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My little open mic at the Spring Poetry Salon

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My little open mic at the recent Spring Poetry Salon that I hosted at Urban Gallery. I have uploaded 7 open mic and feature readings but have shared them on the Facebook pages of those people or by private email. As soon as I get all of the Features videos done, I'll make a blog post with all the photos and videos.

I still plan on doing a video review of the featured poets when I'm finished editing and uploading all the clips.


direct link

The writing in the drawing of the last post is part of the writing I read from in this open mic clip (though I didn't include it in my reading that day).
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Ithwark (what happened to the Sunday self-portrait)

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The Sunday self-portrait did not happen. Firstly, I forgot about it. When I remembered late afternoon and sat before my sleeping computer screen to draw, I couldn't see much of anything. Some dim face. The late sun coming in the window didn't help; nor did a small reading lamp fixed on the mug. So I went with indistinct. Using mostly a brush and ink, I fashioned a face whose first lines were based on what I could see of mine. But then I stopped looking at the image in the turned-off screen and the brush painting went off somewhere else. I rubbed the ink around with water sometimes and used a dip pen for a bit before deciding less is more and photographed it balanced on a chair in the remaining dying sun.

It's been finished digitally for this blog post - some zoom, a little smudging, a bit of old photo, and so on. I may keep working on the original and show that later on too.

Then I went scouring for some writing and found some of the crazy text I'm working on. But it n…

Sunday morning self-portrait

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Is it becoming a chore? Sunday morning, draw woman! I was impatient to have my second cup of coffee. C'mon ink, c'mon drawing, hurry up! The point is to be fast. I can't say resembles or not - don't want what a camera could do, that's all. And I want to be ruthless with myself and use unforgiving ink. This woman needs caffeine! Line after line - it's not right! Dots then. Oh, my. Just get it done. And my lovely Lamy fountain pen is no longer 'scratchy' - it flows properly. Dang, huh.

'Sunday Morning Self-Portrait,' 8 June 2014. ©Brenda Clews. Lamy fountain pen with Noodler's black ink and some other stuff, 15" x 11", Pentalic 130lb archival paper.

(Cloudy out and so the white balance isn't the same as if I took it in direct sun. Colour looks accurate on my iPad Mini for the type of day it is.)

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Dr Sketchy's Burlesque Drop-in Life-Drawing - June Session

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Toronto now has a Dr Sketchy again. I went last Friday night. Burlesque life-drawing, short poses, at a bar in Kensington Market. The theme was quite gruesome - cannibalism - and gruesomely funny in its own way. The first model began with a burlesque strip and came out holding a silicone severed wrist and hand which she gnawed on as she twirled and pranced and shook her goods while removing her lingerie until she was splattered in 'blood' - something I didn't have time to draw in but other artists did. Other props were a huge fork and spoon. It was a ribald and fun evening. Every so often there was a 'challenge' - make a poster with a caption (I love you so much I could eat you up) - and then artists who want bring their drawings to the front and the audience chooses the winner by clapping harder. Prize was a free drink. Or we were to work on one drawing in groups of 2 or 3 - I forgot to photo ours. Prize was some t-shirts. And the final pose was the MC (in top ha…

sketch

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Drawn this week. Some of it while watching a movie, 'Times and Winds' (Turkey 2006) dir. Reha Erdem. I think that's an imagination of the olive tree. It is the children (young teens) who sleep, not the men, so I don't know who he is. Maybe Blake's 'Albion.' Written late last night on the back: "The land is impregnated. Post-Edwardian man sunbathing while the plane crashes into the grass, but it's paper. Airplane. Man." ©Brenda Clews 2014, 11" x 8.5", Lamy fountain pen and Noodler's black ink, Pentallic 130lb archival paper.
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Sunday morning self-portrait

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Sunday morning self-portrait. June 1, 2014 ©Brenda Clews. So far, I don't like this sketch. That may change: sometimes it doesn't. I thought a portion of the face might be interesting and so used an oval mirror and included the glasses lens so the eye is a bit over-sized. Probably I look a bit better than this - if one took a photo - but I want to be ruthless with myself. Still, while I wasn't into drawing this morning, I did manage something, and should keep this up since it is currently the only drawing I do and a few hours once a week is better than nothing. I hope to go to a drop-in life-drawing session next week. 11" x 8.5", Lamy fountain pen with Noodler's Black Ink, Pentalic 130lb archival paper.
I am still without a computer, so this was photographed with an iPhone and uploaded to a specific album in Picasa with an app I had to buy (Web Albums - A Picasa Photo viewer & etc by Pixite LLC), and then posted to my blog via my small iPad mini with ano…
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I'll be without a computer for about a week - but of course will be on-line via 'devices' - a cell phone, a tablet. I'm trading in my 6 year old iMac and a laptop. I'm presently in the process of stripping them. The format option in Disk Utility simply is not working, so I am deleting everything manually -which is hard. Even though I have everything backed up, I am manually deleting files, deleting years.

And something I have been wanting to do for 10 years and finally did today: I submitted four poems to a journal.

A day of endings and beginnings, then. And beautiful Summer has at last arrived in Toronto - finally!

Have a lovely week!
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Another Sunday Morning Self-Portrait

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Between first and second cup of coffee this morning. Another self-portrait done looking into a turned-off computer screen, so not a real mirror, lol. Last Sunday I did one, and now this Sunday - maybe it's a Sunday Morning thing. Anyway, I never seem to make it out to life-drawing sessions, and I will sit still for myself. (c) Brenda Clews. It's on 130lb archival paper, 15" x 11", Lamy fountain pen with Noodler's Black Ink.

I photographed this in direct sun, which I find best for white balance, and then I darkened the lines a bit - and yet I am not seeing the same full scope of the detail in the drawing as I did in last week's self-portrait that was scanned. This one is too large for my scanner.


detail

full-size

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A Victoria Day self-portrait

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With a Lamy fountain pen that was scratchy and then would ink but was mostly a lovely scratchy.

A Victoria Day self-portrait done while enjoying a cup of strong coffee. Since I never seem to make it out to life-drawings sessions, I thought I should simply draw the shadow in the computer screen (which was the 'mirror' for this one - rather indistinct and very grey). I don't mind if I don't resemble myself. :)} (Eyes a bit larger than they should be because I had reading glasses on and didn't put the frames in.)

©Brenda Clews, 2014, 11" x 8.5", Noodler's black ink, Lamy fountain pen, archival 130lb Pentalic paper.




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'Clay Lady' (1:29min) is too risqué? Issue with YouTube's rules? Oh, my.

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A figurative clay sculpture without any discernable 'details' is considered too risqué? YouTube wants to classify this videopoem as 'adult content'??? She might as well have been wearing a body stocking for all the detail there is. I seem to be running into a few problems with YouTube and mysterious 'violations' of their policies. Since when is figurative art considered porn? Am I supposed to clothe a fairly indistinct clay sculpture (in terms of details of anatomy and the forbidden parts - heck, she doesn't even have nipples) and that is mostly torso? I've been laughing all morning. They threatened to pull it from public viewing but it's still there, for now at least. Though they do appear to have frozen the view counts, something I have requested a review of.

direct link: Clay Lady - short time-lapse

A multi-media production, with subtitles. -- I did the sculpture at the Toronto School of Art. The background is part of my painting, 'Split Mask…

(same) tree outside my window

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Noodler's Black Ink and a dip pen, and tubes of decades old watercolour that I found in the bottom of a drawer. (Same) tree outside my window, ©Brenda Clews, 2014, 10" x 8.5", 130lb archival paper.
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A lovely Mother's Day

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Lol! A lovely Mother's Day - a video call with my daughter for an hour, and my son kindly raked and cleaned up my patio and then we went to Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir - the best!


That's me reading a complexly constructed piece that will become the opening in a voiceover prose poem in a videopoem - I compacted three different pieces of writing (that I dragged out of the tangles in my mind) over months to create an intricate piece that was edited and re-written a few times and yet it was thought to be stream-of-consciousness writing... which struck me as quite funny (it had been a lot of literal fret-work). But, I suppose, the thing is to make the final version look effortless and a bit bumpy, as if it had been dashed off in a moment of inspiration.

Or maybe it was reading from a Moleskine journal - the place where you usually write the first draft as it comes out. I had written all over the place in a number of different apps and programs on my computer and tablet and act…

Inscribe Directly on the Field

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'Inscribe Directly on the Field,' 2014, ©Brenda Clews, 7"x6", watercolour and Lamy fountain pen. In the shadows of the evening. (Title after a line in a Larkin poem.)
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Video Review of Michael Mirolla's and Claudio Gaudio's Readings at my Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery on April 26, 2014

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direct link: Video Review of Michael Mirolla's and Claudio Gaudio's Readings at my Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery on April 26, 2014.

At the Poetry Salon I hosted at Urban Gallery in Toronto on April 26, 2014, I had two fabulous features: Michael Mirolla and Claudio Gaudio. This video is a review I composed after their readings and in which I show an excerpt of a video clip of each of their readings.

Below are their bios:

Novelist, short story writer, poet and playwright, Michael Mirolla's publications include a punk-inspired novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; three novels: Berlin (a Bressani Prize winner and recently translated into Latvian); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named "Giulio" battles for freedom from his own creator; two short story collections: The Formal Logic of Emotion (translated into Italian as La logica forma…

On producing a Video Review of the Features at my last Poetry Salon...

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A long, tortured blog post on the making of the Video Interview of Michael Mirolla's and Claudio Gaudio's readings at my Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery on April 26, 2014:

While this was meant to be a simple little video, it didn't turn out that way. On Sunday I stapled, clipped and taped bolts of unprimed canvas to the walls of apartment and on painting stretchers and easels to create a little 'nook' to video in. I set a Canon 60D on a tripod, a chair, got all my notes, and gave the talk. Only the DSLR stopped running after 11 minutes (I do use a 90mb/sec Sandisk card but haven't been able to get the 29.9min promised by the manufacturer). By the time I realized that I missed half my talk, I had already taken the 'stage set' down, and put everything away. Out it all came (that 12' x 15' canvas of sewn sections is unruly and heavy) and after setting the 'talking scene' up again, tripod, light, etc., I sat down to finish what I had to say. I …