Showing posts from May, 2011

Vision Trees, my painting

Vision Trees, 2011, 74cm x 56cm, 29" x 22", India inks, acrylic inks, oils, 300lb Arches watercolour paper.

Perhaps this needs more contrast? One of the difficulties with trying to do a painting quickly - usually something like this takes about a month - an hour or two 4 or 5 days a week. And perhaps I will continue to tinker, who knows.

The sheet of thick paper is large. I videotaped the making of this painting. It nearly crashed my computer, and I had to copy large blocks of files to a quickly filling external hard drive to make room for the 3 hours or so of footage that are an unbelievable 160GB (which I'll delete after I've made the video). That's been sped up to about 13 minutes, and I have to edit it today to half that. Then add a voiceover of the story of my vision trees.

I don't know why they look so delicate. These trees, on the real street where they dwell and where I pass them daily, are too big for me to put my arms around, diameters of maybe 6…

Vision Trees

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 60
On my walk this afternoon, a tree, whose energy is perhaps conveyed by this image, with whom I feel a strong magnetic pull each time I pass. This tree played a part in my coming to live on the street you see here, I am sure. I'll relate the story in my post for the Festival.Do you have a vision tree?

Is there a tree, a tree who calls to you? Whose rhythms speak to you deeply. Whose energy resonates with yours. Is there a tree who has inspired you in your life, your spirituality, art, relationships, body? Remember this tree, the vision of this tree, whenever it was, or go there now, rest against the bark, listen.

Can you record this feeling, conversation, vision in writing, art, photography, video? Please share your vision here, at the Festival of the Trees.

If you're inspired, write, paint, compose, perform your communion with a tree or trees, post in your blog, or Picasa or Flikr , or YouTube or Vimeo, or SoundCloud or Jamendo, w…

Is the genetic code a language?

Is it true that "the genetic code has nothing to do with a language"?

Deleuze and Guattari: "First, there exist forms of expression without signs (for example, the genetic code has nothing to do with a language)."They go on (for context, though only what I've highlighted caught my attention):
It is only under certain conditions that strata can be said to include signs; signs cannot be equated with language in general but are defined by regimes of statements that are so many real usages or functions of language. Then why retain the word sign for these regimes, which formalize an expression without designating or signifying the simultaneous contents, which are formalized in a different way?

Signs are not signs of a thing; they are signs of deterrirotialization and reterritorialization, they mark a certain threshold crossed in the course of these movements...

(Thousand Plateaus, all I can say is p. 476/4093 in the ePub version on my iPhone, landscape mode).I thought …

'Festival of the Trees' Submission Deadline this Sunday, May 29th

The deadline for the Festival of the Trees 60 is Sunday, May 29th.

Send your tree-related submissions to me (brenda [dot] clews [at] gmail [dot] com) for inclusion in the Festival held at Rubies in Crystal on June 1st!

Talk to the trees! Send me links to your recordings of your arboreal conversations. While I'd love video, all  poems, stories, photos, are most welcome. Read the call for submissions for details and inspiration.

Remember: you can send more than just your own links.

We invite you to share your May tree discoveries too.

A Floral Opera

A Floral Opera is a nature poem. An ecosphere of mind and nature. A portrait of a woman singing in a garden. Quite hallucinatory, combining Deleuzian philosophy, surreal images.

My plan is to add this poem to the poems I'll be reciting in my long videopoem, Tangled Garden. If you'd like to read it, and offer response or feedback (I'll probably start recording on Friday, so before then if possible) email me for the password. (brenda [dot] clews [at] gmail [dot] com).

Encrypted poem:

A Floral Opera.

Black Moon Reigns

Royalty free music for professional licensing
direct link: Seraphic Tears by Catherine Corelli on Jamendo

In the second track the Russian artist, Catherine Corelli, sings, "From the hidden depths of you I come…" and we know we are in shadowland, in the world of the black moon, what we've negated, hidden, repressed is returning with fury and grief.

An occult album of secrets. Of madness and sexuality.

Lilith (whose story is told in the album's introduction) is a threatening, powerful archetype of female creativity, power and sexuality, and feared in the dominant male culture of politics and religion (which is falling away, which is falling away at last). The black moon, in astrology between the moon and earth, is always prominent in the charts of creative, powerful women. Catherine Corelli is such a woman.

Lilith is made to suffer for her beauty, strength, passion, fire of creativity. Born equal, equally out of the earth with Adam, she won't bow to her partner, w…

Tangled Garden in-process

Recently I shot some footage that I really liked. The camera was on a monopod and held quite still, so the movement (other than the slow lateral panning) is the wind. Because the footage of the leaves is in shadow, it's a slightly fuzzy recording. I did everything I could think of to sharpen it up, and a few of the filters required a 13 hour render! I saved that render as a Quicktime file, and continued working with it.

Recently I have also discovered Catherine Corelli on Jamendo, a Russian musician, artist, writer, a brilliant young woman whose music range, as described in a biography in her blog, is "from nu-metal or death-metal to pop-music, jazz, rap and even symphonic and chamber music."

On her album, Seraphic Tears, and you should click the link and go and read the mythic story of Lillith she has written for the album, and listen to and download the album if you like it, and donate something to the artist if you are in a postion to do so. The lady should be platinu…

Birthdance (updated)

direct link: birthdance

A few weeks ago I composed another version of this video slideshow of my birth paintings using iPhoto. Then I gave the reading of the birth poem a little reverb, and added a background of chanting (taken from a section of the poem and layered and looped) birthdance but sometimes it sounds like earthdance. Each painting is held longer and is therefore clearer than in the Picasa version I did last year, though of course I am also pleased with the Picasa version.

Paintings and poem may be found at my website:

On the paintings:


...pigment of flesh flowing under my fingers, magenta, alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, cyan green, cadmium yellow, dark violet, colour so rich it's almost edible, bodyscapes of colour, landscapes of fertility, erupting in the swirl of water and paint...

When I was pregnant, my body changed in fundamental and drastic ways. It was a crisis: the freedom of an old sel…

Hands that Are Birds

Feel birds fluttering in the room.
Yet I have no footage of seagulls. My
hands flutter. I shall matte them, same
background, same video, colour is
right, and flutter them in the clip.
Works with sculpture created by hands,
by touch. The feel under the fingers.
Fingers liberated, fluttering like birds.

(ok, shhh, I wrote this about a year ago)

Currently I'm working on a 20 minute videopoem,
and it requires total focus. Meaning I'm
around, but busy. Distract me if you want,
though. :-);))

Lacemaker: An Early Draft and Sketch

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I wrote Lacemaker in July 2007. A week ago I recorded it on my iPhone, a quiet reading, and added a track in the background from the Music Text Composition Generator that I had entered the poem into. While the midi file that the MTCG created is layered a few times, the poem is its own music, yes.

A few days ago I was tidying my desk, and came across a notebook from that year, and found a drawing I did in Starbucks during lunch and a draft in pencil of part of the poem. Click for larger size.

You can read the poem here: Lacemaker (it'll open in a new tab or window, which won't interrupt the recording if you're listening to it).

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 60

Talk to the Trees!

If you're inspired, write, paint, compose, perform your communion with a tree or trees, post in your blog, or Picasa or Flikr , or YouTube or Vimeo, or SoundCloud or Jamendo, wherever you hang your on-line hat, and send me the link, and I'll include it in the round-up on Festival Day! I'm hosting the next Festival of the Trees at my blog, Rubies in Crystal, on June 1st. Any and all entries welcome!

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 60

Host: Rubies in Crystal - here!

Deadline: May 29

Email to: brenda.clews [at] gmail [dot]com — or use the contact form on Festival of the Trees Submit page

*Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email

Theme: Trees in sound and motion: arboreal conversations

The Festival of the Trees 60th edition is all about expanding your arboreal horizons. This month the Festival is hosted here, at Rubies in Crystal. Share a conversation with trees. We are asked to observe our own engagement with trees, …

When Actors Deny their Best Performances

[Wrote this, it looks like, on November 8, 2010, but never got around to posting it.]

Last Tango in Paris (1972), re-watched 30 years later, contains a disturbing aspect. Researching the film, I discover the two main actors, Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando, both felt, in Bertolucci's final film after editing, raped by the director---even though this film was probably the 'performance of their life' for both actors.

Watching Breillat's, Sex is Comedy, in which a director elicits a moving sex scene between an actress and an actor who hate each other in real life, and Breillat is perhaps notorious for not using stand-ins, dummies, tape, but filming actual sex in her films, opened these questions for me. In Sex is Comedy the film becomes an obsession of the sex scene which, when it is finally filmed, is unforgettable, the camera held steadily on Roxane Mesquida, and we see her vulnerability, anger, shame, pain and defiance in her success as an actress as 'the act'…

Lady of Green Fire

'Lady of Green Fire,' 20.5cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", India inks, Waterman sepia ink, acrylic inks, gel pens, oil paint, oil pastels, watercolour pencils, Moleskine sketchbook.

[Above, scanned; below, sketchbook snapped with a camera on my marble coffee table.]

A Venus arising from a sea of leaves. A green garden goddess. Perhaps she is Spring welcoming the sun. Not fully clothed yet. Or the Woman Clothed with the Sun. Yes, I like that.

You can't tell in this scan, but the gold and the blue are iridescent colours. A very different style for me, but then I continue to explore, always open to the new.

2 Lady of Green Fire [in process]

'Lady of Green Fire,' 20.5cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", India inks, Waterman sepia ink, acrylic ink, gel pens, oil pastels, oil paint, watercolour pencils, Mokeskine sketchbook.

A Venus arising from a sea of leaves. A green garden goddess. Perhaps she is Spring welcoming the sun. Not fully clothed yet. Yes, I like that. This is as far as I got tonight; I'm needing some iridescent blue ink to make leaf motifs in the sky, and of course, it's late and the art store is closed.

Lady of Green Fire [in-process]

'Lady of Green Fire/Greet the Sun,' 20.5cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", India inks, Waterman sepia ink, gel pens, oil pastels, watercolour pencils, Mokeskine sketchbook. [Detail]
What I did tonight... it's not finished, I don't think. I may want to create a mesh of leaves in the background in gold ink but don't have any.
This, and the last poem painting, Wing of Chrysalides, are, yes, mystical drawings.

[full size]

Wing of Chrysalides

[Above, taken indoors; below, scan before it was quite dry, or sprayed with an archival fixative. The colours in the one above are more accurate, but I like the softness of the scan. Click for larger size.]

'Wing of Chrysalides,' 2011, 20cm x 27cm, 8" x 10.5", India inks, oil paint, oil pastel, watercolour pencils, Moleskine sketchbook.

He stands between two worlds; he is about to leap. His wing, of chrysalises. In his hand, a green butterfly. He is nearly undifferentiated in the green as he straddles the blue where he is clear.

On him, glued, a piece of a shopping bill: 'Please retain receipt for purpose of completing the online survey.'

Another piece of the receipt, which hangs like a white fish, or perhaps only a rhythm.

Earlier version (scanned). You can see that I re-drew the figure who was sketched in here.


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I wrote this prose poem in July 2007. Today I recorded it on my iPhone, a quiet reading, and added a track from the Music Text Composition Generator that I had entered this poem into. The poem is its own music, yes. I'm thinking to go back to the way I was recording before I got freaked out by, oh I don't know. A feeling that I was over-reaching prescribed bounds with layering voices, readings, allowing passion in my voice, that sort of thing.


In a moment words will appear from which everything unravels.

Or begin with an explosion of lace.

Lace that is white, or whitened with the sun's steaming. Looped, twisted, braided threads, sewn with sharp needles, shaped like a cutwork of leaf veins in the sky. Finely-woven stitches, not broken or lost. Florals in white; sun-rises in white; waves in white. Spider webs of lace floating, an organic garden of cotton and linen an…