The Purpose of Art

The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity. — Glenn Gould

The Purpose of Art

Summer Doldrums

Yes apparently this time of year I wander off and do – not much.

I’ve been working – from home, and adjusting to this more and more. It’s nice to have lunch just a few steps away. My commute is up or down a flight of stairs. I miss the audio-book time but I don’t mind having that time back.

I’ve been painting (you people doing Instagram can find me using mbfrezon) and writing because it’s officially August Poetry Postcard Festival again, although this time, having started in April, it’s more just PoPo 2020.

I’ve been taking photos, and reminding myself to be grateful for things large and small, often small. Tomato and corn season has arrived along with local peaches.

When I started working from home, I moved (strong like bull) the AC to the room where I’m working, in hopes that I could not pass out from heat. I rigged up a doubled sheet over the door and left just a few inches open at the bottom, and made a looped way to keep the door open just open just wide enough for cat whiskers. Ginny and Harry come in to visit. They plop themselves down and are generally quiet. Sometimes they jump up to surprise me but Ginny often lays in the sunny window and Harry finds himself a soft place even if it’s just a sheet of paper.

Thinking is more stinking than drinking, but to feel is for real.
— Sufi Sam

Nothing can resist a human will that will stake even its existence on the extent of its purpose.
— Benjamin Disraeli

Summer Doldrums

World Watercolor Month – the first week

Not sure what distracted me – I painted but I didn’t post here. Starting with Day one and moving on down to Day Eight. The third and fourth photos are postcards both done on Day Three. Now let’s get back on track with this, shall we?

World Watercolor Month – the first week

Where did June Go?

Mainly it went in a swirling of brain-drain as I trained and adjusted to doing a new thing while working from home. It has taken really three weeks to go from abject terror to only moments of wondering what-the-heck-am-I-doing, LOL. Toward the end of last week, which ends on Saturday, I had moments of – oh, I know what to do here! Or hearing someone else asking a question in our support chat and thinking, ‘isn’t that…?’ So slow but sure.

Working at home means no forty-five minute plus commute each way, but also means I make my own coffee and breakfast and lunch. And dinner. Sometimes I get to eat one or all of those sitting on the front steps. Sometimes I get to dash out afterwork because the sun is out and I can get a painting in and take photos of the evening coming on.

July brings with it World Watercolor Month so get ready for a more regular appearance of paintings here. After that – August Poetry Postcard Festival 2020 – although with the pandemic in play, some of us started early on that. I did a month’s worth of postcards during NaPoWriMo in April.

I feel the rhythm of my year changing and yet it’s the same. A few photos popped up in facebook of watercolors I’d done in 2016 and 2019 and it was interesting to see what was the same and what was different. Since being home I found a place in New Lebanon where there is a 360 degree view of the sky. Looking back years from now I’ll be reminded of the pandemic by many many panoramas of the sky and clouds and landscape.

Here are photos from today. Mostly clouds and landscape but a few plants and flowers and a couple mushrooms that snuck in at the end. Look close – some of the clouds were being visited by birds and other things!

29 June 2020 out and around.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Where did June Go?

Painting ahead of the rain

Gave myself a challenge because I had a limited time frame to paint in today – try to do somethng with the abundant wild phlox along the roadsides.

Painting ahead of the rain

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

I went out because the clouds and sky were glorious but the colors of spring are mysterious and fugitive. Tonight I went out to the car because I’d left my snack out there uneaten. I sat there and ate it, pear juice all over my face and hands while I watched the birds at the feeder.

Controlled time is our true wealth.
— Buckminster Fuller

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-eight

A day with work and sun and clouds and a tasty lunch and dinner. Breakfast wasn’t bad either.

You seem concerned and ask if I’m all right
But see, we don’t really know each other
And if we did, we probably would not.
So I nod and say I’m good as do you
and we turn to work which is what we share
People talk of their feelings all the time
I wasn’t raised that way, but to get through
Never let them see you cry, be polite,
be respectful and work hard to get ahead
All the things that make a civil world,
a smooth landscape where nothing sticks out.
And so I’ve kept myself to myself a lot.
Perhaps we could start by saying who we are
But if we did, we wouldn’t choose to know.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-eight

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Six

Grey and rainy. Well, beyond rainy: hosing down rain and grapple and hail. Went to Hand Hollow and caught a glimpse of the same bit of heron head in the nest. It is hunkered down probably wishing it had a roof! Had to rummage some for a poem idea. I think we’re all about here now. I did manage to slap some Krazy Glue on my computer glasses this morning. And I did mess around with gouache while watching for the heron. It worked ok, but I didn’t have much of a plan going so the contrast and spacing isn’t all there. But hey, that’s what a sketchbook’s for right? trying things out? capturing things? OK here’s a poem.

Things I could have done
Should have done, must do
even those I’d like to do, well,
I stand in the quiet house
and they gather all around me
follow me down the hall
but I’m out the door
and down the steps before
any of them can grab me
not by the wrist or ankle or hem
I’m gone to who knows where
I sure don’t know or why but
today it is just not any of that.
And likely to be nothing at all.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Six

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Five

I laughed at myself for writing out a postcard with this and then realizing tomorrow’s Sunday so of course no mail, but then I almost forgot that the interwebs is still open for business as normal. It was a beautiful day here and so I went out and painted, gradually reducing the layers I was wearing. Then I had a grocery pickup and discovered I had a cotton shirt in my car so I changed when I got to Mom’s with the shopping.

The daffodils have risen
up to the bird feeder
as May approaches;
the sky is full
of yellow fluttering.
A theory of them
being there year-round
and leaping up
to meet the spring
so elegant and yet
each year met with
my joyful surprise.

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Five

NaPoWriMo – Day 24

It was another rainy cold day and again the sun came out again at sunset time. No big sunset or anything, just sun and not much time to enjoy it. Well perhaps it’s part of the plan to keep us home and self-isolating.

Truth be told, this poem was twice as long as I wrote it and sent it off, but I remain unconvinced about the second half but felt pretty good about this half so here you go. Afterwards a few photos, one from yesterday and three from today.

I imagined a survey asking how I felt:
politically hopeless
but my painting is going well.
Because, frankly, we’re messy
all of us and all of this
so if I’m speaking honestly
if not to you then to myself
(that is what you’re wanting, right?)
I can truthfully admit
yes, I was dressed for that
online meeting but my hair
was uncombed and I
wanted to finish my oatmeal
so I kept it audio-only.

We become what we think about all day long. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

NaPoWriMo – Day 24