Mermaid Nets and Viking Runes

I toss and turn all night, awash in a sea of aquamarine and green, streaked with silver phosphorescence, drifting through the velvet night from a necklace of meteors. I raft down a river of paint, but unlike Huck Finn, my oar is a paintbrush that struggles to free me from whirlpools of cerulean blue. Then day breaks, and I trudge through a black-and-white world in sensible shoes. – Loretta Benedetto Marvel, from Mermaid Nets and Other Twice-Told Tales

 

Loretta and I– along with some Vikings, a mermaid, a couple of muses and a curious kitty – shared coffee after I finished writing in my journal this morning.

As some of you know, 2011 is pushing me to return to a more active participation with my art – to get out of my head and off the pages with it. The past number of months I have been gathering myself and my ephemera and creating a place for it to happen.

I am going to attempt something a bit on the raw side with this post. (Hope I don’t lose you.) I don’t often share my morning writings “as is” in this blog but I feel a collaboration coming on with this Loretta who I have never met but whose story sliced into my artist’s heart with the precision of a surgeon. (I found Loretta in the back pages of a mixed-media magazine for artistic discovery. Cloth Paper Scissors, page 92 of the March/April issue to be exact.)

So, here’s the collaboration:
Pieces of my morning pages and Loretta’s story woven together to paint the experience of a Sunday musing. “J” is my journal. “LS” is Loretta’s story. (I hope Loretta and Cloth Paper Scissors will forgive my presumption to post my morning experience with them in this way before asking permission. And that they will be appeased with links and credits.) Read more

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Sunday Scribblings #238: what do you make of curious?

Chloe the Muse Sculpted by Karla Zdroik of Kamansa Korner

Chloe the Muse sculpted by Karla Zdroik

Sunday Scribblings #238 Writing Prompt: what do you make of curious?

What do I make of curious?

I am curious how, in attempting to coax out my visual artist, I wound up on a writing prompt site.

Was it the word “Sunday” or “Scribblings” that lured me in?

I am more curious at the thought that I am apparently going to post this and link it back to Sunday Scribblings as the prompt suggests.

I am wondering – oops curious – if this is just another stall tactic, if my writer is threatened by all the hoopla of late made by my artist.

What do I make of a curiously quiet house on a Sunday afternoon? A decision to treat myself while Theo helps Daddy sleep off his pneumonia. An intentional artist’s date, curled up on the sofa with Kelly Rae Roberts and her book, Taking Flight: to give your creative spirit wings. A “curious” flip to the back pages under “Resources: Places to Fly.” (That’s how I found you, Laini and Megg. In case you are wondering. It just happened to be Sunday.)

What do I make of curious? I am curious if I can use my writer to launch my artist. If they will ever make peace and learn how to share this middle-aged woman’s energy. (She has a plan – albeit loose – but a plan none the less.)

I am curious. Will I click “Publish”?

Hmmm. Do I put this under the category “Muses Among Us” – or “Growing Pains”?

For those wondering what Sunday Scribblings is – in their words: “Sunday Scribblings was set up to provide inspiration and motivation for anyone who enjoys writing and would like a weekly challenge.” Click here to check them out!

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Do I Dare?

Alone

Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries. – Theodore Roethke

I might be breaking some blogger’s code by pulling this post out of the archives but it tied so beautifully to the quote that I just found by Mr. Roethke and last week’s theme  (Writing Under Fire on our Facebook page) that I couldn’t resist furthering my point about how writing helps us map our way through whatever we need a map for.

The time this post was written is irrelevant. But the growth since that post is not. Growth TIED TO VULNERABILITY that appeared because I kept writing – in this case, out of my comfort zone.

Two years later, this post acts as evidence – a point illustrated.  For you, it may represent something entirely different – unique to your own map and journey. I would love to hear what that is for you. Pull up a chair and join me at the table?


Here’s the Original. Posted July 20, 2008

I am struggling with this blog. I am frustrated and disappointed because I have not been able to experience the depth of voice with it that I imagined I would have when I started to explore this medium of expression just over a year ago.

I am not a writer. Never wanted to be one. I journal.

I write freely in the pages of my journals. I have no cares. No worries about grammar or structure. My goal is simply to express whatever thoughts and feelings come to surface. To capture them on the page where I can see them. Contemplate them. Process them. And witness my growth when I read them.

It doesn’t matter if my thoughts are choppy or incomplete. If I trail from one topic to another. If family and friends don’t understand them after I am gone.

Journaling centers and grounds me. Fuels and focuses me. It is authentic to the moment. Within its process, my only responsibility is to myself.

But when I approach writing in this blog I am immediately confronted with a sense of responsibility to you. You, the observer, who somehow alters me, the observed, before my fingers ever touch the keyboard. Read more

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Seen through the eyes of a seven-color palette.

Irene Rose Finished Portrait

 

Irene Rose.
Seen through the eyes of a seven-color palette.
Alizarin crimson and
ultramarine blue compete for starring roles
while bristle brushes encounter the terrain of a prepared canvas.
Piercing blue eyes of subject and artist
mother and son
struggle to make peace with 96 years
while filberts #4 and #6 solicit to capture a wordless truth.
Each application of paint renders layers of
Guilt. Innocence.
Disappointment. Hope.
Expectation. Acceptance.
Until the last piece of paint pronounces
Forgiveness
and
Irene Rose.
Seen.

Bernadette Rose Smith

 

Ray SquaredMy preference, in doing portraits, is about the relationship I develop with the subject I paint. When I ask myself the RIGHT questions, they give me the answer. Uncovering that abstract story … emotion … beauty … THAT is the joy of creativity. – Ray


 

First StrokesWhen Ray told me that he wanted to try his hand at portraiture in oils, I was curious.

When he told me his mother would be his first subject, I was surprised. When he said he needed to start and complete the portrait before the summer was through – well, he had my full attention. (Oddly, she fell and broke her hip about a month after the piece was completed.)

 

 

 

Moving AlongA portrait can capture a likeness or an essence.

What Ray captured in ‘Irene Rose’ is an essence not often seen in our day-to-day life with Irene – and that is what I love about this piece. He was able to rise above all the negative conditioning that often presents itself in this relationship with his 96-year-old mother to see and paint the woman without the fears that have driven her to drive others. (Anyone in a challenged relationship with a parent knows what I’m saying here.)

Read more

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