I have a tree painted on the back of my garage with leaves made from pieces of soda cans, stapled loosely so that they rustle delightfully in the breeze. Against the trunk is painted ‘The wind of change may not blow you someplace different but it might shape you into something more beautiful’. I write this on the cusp between the Covid shutdowns and the George Floyd riots. Many businesses have been shuttered so long they may not survive. Some have been so impacted by the new health restrictions imposed on reopening, they have given up. Now we see others burned or looted out of existence and yet others may be unwilling to continue in some neighborhoods. I have a friend who has been through several careers. She describes the changes as getting to a point where she needed to reinvent herself. This year it seems many will need to reinvent themselves or make adjustments to how they live or work. One of the adjustments I’ve been considering is to make some work more easily shippable, so it is less prohibitive to sell online. I decided to experiment a little with refractured acrylics on canvas; lighter weight than panels, but also a different medium for the refractured part. The first experiment (above) was relatively successful. Another couple items that came out of spending time at home was an update to ‘Busting the Bard’. This is now available in paperback and kindle from Amazon. And the fourth poetry and painting book ‘My Next Breath’ is close to being complete. (Click here for links.) It is available as a paperback but my proofreader and the person writing an intro on the back have yet to have time to do this, so there will be an update hopefully by the end of this week and I’ll create the kindle version then. I’ll order hard copies once art fairs restart or other outlets need restocking, but if you’d like to get a signed copy let me know.
I will have work in two online shows: Jun 6-Jul 12: 6x6x2020 Online fundraiser for Rochester Contemporary Art Center Jun 2nd-Aug 30th (approx) The Planet of Joy at Lark Gallery Online. This may develop into a physical gallery show next month and I should be on a Q&A Virtual Art Talk on Zoom soon. I’ll send another email when this is set.
Some things just fall out of the end of the pen…..
When I’m dead
You’ll be the first I’ll visit when I’m dead.
I guess that you’ll be waiting there for me
and we can say all that we’ve left unsaid
about things that were never meant to be.
You’ll get the joke I never did tell right,
unless we’re in a place jokes can’t be told.
You’ll know that fuss I made was not a fight,
and love that would have stayed as we grow old –
because it did, despite lives that diverged
for reasons that need never be explained.
Each time I thought of death, my feelings surged
that it would be when I see you again.
You’ll be the first I’ll visit when I’m through
and then you’ll know I wrote this one for you.
My 4-panel painting ‘The Four Hours of Equinox‘ is often mistaken for a row of 4 individual paintings, and people want to buy just one. The stars one is the most popular, so I thought I would do a just-stars painting in the same shape.
#1434 Until the sun goes down. Mixed media on shaped solid panel. 24×11″. $250. The following poem is written for and painted into the painting: You cannot cry for love that’s lost Until that love is done. You cannot wish upon a star Until the sun goes down.
I decided to spent some of my new free time to call people I haven’t seen in a while, or have stopped seeing in the course of life because of the social distancing. I also decided to use the time for some more poetry. On Sunday afternoon I sat down to write a poem but didn’t find any inspiration, so I decided to call someone. I got voicemail. So I called someone else. Ditto. Eight voicemails later, I had my inspiration.
A quiet day with little going on,
in Covid times the schedule is quite bare.
I miss my friends, hope they have not become
statistics with what’s going on out there.
I guess they also won’t have much to do
so thought I’d be the one that would reach out,
pick up the phone and say “Hey, how are you?”
not leave our friendship’s worth to me in doubt.
But all I got was voicemails! Every one!
Had I missed out on something? Checked the news…
there’s really nothing different going on!
I guess just me that’s sat here with the blues.
They’ll all call back at once, that’s what they’ll do
And get my outgoing voicemail message too!
Got the inspiration for this one while doing a little clean up for my absent neighbor. I was working early in the morning before it got way to hot, even for the acclimated desert rat, to be doing yardwork. I decided to turn the inspiration into a kid’s summer day because the first line had a bit better ring than ‘I caught the sun while grubbing in the yard…..’
Catching the sun
You caught the sun, you held it like a ball
in two-year hands – a shining rounded joy
so newly given, a perfect rolling toy
and never thought that it would burn at all.
Your retina was blotched from gazing up,
your shoulders burned, your face, your arms, your knees
from summer’s day your heart demand you sieze
to dance beneath the heated turquoise cup
of sky. And as earth rolled round to sunset
you played your heart out, flew it like a kite
upon the solar wind, til it grew night
and tiredness told you it was time for bed.
Your red face says you caught the sun today.
Your smile, that it was worth it just to play.
The other night we were sitting outside watching the meteor show, and between falling stars I was making up constellations. This came out of this!
The Dandelion Constellation.
Above the roof
The dandelion constellation
Grows from the southern horizon
The stem bending to the west
The cluster of stars forming the crown
That could so easily have been rearranged
Taller to form a tulip
Or flatter to describe an umbrella.
Below the moonless sky
The dandelion constellation
Grows as if there is no time
We can comprehend
Only the eons in which
a nebula’s kiss blew at its crown
creating our skyfull of stars
blowing in the galactic wind.