Showing posts from August, 2023

Why we do this

this week my friend Linda Stillman shared a poem by Marge Piercy about making art, well, it's about writing but it goes for any art making I think. Here's a link but don't read it all now.                                                                             For the Young who Want To Piercy asks what is talent? What is genius?  What is work? Why do we do it? Do we need recognition? Validation? Are you a writer only  when you're published and well-reviewed? Can you call it work if you don't get paid?  Her conclusion in  the last verse begins;  "The real writer is the one who really writes...Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved."  Piercy writes beautifully about work.  Here's another one of her poems I like even better;                                                                                           To Be of Use These thoughts about  work, its applications and its rewards makes me think of two friends, artists

Oh, Russell

 I have to teach Russell that when I say, "I just devoured that book!" I don't mean it literally. However, I must admit that he has a discerning eye, and has brought some forgotten favorites back to my attention, like this -- Art Nouveau  by Martin Battersley, from The Color Library of Art.     Here is Symbolist poet Robert de Montesquiou, an aristocrat and a dandy, the original of Proust's Baron de Charlus. I placed him with this Barbie because she has a Belle Epoque kind of vibe.  The painter is Giovanni Boldini 1842-1931. "He fascinated his sitters by his method of painting, gazing at them intently as though to draw out their inmost secrets and then attacking the canvas with long brushes held at arm's length. He transformed his sitters into almost impossibly seductive creatures striking languorous poses and suggested that the slightest movement would result in the beautifully painted silks, chiffons, lace and chinchilla falling off to reveal them in writhi


 I got a very early response to yesterday's post; Nice post Sis but I didn’t shoot the Pelican shot.  One of our newspaper readers submitted it.   Its badly out of focus  Ila Best to all I should have known--Rob would never post such a blurry shot. Here is his work;

I'm Keeping' on the Sunny Side

 Good Morning!  I was thinking about posting a reprise of an old post about PINK, to keep the Barbie vibe going; I understand that in London they've painted all the red telephone booths pink and the great Ferris wheel has pink lights in honor of Her Plasticness but I had a better idea--you could say the Sun came up! You know I have a granddaughter named Sunny, right? I wanted to do a drawing for her and what else could I start with? The Sun and sunflowers--not very original but she's two and a half--to her everything's new and it's her name! Filling in the sky I see that it looks like the way I draw water, but that's OK.  I added Batchelor Buttons beneath the Sunflowers and I like the way the blue makes the yellow pop.  I'm not sure how to handle the transition from flowers to sky so I won't think about it.  Remember Mickey Rivers; "I don't worry about what I can control because if I can control it why worry?" And I'm in control! I used som

Barby (Barbara) on Barbie

I went to see Barbie with Fran and Eileen, and all the husbands. You can see we honored the dress code--and Arthur wore his pink shirt. We went out afterwards and had a great talk touching on feminism, the patriarchy, the male gaze, art, fantasy,  reality and the movies. For all my mixed feeling about Barbie I had a great time. Willa Paskin, in an article titled Plastic Fantastic in the July 16th New York Times Magazine, referred to Barbie as "This toy  with its infamous breasts, the figurine who became an enduring avatar of plastic perfection, an instrument of toxic gender norms and consumerist ideals of femininity...but also a potent complicated contradictory symbol that stands near the center of a decades long and still running argument about how to be a woman." Phew! That's a lot to put on a  doll, and it's all further complicated for me because she appropriated my name which made it weird, awkward, silly when I introduced myself. At the age of twelve or thirteen

What are You Reading and Are You Worried About It?

 This summer I have immersed myself in the books of William Kent Kreuger, the Cork O'Connor series, which all take place in northern Minnesota. They are full of amiable, complicated heroes, dastardly villains, wisdom from indigenous culture and beautiful scenery.  I'm now on number 19, the last in the series and I don't know what I'll do with myself when I come to the end of these wonderful stories.   Am I worried?  Here's a quote from Henry Maloux, a main character. "Worry and you open the door to the worst of possibilities."  Remember the movie Bridge of Spies?  Tom Hanks plays a lawyer defending a Russian spy facing a long prison term. He says to the spy, played by Mark Rylance, “You don’t look worried.” The spy replies, “Would it help?” And then there's Mickey Rivers, centerfielder for the Rangers, the Angels and most of all the Yankees. "I don't worry about things I can't control because if I can't control them, why worry? And I