I did a new painting. With acrylic paint and water-soluble graphite. The size is 30″ X 30″. The day after it was finished I made three changes.
Working the woman’s body it became a tree body with a bird. To break up the vertical line of the cartouche I added a bird (looks like a blue jay) entering from the left. To delineate the ‘leaf-flower’ zapping the tadpole-comet-sperm sphere with its tongue I gave it a serpent’s eye, added a white line to the tongue and reworked the sphere.
A friend of mine from Romania refers to the accordion book above as a ‘cartouche.’ I feel like an archeologist discussing the cartouche in my painting. This cartouche contains a number of diagonals that lead the eye to her arm. The white of the cartouche jumps from her arm to the white of her face.
These photos are not professional quality but they do show decisions about content and composition.
In ‘real life’ the painting is not quite as turquoise but it’s also more vibrant with texture and depth. It shines brilliantly.
I will return to a regular posting schedule on this blog soon. My plan is to create linocut prints and small paintings on paper to go with poetry. My computer is slow now, older, and not syncing well with WordPress. I will put Photoshop files on a thumb drive to increase computing power.
For the cover of her book with a theme – dreams, running throughout the powerful, prophetic poems.
I selected the drawings from two sketchbooks filling simultaneously, slowly, sometimes on the subway, sometimes in a cafe.
I work in these sketchbooks, as well as accordion sketchbooks, on and off, sometimes obsessively & intricately, sometimes less so.
I love ink drawing and the history of ink drawings – the contrast of line, design. To be honest I don’t want to do ink drawings, it’s inescapable & too pleasurable. An addiction of sorts.
My early heroes were Aubrey Beardsley and later Jan Toorop.
Today I find myself mesmerized by the line of Pict or Runic art and the heavier B&W contrasts in lino & woodcuts.
I have a book from the early 1900s & the author is railing against modernity in ink drawings.
He’s right about traditional, technical skill but quite misses the point.
The quest to return to what was lost in our origins is not determined by accuracy in depiction.
But rather seeing the spirit of the thing.
Or what we imagine is the spirit of the thing.
After I broke (shattered!) my ankle I began drawing for long periods in bed.
I used a Sharpie marker on lined paper and numbered the drawings.
Sometimes I titled the drawings and indicated how I might use them, a linocut or a painting.
Drawing 14 broke free of its mooring and reappeared after traveling through several rooms.
I recreated Drawing 14 using digital tools.
1 + 4 = 5. Some people say 5 is a dynamic number of change. An indicator of flux, of positive movement,
& some things never reappear & you realize there might be something else, down in the roots, you need to want more.
And you experience both mystery and loss
while wearing wings and antlers.
Wherever those came from.
Basement bright with skin
shows dark, rapt faces.
They hold him
in their hearts and brains.
Someone whispered the world
is not worth becoming evil for –
On the ceiling, which is the maiden mother’s floor,
they pound, and pause, and pound again.
Blood pulsing in their fists,
the pierce of loathing under their ribs.
In a shadowed mezzanine
below the conscious mind,
they gnaw on river fish,
direct you to the wrong people,
put glitter in their eyes,
control the atmosphere,
arrange stillborn thoughts in old places.
Later they will say you brought down
the old, dull, rusted sword
with your own hands – and you did –
on the samovar that hid her hand
and the bed where she bared herself.
bird reposed in flight,
love for whose sake everything, murderous
and merciful, is done –
It’s so quiet now,
vouchsafed to a world of sullen depravity,
a few crumbs of dust for the broom.
The true operation of your mind – follow it –
Ned Baeck lives in Vancouver.
His poems have recently appeared in untethered, The Continuist and Sewer Lid.
His first full-length collection of poems is forthcoming from Guernica.
Feel so lonesome in the morning
Morning brings me grief
Sunshine and the sunshine
Sunshine laughs upon my face
& the glory of the growing
Puts me in my rotting place
Feel so lonesome in the evening
Evening brings me grief
Moon shine moon shine
Moon shine drugs the hills with grace
& the secret of the shining
Seeks to break my simple face
Kills the blood upon my cheek
Does not bring me to relief
Starshine and the starshine
Feel so loving in the starshine
Darling kiss me as I weep
Morning Morning written by Tuli Kuferberg & recorded by The Fugs on their album The Fugs.
The Fugs (1966) is the second album from The Fugs.
Historical info & album downloads can be found at The Fugs official website: http://www.thefugs.com/history2.html
Morning Morning by The Fugs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dM8jpbaw3A
I make no claim whatsoever to these lyrics, whose copyright, I assume, remains with the author & Fugs founding member, the late Tuli Kupferberg. I simply wish to share these beautiful words & music.
Lyrics found at Lyrics.com as submitted by jinny.
Dust rises off the hot low veldt. Vast sugarcane estates: the only irrigated
land. Wide lush green fields sprout a million tiny sprinklers. The cane is
ready, burnt to make it easier to cut. Flame sweeps the fields, fierce as a
forest fire. The air black soot, a flurry of ash falls miles away, drifts in
doorways, a line of soot runs across the table in our classroom Monday
morning, mirroring the crack in the roof’s peak.
How I love a dusting of sugar over a slab of chocolate cake, a script of
Give me brown sugar, white sugar, cubes and icing sugar, caster sugar,
sugar daddy, sugar mummy, sugar baby, sugar bear, sugar-beet, sugar
bowl, sugared and sugary, sugar plum fairy, Shake Sugaree.
Long, open cane trucks, chains along the sides, drive past the auto-
wreck’s Jesus is Coming, into the refugee settlement, collect workers
early in the morning, return them dirty, tired at day’s end. The cane cutters
earn a little more, dressed in layers for protection, sooty as chimney
sweeps. Our students tell us, Cane can cut you. Snake can get you in the
Monthly rations: maize, beans, salt, sometimes dried fish, and a little
One more lump of sugar, please.
Simon learned English fast: homeland, refugee, truck. Hot and cold. Love
and hate. Past, present, future. Simon cut cane. He told us of his last trip
on the back of a cane truck. Returning to the settlement one black night,
the truck broke down at the side of the road. People got out, lay down and slept, waiting for another truck. Simon watched a lorry full of oranges
crash into the cane truck, knocking it over onto the sleeping workers,
pinning the dead and injured to the ground. The sugary smell of oranges
but none to eat. The truck carried on, cutting through the night taking the oranges safely to Durban.
Sheila Stewart has two poetry collections, The Shape of a Throat (Signature Editions) and A Hat to Stop a Train (Wolsak and Wynn). She co-edited The Art of Poetic Inquiry (Backalong Books). Sheila’s poetry has been recognized by such awards as the gritLIT Contest, the Pottersfield Portfolio Short Poem Contest, and the Scarborough Arts Council Windows on Words Award. She teaches in Equity Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and the Writing Centre at New College, University of Toronto. ‘Sugar’ is from The Shape of a Throat.
I have seen the greatest minds of my generation riding vacuum cleaners in the sky above Syria. George Washington’s wooden occult teeth clitter clatter in the rubble filled streets. General Sherman’s occult army empties another town on his flaming march to the sea.
Jet-diving vacuum roar sucks up intricate silver jewelry dropped upon/ into the embroidered rug. Loot! Booty! This should be worth something! Dropping beside/ into delicately curved brass dishes of fragrant food flavoured with aromatic spices. A wedding photograph framed within the ancient yew.
Great-grandmother’s sacred water-well dripping twisted rags in Springtime. Pawn shop lights blinking. Pawns on the azure-tiled cafe floor tipped beneath an abandoned chessboard. Dripping ruptured pipes drip, once it was every minute, rusted, caustic water drops staining the almost (e8=Q). Staining the almost.
See the fleet footed family fly beneath gleaming sedan billboards into the shade shadow of a brighter tomorrow. See the family scurry hurry parallel rust-flaked punctured pipes into the caustic, occult ceiling of a brighter tomorrow. A gleaming tomorrow/ flee flee Washington’s wanton wooden teeth.
Swing low sweet chariot with minus reflective surface. Aim from the plastic-wrapped heart in the gleaming plastic bowl in the chilled gleaming refrigerator darkened by a dead bulb.
Luther Blissett is a mythical figure in contemporary European art history. He works on multiple media platforms cross-referencing a multiplicity of artistic disciplines concerning identity, the body, society and the psyche.