Monday, April 21, 2014

OLD LETTERS IN THE ATTIC

Biro Portraits on Antique envelopes by Mark Powell. See interview here

MY GRANDMOTHER'S LOVE LETTERS by Hart Crane

There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother's mother,
Elizabeth,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.

And I ask myself:

"Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?"

Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.


See more portraits on Mark Powell's Flickr photo stream here.

"I was given an envelope that was sent from the front line in World War 1. It captivated me that this may have been the last thing ever written by this soldier. I find the envelopes with stamp collectors and the cost depends on the stamp which of course doesn't interest me. I like the history and scars of travel with the envelope." -  Mark Powell


Michael Douglas Jones


Variation on a theme of letters from Poland by Beata Wehr


"In her series Field Notes, photographs blend the domesticity of home with the joy of wilderness, the natural world. The paper houses are built from letters, postcards and envelopes saved through the decades in old shoeboxes by her grandparents and discovered in their attic a few years ago. The images are printed on old envelopes collected from around the world; artifacts from the last centuries." - Penopticon Gallery

Rachel Phillips unique wet transfer pigment prints on vintage envelopes. 

 Joanne Teasdale (images fused on glass, steel wire, steel plate). See website here

Joanne Teasdale


Letter from Eugene Delacroix to his paint dealer.

....and the piece de resistance 
the illustrated love letters of Henry Moore to his mistress


 Love letters from Henry Moore to his mistress. 

"I also delight in the way a shy restrained 
letter can reveal the writer's feelings thanks
to one word he or she couldn't hold back, 
flying off like a reckless butterfly, landing -- 
it knows the exact spot -- in the corner of 
the reader's mouth, as a quivering smile, 
trembling at the premonition of a secret 
love that has in fact been avowed." 

-- Agnes Desarthe, from Chez Moi


 The Gorgeous Nothings is an art book as much as a poetry book, featuring full-color facsimiles of 52 of Emily Dickinson's envelope poems.  

In this short life
that only lasts an hour
merely
How much  -- How
little -- is 
within our
power.

- Emily Dickinson


Monday, April 14, 2014

WATERS EDGE

Beautiful photography by Stephen Strom. Website here

There is something enchanting about walking near water and I've realized that I'm happiest near the sea or a mountain stream.... or at any waters edge, for that matter. My husband loves to tell the story (and it's becoming a bit tiresome) about how whenever I'm walking in the mountains and hear a stream burbling nearby I disappear into the bracken in search of it and he knows he will find me kneeling at the waters edge to taste the water.


Marsh (Reduction woodcut) by Jean Gumpper. See more of Jean's work here

AT BLACKWATER POND by Mary Oliver

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have
 settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened?

 Maureen Shaughnessy

 While searching for the right images to go with Mary Oliver's poem I stumbled across Maureen Shaughnessy's blog. Maureen is an artist/photographer/poet who illustrated Mary's poem, In Blackwater Woods with the artwork (above). I think Maureens's images are perfect for Mary Oliver's poetry. Read her blog post  here.

Moon Rising in Grasses by Maureen Shaughnessy.

"In our spiritual tradition, we give away whatever is holding us back -- whatever is troubling us -- by sitting beside running water and letting the negative feelings, thoughts, or obstacles go. We imagine the obstacles flowing away with the current, like a leaf or a twig". Maureen Shaughnessy

I love this idea. Go here to read more.


Ripples by Paul Mitchell. See more of Paul's photos on Flickr, here.

Olli Kekalainen. See Olli's blog here

"Here is the fringey edge where elements meet and realms mingle, where time and eternity spatter each other with foam. The salt sea and the islands, molding and molding, row upon rolling row, don't quit, nor do winds end nor skies cease from spreading in curves". - Annie Dillard from Holy The Firm
 Stephen Strom. See more here

 Stephen Strom

 Suburban sand castles by Chad Wright. Photography by Lynn Kloythanomsup. See more photos of Chad's installation, Masterplan, here  and Lynn's photo stream at Flickr here.

Masterplan by Chad Wright. Photography by Lynn Kloythanomsup. See Chad's website here

 Arc by Sam Lock. See website here

Meltwater by Sam Lock

Monday, March 24, 2014

BE STILL, THEY SAY




"Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me.
Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands."  -  Linda Hogan, Native American writer


Ancestors by Emil Alzamora (ceramic, iron paint) See website here



Mark Chatterley. See website here


"Life, death, creation and destruction, this is the world I find myself in. I want my art to echo these thoughts, everything in a state of flux, changing and reforming. A sense of decay along with life. Nothing is permanent and nothing stays the same." - Mark Chatterley


Dreaming Guardians by Hib Sabin. See more here

As a shaman practitioner, Hib is acutely attuned to the connection between the human and animal spirit worlds. His cast of figures moves in and out of the spiritual world and evokes a certain ancient timelessness. Themes of transformation are quite common in his work, specifically transitional moments between life and death. 
- Stonington Gallery


Hib Sabin. See more here


Did you ever find out what your dreams were about? by Fran Williams. See website here.

Fran Williams  See more of Fran's beautiful work on FaceBook 

Jesus Curia Perez. Website here. Current exhibition here

Jesus Curia Perez

".... may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life."

- John O'Donohue

Stephen De Staebler

Sunday, March 16, 2014

MERAKI

Leaf Forms by Barry Smith. See blog, here.




While preparing for this post I kept coming back to Barry Smith's metal leaf forms. Barry is a generous soul who creates his metal artworks with love. He teaches his craft to others and sends his leaves into the world like little ambassadors, spreading peace and goodwill wherever they land.


Leslie Avon Miller. See blog, here.

Leslie Avon Miller's art speaks to me on an emotional level. I can't put my finger on it, but I'm thinking it has something to do with meraki.

"Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making your art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to day world a little more bearable". - Shauna Niequist


History by Donna Watson. See more from this series, here.

When Donna was struggling with a creative block I kept thinking ..... when she returns she will create art that will catapult her to another level ..... and I wasn't mistaken! Her new pieces incorporating cold wax, oils and collage are beautiful. I can see Donna has loved every moment of creating them.


Leaving Egypt by Mary Ann Lehrer Plansky. See blog, here.

A lot of research goes into Mary Ann's art. I enjoy tracking the ideas and thoughts that gently meander through her blog, culminating in beautiful artworks. 


Gabriel Lalonde. See blog, here.

I visit Gabriel Lalonde's blog regularly because I enjoy his work. I detect a playful spirit with a "what if" attitude when it comes to his art. 

This exhibition of Hanelore's work is well worth the browse. I enjoyed reading the press release too.


Lawrence Carroll

Ikuko Ando. See more, here.

" I would like to envelop myself ..... to enclose a sense of space, of landscape, within clay. Creating day by day, like putting entries in a diary"  --  Ikuko Ando


Lynn Chadwick

"And what is it to work with love?
It is to charge all things you fashion with 
a breath of your own spirit." 
- Khalil Gibran


Totem by Robyn Gordon. Website, here.

I felt a deep connection to this piece. The person who commissioned it shared just enough of her story for me to recognize similarities in my own life. I could relate to her story and was able to create the totem for the both of us.

"One of the loveliest words in the English language is the word 'inspiration'. It signifies the creative breath. It also has to do with spontaneity, with the arrival of the unexpected image or idea in the mind. Inspiration is the flash of connecting light that suddenly comes from elsewhere and illuminates."  -  John O'Donohue


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BOOK OF SECRETS

A very old bible of the Ethiopian Christian church, carefully inscribed on parchment in the sacred language 'Geez'.

Secrecy by Margaret Atwood

Secrecy flows through you,
a different kind of blood.
It's as if you've eaten it 
like a bad candy,
taken it into your mouth,
let it melt sweetly on your tongue,
then allowed it to slide down your throat
like the reverse of uttering,
a word dissolved
into its glottals and sibilants,
a slow intake of breath --

And now it's in you, secrecy.
Ancient and vicious, luscious
as dark velvet.
It blooms in you,
a poppy made of ink.

You can think of nothing else.
Once you have it, you want more.
What power it give's you!
Power of knowing without being known,
power of the stone door,
power of the iron veil,
power of the crushed fingers,
power of the drowned bones
crying out from the bottom of the well.


 Secrecy by Irini Gonou. See more of Irini's beautiful work here.

"Tracce di un dio distratto" by Maria La. Read more about this piece , here.

Sharmon  Davidson shares details from Book of Secrets, a work in progress. Read more on Sharmon's blog, here.

"My inspiration for the piece came as I was thinking about secrets and how they are so hard to keep; no matter how well hidden we may think they are, or how well-guarded we believe them to be, there is always a bit showing here and there around the edges. I was thinking of esoteric knowledge, such as magical grimoire (spell book), and how these two ideas are related" - Sharmon Davidson

Book of Shadows, a movie prop from Practical Magic.

Saruman's Book by Daniel Reeve (Movie prop in Lord of the Rings)

A Book for Devotion: BL M S Egerton. It is believed that the pages have been partially erased  by kissing.


Batak, Indonesia (wood, fibrous leaves and string) Late 18th - 19th Century


 Batak Book of Wizards, Indonesia. See more here

 The Batak people of Indonesia recorded information on genealogy, religion, devination, and magic on long strips of bark, some as long as thirty feet, which were folded accordion-style and bound between wooden covers. See more here.

"All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk." - Lemony Snicket



 Commentary on Averroes' Middle Commentaries on the Isagoge of Porphyry, the Categories and De Interpretatione of Aristotle

If you've read the comments you will be as curious as I am about Priya Sebastian's illustrations for the poem Secrecy by Margaret Atwood. See Priya's blog post, here.


Secrecy, Verse 1 by Priya Sebastian.


 Secrecy Verse 1, Verse 2, Verse 3 by Priya Sebastian. See more of Priya's beautiful illustrations at her website, here  and see her blog, here.