Day Twenty-three, NaPoWriMo

There are no rules?

I tire of being told
“there are no rules”
because I think there are
there are some rules
or at least some things
that apply to a situation
or to a drawing to
make it come out better
better in the end
or as you hope it will.
“Do your own thing’ was
what we used to say
and a lot of “no rules”
means the same thing
but I’d rather just
sing my own song
than be told I can
sing any way I want
without worrying
about someone else’s
rules because those
rules don’t exist.
Keep your eyes on
your own paper
I’ll do my own thing.

I think I just paid a nominal fee for a series of video talks telling me there are “no rules” to do something I am interested in doing. Probably they’ll get to the more “how-to” part of things shortly but so far it’s all about getting people to believe they can do something because there are no rules…

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Sunday at The Clark & Sketchbooks

Painting up on the hill:

Tomorrow I start a short online course about using sketchbooks so these warranted another look at in the last tour of Drawn from Greatness. Degas and Cezanne! There was also a sketchbook (noted that it appeared to have been used as a phone message book…) used by Jackson Pollack. No photos allowed of that one.

Day Twenty, NaPoWriMo

This morning before work I headed out, hoping to do a little painting before work. And I did. But there was this glaring bright thing up in the sky that hurt my eyes! Sun? What’s that? I don’t remember…

A long grey sad
glowy at the edges
it comes over
the last hill of winter
in February a day
warm enough to melt the walks
is welcomed gladly
in April it had better be warm
it had better not bring snow
Surly? perhaps. Winter is
a string of many days and
furnace-driving nights
As much as you can revel
in the icy challenge of it
eventually it has to go.
The birds have returned,
the daffodils are waiting
and well, we’re all waiting
for that clear day
that turn of air
the softening of the tree line
bursting with maple red
and willow gold
and spring.

Day Nineteen, NaPoWriMo

A quote from Vincent that I’ve been chewing on the past few days, ended up this way. The ending isn’t quite there yet methinks.

Deep in snow, walking with cold.
The shining air, stirring around the trees
rearranging the drifts, whistling
on the brown garden stems,
It has always been winter, you might think
it will always be winter
on yet another morning of snowflakes
and white crusted garden and walk.
But as unchanging as that moment
standing in the snowy night,
the heart knows winter will pass
and come again and return once more
after spring and summer and fall
the snow will return, squeak and slush,
but first the green shoots shivering
and the long days of hot blue sky
and the smoky days of fiery leaves.
In each a moment, all is always like this:
the endless tulips, the eternal cornfields,
the brilliant maple at last giving way
to the white and snowy field and
frosted windows, the breath made visible,
and the thought returns that it was always
thus, and our heart will always remember,
a familiar step on the porch step,
welcoming each return in turn.

Day Eighteen, NaPoWriMo

Hey you don’t have complete control over what goes on in your head, especially late at night!

All the old stuff precariously stuck
in my head, there’s no telling when it may,
and it may, surface at the most
inopportune time, you know how that goes.
What was I saying? Oh yes, all the thoughts
the memories, the tales of things long past
they come back, and often do, unlooked for,
unasked and sometimes unwanted, they appear.
It is sweet to remember my grandma
the summer fireplace with my dad singing
warm days in a boat fishing on the lake
the whistling of wind with January snow
But here, an ancient song learned long ago,
comes back to ask sternly: who’s the fool now?
But having made me look up the lyrics
I’ve still no answer for that rousing line
So memory that’s butted in, who’s the fool now?

Day Sixteen, NaPoWriMo

I think the wind and sleet got to me last night and this morning. Ready for spring, mother nature. C’mon, you can do it!

This morning,
amidst wind and sleet
appeared a flock
huddled and clinging,
impaled on branches,
dislodged by the
next gust,
flown now, circling,
they rejoin last year’s
broken castoffs
seeking the wood’s refuge.

This took a few passes. I think the wind rattled my brain too much!

How to paint

When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape, until it gives your own naïve impression of the scene before you. — Claude Monet