Looking back through the archives, I found that I posted this acrylic painting/haiku pairing almost exactly 5 years ago (Dec. 19th, 2015). At the time I was working through some exercises in a color mixing book, so much of the painting I was doing was abstract and focused on the colors. This translated haiku also reflects my house cleaning aesthetic – and I’ve read we are all falling behind on chores and cleaning even as we spend much more time at home (and therefore have a dirtier house) due to the pandemic.
Original post is below the read more tag. I wish everyone happy and safe holidays!
I broke out my acrylic paints for the first time in a long time – it felt good to just paint without any real goal in mind, just mixing color and having fun. I had some Fuyu persimmons in my fruit bowl and so they became an impromptu still life. I’ve always loved the color of persimmons – they always evoke autumn for me (they ripen here in October/November). I painted the top picture over strips of newspaper to give it more texture.
A few weeks ago I ran across a blog calling for artists and writers to submit recipes to share to help each other through the pandemic. I thought it sounded fun and community minded…but I did not get it together in time to participate in the call! But in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, I’m going to share my recipe for Persimmon cookies. My grandmother gave me the recipe, but I’m 98% sure she got it from a cookbook (so it’s not some ancestral family recipe or anything). I’ve baked them many times and they make the whole house smell amazing and it is a fun way to entice Persimmon-doubters to try the fruit.
Persimmon Spice Cookies
1/2 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 cup of persimmon pulp (I’ve used both common varieties of persimmon – fuyu and hachiya. Hachiya gives a stronger persimmon flavor, but you have to wait until the fruit is extremely ripe before using due to astringency) 2 cups sifted flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg juice and grated peel from half a large orange 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup finely chopped pecans (optional – I don’t use but it’s in the original recipe) 1 cup golden raisins (I’ve also used dried cherries and that works too!)
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and add persimmon pulp. Sift all dry ingredients together and stir into egg mixture. Add pecans and raisins (if using). Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 375 degrees F for ~12 minutes. The cookies should be soft and cake-like. Enjoy!
For my friends and readers in the U.S., I hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday! I myself am staying home this year, so no travels for me this year – the first time in a very long time!
What thoughts I have of you, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon… Allen Ginsberg (1926 – 1997)
Some of the illustration boards that I cut up for my Popo Postcard Festival cards included the practice and palette boards for this painting I did a few years ago. Thus, I was inspired to dig it out of the IP archive! Don’t worry, the painting itself didn’t get the hatchet – it is one my few completed acrylic paintings that I still really like. The text of the original post from 2016 is below:
“This painting was one of two that I did for Matthias over at Beat Company (you can see the other one here edit Oct 13, 2020 – link broken and removed, sadly, Beat Company is no longer active) to mark the anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s passing on April 5th, 1997. The inspiration for the piece was the footnote to Howl and a photograph of Ginsberg as a young man in Berkeley, California. When Matthias didn’t wind up using this painting for the anniversary post, I decided to post it here on Illustrated Poetry – but the more I looked at it, the more I realized it reminded me of the opening lines of A Supermarket in California. It is one of those cases where the art knows more than I do! You can read the entire text of A Supermarket in Californiahere. Painting, acrylic on illustration board, by me. Have a wonderful week!”
My recent “return” post about being in the desert brought this piece I did a few years ago to mind. I checked again today and didn’t find any additional information about Mr. Orr aside from a few references in contemporary books to the poem and nothing after 1920. A mystery he remains. The original text of my post is below.
“Don’t Worry, Spiders” was the very first haiku I posted on Illustrated Poetry! At the time, I paired it with a photograph I had taken of a brightly lit window at night – I thought of it like a Motel 6 for spiders. I decided to revisit the haiku and try it with something different: much more abstract and colorful (and perhaps from the spider’s perspective?) Haiku by Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1828), painting (acrylic on illustration board), and composition by me. Have a great weekend! Enjoy!
Today’s poem, by Mona Van Duyn, is a wonderful example of ekphrastic poetry – poetry in response to another work of art. I responded with my illustration for the poem before I checked to see precisely which Goya painting Ms. Van Duyn was referring to – you can see a photograph of that painting here. I focused on the color and shape of Ms. Van Duyn’s poem – and I think the movement from Goya’s painting through Van Duyn’s poem to my small attempt resembles a game of telephone! But that may be one of the super-powers of ekphrastic art: it takes on a life of its own. Ms. Van Duyn was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1992-1993. Painting (acrylic on illustration board) and composition by me. Enjoy!
This is an excerpt of a verse I wrote for the January challenge – “Vino y Sangre” – over at Red String Paper Cuts. It was to be in the form of a rock song, which was a new experience for me and a lot of fun. I wanted to do a collage to illustrate the poem, but several attempts floundered. This one finally came together after I mixed together some paint with Elmer’s glue and just started painting. Check out the whole rock song poem here! Poem and collage by me. Happy Friday!
I had just seen the movie The Imitation Game when I came across this poem about Alan Turing by m lewis redford; I was immediately captivated by it and wanted to do an illustration. The illustration wound up featuring the entire poem – so it’s technically not a excerpt (but I think that’s okay) – and incorporated a painting of mine rearranged with a discarded print of Frida Kahlo’s painting Diego and I. The format was loosely inspired by the surrealist technique of cubomania, where an image is cut up into squares and rearranged randomly. M lewis redford has a fantastic blog where you can read more of his poetry and observe all of the connections and themes he explores (which he calls “wormholes”) – check it out!