that he said triggered a mental breakdown: "when the raft broke and the waters went over me." Deemed unfit to stand trial, a decision disputed for decades after his death, he was incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years.[3]"

On Modernism, Wiki says:

"Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement in the arts, its set of cultural tendencies and associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In particular the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by the horror of World War I, were among the factors that shaped Modernism. Related terms are modern, modernist, contemporary, and postmodern.

In art, Modernism explicitly rejects the ideology of realism[2][3][4] and makes use of the works of the past, through the application of reprise, incorporation, rewriting, recapitulation, revision and parody in new forms.[5][6][7] Modernism also rejects the lingering certainty of Enlightenment thinking, as well as the idea of a compassionate, all-powerful Creator.[8][9]
In general, the term modernism encompasses the activities and output of those who felt the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated in the new economic, social, and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world. The poet Ezra Pound's 1934 injunction to "Make it new!" was paradigmatic of the movement's approach towards the obsolete..."

 

Breathe

‘Space is the breath of art.’ ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

I am a person busy with purpose but even with the knowledge that each person does make a difference and contribution does count...there can be times when things are just simply too much and there is a need to breathe.

Time for breath and appreciation and to live in the white space.

   

Three Women

Acrylic on Canvas No.1 of 6 - "The Guiding Thread So Fine...." Group Show December 2011.

It had been quite a length of time since I had last done any painting and so for this show I jumped out of my recent comfort zone - collage work - to create a set of paintings which conveyed a concept...a flexible storyline to echo the subject line.

Sometimes the thread is very fine...sometimes it isn't necessarily so fine but we are not looking for it and therefore we don't see it...at times the thread is obvious.

This painting is akin to many of my collages in the concepts of colour and arrangement and spirit. There is something more going on here...and all of it is valid.

Wiki says: A bindi (from Sanskrit bindu, meaning "a drop, small particle, dot") is a forehead decoration worn in South Asia (particularly India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Mauritius).[1] and Southeast Asia. Traditionally it is a dot of red color applied in the center of the forehead close to the eyebrows, but it can also consist of a sign or piece of jewelry worn at this location.

Traditionally, the area between the eyebrows (where the bindi is placed) is said to be the sixth chakra, ajna, the seat of "concealed wisdom". According to followers of Hinduism, this chakra is the exit point for kundalini energy. The bindi is said to retain energy and strengthen concentration.[1] It is also said to protect against demons or bad luck. The bindi also represents the third eye.[2]

In modern times, bindis are worn by women of many religious dispositions in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and is not restricted to Hindus. Many Muslim women in Bangladesh and Pakistan wear the bindi as part of makeup. It is also used in festivals such as Holi.[3]
Red represents honor, love and prosperity, hence it was worn traditionally by women to symbolize this.
The red bindi has multiple meanings which are all valid at the same time. This is also a spiritual symbol.

People of East Indian origin make up the tenth largest ethnic group in Canada. Canadians of East Indian origin also make up the second largest non-European ethnic group in the country.

This painting was based on a photograph by Laurence Mouton as seen in a beautiful book titled: India - A Cultural Journey, copyright Putumayo World Culture www.putumayo.com

 

 

Mother and Child

Acrylic on Canvas - Work No. 2 of 6 - "The Guiding Thread So Fine...." Group Show, December 2011.

Is there any more sacred subject? Birth...nurturing...kinship - all intrinsic to survival with the added dimension of love.

Penultimate...the concept of unconditional reality in metaphysics and theology.

This young mother is really lovely.

Woman

Work No. 3 from "The Guiding Thread So Fine...." - Group Show, December, 2011. Acrylic on Canvas

Portraiture is interesting today. In the past of course it was to do the obvious - to capture a likeness of an individual. Most of us now have drawers full of photos - portraits for every occassion throughout each year of our lives.

'Now-a-days' I almost think to paint a portrait has to have an implication of something more than just a likeness. Indeed most classic portraits have entered the conscious realm of the general public because of some 'hook' or 'mystery' described or intimated at, in regards to the particular portrait singled. We otherwise are engaged by the period and the costume and some knowledge of the history and timeline of the vast array of classic portraiture that does not have anything else to showcase.

My generation will very much have influenced the evolution of Woman in the general consciousness for our children - as others have before and will after in the 'western' world - which is my world. I have lived a life that has allowed me to be a person in my own right...which so many women have not had rights to in the past and many across the planet still do not as I write this - and I am thankful for my opportunities...although I have worked for them.

Tourist

Work No. 4 in "The Guiding Thread So Fine...." - Group Show, December, 2011. Acrylic on Canvas.

Travel opens your mind and your awareness of possibilities - I don't think anyone who has travelled would disagree with this statement. I have always loved to read for that same reason...so many different imaginings... so many places and people and worlds... real and imaginary to explore. Ideas born of ideas.

It is always a little disconcerting to be out of your safety zone - how to fit in? How to communicate? How to assure seeing what is most important about the place you are visiting at the moment? How to embrace the situation, the circumstances, and the people? That's the fun of it. It is also the challenge.

Immigrant

Painting No. 5 of "The Guiding Thread So Fine...group show December, 2011.

Immigrant - trade wind - salt and pepper and cinnamon and cacao and rice and coffee. I love limes and sweet peppers. I love apples and oranges. All these wonderful foods brought from different peoples in different parts of the world. How can anyone be angry with people and cultures you sit to table with?

Can you believe that people ever believed that Woman was the devil's apprentice - the temptress - all over an apple...poor apple got a bum wrap...although we know it probably wasn't an apple...because for hundreds (thousands) of years anything that wasn't a berry was considered an 'apple'. Pagan mythologies credited the 'apple' with ensuring the 'gods' were enternally youthful...

Wiki says:  In the wild, apples grow quite readily from seeds. However, like most perennial fruits, apples are ordinarily propagated asexually by grafting. This is because seedling apples are an example of "extreme heterozygotes", in that rather than inheriting DNA from their parents to create a new apple with those characteristics, they are instead different from their parents, sometimes radically.

That is delightful!

Self Portrait/Eat Me Drink Me

No. 6:  This is the last of a set of 6 paintings I did for a group show entitled 'The Guiding Thread So Fine...." with Carolyn Kowalyk, Elizabeth Litton, and Lorraine Thorarinson-Betts at the Cafe Gallery at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre in December 2011. We are a diverse group and I believe the theme suited us well - it was a lovely show and we had a wonderful time hanging it. Without pre-conceiving this we all hung 6 works...which is not eerily speaking to any great 'mystery'... but a fun coincidence and sensibility nonetheless.

The theme is taken from Walt Whitman's "Song of the Universal"

"O the blest eyes, the happy hearts,
That see, that know the guiding thread so fine,
Along the mighty labyrinth."

 

Elizabeth Litton: http://www.elizabethlitton.com

Carolyn Kowalyk:  http://www.redartgallery.ca

Lorraine Thorarinson-Betts:  http://www.lorrainebetts.com

The unavailing outcries

Mixed media/collage/ink on canvas Size: 6"x8"

There is a point, early on I believe but not necessarily so, wherein you make the decision to stand for something. You either love the individual and hate the mass or you love the mass and hate the individual (I believe Pope made a commentary to this but I have not been able to substantiate this belief by finding a direct quote…but will simply state that at least my own understanding of this concept was gleaned from the humour and truth that I have always acquainted with Alexander Pope…albeit it might be of my own imagining). Outcries are not necessarily a good or a bad thing… They are simply honest although at times annoying…depending upon which side you happen to be on at the given moment. I will fully admit to my sense of outcry many times in my life…and have a definite sense of pride for each and every one.

That Empty The Heart

Collage/Ink on Paper Size: 6"x8"

So you have action and a full arena and then you have to complement this with a sense of space, and things/items not filled with the day to day stress load. This can both be a sense of emptiness and loss…when you have appreciated something so full and meaningful to you that the essence and sheer disbelief that this could be vanished from view is abhorrent and unbelievable and not 'real.'

But as well, the emptiness of the heart can also bring with it a sense of 'beyond' and an understanding that can only come perhaps with a direct relationship with trauma and the energy that comes with overcoming and dealing head on with the situations confronted and the belief that intrinsically a better outcome will evolve with due care and attention. This is determined by your capability for faith in abilities at hand, and the ever real knowledge that what you put in is what you get out. Life is not all that complicated. It is without doubt, trying on some counts and amazingly wondrous on others.

Where the bee sucks

Mixed media/collage/ink on canvas Size: 5"x7"

I have never been one to overly dramatize my life…as others have been readily at that gate…but I have always had a fair sense of myself and the knowledge that in time my time would, with effort, be worthwhile. Like the bees…and they also need attention and care and love and due attention as without the bees we are at a loss. Some things are very simple in life…albeit so many people care to make it more complicated and obtuse. They have their own agendas.

There suck I

Collage/Ink on Paper Size: 5"x7"

So here we are…all of us who simply live our lives and learn and embrace the learning and arrive at certain 'checkpoints' but who at the same time know organically that there are other lessons and other stops and starts along the way. It is a mystery and how we play the game is important…even if we don't like games. Intent is always the major player.

Daffodils

Collage Size: 4"x8"

After I finished the Postcards I had some smaller sheets of paper left over and I was in the mood for drawing. I also had some dead daffodils still in the large vase that I always have on the counter dividing my living and dining rooms…so I doodled on the paper and then collaged around it. The daffodils are hanging down from the vase so in this context they are not upside down.

Poscard To The Sun #10

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

This is the last postcard in a set of 10 that I did for this show. I do not often, but sometimes I do and then only at best half follow that course of action, predetermine exactly what I am going to produce before I begin - other than the size and the colour I am going to start with and if a theme is given a loose adherence to where that leads me. In this piece I see there is representation of things that would appear to be in the act of moving towards some destination...forward.

Poscard To The Sun #9

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

This is more like a Prairie storm...with big dynamics...a very big canvas and lots of boom.

Postcard To The Sun #8

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

 

A different dimension...flattened out but not less complex.

Postcard To The Sun #7

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

 

Full glory rhythm and something more...not necessarily... complicated.

Postcard To The Sun #6

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

A little dancing going on here - more space - room for those little surprises you forget and relearn each year.

Postcard To The Sun #5

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

All things at once here...like a Spring day in Victoria wherein you can literally have the warmth from the sun, pelting rain, sleet, more sun, and then a wind that will blow your windows out...all in one day...easily. To enjoy a sunny day with the cherry blossoms is a treat...as often it is so dismal out that you cower from home to vehicle to work or whereever you absolutely need to go...to get out of the downward 'pelt' of it...and then one day you look around you and it is snowing cherry petals and the wind is swirling them in drifts at your feet...which is actually very beautiful and entrancing...but at that point I always wish I had paid more attention to them when they were actually stuck to the branches...next year...well as I write this I still have time...so maybe this year....

Postcard To The Sun #4

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

I often have things that are on my mind when I am making a piece...but they are not always, nor necessarily often, directly focused...not a spotlight. In this set of postcards to the sun I am thinking about many things...and I would say that in this particular piece there is an opening up and a certain lightness being portrayed.

Postcard To The Sun #3

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

This is confusion and it's not very pretty...some days are simply like that. A definite day to send a postcard to the sun...Chaos.

Wiki: Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for chaotic systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general.[1] This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved.[2] In other words, the deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable.[3][4] This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos.

Poscard To The Sun #2

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

My garden is not completely wild but it isn't ordered either. I don't find things perfectly in their place to be at all soothing...and I rather practice the complete jumble of debris over the winter months that through a lot of steady toil in the spring ends up becoming a surprise...as the bones are good. This piece reminds me of the shadows in the woody back end looking out in to the bright and sunny...the place where birds build their nests.

Postcard To The Sun #1

Collage Size: 5"x8"

Group Show - Red Art Gallery - 2011 - Heliolatry

Artists: Marion Evamy, Elizabeth Litton, Carolyn Kowalyk, Lorraine Thorarinson-Betts, Bonnie Helm-Northover. Our theme was ‘Heliolatry’: My slant on heliolatry for the purpose of this show was organic...one could argue successfully that anything that grows practices sun worship. Even down in the depths organics are affected by other organics closer to the surface and the sun. The centre boils and pushes up through the layers to the surface. An absence of sun can be a relief and soothing, and an absence of sun can be disheartening and chilling. Context occurs through shading and observation.

Our emotions and our thoughts are influenced and guided by the presence and absence of the sun.

Sun Shower

Collage/Ink on Paper Size: 17"x24"

Generally my collages are abstractions which speak of how I feel and concepts that stimulate me, rather than direct imagery. I do also enjoy drawing and love direct imagery - and often incorporate drawing in to my collage. This piece is a smaller, and less intricately cut, variation of After Rothko and was created to convey the mood of its theme.

Here Comes The Sun

Collage/Ink on Paper Size: 17"x24"

Oragami paper offers a huge palette of colour and pattern to work from. The most easily available sheets are smaller, and often cut to size for the purpose of folding,  but you can also purchase larger (wrapping paper size) sheets and so in this piece I tried to think ‘big’ - or perhaps ‘not small.’  The acrylic medium I use to apply the paper patterns to the background paper assure that the work is protected from the air. I also overlap the papers creating multiple layer dimensions.

First Light

Collage/Ink on Paper Size: 11"x17"

I was in a group show at Red Art Gallery with Lorraine Thorerinson Betts, Marion Evamy (owner), Carolyn Kowalyk, and Elizabeth Litton - Our theme was 'Heliolatry.' This was the last piece I did for this theme, although I did not exhibit this piece at that show. It was shown at the Sooke Fine Art Show 2011. I then donated it to PODA for my second year of contributing to that worthy group - for more information please refer to the piece named PODA Garden.

After Rothko

Collage/Ink on Paper Size: 17"x24"

Some concepts in life are essential and stripped of detail when seen in first light...but with changing light and a moment's pause, further insight reveals infinite complexity. I have been awed by this depth in the work of Mark Rothko, as well as the paintings of Gerhardt Richter.

Windblown

Collage, Size: 9"x15"

This is simple and direct and delights in things blown in the wind and the wind that blows them.

PODA Garden

Collage, Size: 9"x17½"

"Partnerships for Opportunity is a non-profit, service organization committed to providing opportunities for Sub-Saharan peoples to secure healthy futures. It is our goal to assist those suffering from abject poverty by providing a supportive foundation for community-based, social development projects. We are committed to raising awareness in Canada of humanitarian needs in Africa and to providing direct assistance. In this commitment, we are confident that together we can bring about equitable and sustainable social change." – from the PODA website www.poda.ca

I did this collage for a fundraiser PODA had in Fall 2010. I have gained some fabulous relationships with people over the years through volunteering, and a good friend of mine is committed to PODA with good cause.

Operetta

Collage, Size: 11½"x15"

There is little breathing room here. Focus runs from cold to hot and how it does or does not succeed in allowing the opposite or equal to stand and make statement. Upstaged, everything vibrantly demands attention from the rafters on down - an Operetta.

The moment on stage is owned by all, including the person in the dark, shining the spot.

Lagoon

Collage, Size: 11½"x17½"

This work has a bone structure and then incorporates shapes with a more free organic sensibility. A lagoon is separated from a larger body of water by some form of barrier and so it forms a unique body of water which is both separate and connected to a larger body of water. Relatively it is two different things at the same time depending on how you view it.

Heat Wave

Collage, Size: 9"x15"

Energy pushes the wave forward.

Paper and oil pastel and graphite. Oil pastel allows for a direct sense of freedom in expression. By its very nature (texture; colour) it adds heat and vibrancy. Heat waves are not constant on the west coast, but they are memorable.

Floral 5

Collage, Size: 5"x8"

This postcard was created to solicit a florist for The Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival. It has rather a Mexican feel to it I think heading south...

Floral 4

Collage, Size: 5"x8"

I sent these postcards out to various Florists for Festival 2011 and I actually received a very good feedback from them. Something designed/created in exchange for something else designed/created. I received 3 positives from the 5 that I sent out...not bad!

Floral 3

Collage, Size: 5"x8"

Florist solicitation postcard for Festival 2011. This one has rather a dramatic feel to it I think and is one of my favourites.

Floral 2

Collage, Size: 5"x8"

A postcard created to solicit contribution from Florists in our area for the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival. We are a volunteer group (we have one paid Office Administrator) and many peoples spend many hours to put on approximately 6 - 7 weeks of educational sessions (adjudicated), topped off by some fabulous concerts. We need support from our community - and when we receive it - we are extremely thankful and appreciative. Community is a wonderful thing.

Floral 1

Collage, Size: 5"x8"

This is a postcard that I created under the umbrella of Sponsor Representative for the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival (GVPAF). I sent all the postcards listed Floral 1 - 5 to different Florists, with hopes that one of them would agree to support this lovely non-profit organization.

It's an olde-fashioned thing to do…to make your own postcards and then mail them…and I think they appreciated the in-kind attention which accompanied my request for sponsorship, as of course it took time and effort to make them.

Just before I made these, a friend sent me an art exhibit programme that she thought would be of interest to me, and it was great to receive something in the mail that wasn't a bill or a solicitation, but was simply sent just for fun. I made the postcards in the same vein as of course perhaps none of the Florists would sponsor, but I hoped they would enjoy the receipt of something individual and hand-made just for them.

The Earth Warms

Collage, Size: 7½"x11½"

Here again is a piece that I include in my portfolio without really knowing that I 'like' it. Something about it I like or I would not have created it. At base this is about Earth nudging in to spring season. There are underlying forces waiting to emerge.

I made this beforehand, but: I have found it interesting in the last few months to have experienced challenges for artistic integrity. This has been both horrendously deflating and amusing. A person should push past personal boundaries, if they can go that path, and embrace being unacceptable at times, without putting up barriers and without defending the bastion of ego (oh Freud please sit down).

I am more than capable of defending any bastion that I attend. But I don't need to or rather I don't have to. It is of more interest, to me, in the long run, to absorb the reason for creating defence and then interpret my reactions. Winning is relative learning is everything. There is a difference between negative words and words that are conveyed because of an interest in idea process which might consist of negative elements. It isn't possible to follow every road and irregardless of whether or not it is the road less travelled…it simply makes sense to pay due and proper care and attention to the road travelled presently.

Note: Although we are at base equal parts of this warm earth and deserve equal respect and honest affection, some people are simply assholes.

The Earth Whispers

Collage, Size: 7½"x11½"

This followed 'The Earth Warms' and the initial motivations for both of these pieces spur from the fact that the earth constantly changes.

We take note of earth change seasonally. When Earth changes from season to season it follows a pattern and within this pattern, because of external/internal conditions, the patterns appear changed. We externally see or feel these changes in our day to day lives, but ever increasingly we see and feel these changes peripherally because we are busy people – internally and macrocosmically the changes are like whispers. In minute chorus the ever constant din of change is barely recognized as a whisper.

Fractal geometry awes me.

Dance

Collage, Size: 9"x15"

Choreography and the internal/external space that it inhabits is a wonderfully detailed discipline. It entails hours and hours of work from conception to living proof to take it from the imagined to the stage…and then it is over each moment at a time. It will never again be the same as the moment that it was experienced at the time it was lived for that moment. The next look at this piece will be a completely different although altering and echoing experience. Piercing the surface tension is the heart revealing the beauty of the exercise.

It is a wonder to watch a dancer take a piece of choreography and 'own' it.

Disposable Container

Collage, Size: 22½"x30"

They are called ‘black widows’ because for the most part they are women who have lost family members in ‘the war.’ I read an article just before I did this work wherein it was proudly acknowledged that ‘they’ had started using female suicide bombers because people at borders did not expect women to be killers and so of course this gave a tactical advantage. This wisdom expounds that these women have nothing to live for anyway…and they might as well die bravely to further the ‘cause.’ Just another disposable container: Somebody’s child; somebody’s sister; somebody’s friend; somebody’s wife; somebody’s mother; somebody; some body.

Water Garden

Collage, Size: 9"x17½"

This has made me visualize perspective (I learned about the vanishing point but never have been overly entranced with drawing that way) and has set me to thinking about it seriously. The object of this piece though initially is to be joyful and playful and industrious as a garden in summer.

Current

Collage, Size: 9"x17½"

Following ‘Pond’ this collage came and worked quicker. It reminds me of tide pools and shellfish and molluscs and barnacles and the tide. It also reminds me of ruins…or caves and caverns…or…

Pond

Collage, Size: 9"x17½"

With the idea of doing a series of collage with water themes, I started on a landscape, which became overly done. Although some parts I really liked, the sum of the parts was horrid (I have named it This Is A Mistake…not shown on website for obvious reasons). This is the next collage that I did and it feels like the murky depths of a pond, which from the outside just looks like…murk…but from a closer view has a myriad of variations. I wasn’t sure I liked it either at first…but it has grown on me. To me there is a story to it and I love stories.

Rear View

Collage, Size: 9"x17½"

I drew this from a (1950’s?) Italian photograph, the subject being the backseat rider of a scooter. There are many reasons why I was drawn to this photo…taking the backseat position…having a hindsight view…and her face shows she has a story to tell. 

Water Is For Everyone

Collage, Size: 22"x31"

There appears to be a debate lately on whether water is a human right or a commodity. Somehow that defines the problem…the fact that this is even a question for debate. The world is definitely warming up and poverty, pollution, and population might be enormous problems to overcome…but water is one of the elements needed for survival. Water belongs to everyone: this isn’t an ugly truth; it simply is the truth.

Cherry Blossoms

Collage, Size: 26"x34"

These blossoms often make a sneak appearance with the snowdrops as early as January in some sheltered places in Victoria and when they come out in full force they run riot through the streets. I watch two Ravens all year long ride the topmost heights of a beach tree and the crows that try to climb the social branches abruptly sent to their places. Often the crows come over to my place and ride the wires for a while. This piece is part of a diptych, which I am currently completing

GVPAF XMAS Card 2009

Collage, Size: 8½"x11"

For more information on GVPAF please go to www.gvpaf.org

GVPAF XMAS Card 2008

Collage, Size: 8½"x11"

I have included this image (and the one to follow) as I am truly committed to the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival which is a non-profit organization offering opportunities for students of any age to develop artistic skills and pursue an appreciation of the performing arts. I have sent Xmas cards to the volunteers for the Piano section for the last two years, and this was my image for 2008.

For more information on GVPAF please go to www.gvpaf.org

Cha Cha

Ink & Collage, Size: 9"x20"

Rhythm, movement, colour, tension, texture, relationships, performance, are key elements.

Architecture

Ink & Collage, Size: 12"x24"

This is in the same rhythm as Grass as its size does not limit its space or boundaries. There is excitement in creating a tension between the parts, which in correspondence form their own structure.

Grass

Ink & Collage, Size: 8"x19"

I am interested in the macro concept of things in this piece. Although this is not a very large piece I can see this very large as a backdrop to a ballet or one act play. Size does not determine boundaries and abstraction comes from looking at things up close and personal.

Garden

Acrylic & Collage, Size: 26"x34"

I travelled to Scotland with a friend and then trained down to London where I spent a day at Kew Gardens. It is a lovely garden and I took many photos. After I sketched in the figures, I collaged around them and then finished this piece by filling in the young women and the two tree trunks with acrylic. I did this mixed media collage on hand made paper which I purchased at the auction – it is lovely paper and was made by a woman named Amy who attended the Nova Scotia College of Art as I can see her name pencilled on to a few of the papers, and the folder came with a plexi-glass board with the college name on it.

Tango

Ink & Collage, Size: 16"x20"

Dance is a fabulous form of expression and both of my boys are beautiful dancers for which I am very proud. I would love to go to Buenos Aires and see the Tango first hand. Passion and humour and respect are incorporated in this piece.

The Whistler

Collage, Size: 11"x20"

I have a small mask in my hallway of The Whistler who was a trickster and one of the Iroquois False Face Healing Masks used to scare away evil spirits. I believe the original legend has to do with a struggle between a huge man and the Great Creator when they met in the Rocky Mountains. The huge man lost the fight and was disfigured as a result - the lesson being that arrogance does not pay. There are many different expressions given to masks originating from this legend (Broken Nose and Crooked Mouth, Tongue Protruding etc.) and I greatly respect these images and love their honesty and humour.

Structure

Ink & Collage, Size: 8"x11"

This is the other side of Orientation, and is about what isn’t and the relationship it has with what is.

Orientation

Collage, Size: 5"x7"

In this small piece I am having fun with origami paper plus some very beautiful wrapping paper I purchased at Thousand Villages. Here small bits of paper combine to fill a space and bind together to make a whole of something new. I am filling up space in my own orchestration of how that should be and having fun doing it.

Winter Moves

Collage, Size: 9"x12"

Everything I do is representational in some way but at times the representation is more of a whisper than a statement. I see mystery in the most representational of images as well as the most abstract. I love a good mystery. Under the cover of snow there is constant movement even if you cannot see it. Winter is its own world.

She's Come Undone

Acrylic & Collage, Size: 48"x72"

I recently discovered I had breast cancer and then two operations followed, the second of which was fairly major. There have been times in my life when I, like the song, realized I had come undone. When you unravel it is an amazing thing to see how much of you there is to unravel. Of course when you have an operation they rearrange your parts - they unravel and ‘reravel’ your innards physically - and then it is your job afterwards to ravel yourself back up on a mental/emotional plane while you wait for your body to physically ravel itself up on a different but somehow not so different plane. This is recouping what has been unravelled. What physically is happening to you is not always what is mentally happening to you but then again it is not necessarily so different either. I have recently been reminded that even when you are very young, at a time when you have no say in so many things that occur in your life, your life as you assume it is can be unravelled by others; even those who are very close to you and who care very much for you. The thing to be cognisant of is ownership of that whole ‘lotta’ stuff to unravel and then to ‘reravel’ again. There is beauty in this if you look for it. Regardless of whether or not you see any beauty, it is not boring.

Sunset / Sunrise

Acrylic, Size: 12"x12"

A Study.

Winter Birch

Collage, Size: 19"x19"

I was born and lived in Edmonton until I was ten years of age and have wonderful memories of the birch trees with their peeling white bark and which inhabit the contour of the Saskatchewan River. We do not see as many birch here on the west coast, but when I do see them I always stop to admire them. There is a lovely stand of them going up Vancouver Island – I think they are near Ladysmith. It’s one of those things where you have ridden that path so often you don’t necessarily remember the tiny details but the overall impact of the spectacular moment is a very vivid picture.

Mt. Doug Park

Collage, Size: 10"x10"

This is my impression after driving through Mt. Doug on my way home one winter afternoon. In the winter you can see through the trees to the ocean and the stormed waves, which except for the island dividing them looks very much like the sky and stormed clouds. If it weren’t for the trees you could simply fall off the cliff into this landscape.

Tulips

Acrylic, Size: 24"x24"

Tulips are the most incredible flowers and are just wild when in full bloom right before the petals drop.

Shucking Corn

Acrylic, Size: 30"x40"

Summer: earthy; sexual; pithy; gritty; rich; full; complete… barbeques, beer, and baseball. I can be greatly moved by the power of images that are minimal and static, but I like to create things that have movement. I play with the principles of colour intuitively rather than by the colour wheel, which is really a parpy way of saying I do things by trial and error and just work at things over and over until I get somewhere…anywhere.

Cameron

Acrylic, Size: 30"x30"

A portrait of my oldest son Cam when he was 24.

Dylan

Acrylic, Size: 36"x48"

This is a study of my youngest son Dylan when he was sixteen.

Sketch

Ink, Size: 18"x24"

A pen and ink life study from a Wednesday morning session at X-Changes in Victoria – an extended scribble. I had the great fortune to have Don Harvey as my teacher when I attended UVIC in the Fine Arts Dept. and he once told me (one eyebrow raised I am sure) that I had ‘perfected the art of scribbling’ which greatly amused me…Mr. Harvey likes his ruler.

Glenn

Pencil and Soft Pastel, Size: 18"x24"

This is a quick study of Glenn Gould from a photo. Not a great likeness - but not bad - and something of his nature is perhaps caught here. I plan on doing more studies of Glenn Gould as he held himself in such a fascinating way - and for Canadians of his time and onwards...this is indeed fascinating...an icon on the world stage...and embraceable...and also in real time of consequence. The quiet and not so quiet voice of creativity - eh?

Dead Flowers Talking

Ink and Pencil crayon, Size: 9"x12"

I love to draw and my drawings are scribbles. I often buy myself flowers and after the blooms have faded, I find the result is equally as lovely and fascinating. I am sure I have more than one CD filled with photos of dead blooms and foliage. I also love Halloween, Arthur Rackham, Edward Gorey, and Tim Burton.

About the Veil

Collage, Size: 11"x12"

This is a logo that I designed for a good friend of mine Chris Thompson for “Above The Veil, Attunement Services.” Chris is an excellent musician who also follows the philosophy and practices integrity in living through Balance; Peace; Health; Purpose; Meaning. In an attempt to capture what was needed for a logo of this dimension, I tried to convey both the structure that supports and the structure that must be overcome in order to move forward and blossom/shine. I arrived at this logo image by going through four parts of a process (thus 4 collages), of which this logo piece was the last.

Where you Sit

Collage, Size: 9"x11"

What side of the fence do you sit on? The fence is not static and could fall apart at any moment yet it still stands; the clouds cannot decide whether they are stormy or bright. Choice brings the determination of this piece. ‘Above The Veil’ is the final in this set

The Balance

Collage, Size: 10"x12"

This collage represents analysis and the logical progression of evaluating life as an experience through which we learn - the machinations of who and what and why we are. There is structure to life and within that structure there is symmetry and asymmetry. There is balance in both. There is purpose and meaning to both.

The Forest

Collage, Size: 11"x12" This collage represents fear. As in many fairy tales, there is a beauty and attraction to what first appears to be frightening and I am trying to convey both negative and positive in this image. It is healthy to know fear and its purpose and its meaning. I use ‘found’ papers (gift wrap etc.) but mostly the beautiful origami papers which are a delight to work with and hugely versatile in their application. Sometimes I use glue to apply the paper to the surface (which I did in the four collages in this set) and sometimes I use acrylic medium to ground the paper to a surface, which is a technique I learned at a Workshop with Nick Bantock on Salt Spring Island.