Posts

A Peek Inside the Palace of Palaces: THE FORBIDDEN CITY at the ROM

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KJ Mullins published an article I wrote on the Forbidden City show at the Royal Ontario Museum. My article has a different slant to that taken by most of the other reviewers for newspapers and on-line magazines, who didn't seem, overall, to be hugely impressed with the show. I do hope a few folks make their way to the ROM to see it based on my response. The offerings from the Forbidden City are well worth seeing.

A Peek Inside the Palace of Palaces: THE FORBIDDEN CITY at the ROM



Clay Lady (test video)

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Since this is a test-run, a video-in-process, a test of the writing for what I hope to do in the 'real' one, you probably don't need to watch it unless you would like to offer a comment that might help me compose the final video.



direct link: Clay Lady (test)

During the Autumn of 2013, I attended a figurative sculpture session at the Toronto School of Art with Florian Jacot. Throughout the 13 weeks of sculpting from a live model, I took photographs. In December of 2013, I searched for a turntable to video the finished little sculpture spinning but did not include that footage in the video just completed (I have included a 25sec clip at the end of this post). Yesterday I finally set a painting on the floor of my living room as a back-drop, set up a Canon 60D, sat down and read from my notebook. It's off-the-cuff, no preparation, a test run. I also had composed a Picasa album last Fall documenting the progress of the sculpture and made that into a mini video and added it…

Clay Lady test shot

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Clay Lady (a video) - still from a test of the poem & talk. I'll probably upload the test vid too.
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Poetry Salons @ Urban Gallery Continue

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It's official: I will be hosting monthly Poetry Salons at Urban Gallery on the last Saturday of each month from 3-5pm. Urban Gallery is a wonderful gallery and I am most honoured to be asked to host salons and very happy to be part of the art scene developing at the Gallery. Thanks to Calvin Hambrook, Allen Shugar and Kaspara Albertsen!



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Lady in Red Corset

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Lady in Red Corset (or some such title), life-drawing @ Urban Gallery 1 Feb 2014 (but finished tonight), model: Manminder, by Brenda Clews, 11" x 15", charcoal, graphite, India inks, pastels, etc., on primed canvas sheet.

The red ink might still be sticky, wet enough, and it is photographed at night under daylight bulbs with sheets of mylar hung over them - in daylight, there would be more detail and the colours might be slightly different shades.

On another front, NaPoWriMo is going well, and I am managing to keep up - but posting privately.

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Due to anxiety over those who fly by and swipe a line, an image, a concept, an approach, a theme and use it to build their own little poetry nests elsewhere on the NET without referencing their source or giving credit to me or my work, which happened constantly when I used to openly post my writing, I simply cannot post poetry here. As I move through the block caused by this behaviour of seemingly well-educated and ethical writers, and on the advice of my analyst, who I discussed the issue at length with, including names, sites, specific examples when I was still seeing him, I find I'd like to continue writing on-line.

So I will have to do it in a private blog.

I have, of course, been writing throughout but in bursts and then reading the poems in Open Mics around the city where, I know, no-one really listens - because it's too hard to and with say three featured poets and 10 Open Mics one can't place a single poem in a context to analyze its value and what can potentially …

April is poetry month

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Besides a (for me, heartbreaking) issue with Picasa albums and Blogger, which has kept me from posting, and may drive me from this blog ultimately, who knows,

I had wanted to write something every day for the month of April for poetry month, which I've never done before.

With other stuff going on in my life, I forgot entirely.

So I found something I scribbled on the 14th of March, which really encapsulates so very much and yet which, of course, maintaining the silence on my personal life that I have mostly adhered to in this blog, I will not speak about.


The world couldn't open up when I was being held under a viewpoint like that.
It's not much, I know. But it appears to be part of a growing series of poems that, in their entirety, give forth more meaning than I could offer here.
Oh, I am being opaque, and no apologies, and I may continue to post whatever here or in another totally private blog during this month.
I just hope the poetry nest-builders who fly by and grab line…

Ink Ocean featured at Art and Earth

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Ann Marcaida featured my performance videopoem, Ink Ocean, at Art and Earth yesterday.


Responses to Ink Ocean:

"Wow, what a trip. You've made something passionate out of this collision of many technologies and layers. Thank you." John Oughton (who jammed the über cool inky ocean music) "GREAT WORK Brenda, really great. I enjoyed every minute of it, choreography, words, music, background video. WOW." Pierre-Marie Cœdès "You did a fine job of editing, regardless of the circumstances. The surrounding imagery works very effectively, together with your combined dance and spoken word performance and the music. You prevailed over the lighting limitation and static camera. The result is indeed moving, as well as imaginative." Allan Briesmaster"Outstanding video effects, excellent message and a perfect musical accompaniment. I especially enjoyed the golden orange segment which you had earlier shared a preview of. Another great piece of artistic work."…

First attempts at digital drawing...

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Because I like to draw at poetry readings and many of them are in dark bars where there is not enough room to spread art supplies and there is not enough light to see your page, I started, this weekend, to explore drawing and painting apps on my (smallest, cheapest, non-retina, 2013) iPad Mini (purchased to show Gallery owners my work and it did get me the show at Urban Gallery almost immediately).

All of these sketches were done in each of the apps without looking at, let alone reading, the manuals, instructions or anything else. While I've never used any paint programs, I have used Photoshop for years and so it wasn't hard to figure out an instrument (pencil, pen, crayon, brush), a thickness, a colour. Of all of the programs, Brushes proved to be too hard to figure out - and will require a thorough reading of the manual at some point. I liked the animation video Brushes created of the drawing though I was not able to export it. They are all powerful programs that offer the a…
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I sold a painting!! Gone to a good home! I'm so happy!


Every Angel is terror' (Rilke), 2011, 18” x 22” x 1", charcoal, acrylic and oil on canvas in a drop mount birch frame.

"Every Angel is terror. And yet, ah,
knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly
birds of the soul" from Rilke, 2nd Duino Elegy
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Ink Ocean: A Video of a Live Performance with Images and Videos from the Gulf Oil Spill Added.

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It's my birthday, and I won't tell you how old I am, but I did get this video finished finally. The last step was subtitling it, and got that done by 11pm. I worked long and hard on this video of a performance I did at Urban Gallery on January 30th, and hope you take away something of the sadness and outrage over the Gulf Oil Spill and what we are doing to our world even as we have to continue loving in an increasingly polluted world...


direct link: Ink Ocean

Brenda Clews performs her poem, Ink Ocean, live at Urban Gallery in Toronto during a Performance Poetry Salon she organized there during her Poempaintings show in 2014. http://brendaclews.com; http://urbangallery.ca

John Oughton plays his electric guitar with his magic box of sounds: http://library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/oughton/index.htm

All the extra clips (except for the drawing, see below) are from public domain video and photographs of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill in 2010.

'Ink Ocean' is about the oi…

Our Beach

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For those fun sun lovers who go south each winter, some photos: our beach; our beach with what-appears-to-be a swarm of fireflies; and a selfie in a beach cover-up that keeps all the uv rays off - if I appear a little bright-eyed it's because I took the Ray-Bans off and am blinking in the flood of sunlight. The dog also has a special beach cover-up in the first photo that protects her against harmful uv rays. You can't be too careful on the beach!



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Painter, Poet, Beggar, Thief - a poetry salon @ Urban Gallery, last day of my show there!

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Tomorrow is the LAST DAY of my show at Urban Gallery and we are ending it with a kick-ass Poetry Salon, Poet Painter Beggar Thief, featuring five poet painters: Luciano Iacobelli, Nik Beat, Norman Bethune, Jennifer Hosein and moi. Jennifer is kindly hosting the salon. Her poster is uber cool.


I'll be reading from my Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems, and the first poem is about the scent of magnolias (flower sacred to Venus) on my tongue...

If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element

I wonder if this test recording will work? Sorry, if I remove the post because it doesn't.

Ok, it's the craziest little thing, but I'll leave it. I was testing out something for, ahem, future 'real' recordings. Lol!

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Another still from my edited video of the performance of Ink Ocean at Urban Gallery...

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Rising to the surface for a bit. Hi everyone! How're y'all doing?

I'm still working on the video. There are very minor things that no-one else will notice and I may just leave - there wasn't enough light in the gallery and so when I boosted the light in the editing process I also gained grain and a loss of clarity - after adding a filter to remove some of the noise, it has taken about 3 days to render the video! Enough is enough. Any other changes will have to be done to a master file. Also, I think the sound needs to be entirely re-done. But is that because I am not just immersed in the editing of this performance piece but drowning in it? Lol. I hope it's ready before the last day of my show at Urban Gallery on Saturday!
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Some of my crazy digital magic using FCPX...

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'Find darkness; bring it in. Find light; bring it in. IN.' -from Ink Ocean.

Some digital magic from the videopoem I am working on. On screen for maybe 12 seconds including dissolves in and out. This videopoem is like that. Will have to decrease it in size and fade it out somewhat, or destroy it even more than that in the final version of the video, but I thought I'd show you its present state. It's a 're-working' of my ink drawing, Ink Ocean (from which the poem arose).

The image (and it's got a little animation too) is such a complex construction that I have saved it as a separate project and am going to make a .mov file out of it and insert that back in to the main timeline. That way I can decrease its size and fade it out as a whole.

Here is the compound clip over the main timeline a little later - it changes in colour, as well as being a little bit animated:


In the process of making this post, I decided to uploaded the clip, all 12 seconds of it! Some …