The Puppy project

Riverside Art Museum is holding a fundraiser called Art Bark in the Park to which I applied and was assigned a pup. I decided to paint the pup in oil – a skyscape with lawns on the bottom of each paw with dogs on, and my sonnet about dogs painted into the clouds.  So far I’ve done the sky and the lawns.  I will need to wait a week or so until that is dry enough to add the dogs and poems.  I didn’t know until I picked up the dog that I was getting a beagle.

metal dog ready to paint

The blank canvas. I’d had to fix the undercoat in a few places. The difference in undercoat color won’t affect the painting.

Jeni Bate painting metal dog

My fellow artist Mary Foote came over to see this as a demo so took some photos of me in action

Jeni Bate painting metal dog

I was showing Mary how to blend clouds in oil

Metal dog with oil skyscape painting

Photographed this one at an angle to get the entire dog in.

And it’s possible to paint on the back, so I have another canvas to dream up!

Newer Work #87

It’s been a while since I posted a ‘newer work’.  Here’s one from a recent batch of smaller mixed media pieces.

Mixed media painting with poetry

“1391 Inexplicable”. 14×11″ on gallery wrap panel. Embedded poem is: Inexplicable – air, water, angle of light – fill our souls with joy.

Sonnet Challenge #33

I haven’t posted a sonnet in a while.  I was going to post one about hot flashes (seeing as I’ve been enjoying to the extent that I need to start laughing about it) but Andrew Eales’ post this morning reminded me about this sonnet:

Birdsong

It’s in man’s heart, because it’s in his head
to merge both words and music into song.
There’re places in our brains they both belong
together – feelings more than just what’s said.
But too, we wonder how that seed was sown
that made us lilt our words into a tune.
Was it the wolves a-howling at the moon
or cat’s meow, or buck’s loud rutting groan?
It’s much more likely that the sound above
that we sometimes call angels, were the trills
inspiring us to develop singing skills
to tell our stories, feelings, sadness, love.
Whatever was that singing that we heard
outside our souls? It was a little bird.

Salton Sea update. Sonnet.

reflectingpoolapr2019

I often get asked about the Salton Sea. Whether it is still there. Yes, but a little smaller. I am looking at a mid to dark blue sea as I write this, sitting at my dining room table (the view is better than the wall in front of my desk), which means it’s pretty breezy out there. I love the fact that I can tell the windspeed by the color of the sea, and that sometimes one half of it will be dark and the other light. That when there is no wind, it is the same color as the sky.
This morning I walked down to the shore, such as it is, now perhaps a half mile of what will eventually be salt flats – some of it dry enough to walk on, much of it not, so I can no longer go to the water’s edge without ending up up to my thighs in fish guano.
I took a photo of the ‘reflecting pool’, which when I moved here almost fifteen years ago was full of water up to the far side of that little row of vegetation in the front.

When I returned I wrote this:

Shining Sea

Palm Springs to Yuma – not a hint of breeze,
the silence is so loud you’ll hear your heart
beat in your chest. Your breath will stop and start
as you behold the mirror Salton Sea’s
become on such a day. A piece of sky
stretched on the desert floor – cerulean rug
of knots so fine. And ’til a stop will tug
the air, that blessed earthly canopy,
and then that sea to ever deepening blue
then gray, then black with whitecapse, watch this glass
this polished surface thirty five miles vast
reflects the sky it lives under, to you.
On windless days, the Salton Sea shines most,
more than the oceans found on either coast.

Tales from the field #22

On Thursday I had to go over to Borrego Springs for an Art meeting.  I was held up by gazillions of wonderful visitors looking for the right place to stop to look at flowers.  Of course you can’t see flowers in detail when you’re driving at 55 – the speed limit along the S22 which for those non-locals is the only road between Salton City and Borrego Springs.

Purple flower in Salton City

I don’t know what it is, but it’s one of my ‘private collection’ because I’m apparently the only person who goes where this flower is.

By the time I was late for the meeting, I’d composed this in my head and plan to put it on a sign at the corner of S22.

Superbloom

While you’re trolling for flowers at 20,
that vehicle that’s riding your ass
is a local that’s late getting somewhere,
so please let the tailgater pass!

Sonnet Challenge #31

This sonnet has been something of a challenge – in that it is the first poem I’ve written in over three months.  Some things been going on in life that just take the stuffing out of you sometimes.

A poet friend of mine, Larry Jaffe, once wrote a poem that all poets connect with.  It had no lines, just a title: “I lost another f****** poem in the shower.”

Losing Poems

I lost a poem in the shower today –
as water flowed, it ran right from my mind.
It formed and then the liquid washed away
the verse, leaving no residue behind.
I lost a poem driving down the street –
blanking my mind, the idea began to sprout.
I listened to it, it really was quite neat
but by the time I’d parked it’d fluttered out.
And in the doctor’s waiting room one time
I couldn’t find some paper fast enough
to get it down a pen and catch the rhyme,
my turn was called, it vanished with a puff.
And I’m sure there’s many a poet that has said
They’ve lost a masterpiece, snuggled in bed.

Not a sonnet

I haven’t posted any sonnets for a while.  I also write non-sonnets!  Here’s a fun one to make a Monday morning a bit lighter.

I’d rather be with someone.

I’d rather be with someone who’s a laugh a minute than a dollar a second.
I’d rather be with someone who’s good in bed than god at the bank.
I’d rather be with someone who’d prefer to watch the sun go down than the dollar rise.
I’d rather be with someone who tries to make me happy than who’d try to buy me happiness.
I’d rather be with someone who’s a good kisser than a good spender.
I’d rather be with someone who’d prefer to keep me warm at night than buy me a mansion in the sun.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll dance with me than bring me diamonds.
I’d rather be with someone who’s good company than who’d buy me a company.
I’d rather be with someone who’s got a good heart than a good portfolio.
I’d rather be with someone who’s my honey pie than my sugar daddy.
I’d rather be with someone who’s an equal than an equals.
I’d rather be with someone who’s well read than wealthy.
I’d rather be with someone who’s likable than loaded.
I’d rather be with someone who’s intelligent than in clover.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll say I need a face-lift because he wants to make me smile.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll take me to the ball game than buy the team.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll rent us a row boat than buy a yacht.
I’d rather be with someone who’s still values our relationship when we’re broke.
I’d rather be with someone who’s real than rich.
I don’t want to be with someone who’s valued in millions, I want to be with someone who’s priceless.