A Poem A Day, Day Twenty-eight

Two Years of Rengas

three moths spiral
into the blue sky –
summer clouds over hills

the drone of male cicadas
background sound for a hot day

shimmering heat hazy
reflecting the blue horizon –
cooling wet puddles

the hiss of steel in water
awakens the sleeping dog

the old dog stretches
paws, claws and back a line –
warm winter corner

i must have fallen asleep
making two seasons vanish

the sky gets lighter
as the sun begins to rise
–morning already?

a stand of skinny gum trees
breaks the hill’s smooth silhouette

mirroring the trees
shadows dance; winds gently blow
across cool mornings

jeweled in dew the flowers
loose thier fragrance for the bees

Art and Horror: Vermeer’s Woman with a Balance and The Walking Dead’s “Still”

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Sketch by Rio

Wikipedia:
In the painting, Vermeer has depicted a young woman holding an empty balance before a table on which stands an open jewelry box, the pearls and gold within spilling over… “interpreted as a vanitas painting, as a representation of divine truth or justice, as a religious meditative aid, and as an incitement to lead a balanced, thoughtful life.”[3] Some viewers have imagined the woman is weighing her valuables, while others compare her actions to Christ’s, reading parable into the pearls.[1] Some art critics, including John Michael Montias who describes her as “symbolically weighing unborn souls”, have seen the woman as a figure of Mary.[4][5] To some critics who perceive her as measuring her valuables, the juxtaposition with the final judgment suggests that the woman should be focusing on the treasures of Heaven rather than those of Earth.[6] In this perspective, the mirror on the wall may reinforce the vanity of her pursuits.[7]

 

I know I am making a stretch here trying to connect the painting to the episode, but when Beth is in the bar of the country club, after moving through a sort of hell where a class war went on, there is this stillness. (Daryl, who, while possessing legendary survival skills has little else left after losing his adopted family to a rival group is not in the frame.) In the scene the light is falling across the bar. The light is catching the edges of the bottles and the reflective surfaces, the edges of Beth’s arms,  the side of her face that is away from us, gives her a glow. Something about it made me think of Vermeer’s “Woman Testing a Balance” (which it is also known by), so much that I had to find the painting and look at it again.

I wasn’t disappointed. Vermeer’s painting is compositionally beautiful but the interpretation of his painting is so dead on for what this episode was about.

Beth had made the search for her first drink of alcohol a type of quest but in the face of the obvious carnage that went on, the wealth and riches that were now meaningless, and bloody rage that Daryl let loose on the heads of the zombie walkers, she realizes that it has been a fools errand. All her actions were in vain. She starts to cry.

It is precisely when Daryl is moved to help her. The rest of the episode is about him coming back to her and both of them coming to terms with what they have and what they can now let go of, a return of the only type of balance they can know in the Walking Dead: trust in each other.

The episode was directed by Julius Ramsay and written by Angela Kang. Brilliant!

the Artist’s Project at the Exhibition Place, a good time!

Laura was kind enough to send me two coupons for tickets. She is an encaustic artist, does really great work, a lovely person and generous too. I would not have gone otherwise, probably. Not that I don't love the show but just because it is at Exhibition Place.

It was still quite a wintery day despite the warmer temperatures. The wind was fierce off the lake and as it happened, it was not in the building I thought it was in. I thought it was in the Direct Energy Building. As we walked from the streetcar to the building I was really excited to see how many people were going to look at art! There was a tall guy in a lime green kid's hat complaining about the show not being there. He didn't fit with the crowd I noticed. It took me a while to register that there seemed to be a lot of really badly dressed men in the line-up. Of course it was the motorcycle show… I know I sound like a snob but it's true. People are more likely to put on clean jeans for an art show than for a motorcycle show. I am fairly certain they do not wear lime green kids cartoonish type hats.

So we had to brave the cold wind and slushy sidewalks to get to the show, I felt bad cause Dee was getting over a cold…

I, myself, am still feeling like I need to curl up in a ball under lots of blankets most of the time for emotional warmth if not physical warmth. It is hard to throw myself into social situations. I either talk too much or not enough BUT and this is a BIG BUT, I had a really good time.

I like to pick up cards (if they have them) when something of the artist’s work strikes me. I try to do this without discretion, and only on impulse. I don’t get cards for all of the work that gets me only the ones that compel me. This way it is about my own “work” rather than some sort of critique. Peter A. Bareikowski’s caught my eye. I have noticed I am inclined to gravitate towards iconic or symbolic work that is child-like and including dream like images. This is from his bio:

His work has been about human conditions like isolation and alienation. Creating a paradox between his joyful colours and darker subject matter, his paintings attempt to play with our ideas around sadness. As a form of subtle escapism, the figures in his paintings are depicted in a one dimensional, cartoonish style – with almost grotesque undertones. By doing so, Barelkowski hopes to create the feel of another world.


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Catherine Jeffery who does wonderful street scenes full of reflections and colour and just how I feel downtown when I don’t wear my glasses! She was generous in talking about her painting method, something I love to learn. Dee really liked her work.

I ran into Jamie and Russell from the Artist’s Network days…wonderful work this year from both of them, and nice to see familiar faces!

Dee and I had a long and interesting conversation about some of the pitfalls and challenges for creative people and what genius might be, also, she told me a wonderful story about time and layers in a space that she has lived in for thirty years…the conversation shifted in and out of our meanderings, heading home we got on the subway going the wrong way, even though we very consciously noted the Eastbound sign before heading down to the platform!!! At one point I imagined ourselves on the other train, engrossed in conversation but going the right direction in a different time! BRAIN EXPLODES!

My first time dealing with crowds for a long time,I had to eat some sugar to keep going but then got a bit loopy. Damn pancreas!

There was a lot of really amazing work. You can check out the website for The Artist Project. It was a great show but too far from public transit on a cold day. (I am an grumpy crippled old crone after all!)

Today is the last day. If you are in town you should try to check it out!

Ten Things to Beat the Winter Blues, Number Four: Artsy Stuff

pennypaint 014I wanted to get some photos of the ice coating the tree branches reflecting the sun.  The sky was that heart stopping-ly blue, blue, blue, the kind  that makes peoples of northern climes simultaneously chime with awe and shiver with cold.

Alas my camera is not the best.  I tip my hat to the brave photographers who climb over ice and snow to get photographs. In truth it is the photographer in this case who really is limited.  I love winter vistas but only when looking out at them from the warmth of a 21st century home equipped with thermal windows, central heating and electricity…

Speaking of which, our little disaster here in Scarberia with the lack of power and heat ended far more quickly than the more painful lack of internet and television!  For the news I had my 92 year old mother, her radio still had working batteries. With her head phones on she would give me updates.  “Still cold, still without heat and power in many homes…”  🙂

Sometimes making a big deal about New Years it is not very helpful to people with the blues.  I think that is the subject of another post.   I went to dinner and a movie with friends and was in bed before midnight, it was just enough to be lovely.  Resolutions?  NO!

I had a few projects to work on once the power came back.  Here is a photo of me working on “Penny”.  You can see I feel pretty good about it.

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TEN THINGS TO BEAT THE WINTER BLUES: Fan-freakerific!

Thing number one: Find inspiring stories of creativity and post them in your blog!

This guy, does stuff in the snow that is mind-blowing! Seriously, check it out! I’m told this is why the Aliens won’t destroy the planet. This link comes to me via a professor, a doctor of English, but she has written a lot about Science Fiction, like the popular series Star Gate, and appeared on a documentary about it. I feel that this makes her tremendously qualified to make that assertion!

I am heading into the S.A.D. days of winter. That means I will post, intermittently things that I am checking out to beat my seasonal affected disorder. I don’t know if S.A.D. is recognized as a legitimate disorder but I like that the acronym spells how I feel for several weeks each year.