Thursday, February 7, 2013


Night Wings in progress, version 5 - Acrylic on canvas
Dearest Readers,
My unconscious theme lately is nighttime and winter. This painting, the Ikebana below, and the last installment of my story of the old woman who grabs a string hanging from a star, all have night as a cause, effect or backdrop. The painting of dark wings above is set inside an evening sky. I like the juxtaposition of low contrast colors and some sort of primeval force. I’ve included the stages I took to get there with some preliminary studies on paper that I did last summer in Vermont.
Wings-first study-Acrylic, pastel and ink on kraft paper
Wings-second study-Acrylic, pastel and ink on kraft paper  
Wings-third study-Acrylic, pastel and ink on kraft paper
Night Wings-in progress version 4-Acrylic on canvas
 Fortunately, or unfortunately I did not stop with the dark painting at the top, but dove in and repainted it in order to add more layers of undercolor. The last version at the bottom is unfinished. I hope I haven’t gone too far in slathering on these Barbie colors, but the piece is still unfolding back into the night. Here's what I did...
Night Wings-in progress version 6-Acrylic on canvas
Night Wings-in progress version 7-Acrylic on canvas
Night Wings-in progress version 8-Acrylic on canvas 
The Ikebana arrangement below is a product of what I can scrounge from my cityscape these days---a handful of evergreen sprigs, two thin, thorny branches from a barren bush, and a still-living fatsia leaf from an arrangement I made last Fall. I’m ready for color and Spring!
Winter Ikebana - Unknown thorny branches, Fatsia leaf and Evergreen
I realized today that the draft of the Interstice story that ends today is the tale of an old woman who tries out death, but the universe is not ready. I thought I’d make a modernist ending and leave her stranded, but in the end I opted for joy. Here it is without any editing....

The Interstice- Part 4 Feb. 7. 2013

The old woman pumped her legs and flapped her elbows
Like a cosmic duck frantically treading the sky.
She was able to affect some distance from
The rising tribes of cloudy emotions
But it was a momentary success.
Tied by her string swing to the stars
She pedaled and pumped in circles.
She was desperate and afraid,
Losing precious energy with each attempt at escape.

Cold and crying, she gave up hope,
Released her grip from the strings,
And surrendered to the night.
She fell backwards, eyes closed, with her arms stretched wide.
Her legs slipped from the string harness.

She was free,
Breathing deeply and rhythmically,
Floating for a while,
Then caught in a current of air
That drew her down
Inside gravity’s familiar pull.

She twirled calmly within a funnel-shaped breeze,
Descending gradually, centripetally into warmth and bluer sky.
She rolled and relaxed with the swirling wind
Arms still open, but righting herself,
Feet together now anticipating earth.
A city twinkled below emerging into dawn.
Moving lights inched along with linear purpose.
Her heart leapt.
Street lamps and rooftops grew larger
Until at last the old woman landed gently, feet first
On her concrete stoop.

The moon still shone. A few stars blinked.
The world twittered with the insistent note of
An early bird.
The woman sighed, opened her back door and stepped
Joyfully into the light, warmth and solidity
Of her little kitchen. 

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