On Your Mark
Or they thumbed their noses at me like these two starts:
Head on over to The Storyteller's Apprentice page on my website for a sneak peek an illuminated novel coming this fall! Written by author Dana Kumerow, and illustrated by Brittany Tate and me. We're thrilled! More information coming soon.
A Monday in Two Parts
Though I've never actually met the author, Z. Rosti, I can feel her love of animals shining through this delightful tale. And through her donation of all proceeds from the sale of this book to the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation.
MONDAY: PART TWO
"The Four Faceted Face" - mixed media on paper, each 15" by 11". Inquiries.
Now here is an intriguing project - interpret a figure (or face) in four different ways. I hadn't a clue where to begin. When in doubt, just paint, right? And so there emerged a face with a florescent underpainting to get me started. For the next three, I created a stencil (really, truly just to buy time while I figured out what to do next! Making stencils is like meditation.) and put down some gouache and watercolor just to create the basic shapes. Paint, pen and ink and collage followed.
This could become a workshop in the fall, as my brain noodles and muses and ponders hundreds of ways to interpret faces in mixed media.
But let's begin our week by channeling our inner Bailey....or Lino, in this case, who runs like the wind through the forest of the Alps.
Arrival at the Precipice
experience and therefore be tended to, treated kindly and observed. Household pets became common, including birds.
As I read the descriptions of the Mozart family's likely relationship with the bird, including cage-free frolicking when no visitors were around, I realized exactly why this book was in my hands. The anniversary of my dad's passing is next week, and he, like Mozart, kept a bird. A bird who sat on the edge of his breakfast plate and ate scrambled eggs while leaving poops on the newspaper. A bird who slept cuddled under his neck, occasionally checking his mustache and nose for interesting artifacts. Dad was a big fan of Mozart, and Jujube and my dad likely listened to Mozart while drifting off together in the chair, dad draped with a huge beach towel (or poop catcher).
When someone we love passes, it is hard to mentally place them anywhere. Something about this book (fully researched, full of philosophy and classical music) seems so dad-like. The vision of him sitting in a salon with Mozart, each with their bird shadows busily exploring from the safety of their shoulders, clicks with me as where to visualize him now. There is peace and a wee bit of closure in this thought.
And now let's enjoy another human's pet starling, Stella, as she talks, whistles and blows kisses:
The Canyon of Lament
There is grief in my bones...the loss of parents, of pooches, of strength and youth. A nearly empty nest - the loss of fertility and motherhood. The running shoes I can no longer wear to lope through forest trails and city streets. But Nepo warns us of these canyons of lament; easy to sink into and flounder in our own regret and attempts to unravel the knots of the past.
When lamenting the past, our own reception is limited...Nepo compares regret to misaligned plumbing pipes - things cannot flow through us and to us freely because the flow is interrupted. How do you know if your pipes are askew? "...if you have trouble hearing or taking things in." Well sure enough that happens often. So what now? Call a plumber? Nope. The answer, says Nepo, is to "give of yourself - anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes the only remedy is to empty ourselves and begin again."
Though I don't think Nepo meant this literally (my apologies, but the plumbing metaphor has my mind turning to all the wrong images here - as if you could read my mind, dear reader! Wait - maybe you can?), I can't help but wonder at the universe as I prepare for a surgery this summer where the insides of parts of my cervical spine will actually be removed - emptied, as it were- and a long recovery set back into slow cycles begun.
Whew! That's a lot of philosophy for a Monday morning. Let's enjoy some classic dancing skeletons instead. :)