Original Work

Alice Neel Home Lithography

The prompt for the Kick-About #5 on Red’s Kingdom blog was the early Alice Neel painting, Symbols (see below). I decided to do some monoprints and had several tries where the prints just weren’t matching the vision in my head for this challenge. Finally, in frustration, I mixed some fabric ink I had with the printing ink on a small metal rolling plate and had that moment of excitement when I pulled the paper off the plate. The two inks weren’t really compatible (even says so on the bottles!) and the effect was much closer to what I was looking for – much closer to Alice’s experience, I think. Alice Neel’s biography is fascinating and she lived a difficult life as a woman artist, receiving popular recognition only later in life. She painted unvarnished, unflinching portraits of her subjects and from what I read, never compromised on that.

Symbols by Alice Neel, 1932

Thank you, Kerfe for the Kick-About inspiration! (And you are right – I had seen some of Alice Neel’s portraits – although it was the one of a heavily pregnant woman in bed. It was in a larger show about less-often-portrayed nude figures). The entire collection of responses to the Kick-About #5 goes up next week on Phil’s blog – so stay tuned!

Mirror Neurons

mirrorcollage1

I discovered Phil’s Red’s Kingdom blog through Kerfe Roig (Thank you, Kerfe!) – Phil hosts a group art prompt he calls The Kick-About which is fabulous for discovering new artists to love. I was inspired by the Kick-About #4 prompt, which was a short clip from Jean Cocteau’s “Orpheus”

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Little Lifts

polaroid film with a pattern of black dots and newspaper headlines

This collage also came out of my surreal headlines experiment – it turned into a micro-poem I was happy with and also seems to me to capture the contradictions of the world right now.

As I mentioned before, I found all of this expired polaroid film cleaning out my father’s house – and some of it wouldn’t develop at all and just popped out with a solid tan “unexposed” background (see above). Some did develop…sort of. So during the lockdown I’ve been making  collage/drawing on them and seeing where that takes me.
polaroid film with line drawing of close up of an eye
During the lockdown, I also started working through Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft book of writing advice and exercises, trying to get more confidence in my writing. I’ve been posting my responses to those exercises over at Evening Satellite Publishing and if anyone wants to follow along or give feedback, I’d be most appreciative!

Exercise 1: Being Gorgeous
Exercise 2: Strong Emotion
Exercise 3: Am I Saramago

I hope everyone is staying safe and sane!

Fluid Dynamics

Linocut print, black and white, with three fluid dynamics "equations" carved

I dug out my monoprint and linoprint supplies from the closet yesterday hoping to start making monoprints again and found this linocut print of mine in an envelope. It was like greeting an old friend after a long absence! Many years ago I attended a seminar where fluid dynamics in regards to living organisms were discussed in detail and, as it is not my field of expertise, I began to doodle and free associate words – a bit of a surrealist exercise. This linoprint was the result.

Please stay safe and healthy and sane in these crazy times!

 

Surreal Headlines

rectangular card with ink drawing of man's face and collage of recent newspaper headlines

Before taking a big bag of newspaper to the recycling bin, I went through the last two months of Sundays and cut out a whole pile of headlines. I arranged some of them without regard to order on a recycled art card of mine and I found the result seemed to fit the mood of these chaotic and uncertain times. I hope everyone is staying safe and sane wherever you are.

rectangular card with collage of recent newspaper headlines about coronavirus

In the Desert of 2020

four black and white polaroids, two drawn with partial faces, two with collage of poem

in the desert

are tiny voices

the hunters of

nocturnal moments

 

It’s been a while since my last post – so I hope everyone is well and staying safe and sane during the lockdown. I will be gradually retooling this site to reflect where my life and art practice is at right now, so bear with me! (more…)

History Haiku Saturday – September 23 – The birth of John Coltrane, 1926

JohnColtraneBirth.jpgHeroin, cancer – 
nothing could stop your prayer:
a saint of music. 

The history haiku for today is to honor the birth of the legendary jazz musician John Coltrane (1926 – 1967). He struggled with addiction as a young man, and sadly, his career was cut short by liver cancer at the age of 40, but he had an outsized impact on jazz and music in general. Especially towards the end of his life, he believed his music had a spiritual dimension, one that transcended any particular religion and tended towards a universalism.

John Coltrane has made an appearance here on Illustrated Poetry before – in an illustration of the poem In Memoriam John Coltrane by Michael Stillman. I’ve posted it below (or click here to go to the original post from 2014).  Have a great weekend!
MemoriamJohnColtrane

Overheard – I really wanted my middle name to be Thomas

MiddleNameOverheard.jpgFor a few months, I commuted to work twice a week on a bus, and this one was overheard on one such ride. Although this was the first “overheard” I wrote down, it took me a while to draw it. The young man who was speaking was talking to another man across the aisle, although the two did not appear to know each other otherwise. The disappointment of the young man with his mother seemed to revolve squarely around his middle name – no other example of her “failings” was presented.  Pen and watercolor pencil on paper by me.

To view the other “Overheards” in this series click on the title:
I Expected the Notary to be on a Unicycle
Meat and Potatoes, Myself 

Have a great Thursday!

Double Original Friday – Dada Resume

Monoprint of layered patterns and the silhouette of a woman, black ink on newsprint

Lab lights
overhead

in sciences
in vivo, present
University into University

writing for-  of-  and-
and have I meant it too

I is day,
am of am
issues the other
kind of variety

shareholders, all

effort, curriculum, height
of the present

Developing quantitative
sciences of my Artwork

in
California.

 


I put my CV and a few job ads into the Dada Poetry Generator (check it out
here if you need some Dada poetry in your life!). With only a little bit of clean up, this was the result. I find it encapsulates my experience of being a scientist on the job market very well. The monoprint is also the result of a little random chance too. I was using this sheet of newsprint, an initially rejected print, to protect the table while I worked with the printing ink. It became a layered work of art in its own right. It seemed to me to be a pair. Poem and monoprint (ink on newsprint) by me. Have a good weekend! (Sneaked this one in under the Friday line, at least on the west coast!)

Monday Meeting Doodles – Heart in my Hand

meetingdoodle4.jpeg
The month of May was a bit crazy over here in my life on the outside of Illustrated Poetry! I apologize to everyone who left me such awesome comments on my last post – I may be behind in responding to them, but know that they were read and much appreciated.

I used to feel bad that I doodled in meetings, but I’ve since read at least one article (like this one) that says that doodling is a method of concentration and synthesizing information. So I’m off the hook (a little).  I am often pleasantly surprised what my mind comes up with when it’s supposed to be listening to something else. A very nice scientific presentation on spores resulted in the doodle above!

I hope everyone is well and I’ve been enjoying catching up with all of your blogs!