Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Out of the Closet

Gettin' ready for Halloween! And I did get a small black mask for the eyes. Oh hoho... way too much light in the iPhone photo and it washed away the years. Lol!

She wistfully remembers her vamp days.... (ok they were very short and a very long time ago. but.)

(got ma first corsets this year, or, properly, bustiers, which have resin or plastic stays and are very comfortable, unlike corsets proppa, which have bone or steel stays)

Leather lady!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Deep in the Cyanean Surf: for Nik Beat (videopoem 3:11min)

direct link: Deep in the Cyanean Surf

...cast myself in shadow in this video... for Nik Beat/aka Michael Barry... written within days of his death, in remembrance and love. Miss you!

There are subtitles that can be translated into many languages... just click on the CC.

Because the raw clip was not in focus, I cast myself in shadows in two different 'copies' or 'projects' with different approaches to the textures and focus of the poem. I kept trying this and that on each project to see what resonances with the poem might work - one, for instance, had a film noir effect; in the other I used a background generator. The editing took me to many mysterious places until one of the clips, the latter one, emerged more fully as a 'videopoem' and became what you see here. This is when video editing is like writing a visual poem or painting with the possibilities offered by multiple video effects. The background sounds, which are quite dimmed, are of waves lapping.

I rarely get into cutting of scenes and images, preferring the integrity of a single clip, the cleanness of it, and allow it to build like a painting around the poem.

Someone in film would be aghast at this, but it built as a series of carefully calibrated approaches to the raw video clip over a whole day and removing any of them changed the whole look. Only regret: I didn't de-interlace for the YouTube video, though did for the Vimeo edited upload.


Shadowed Poet - photos from a w-i-p videopoem

As I begin working on the video from my Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery last Saturday, I thought, waiting for responses from some of the readers who were sent raw video clips for approval (even simple editing takes quite a bit of time, and I don't want to do it if that person will nix the final edited video as others occasionally have done), that I would work on the poem I did (the one I wrote for Nik Beat). Well, my. Many hours later I think it'll work. I blotted myself out altogether -


Monday, October 20, 2014

Posting the same sketch from a life-drawing session inked in.... #InkTober

Inked sketch of final pose (inked in studio after) - Life-drawing at Bampot Bohemian Teahouse - 19 Oct 2014 - ©Brenda Clews, 18" x 24", 4mm 6B graphite in a Pilot Croquis lead holder, Derwent InkTense permanent ink and Prismacolor NuPastels on Canson 80lb archival cream drawing paper.

I pulled the knees and lower legs way back and inked the sketch in. After, I added a bit of NuPastel. At this point, I am quite satisfied with how it has turned out. The overall composition works for me and the elements are subsumed in it even as they create it.

Tinkering will continue, however... a few things I can already see. I'll include this drawing when I post all the sketches - this will be the most 'finished' one. It was roughly a 40 min pose.

The messy paper and grottiness? I love that! Seeing process as well as the final incantation makes a drawing or painting feel like it is part of the real world, that the artist's materials are still in flux as they flow together to make the image appear as a demarcation of a perception of a figure on the page.


Posting a sketch from a life-drawing session... when I add other media, it'll change for better or worse.

Original untouched sketch of last pose at Life-drawing at Bampot Bohemian Teahouse - 19 Oct 2014 - ©Brenda Clews, 18" x 24", 4mm 4B or 6B graphite on Canson 80lb archival cream drawing paper.

When there's a nice sunny day and I have time, I'll photograph and post the rest of the sketches - it wasn't a terribly good session for me, though often my disappointment lifts when I view the sketches a few days or weeks later and can see they have saving graces and are not *all *that *bad (aren't we our own worst critics?).

This one was done with a Pilot Croquis lead holder and a gum eraser - I had no way to sharpen the lead, which surely made for a clumsier drawing. I am posting an 'as is' / 'before' photo (shot with fluorescent daylight bulbs) because I'm thinking of inking it and seeing where I can take it. The legs are too long and I am not sure how that happened and wonder if it was using a new tool, the Pilot Croquis lead holder, and trying a new technique, sketching in 4mm 6B pencil and blending to darken with an eraser, that threw me off. Or maybe it's just a drawing that didn't work - and is, therefore, to look on the positive side, a good one to play with.

Of course, I may need to crop those too-long legs off and make the drawing smaller. I'll have to see how it goes.

Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery Oct 25, 3-5pm

Please do come out on Oct 25th, 3-5pm, to Urban Gallery where I am hosting another beautiful Poetry Salon.

Ellen S. Jaffe's second poetry collection, Skinny-Dipping with the Muse, was published in May 2014 by Guernica Editions. Ellen's previous books include poetry, a young-adult novel, and a book about writing, all of which have won awards. Her work has been translated into Finnish and published in journals and anthologies. She grew up in New York, moved to Canada in 1979, and has lived in Hamilton for 15 years. Ellen is Hamilton Contributing Editor for Great Lakes Review, a journal for writers on both sides of the border. Her story "Night Lights of Kansas," published in the review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014. Ellen teaches writing with Living for the Arts, and has received grants for writing and arts education from the Ontario Arts Council.

Pat Connors' chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press last year. He was also recently published in Belgium, India, and Timmins. He was literary juror of Big Art Book 2013, a digital project of Scarborough Arts. He recently performed at the Austin International Poetry Festival, Stellar Literary Festival, Blue Coffee Reading Series, and, for the third time, at The Art Bar Poetry Series. He is a manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Niki Koulouris was born in Melbourne, Australia and lives in Toronto. A beer enthusiast, she’s been known to start spontaneous lists, on napkins, of her top India Pale Ales. Shortlisted for the 2014 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, the The sea with no one in it is her first book.

Up to eight Open Mic spots of 5 min each are also offered - sign-up at 3pm.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Drawings from Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Reloaded in Toronto, Halloween theme, Oct 3, 2014. #InkTober

Life-drawing @ Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Reloaded in Toronto, Halloween theme, Oct 3, 2014, ©Brenda Clews, 18" x 24" Inktense black and red blocks with a water brush pen on Strathmore 70lb archival drawing paper. You've seen some of these already....

See photos from the evening at the Dr. Sketchy Blog.


(Zoominess and deepened shadows added for extra Halloween effect! I rather like.)

(the actual drawing)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little sketch of Norman Bethune Allan and Waleed Abdulhamid @ The Art Bar #InkTober

It was so dark at the Art Bar last night that I could not see what I was doing - literally, could not see pencil lines on the paper. The water-soluble ink I was using appeared so black there was hardly any detail. Would have been better, perhaps, if I had enough light to see the paper - so I'll have to take a small book light if I go and draw at The Black Swan Tavern again.

Norman Bethune Allan and Waleed Abdulhamid (where the ink wash drawing went later in the evening and the original sketch) @ArtBar-14Oct2014 ©BrendaClews, 11" x 15", Derwent InkTense black permanent ink blocks,  Faber-Castell Pitt India ink pens, Pentalic 130lb archival paper.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wild Woman

Tara Clews (my niece) had me flip my hair while she was photographing in front of her green screen and this photograph is the result after I, uh, let's say, manipulated the image myself later at home. :-} Wild Woman.

(Wild Woman of the Antler Tribe.)

(Shhh. Wheeee...... the Original Flying Photo.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

21 September Life-Drawings at Bampot Bohemian Teahouse #InkTober

These life-drawings were done on September 21st at Bampot Bohemian Teahouse. It was awhile back and I only got around to photographing them today. Overall, coming back to these, I find I like them better than I did after the session.

Still coughing a lot and hopefully that'll go away soon.


Thursday, October 09, 2014

Ink Drawing #9 #InkTober

Ink Drawing #9.

Two Burlesque Goth Vamps -with claws and teeth! Holding boxes of cereal that just don't cut it - they want your blood. :)

A 10 min sketch at the October Dr. Sketchy's life-drawing venue (last Friday in Kensington Market but I did rub out some pencil lines and clipped it to a board on an easel and took it outside to photograph - could work on it more but as is is the way to go).

Black Derwent InkTense permanent ink blocks with a water brush pen and water-soluble graphite on 18" x 24" on 70lb Strathmore archival drawing paper.


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Ink Drawing #8, w-i-p. #InkTober

Ink Drawing #8, w-i-p. October 8, 2014. ©Brenda Clews, 11.5" x 16.5", Faber-Castell Pitt India ink pens, Moleskine sketchbook. #inktober

Eh. No idea where it will go. The oh-so short but intense flu's aftermath has settled into my lungs and deep, unbroken sleep and energy are zapped. Yah, well, so what if today's drawing is rawther unfinished. Some notches on a page. It makes me giggle. Which is needed in between coughing bouts, you understand. It's also got a rhythm of an ocean flow, a turbulence. I think it's at a dock where energy flow and land mass meet. Abstract art doesn't take me anywhere - though of course I like it when it's done well by others - whereas, the figurative is about subjectivities, ways of reading ourselves in context. So there will be a figure...

For the last two days, I've been submitting poetry. Ok, I only got two submissions out. But what a lot of work! Oiy ya. And I made an error, too, I know it. I sent out prose/poems that will be in my forthcoming book - it'll be published by Guernica Editions but not until maybe 2016 or later - and I told the editors in the accompanying letters! So those two submissions will be rejections for sure. While unpublished, the prose/poems will be published - and the journals require work unpublished in any format. This predilection for honesty sometimes slips me up. Yeah, I know I'm doing it backwards but I need to generate interest in my work before the book comes out. Who knows for sure if these places will take what I sent... but I am at a point where I would like to publish in print and on-line journals.