In response to a question at Facebook about whether I sketch from life or use photographs:
...sketches are either from life, or directly from my imagination. Occasionally, I take a reference shot with my iPhone if I have a good start on the drawing itself. The camera turns 3D space into 2D and sees it in a way that an artist might not if they were to turn the same scene into a flat picture. Often a drawing made from a photograph looks like a drawing made from a photograph and lacks the energy that doing it from real life would impart. If you use photographs, stop using them at a certain point in the process of drawing or painting and let the energy of the scene speak directly to you. Don't fully rely on them and don't duplicate them - make your own interpretation. Just my take on it.
What do you think? I plan to write it into my painting. Once there, the words can't be changed.
A Palmistry, a Psalm
The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.
Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.
They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down…
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…
So I guess probably everyone here agrees with at least one of the following three propositions: that paying attention is worthwhile in and of itself, that the writing or other artwork that comes out of such moments of attention can be compelling, and that paying attention can lead to authentic/original insights. As a writer and reader, I've long admired poets such as Mary Oliver and John Haines whose poetry seems to originate in just this kind of attention to the world (which isn't to say that I don't like other kinds of writing, too). My question for writers and artists, though, is this: is there a special kind of attention that leads to the best insights? And does it exist purely in the observational moment, or is it also something that comes from immersion in the act of creation as well? What is the precise (or even the approximate)…
"I hope you are all creating every day according to the inner map you were born with. I know it sometimes seems that map is written in invisible ink... but you know to read invisible ink, you have to hold it over heat. Same with creative life, 'Fire, give me more fire!'" Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from "The Creative Fire" mansuscript, this quote posted at her public site at Facebook.
where potential poems
lay like unfertilized ova
a thousand rise
on the landscape of the future
I have no chromosone
starmap to offer
or helixes of lunar pearls
I wasn't born with a vision
mapless, without signs
my fire is your fire
what bursts from this undifferentiated mass, a singular
moment, astral blossom of solarity, prism of
colour, strange sapient gloss
is a response,
the lighting of our blazing
A composite image I composed for this poem (from public domain and NASA images). __ I like Dr. Estes quote very much, and am inspired by her words. I've writ…