Showing posts with label poem painting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poem painting. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Orange is the New Black, Drawing #3



Amazing the true-to-life colour when a drawing or painting is photographed in direct sunlight. I think it's because the whole spectrum is present. Below is an earlier version taken on a cloudy day. In the final version I darkened the flesh tones with some graphite. The drawing took about 3.5 hours to do, crazy huh. Most of it while watching 3 episodes of 'Orange is the New Black,' Drawing #3 (final), 2013, Brenda Clews, 15" x 11", graphite and pastel on 130lb archival paper. No idea if it has any reference to the actual show itself, but it certainly has personal resonances.



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 brendaclews.com

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Art Show in less than 2 weeks! Panic City!

Nine paintings done and ready to go! Of the last two, one needs some fussing, and one needs the breath-hold throw-the-paint treatment. Art show is in less than 2 weeks!!!!

May 15 - June 15 at Q Space, 382 College St., Toronto.

This one is large, 5' x 5', oils and charcoal, called 'Charcoal Poems.' The photo's not too bad, though the right side is a bit dark.



Taking photos of the paintings is the next assignment, and doing that properly is going to be almost as challenging as painting itself.

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 brendaclews.com

Friday, May 03, 2013

Untitled2, 6th wash



She's gloved now. The forearms were 'not' meant to appear in the former versions of this painting, and so they weren't drawn with any particular care. But they appeared anyway (painting is like that, like it cares what the artist thinks) and it didn't work. So I thought I'd do my Venus with gloves. Don't yet know if it 'works.' This is still in rough. Likely take me the rest of the day and night to finish to my satisfaction.


Untitled2, 6th wash, Brenda Clews, 2013, daylight photo, 24" x 30", inks and oils on stretched canvas.

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 brendaclews.com

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Untitled2, 4th wash, with poem


This painting is developing into something that I find embarrassing. And yet, it's also ...not too bad. The poem fragment is from my 'Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems' and dang, I can see Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite and something distinctly literary (a sense of a book plate coloured in instead of an etching or an ink drawing) and quite post-modern (the whiff of pastiche, and it's a little bit funny too, the butt). It's driving me a little mad, this painting. What emerges under one's brush is like the dreams we remember - where do they come from? They are a mystery. We simply try to understand them.

What I don't like - the background doesn't work all that well though I can now live with it, and the arms. I did not work on this part of her sketch, intending to darken them into background. Not sure what I'll do, tinker until they're better, or perhaps glove them. :)

Untitled2, 4th wash, daylight photo, 24" x 30", inks and oils on stretched canvas.

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 brendaclews.com

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Untitled2, 3rd wash, with poem

Really I am not sure what is happening to me. I am kind of falling apart.

For days in angst, torturing myself inwardly, trying to get myself to paint (show is in just over 2 weeks now), meditating, etc., and then today it was attack the damn canvas time. So I did. With permanent inks, oils, and so on. Hours of struggle bending over the painting, doing this, that. It's too pretty, no, now it is far less pretty and simply over-worked. Or maybe it's ok. I simply can't stand this state of mind. Tomorrow hopefully more work on it, at least re-doing the lettering of the poem, which got kind of mussed in this afternoon's trauma, the face, the arms, the shawl, the background, whatever I can do for the magic.



Untitled2, 3rd wash with poem, daylight photo, Brenda Clews, 2013, 24" x 30", ink and oils on stretched canvas.
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 brendaclews.com

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Untitled4, 1st wash


I must be running a temperature! This is so not like my normal style. A poem fragment will be written into this when it's closer to finished. Probably into the white spaces in the towel. Don't think I'll do much but darken the torso when the paint is dry. I'm kind of liking the simplicity here. 'Untitled4,' 1st wash, nighttime shot (colours are a bit brighter than they appear here), 2013. 24" x 30", oil on stretched canvas.

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 brendaclews.com

Untitled2, 2nd wash with lettering

Still not happy with it, but now I get where it is going.


Untitled2, 2nd wash with lettering, daylight photo, 2013, 24" x 30", ink and oils on stretched canvas.

As ever, the colour has faded out as the painting dries. So that has to be worked on. Probably, because of the poem fragment that I chose (from my Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems), which I had forgotten about but which my 'text edit' file reminded me of this morning, she will have to remain quite whitish, almost transparent.

Painting is like dreaming. You dream without really knowing where the images come from, or how they are created by your mind. Likewise with painting - you know you're doing it, but you don't often know what it's about while you are doing it. The painting arises as if from a dream.

I am only now dimly aware of what I am doing with this painting. It's too pretty. But then again, it is a kind of Circe image of the Botticelli Venus type, and that's not pretty at all.
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 brendaclews.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

Untitled2, drawing and 1st wash

This is the 2nd poempainting. It is most challenging. Doing the drawing took nigh of a day, and I rubbed out so much I gessoed in the figure and painted ochre into the surrounding before gessoing that. It has sat propped on the floor for days. Pressure and deadlines drove me to throw it on the floor and begin painting this evening. While it is only the first wash, that does set the direction of the painting. I hope as I continue to work on it over the next few days, I like what emerges better than I do presently.


Untitled2, 2nd wash, nighttime photo, 2013. 24" x 30" oil on stretched canvas.

I sat with the drawn canvas all day, didn't go out into the sunshine, didn't eat, refused to do anything until I painted, finally did early evening, actually enjoyed the brushstrokes at the beginning, painting is usually torment for me, an inner struggle, such terrible intensity mingled with insecurity that only finally finishing brings exhausted relief, but painting this was light and fun, until I began to see what I was doing, oh, I can't stand this painting, anaemic and whispy, everything I don't want this series to be, and so I must drag myself back to the canvas and throw dark passion into the paint. And if it doesn't produce something I can live with, into the dank dungeon of the basement with ye, canvas!



Untitled2, drawing, daytime photo, 2013. 24" x 30" graphite on stretched canvas.



Untitled2, drawing, nighttime photo, 2013. 24" x 30" graphite on stretched canvas.


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 brendaclews.com

Untitled1 poempainting in progress


If this painting had stayed the way it was when first painted, I wouldn't have touched it. But it faded out as it dried. It's still wet here - I finished it at 11pm last night - but the colour is much stronger.

Among other thoughts and associations, we are approaching Spring and she's my tulip lady.


Untitled1, 3rd wash, Brenda Clews, 24" x 30", oils on stretched canvas 
(daytime shot, colours good, but still wet)




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 brendaclews.com

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Untitled3 poempainting in-progress

I thought the colour would get washed out as it dried, but so far, it's holding. I painted last night and it does need a bit a work still, but I'm happy with this one.


Untitled3, 2nd wash, sunlight photo while still quite wet, 24" x 30", oils on stretched canvas


Untitled3, 1st wash, very wet, 24" x 30", oils on stretched canvas


Untitled1, 2 and 3, all 24" x 30", graphite, oils on stretched canvas

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 brendaclews.com

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Poet Who Is Either Silenced Or Speaking Fire


It is the kinda day to pick up your cross and bear it.

I'm not saying I'm wishing you a Good Friday, exactly. Actually this drawing was drawn a month ago and I just finished it tonight and took a photograph under daylight bulbs.

'The Poet Who Is Either Silenced Or Speaking Fire,' 2013, Brenda Clews, 8.5" x 11", mixed media on 130lb archival paper.

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 brendaclews.com

Sunday, March 03, 2013

She, transparent to the sun (finished)



'She, transparent to the sun,' 8.5" x 11", conte, chalk, pastel, art pen on Pentalic neutral pH 25% cotton 130 lb drawing paper.

This drawing is finished. The poem written into the drawing was recorded over a mix of sounds, with a slight theatrical flavour. Both the drawing and the poem refer to something specific. Do you see it?


direct link: She, transparent to the sun.

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 brendaclews.com

Friday, March 01, 2013

Charcoal Poems near completion

Some other notes, this on getting started:
Too fricken busy!! Phone call with an old friend who's in town, arrangements, dogs out twice, a sunny day so photos of some of my poets drawings, breakfast followed immediately by lunch because I was still hungry, lol. I did start filling in more of the green but ran out of the mixture, which was from last September in a small plastic Sushi container for ginger, and so have to re-mix. But, first, tea! Lol. Lol!
Some many hours later, well into the evening:
It's gone back to where it was, after a lot of rubbing with an old, wet tea towel.
And, finally:
The shadow beside her is back, though. I've struggled with it. Shadows in the sense of the unacknowledged repressed hidden sides of us are like that. They can't be painted green. Scribbled in charcoal only.
So it doesn't look like the image posted below. Now I'm thinking to get some fresh Gesso and work it so that there is a green base and then scribble the charcoal over that.

I began this painting a few weeks after my mother's death last September. There is a lot of grief in it. It's not a happy, giddy circus and while greening the shadow makes for a more pleasing painting, that's not the point. The problematic scribble of charcoal beside her is part of the composition of the painting. Charcoal Poems will find its viewers.

The painting is also a calligraphy and maintaining the stroke of the charcoal, a type of poetry itself, an illegible dream writing, perhaps the compositions of loss, the scribble the speaks of the disjunctures, expresses it in incoherent terms, and so has to remain, however I finally work it.


Where it's at after last night's paint-a-thon. Below, where it was just before that.



With a solo show in early May at Q Space in Toronto, I need to get this finished so the oils will be dry! (I use water-soluble oil paints, so it should be ok.) Today was the day. Get down to it, I told myself. And somehow I did. Likely I'll tinker for a few more days, but time has run out.

I'm thinking that big black shape next to her - it's lovely willow charcoal set with a fixative, and where I began this painting - has to be dealt with. Or not. (At this moment it's not working for me, but that can change in an hour, or a day.)

Charcoal Poems, near completion, 2013, 5' x 5', willow charcoal, India ink, oils on double primed canvas.

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 brendaclews.com

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The real story of recording 'She, transparent to the sun'

Ok. Truth is this 'little' 1:33min recording took most of the day. I hit Record and said the short poem a few times and nothing was recorded but a blank line. Plugging and unplugging things, resets and upsets, hours went by as I struggled with my system made of old and newer components. Checking and re-checking System Preferences, everything always looks fine, even the Mac's internal microphone worked, but not dear old GarageBand. In increasingly dire frustration I deleted it. Deleted it! And then the Apple App store wanted to charge me $14.99 to re-buy it! Snarl and growl. I went and found iLife '11, hoping it was the latest version, and anyway, if it isn't Apple is usually decent enough to update if you've bought the product in recent history. Being by now thoroughly versed in the checking and re-checking of everything multiple times, I did open the App store again, and finally, under Purchases, there was my Garage Band, uninstalled, ready to install. So I didn't have to re-install iLife.

Did the re-install work? No. GarageBand has become the most finicky mistress, or, in my case, master. It certainly recognized my mic, but allow recording to occur through it? Not on your iLife.

I think in the process of clicking anything and everything I clicked Input over to the internal mic and viola, recording real sound. Then I clicked it back to my mic. And it worked!

No idea if it ever will again, or if I have to jump through X number of hoops before the software responds correctly.

Ok. So we got recording. I recited my little poem. Almost too fatigued to care about the quality emotion wrapped up in the tremor of voice. Perhaps too shrill; perhaps not contained enough. I don't like my voice, but few of us do. It's too high. I try to remember to speak more deeply. And so on and so forth as I recorded the scant minute and a half a few times.

I did choose a recording that wasn't too bad but the weird thing is that the sound was a bit 'tinny.' I had recorded the piece I read on open mic last sunday at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space in preparation for my performance and the sound had been crystal clear and very life-like. Try as I might, with moving the mic from desk to lap, tilted up, and down, the 'tinny' sound remained.

So finally I plugged in another mic that, look we're talking low end stuff here, but there are subtleties, is not as good as the mic that had become 'tinny' for no good reason.

It was getting dark. I had to take the dogs out. I hadn't eaten, neither had they. And I kept at it, tenaciously.

Yes, as I said yesterday, while I'm not fully satisfied with the final recording, IT WILL DO (take that, GarageBand!). And yes I spent some time finding tracks on freesound.org and mixing and re-mixing them. By the time I'd saved a version and uploaded and shared to Facebook and posted on my blog, it was 9pm, and when I took the dogs out the slush that had fallen all day was becoming lethal slippery icy under foot and I didn't have my cleats on and so we gingerly walked around the block, not enough of a walk for any of us, but we all came home nearly an hour later soaking wet, and even this morning their leashes and harnesses and dog coats are still damp.

Here's the recording again.

You'll forgive me for posting it twice.


  direct link: She, transparent to the sun (the title is taken from the quote from Legends of the Bible by Louis Ginzberg on Noah's birth, but also describes the painting, which became an integral part of the meaning).

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 brendaclews.com

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Drawing-in-progress: She, transparent to the sun



A test shot of the light drawing I did last night, and then wrote the poem I composed earlier in the day into it. Because the writing took more space, I'll have to extend that dark background to page edge, and see if I can sharpen the edges of her face (the conte is rough, awkward for fine lines). 'She, transparent to the sun,' 8.5" x 11", conte, chalk, pastel, art pen on Pentalic neutral pH 25% cotton 130 lb natural white drawing paper.

 ps. When I can take a better photo (we have a sleet storm right now, so no going out to get a daylight photo), or at least set up lights with some daylight coming from the window, I will also take a photo of the poem, which I wrote in my writing Moleskine, but first, on a quest for shrimp (which I have been craving for days and last night bought an over-priced prawn dish from an Indian restaurant that was mostly onions and green peppers in spices and very few split prawns, and it didn't hit the spot. Lol! :)

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 brendaclews.com