A Brilliant Gloss of Tidal Fury by John F Walter

A Brilliant Gloss of Tidal Fury, notes by my dear friend, John Francis Walter

John wrote these notes in 2016 - the care and depth of his reading of my book of poetry was overwhelming (and I was probably a bit embarrassed by the attention my little poems got). He parses the book poem by poem!!! John is a true polymath -poet, playwright, writer, intellectual, teacher, actor, translator, friend to many, and more. It is with deep gratitude that I finally post these notes, which were to form the basis of a more traditional article. As a collection, they are more effective in their notational form - being closest to the immediacy of his reading.

(If you have a copy of Tidal Fury (also in the Toronto Public Library), keep it open as you read each of his insights.)

p.1 'Entrap'--deliberately contextualized via Roget's. Theme of entrap recurs throughout volume, most notably on p. 37--Masks, seduction by destroying rivals, and 62, Fear and Capture, which evinces the awareness of proj…

Ink Ocean, 2018 - best performance yet

Direct Link: Ink Ocean

Ink Ocean is a poem that I still like to perform around town. Sometimes John Oughton can accompany me, and that is very special. This was videoed last Summer, in August 2018, at Glen Hornblast's Words and Music Jamboree at The Tranzac Club.

The camera focussed on the curtain at the back, due, I think, to the string of lights. So I had some slightly blurred footage and what more invitation do I need to begin playing? Pixel Film Studios had an Ocean Template generator which looked too inviting, so I got it and it works with the poem I feel. I can see this generator being great for Tidal Fury! Also added a cropped FCPX Glimmer generator. And a MotionVFX mTransition called Smoke. Oh, and a free video that I found on YouTube, a Black Smoke Green Screen effect. The sound is 'as is' from the camera mic.

I do love to play with effects - one of the benefits of having no video training! It's fun to create a palette - a sort of slow moving painting - around …

Begun a New Commissioned Portrait Painting

Setting the scene, nowhere near finished. It takes about 25 hours to complete a portrait painting, from original sketches to final canvas. To get to this stage in the underpainting, about 10 hours. I'm sharing the process as I go. 18" x 22" x 1.5", oil on canvas.


Two Recent Sketches

Two recent drawings.

This one was done at a life drawing session. Graphite, watercolour paper. A pose of maybe an hour and a half or a so. Getting proportions takes the longest and I think one arm is not quite. Otherwise, ok. I had thought to darken the highlights and shadows from memory, but, as it's on watercolour paper, to leave it lightly done in case I get inspired to paint it. 

This one is in my 'new' Daily Sketchbook, which is not really about drawing so much as doing something every day, or most days. I worked long enough on it for a quick sketch from a YouTube site but in the photo can see that one arm, oh ballpoint, you are so unforgiving and so un-erasable, and one hand especially could have been drawn with more care. 
Is it only the artist who sees these things, or does everybody?


Interview on The Artis with Ivy Reiss

direct link:

"The Raging Muse": My interview with the delightful, smart and beautiful Ivy Reiss, editor-in-chief of Artis Mag Nineofive, on on October 19th. As you chat on air, you feel Ivy's interest, compassion and skill and find yourself opening up.

We begin with my book, Tidal Fury, and a performance of my poem, 'The Medusa' (with green fog). I talk about creativity and a muse who is as dangerous as lightning.

We then move onto my novella, Fugue in Green. I reveal things I have not revealed before. We explore questions on what constitutes memoir and autobiography and I stress the importance of having some experience of what you are writing about, 'core elements,’ that give the writing authenticity but which do not necessarily constitute life writing. I read a key scene from Fugue in Green. We finish with mention of writing aids, like NaNoWriMo.

Ivy guided the interview beautifully and I am happy with it. It wa…

Quick Sketches

Some newsprint drawings played with. 18"x22", this week.

Progressing, bit by bit...

This is drawn, I think, with a 2B in a .9mm technical pencil. It's on it's way to becoming, I hope, a watercolour. Quite large - 14" x 20" or 36cm x 51cm, Aquarelle Arches, 100% cotton, 300g/m or 140lb. I've done the shadows and the beautiful wrinkles in the skin lightly in the drawing - knowing that soft graphite will bleed into the water and paint.

Not sure whether to make it a very detailed, more realistic watercolour, or allow the paint to run freely for a more suggestive rendering.