Remembering a Dream

I had a diagnosis of stage four Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2002. I got in a panic about several areas of my life that needed addressing.  So as soon as I well enough after the chemo rounds were done I started painting.  I joined the Scarborough Artist’s Group. I also took probationary monks vows in the Soto Zen lineage.

openingtoopenness this was one.  “Opening to Openness, the four great vows”.

I don’t know where it is now.  I am still practicing just about everything there is to practice about being a human being.

 

Walking Woman’s post about Doris McCarthy brought back this reminiscence at: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/1450339/posts/1210833758

Did a spot of face painting!

Got invited again this year to face paint at a street party in the East End. Took it easy this year and kept it to only two and a half hours. A sign was posted ahead of time alerting the street to the hours, a much better approach as it avoided tears and breaking my back!  Still I have promised some kids to come back next year as they had SO MANY GOOD IDEAS and only one face to paint each.

I had two pumpkins this year.  I never had a request for a pumpkin face before!  Also the usual jungle camouflage, lots of those, several butterflies and angels.  The little girl in the picture showing me the heart she made was my favorite.  They had a painting station with an easel and paints and instead of freaking out when a smaller child put a mark on her page  she took my advice and incorporated it in her composition!  A happy happenstance!

Throw-back Thursday!

  mepainting mepainting2 mepainting3

This was taken only ten years or so, before I was with the Artists Network, then the Artists’ Network of Riverdale. I am holding a painting called, Opening to Opennes. I didnt get much positive feedback for it but I was really happy with it. Making it included embracing some randomness. I had been painting endless “enso” and gaining a better appreciation of “letting go” in general. I was at a wonderful place in my life having been scared out of my usual reticence due to surviving a real battle with a blood cancer, stage 4, NHL.

I felt I took a really big chance with it. I suffered the confusion of those who knew my portraiture work, (it’s worse when I tell them I am making quilts now) but I did sell one: “Epi-graffiti” the last one pictured here. Since then I have seen other local artists exploring mixed media in similar ways, so that is fun to see. It was a good time creatively at least personally if not financially.

I have it still. It still makes me happy. It reminds me that shit can happen no matter how hard we try to hide from it, that doing so can lead to our being frozen and buried. But even trapped by a long winter we can see through it.

Broadview Streetcar

Went to the Riverdale Art Walk with Iceland Penny yesterday. Had a wonderful and exhausting time!

She said she liked streetcars. I once painted one, from the inside. Here it is:

paintnstreetcar

Also the photo I took for it:streetcar

I am not any sort of genius but I am good at copying stuff. 😛

I try to buy something small when I go. This year I got a print of Lorie Slater’s, a wonderful photographer. It will make a perfect gift for a visiting relative. She is from a place that doesn’t have graffiti art. Imagine!

A Poem A Day, Day Twenty-eight

Two Years of Rengas

three moths spiral
into the blue sky –
summer clouds over hills

the drone of male cicadas
background sound for a hot day

shimmering heat hazy
reflecting the blue horizon –
cooling wet puddles

the hiss of steel in water
awakens the sleeping dog

the old dog stretches
paws, claws and back a line –
warm winter corner

i must have fallen asleep
making two seasons vanish

the sky gets lighter
as the sun begins to rise
–morning already?

a stand of skinny gum trees
breaks the hill’s smooth silhouette

mirroring the trees
shadows dance; winds gently blow
across cool mornings

jeweled in dew the flowers
loose thier fragrance for the bees

Art and Horror: Vermeer’s Woman with a Balance and The Walking Dead’s “Still”

Wikipedia:
In the painting, Vermeer has depicted a young woman holding an empty balance before a table on which stands an open jewelry box, the pearls and gold within spilling over… "interpreted as a vanitas painting, as a representation of divine truth or justice, as a religious meditative aid, and as an incitement to lead a balanced, thoughtful life."[3] Some viewers have imagined the woman is weighing her valuables, while others compare her actions to Christ's, reading parable into the pearls.[1] Some art critics, including John Michael Montias who describes her as "symbolically weighing unborn souls", have seen the woman as a figure of Mary.[4][5] To some critics who perceive her as measuring her valuables, the juxtaposition with the final judgment suggests that the woman should be focusing on the treasures of Heaven rather than those of Earth.[6] In this perspective, the mirror on the wall may reinforce the vanity of her pursuits.[7]

I know I am making a stretch here trying to connect the painting to the episode, but when Beth is in the bar of the country club, after moving through a sort of hell where a class war went on, there is this stillness. (Daryl, who, while possessing legendary survival skills has little else left after losing his adopted family to a rival group is not in the frame.) In the scene the light is falling across the bar. The light is catching the edges of the bottles and the reflective surfaces, the edges of Beth's arms,  the side of her face that is away from us, gives her a glow. Something about it made me think of Vermeer's "Woman Testing a Balance" (which it is also known by), so much that I had to find the painting and look at it again.

I wasn't disappointed. Vermeer's painting is compositionally beautiful but the interpretation of his painting is so dead on for what this episode was about.

Beth had made the search for her first drink of alcohol a type of quest but in the face of the obvious carnage that went on, the wealth and riches that were now meaningless, and bloody rage that Daryl let loose on the heads of the zombie walkers, she realizes that it has been a fools errand. All her actions were in vain. She starts to cry.

It is precisely when Daryl is moved to help her. The rest of the episode is about him coming back to her and both of them coming to terms with what they have and what they can now let go of, a return of the only type of balance they can know in the Walking Dead: trust in each other.

The episode was directed by Julius Ramsay and written by Angela Kang. Brilliant!