Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Painting in America/Reconciliation Dream

There's a long puzzling story here, but the drift is that the day after I decided to give away one of my paintings, "Reconciliation Dream," to one of my cousins on my father's side, an old painting of mine titled "Painting in America," appeared next to my front door with a note from someone I have not seen in years, who wrote that she wasn't expecting to see me again but wanted to thank me for giving it to her in 1986, and that it was time for her to let it go and for it to come back to me.

If you would like, take a look at North and South America and another previous post about "Reconciliation Dream."

I've been drawing again in the last few weeks, inspired by the spirit of Suze Rotolo and by Bob Dylan's recent exhibits of drawings and paintings that are clearly a result of his relationship with Suze:

"Her constant sketching inspired him to take up drawing and painting, and some of the songs relating to their relationship were written during a months-long separation while she studied art in Italy."

I've just been bringing my sketchbook with me when I go out, and I have been drawing what is in front of me when I sit down--a form of prayer and meditation. It feels very good to be drawing again just for the joy of it.

"... Oh, ev'ry thought that's strung a knot in my mind,
I might go insane if it couldn't be sprung.
But it's not to stand naked under unknowin' eyes,
It's for myself and my friends my stories are sung ...
(From "Restless Farewell," by Bob Dylan, 1964)

"It's for myself and my friends, these drawings are done."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Thoughts on Nature as experienced in wartime..."

Take a look at what I found this morning on my first day back at blogging--something Chris Highland wrote here:

"Particularly drawn to her thoughts on Nature as experienced in wartime, I was immediately impressed by her description of a friend, Jackie, who was, not surprisingly in the context of WWII, anxious and fearful. Jackie grew calm looking at “the things of nature” according to Anne. With the wind in the trees and the gathering of mountainous storm-clouds, she discovers within herself a happiness “that no one can take away.” Anne concludes this simple sketch of her troubled friend with her own wisdom gained in hiding: “Anyone who looks at nature, which is the same as looking into oneself, long and deeply enough, will, like Jackie, be cured of all despair.” This could not have been written better by John Muir or Henry Thoreau."(am's italics)

It's been a good blog break. Was able to put this slide show retrospective together, able to do the first drawings I've done in a long time, able to take a few more walks, and spend time with old friends and relatives near and far (email and otherwise!)

It was an old friend who now lives in Santa Margarita, California, who gave me a copy of Meditations of John Muir: Nature's Temple, by Chris Highland, first published in July 2001. Reading the beginning of that book again this morning and finding Chris Highland's blogs were the inspiration for this post today. I've got that book on the table where I blog and paint.

Beginning this evening, will be reading my favorite blogs and doing my blogging in the evening after I finish work. Mornings are the best time for drawing and walking and yoga before starting work at noon. The morning is passing quickly. It's difficult to get up from my laptop once I sit down here.

This is my 1000th (or 1001st--I'm not sure now) post since December 8, 2006.

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
(Thomas Merton)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Miles to go before I sleep

On a day when my morning is full, sometimes I only have about 20 minutes before work to take a walk. In 20 minutes I can walk 1/2 mile and back from where I sit right now at my laptop at my art work table. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but it's not a snowy evening, and I'm not Robert Frost. It's a late summer morning, and I'll be 62 years old in a few weeks.

The little movie begins yesterday at the turning point, at the place I can walk to in 10 minutes. At that point, there are 3 trails to choose from, or I can turn around and go back home to start work at noon. My job does give me some flexibility, and I do have the option of starting work at 1 p.m., but then I have to work later into the evening, and that means I go to bed later and get up later. Easier to just start work at noon.

Anyway, what I am getting to is that I am going to take a blog break and won't be posting on my blog or reading any blogs for little while. I've taken a break from posting before but never from reading blogs.

Hope to use these weekday mornings for some drawing and painting and photography and to have more time for walking. Or maybe just being open to inspiration. Open to a good open-hearted direction.

You will all be in my thoughts, and I look forward to reading your blogs and posting again in a few weeks. Maybe I need to save my blog posting, reading, and commenting for the weekends in the future. We'll see.

If I get up now and take a walk, I can walk for about an hour before work. That sounds good.

Kind wishes,

Monday, September 5, 2011

chicka-dee-dee-dee / a Scudder Pond morning


If I ever moved away from Northwest Washington (I've been here for 37 years now, so that seems more and more unlikely) I would choose to visit this time of year. It's the time I love the best .

Yesterday a neighbor friend and I took an 8-9 mile walk up the hill to the north, down the hill to the west to Memorial Park (created during World War I and including the current war, 2003- ) and then the long gradual roundabout uphill way back to Scudder Pond heading east, then south, then east, then north. Lots of people out walking on this Labor Day weekend.

Dry, sunny, warm, slight breeze. The air smelled like ripe blackberries much of the way.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The world on its side / Birds and bells / Reclining Buddhas

This is the second time I've made a little movie in vertical format, forgetting that Apple's iPhoto doesn't allow rotation when it comes to movies. YouTube is a horizontal format. A movie format. The wide screen rather than the narrow vertical screen.

As opposed to books which are mostly in vertical format. And iPads and iPhones, which are in vertical format, more like books, but they don't open like books.

My first computer was an iBookG4. It opened like a book, but was "read" in horizontal format like a movie. Laptops are books that open to become movies.

Why can't I make a movie and play it vertically, except on my camera? Or can I but just don't know how?

I can imagine a movie theater with a vertical screen showing vertical movies. Why not?

Funny, the places that the mind goes when noticing patterns and relationships.

Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
’Cross the valleys and streams
For they’re deep and they’re wide
And the world’s on its side
(Bob Dylan)

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
(Leonard Cohen)

The world looks different when you are lying on your side. If I recline like Buddha, I can watch my little movie as it was meant to be seen.