silver + slick legless mannequin a flash on the highway shoulder
Like most residents of Southern California, I spend a fair bit of my time commuting (although the pandemic lockdowns have cut traffic by at least half). My drive to and from work often takes me by the exit for the local landfill and it is not unusual to see items on the highway shoulder that didn’t quite make it there…
I’ve been working with small pieces of paper and doing repeated layers of transfers, glues, and textures. I’m not going for perfection in the transfer – I find it to be a meditation in accepting whatever comes as I pull the backing off.
First off, I am excited to see the group post of all the art responses to the Kick-About #5 is up on Red’s Kingdom Blog and it is a fantastic collection of work. I am proud to be a part of it and look forward to the next Kick-About! I had posted my monoprints on Friday (scroll down or click here), but I encourage you to check out the whole show and see the work of all the artists together.
I love sending postcards and mail art is one way I try to let friends know I am thinking of them. I figure anything is better than another bill or advertisement in your mail box. I often work on several postcards at once – letting them come together slowly, sometimes waiting for the right picture or words to complete them.
These are three that came together but then turned out a bit more ominous than I intended.
I still have the first two – if anyone would like them, they are up for grabs (just fill out a contact me form). Just know they were made with good intentions and no specific event in mind! I did send the last one below, it had so much texture, I used a molding paste under the finish, and I thought its recipient would appreciate that about it.
Since Monday’s post had a science themed collage for Phil’s Kick-About Number #4, I visited the archive to see about another science themed collage. I came across this one, for a William Carlos William’s poem. I laughed because I got the background image for this one – you can see the “heat” and “cold” peaking out from the lady’s shoulder – from the same source as the center image in “Mirror Neurons.” It was a science textbook from the early 60’s I got for free out of the discard pile at the library. The science in it was outdated and often overtly sexist and racist – so I cut out the best of the illustrations and art and consigned the rest to the dustbin of history.
The entirety of the poem is posted after the read more tag, along with the text of the original post and a link (which is still good, I checked) to an online archive of Williams reading his own poems.
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”
After Tuesday’s polaroid eye doodle post, I went back into the archives to find another eye to go with it for today – and I found this collage I did for the poem “Science” by Robinson Jeffers. This is actually a revision of one of my very first posts, and I still like this revised collage better (if you’d like to compare, the original collage is below the read more tag). This one is more focused and captures the mystery I was going for better.
A little bit more about Mr. Jeffers, from the original text of my post:
“I had several science related writing deadlines this last weekend and during a bout of procrastination, I decided to revisit my illustration for the excellent and mysterious poem “Science” by Robinson Jeffers. I found I was still happy with my collage (which is not always a given when revisiting an illustration!), but decided to change the field of view in order to cast a more ethereal mood. If you’d like to see the original post with the full collage, head right over here. Mr. Jeffers led a very colorful and extremely successful poetic life – he is one of the few poets to have been on the cover of Time magazine and his face was featured posthumously on a postage stamp. The sharp decline of his popular legacy is often tied to his staunch open opposition to WWII and other viewpoints considered unpatriotic at the time. Mr. Jeffers spent most of his life in Carmel, California, and built his home and a four story tower by hand out of stone. Read the full text of “Science” here.”
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.
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!
I was going through all my old posts (over 450 of them – yikes!) in order to organize and archive them and found this gem from 5 and half years ago – I clearly like making collages with polaroid film! I fully admit that some old posts did not age well, but this one struck me the same as it did when I first put it up. Although it is boiling hot where I live right now, I reason that this poem doesn’t have a season: the mouse is always trying to find shelter from the elements be they hot or cold.
Text of the original post, with information about Lorine Niedecker below.
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.
Going back through the archives, I found this illustration I did last year and I couldn’t resist reposting it. Ms. Knoll’s haiku has the same positive effect on me it always has – and with the front page of the news pretty much universally gloomy, I didn’t think it hurt to post a happy, fun poem. I’m pleased to say Ms. Knoll continues to be extremely active, with a forthcoming poetry book for June 2017 and lots of new poetry focused on social justice and current issues. She always has new stuff happening – her website: http://triciaknoll.com/
Original text of the post:
This haiku puts a grin on my face every time I read it. And it never fails to launch me on an extended trip down memory lane as well – from the greenhouse in my grandparents’ backyard to one I visited once in Iceland. I consider this one of the superpowers of the haiku: they are a reservoir of memories stored in present tense words. Ms. Tricia Knoll is an award-winning poet working and living in Portland, Oregon. Her website, triciaknoll.com, has more of her wonderful haiku as well as links to many of her published poems and books – I definitely recommend a visit! Painting (acrylic on cardboard), digital collage, and composition by me. Have a wonderful weekend!
unleaf me and go
your shadows are ghosting me
lost blurred indistinct
– Kerfe Roig
I have been introduced to so many of you through Ms. Kerfe Roig’s amazing collaborative blog, Method Two Madness, and vice versa, that it almost doesn’t need an introduction. But if by chance you found your way to Illustrated Poetry by another means, I do strongly recommend you head over to Ms. Roig’s blog and check out the art and poetry posted daily by both Kerfe and her best friend Nina.
Ms. Roig sent me this haiku way back last July, in preparation for a possible series on seasonal transitions. I knew immediately what I wanted to do for an illustration – a textured, layered collage. But two things happened on the way to this post: I needed to take my blogging hiatus and I also kept wondering, “how do I photograph/scan/etc that piece for display on the internet?” These last few weeks, I have been making a lot of new starts, and I am so glad I made this one of them. The world is going through so many transitions, and while they may not be seasonal, this poem still feels timely. Haiku by Kerfe Roig, collage (mixed media on cardboard) by me.