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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Social Activist Gwen Moore

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I admire political activists. They help to set the world on fire. Green Peace and Save the Children are two world views that I couldn’t exist without. They define our aspirations, what we all hope and dream for in a civilized society.

Artists who promote their political agenda raise public awareness as well, so it is all good. That little changes for all this global effort makes my heart weep. I tell myself that change is a one person at a time idea and that our lives here are of little consequence, that the universe has its own agenda, and it doesn’t necessarily include us humans as a big deal.

It doesn’t really help understanding.

But some of us instead of quantifying the negative simply ignore the implications and proceed to do something positive.

I want to introduce you to Gwen Moore.

She was a remarkable person that didn’t see the world as most of us do. Her vision was to educate one village at a time. I hope her initiative propagates to infinity. Then we might have made a world worth living for.

Peace on Earth

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Many months after 9.11 when the horror of the event had quieted some within my mind, we attended a dinner party.

The discussion at our end of the table was the news of that day; President Bush remained unsuccessful but adamant to uncover ‘weapons of mass destruction’. After opinions were aired on the validity of that claim, I chimed in saying, “If only he had allowed his Christian principles full rein, instead of inciting wrath.  By turning the other cheek he could have changed the history of the world”.  But maybe not.

A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.

Emile M. Cioran

What other alternative is there if we want world peace then to adopt a non-confrontational stance to aggression?

Did you know the term Ground Zero was coined to describe the epicentre of the first test site for the nuclear bomb in New Mexico? I didn’t.

After the event of 9.11, it took over a year before my mind had the calm and quiet needed to focus on my studio work.

Spring Peepers are Sprung

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Spring sounds are here, swans on the lake with that haunting song, spring peepers holding their own against the highway traffic. A red wing blackbird hovering around the studio window either chasing insects or himself, who can know? Life anyway in all its variety. Thank goodness. It really is time to celebrate our short time on planet Earth.

The Hard (P)Art of Naming

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I’ve mentioned before that I choose books by their titles. So isn’t it ironic that I have no desire (because I lack the ability, after all who wants to pursue what they find onerous?) to name or title my art work.

The whole exercise has become impossible.

Every year I try to re-experience the tundra swan migration at the local conservation area. I throw a lawn chair into the back of the truck and pack binoculars, thermos of coffee, a sandwich and sketch book and pencils into a big plastic tote bag.

It is an interesting exercise to sit with the binoculars in one hand (elbow on the arm rest to steady it) sketch book open and pencil in the other hand. Yes basically drawing blind as it were.

The reason is my interest in the dynamics of interaction in the posturing of the swans as a group. Our native tundra swans are modern dancers; by contrast the non-native European imported mute swans perform ballet.

I have never been successful in capturing what appears to be group dialogue, but I continue to try.

I exhibited one painting I was not displeased with and of course the work needs a title. So with parts curiosity and desperation I resolved to go through the ‘S’ in the dictionary to find something appropriate.  Just for fun, here is the short list

  • A skein of swans
  • A symphony of swans
  • A say of swans
  • A scintillation of swans
  • A sea of swans
  • A serenity of swans
  • A shimmer of swans
  • A stay of swans
  • A stupendous of swans
  • A surmise of swans
  • A swell of swans
  • A surround of swans

A Serenity of Swans mixed media on paper 28x42 inches

As you can see the exercise wasn’t particularly successful. Traditionally a grouping of swans is called a herd which just isn’t a poetic enough expression for such an incredibly beautiful experience. Unlike say a Murder of crows or a Bevy of quail.

thought for the day

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Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, chaos is being yourself. Emile M. Cioran