Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Split Mask (Dress Rehearsal #2)

direct link: Split Mask Dress Rehearsal #2

I am looking for suggestions! Working towards a final version of this performance piece, any input is valuable.

This video is the result of a too-quick transformation of my small apartment for a rehearsal of Split Mask yesterday morning. The only lighting was through the windows. The black fabric did not stretch nearly far enough for the camera and I cropped and so on. My dress - I kept pulling it down (note to self: stop it). While the reading was a tad emotional, I found if I did a quieter reading that I couldn't remember the lines. When I allowed myself to perform with emotion, the lines came easily.

I think visually this take almost works, but...

Slit Mask, the performance piece, began with 'an inner image' of a split mask. I carried it for months in the Spring of 2013 and finally went to the art store to see what might work for a base. Was I delighted to find a paper mâché mask that was perfect as it was! I did the shredding and tearing at home and secured it with masking tape and cotton wading and later paper mâchéd it with a fairly heavy-weight wrapping tissue and white glue mixed with water- so it is very strong. I began working on the poem in the Summer of 2013 and finished it in the Summer of 2014. When I was preparing my POEMPAINTINGS show at Urban Gallery late in 2013, another 'inner image' that I had for a large canvas, the shock of gold on a diagonal, became realized in paint, graphite, ink and metal leaf. The mask became the central part of the painting. The whole composition, mask, poem and painting, were always meant to components of a performance piece.

An odd thing about this poem is that men, on the whole, do not like the political references, and I have noticed this reaction beginning with the first version in the Summer of 2013 through to this final draft, which I performed on open mic yesterday evening at Banoo Zan's 'Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night) XX.' It seems they would prefer to keep the woman in the mask performing a poem that fits their ideas of the mask (that I created) rather than the fissure it is for me. I don't find women mind the political aspect at all, and in fact, like the force of it. We don't always have 'to be beautiful' surely. Sometimes we can yell over terror and torture. The world is a difficult place and our hearts are so often torn for those who are living through nightmares of violence and war.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Split Mask: security camera broadcast

direct link: Security Camera Capture

Caught on security cameras performing my Split Mask poem.

©2014 by Brenda Clews, all rights reserved.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guest Poet at 'Saturdays at the Portobello'

The thing is, when I begin to memorize a longer poem for a performance piece, I keep fiddling with it and doing small bits of re-writes - little things, a changed word here or there, deleting lines, modifiers, prepositions, tightening things up. Which makes it harder to remember! It might take a whole week because every day I make changes and then have to start memorizing all over. Yes, eventually the poem does get to the point where I'm satisfied and then I rarely change a word again.

I'm a guest poet at Portobello Saturdays this coming Saturday and I will perform the poem I am working on memorizing (promise). 995 Bay St (at Wellesley), 1:30-4:30p.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sketch of Keesha at nearly 15

Keesha, born August 25, 1999, on July 20, 2014. A Springer Spaniel (yes, with papers). She's not doing too well and I wished for some sketches of her as memories along with photos and videos. (Taken RAW -I did rub out the grub marks but am not photographing again. lol.) Keesha at nearly 15, ©Brenda Clews, 15" x 11", Noodler's and permanent transparent acyrlic inks and Inktense blocks, 130lb Pentalic archival paper.


Keesha and Aria (b. 1May2012) with the drawing on 20 July 2014. On the left, photo taken with EOS 60D w/a used 28-135USM zoom; on the right, a zazzy iPhone 5s photo. The one on the left would have been better if I had used the correct lighting settings but even so, noise and all, I prefer it.

Not sure what transparent permanent acrylic ink was in the water brush I used for her 'liver' fur areas- the ink was a bit too red and the next one hopefully will have the right 'chocolatey brown with red tones' colour.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School Burlesque Life-Drawing was very risqué tonight

Here is the poster and description for the July 7, 2014 life-drawing session from the Toronto Branch website:

Poster illustration by Jeremy Cardarelli. Two Toronto trouble makers go out of the comic pages and into the dungeon at the upcoming Dr.Sketchy's Toronto session. Naughty tattooed hottie Kensie Vicioüs and beefcake batboy Toronto Batman will be posing together in their skimpiest costumes.

Watch out - Kensie heard Toronto Batman has been a very bad bat. She just may have to punish him.

Special Emcee: Gracie Klutz!!

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is the little New York art event that became a movement. Started in 2005 by artist Molly Crabapple, the concept is simple. Artist’s draw glamorous burlesque dancers, compete in contests, and win wacky prizes. From it’s humble Brooklyn beginnings, Dr. Sketchy’s now has over 100 branches around the globe, including Los Angeles, London, Rome, Tokyo, and Melbourne. Learn more about Dr. Sketchy's here:

Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Burlesque life-drawing last night was based on comic book figures but truly seemed more BDSM. They were a kinky Batman and Catwoman, let's say. Batman and his masked Madame of Meows posed with fun and hilarity for us. They are actually married and were a great couple to draw! Despite the short poses, mostly 5 min, some 10min, one 15min, and the complexity of two figures interlacing, there were some beautiful drawings in the room. Such talented artists all over!

Here are mine. They're all done on 18" x 24" 80lb Strathmore archival drawing paper with graphite, the regular kind and the water-soluble kind. I am a little uncomfortable posting these, they are so risqué, but I do keep a record of my drawings and paintings on this blog, so chalk it up and on with the show.

The two below are the full drawing that was cropped in #4, and #6 with a solarizing filter (I like this effect on that drawing).


Wednesday, July 02, 2014


Something truly shocking - the EMBED CODE at YOUTUBE has been broken for over a year!

Take a look:

[iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="422" src="//www." width="750"]

See where I underlined. The SCR="//WWW.

Do you see what's missing?

The videos APPEAR where you've embedded them (in Blogger, for instance) but THEY DON'T PLAY!

TO CORRECT THE BROKEN CODE: add "https:" manually. Like this:


SPREAD THE WORD! Something like this is as unforgivable as it is unbelievable.

Ellen El alerted me to this article, YouTube Is About To Delete Independent Artists From Its Site in Forbes Magazine, as a possible reason for YouTube's faulty embed codes. However, if true, an intentional act by YouTube without telling subscribers, one surmizes whether there could be some law suits in the offing over it.

Since I always include a direct link - for people who follow me by email - anyone who has been interested in seeing my videos has been able to go to YouTube and watch them there. Meaning I haven't had any complaints - people just figured it was their Internet connection or that YouTube was experiencing technical difficulties at that moment.

I wondered why my video view counts were down and thought I had lost my audience after not posting videos for awhile. It was YouTube itself un-enabling watching videos embedded on other sites.

YouTube is far too large and powerful not to fix this issue. There's a reason they are not permitting us to post watchable videos on our sites. What it is, frankly, despite the Forbes article, I couldn't guess.

I just know that YouTube has been giving out BROKEN CODE for over a year - I found videos without the proper link as far back as May 2013.

I've spent hours correcting everything I've uploaded.

Here's a video I posted fairly recently. I'm not even going to add the direct link. See if it is finally watchable from here. And don't ask me what that dumb little link to my YouTube site is that appears at the beginning - it's not something I added or authorized - just click the x to close it. I subtitled this video, so click on CC if you would like to read or get the words translated as they are being spoken (poem fragment starts 25sec in).


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Keesha on Canada Day

My baby is looking rather good for her age. Keesha will be 15 at the end of August.


Yes, it was delicious.

Happy Canada Day

How can rain clouds be so dark? Black little thunderclaps roaming the sky.

A Canada Day of intermittent storms, gutter-filling downpours, a misty moody sky, and the air so thick with humidity we know we are living inside one.

One of my favourite kinds of days - torrential rains for 10 minutes, stormy little clouds roving like black pirate ships, and a sun that shines through a wide cloud cover making the sky so white it is visionary.

And then, the clearings of blue. The hot, direct sun on your skin.

Enjoy your day!


Archeology of Water

This began with an image of memory scrawled in a notebook in April 2019 that I knew I would work with, either in a poem, or perhaps video. ...