anonyrrie: April 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007


18" x 24" x 1" mixed media on wood panel

Caged Bird

Some believe there's somewhere in the brain
that senses minor fluctuations in the Earth's
magnetic field and uses a sort of memory
of that to travel the same route year after year
over thousands of miles, over open ocean
on moonless, clouded nights, and a built-in clock
that, save for weather's influence, tells
when it's time to go. But they utter nothing
of thwarted dreams in birds' brains, how
a few cubic feet near the ground, however
well-kept and lighted, however large it seems
around a small bright bird, is like a fist
closed tight on feather and bone, how, certain times
of year, the bird's heart races as if to power flight.

- Matthew J. Spireng
(originally published in Inspiration Point from Bright Hill Press and Out of Body from Bluestem Press at Emporia State University)

I am posting yet another not-quite-finished painting. It's a large version of a small painting I did for one of the Journeys books that passed through my hands many months ago. Although the colors and values look different, in "real life," it's actually quite close to the original painting. I just stink at taking photographs of my paintings!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

From elation to misery and back...

Tiny Sky
24" x 30" x 1.5" mixed media on canvas

To the Reader: Polaroids

Who are you, austere little cloud
drawn to this page, this sky in the dream
I'm having of meeting you here?

There should be a word that means "tiny sky."
Probably there is, in Japanese.
A verbal Polaroid of a Polaroid.

But you're the sky, not a cloud.
I'm the cloud. I gather and dissipate,
but you are always here.

Leave a message for me if you can.
Break a twig on the lilac, or toss
a few dried petals on the hood of my car.

May neither of us forsake the other.
The cloud persists in the darkness,
but the darkness does not persist.

- Chase Twichell (1950 - )

This painting has had a least four lives, and throughout each incarnation, my mood has swayed from elation to complete misery. I started it in February, thinking I would paint it in a style similar to The Vine, very flat and decorative. I got as far as painting part of the background and the body of the figure with a koi fish tattoo. And then it sat, because I just wasn't feeling the love, and I started getting really involved in a series of paintings for my upcoming show. When I finally returned to it this week, I thought I'd just soften the background and continue the tattooing process, adding cherry blossoms and leaves. But it wasn't to be.... and thus started my bipolar week.

I will spare you the details of how and why I completely changed the background twice and the body about four times. Suffice to say, my emotional state went up and down with each success and each failure. What I had thought would take just a couple of days, ended up consuming my entire week, but I'm so glad I stuck it out and brought my vision to fruition. All that remains now is to complete the white ink detailing in the hair, and I'll be done! The hardest but best decision I made was to cover the koi fish and go in a softer direction. Although that pretty fish that had taken several hours to paint, once it was gone, I felt liberated. I know it will return when the time is right!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Message (Illustration Friday - Fortune)

16" x 16" x 1" mixed media on wood panel


There's just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,

that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.

It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

- Jane Kenyon (1947 - )