NaPoWriMo – Day Thirteen

Well, to say the least, it was raining. And then it rained some more. And then Billy Collins did his live reading at 5:30 – Thank you Billy!

When the rain came down
making circles in circles
of the world already so wet
Out painting, grey isn’t
what I was there to do
so I broke out the tea
thinking this will pass.
It poured and I poured.
On my phone, a poet
reading. How amazing,
to sit in your car and
watch a favorite poet
read and talk about
his words. He was, in fact,
apologetically in Florida.
While he spoke I viewed
the fuzzy world past two
watercolor palettes and
laughed so I painted
them and him and went home.
It was a good day despite
the endless rain and news.
Another day of staying home
or at least alone, painting
and writing and finding
a scrap or two of laughter.

I can’t complain really, this morning it was so wet and windy that I stayed in and painted this.

Art to me, is seeing. I think you have got to use your eyes, as well as your emotion, and one without the other just doesn’t work. That’s my art. — Andrew Wyeth

NaPoWriMo – Day Thirteen

NaPoWriMo – Day 11

The mail brought a postcard and the NaPoWriMo prompt brought a link to a lovely archived version of Kate Greenaway’s Language of Flowers. Lovely indeed and a welcome diversion on this cold April morning.

I looked up the meaning of forsythia
hoping to write a poem for you.
The only things in bloom here
right now are maple, forsythia and
of course daffodils.
But, according to my book,
the bright and bobbing flowers
in the front garden mean “regard”
and the hills of maple now a-blush
stands in for “reserve”
which seem like such a
Brontë-ish bouquet –
much room for misunderstanding
and resulting hilarity or tears.
Forsythia though, didn’t make the list.
Looking up other names
brought me to flowering olive
also not in the translations, and
Easter tree, while fitting in the
calendar, didn’t earn a second look.
So I gave up the old resource and
did what I had to do and googled it
and was told by several sources that
forsythia, being an early flower,
means “anticipation”
Since we are all guilty of looking
every time we pass, hoping for
that tell-tale yellow budding
I’ll accept this. And hope you
will accept my child’s fistful of
sunshiny anticipation and regard
on this chilly April morning.

Daffodils and Mailbox

From the quote box:

He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

NaPoWriMo – Day 11

Ah HA! The Job of the Artist

I started reading “No Time to Spare” by Ursula K. LeGuin and what a read it is. A blurb on the back by New York Times Book Reviewer Melissa Febos promised “The pages sparkle with lines that make a reader glance up, searching for an available ear with which to share them.”

And so dear reader, since the cats sprawled nearby look confused by my fist pump just now, this share is for you! (emphasis mine) Ursula writes about that question writers are asked: what does it mean? She encourages readers to seek out reviews and other analysts of writings if they can’t decide for themselves.

It’s a job I do as a reviewer, and I enjoy it. But my job as a fiction writer is to write fiction, not to review it. Art isn’t explanation. Art is what an artist does, not what an artist explains. (Or so it seems to me, which is why I have a problem with the kind of modern museum art that involves reading what the artist says about a work in order to find out why one should look at it or “how to experience” it.)

I’m on page 42 of this slender volume and this just stopped me in my tracks.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Meanwhile, today was a gray rainy day, not for painting, but I managed to buy some new socks. I also managed to go into an art supply store and leave without anything. I got an EZ-pass thing for my car after finding out from a co-worker that you can buy them at drug stores and grocery stores. Well, you buy it but they put all the money as a credit on the pass so it’s all good. Did some wash, did some reading, watched a favorite movie.

Yesterday I tried again on the scene I’d painted two days ago. Trying to figure out if it’s the change of paper (at least in part), paints getting rehydrated (they are now), me being rusty (yes and yes) but anyway here’s what happened. No explanations LOL per Ursula. Done from photos I’d taken of each scene.

Ah HA! The Job of the Artist

Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

A Reminder to Hope

I’m deep towards the end of Lord of the Rings on audiobook right now and at last, this oft-quoted here reminder that light prevails.

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

I’ve been struck this time at how Sam and Frodo fit together – Frodo has the unasked-for, crushing burden with which he doggedly carries on, not knowing the end; Sam just as doggedly keeps hope for both of them. Hope that they will come out of this and there will be an afterwards, and that the world will survive, because light and goodness are forever above the passing evil.

Last light

A Reminder to Hope

Martians

I just finished listening to the Audible version of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. I remember how much it grabbed and moved me when reading it but this was a great version. Plus, I had the deep satisfaction of anticipating some of the moments I love.

Given that it was started in the later 1940’s… it still felt fresh today.

If you haven’t read it (or listened) – just DO it.

Martians

Whew I Found It

You know when you get a song stuck in your head and it’s really bothering you because you can’t remember all the words? These days you can go to the vast interwebs and search for whatever shred of lyric you might have.

The past couple days I’ve had a freaking INSTRUMENTAL piece without a title playing inside my head. Now folks that’s a hard search but I pulled it off with “top instrumental songs of all time” after “guitar instrumental song hits” didn’t turn up anything of note. So here I am, putting my maggot to rest and putting this into everyone else’s ears.

First the acoustical version which was what came into mind first, then the more known version.

In other news, I’ve finished listening to the Audible book version of The Silmarillion and now I’m ready for something else (like I have no other reading material LOL)

Whew I Found It

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Nineteen

What a day and this is how it ended:

Coming home tonight
the yard already dim
and colors flown to night
an unexpected box
carefully set on the porch.
I gave a quiet thanks
to the postman who swung by
to leave the cardboard gift.
The label plain, gave no hint
so straight away, slicing tape,
then prying up the lid,
revealed a newly minted book.
Now I’ve no claim to need more books
But I drank in the aroma, deeply.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Nineteen

Happy Birthday J.R.R.

Yes it’s that time again to remember the birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien and to be strengthened by those he wrote of, who may have seemed small and weak but managed in time of need to be strong enough to do what had to be done, even if they didn’t know what that was beforehand.

Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

Happy Painting Mail Day

One of the folks I follow on YouTube said this was his oldest, most-used and most-valuable book. Found a copy VERY cheap on Abesbooks and it arrived today from the UK. I can see why he spoke so highly of it – it’s got sample paintings by all kinds of folks like John Pike and good basic how-tos and ideas, clearly demo’d and with lessons you can do yourself.

Rubberbanded to that package from a little box, a little something I’d almost forgotten about only because I’d preordered it quite awhile ago – a new larger Schmincke paint box with a beautiful colored exterior (normally they’re black) and filled with colors chosen by a watercolorist. Cool concept as a way to try new colors and for me a brand of paint I don’t normally use. I like that the box has larger mixing areas and that it can fit 12 full pans or a mix of full and half.

Had a little downtime at work today an did some clouds:

and then showed a co-worker how I approached doing clouds in Procreate on the iPad.