A little telephone message from John F. Walter on 'the luminist poems'

John left this message last February after he had read the manuscript and before he sent a small blurb. I've clearly edited this little clip. At the end I think he's saying something about 'the personal,' that despite the science and metaphysics these prose poems are lyrical and intimate.

What he ultimately sent, and which is in the book: Brenda Clews offers us a pellucid voice that presents and interprets so clearly, it is almost as if light is shining through each one of the magnificent images in these mysterious poems.’

I've dedicated the book to him, along with a number of other beloved and inspiring people:

"for John Walter, his light, inspiring and guiding,
and for Luigi Bianchi, a ‘Professor of light,’ and for
Jeff, who re-appeared when I was writing these
poems and became a part of them, and, always, for
my two children, Adrian and Kyra, their resilience
and support, and for Luciano Iacobelli, with thanks"


1st washes of an untitled painting

You wouldn't think that so many brushes would be necessary to such a simple painting, huh?! Crazy how many get used. I intend to write part of a poem into this painting, so it's not finished. Also, this is all washes, and yet, and yet... it kind of works. What I don't want is to overwork it. 'Untitled,' 2nd wash, 24" x 30", oils on stretched canvas (daylight shot, colours good).

Poem fragment (from my book, still a manuscript with an excellent publisher currently considering it):

Do we fall into what dissembles us?
A whirlpool, its swirling torpor,
undressing us,
naked against the onrush.

Is it that we are always approaching what we can never give ourselves to?

2nd wash, 24" x 30", oils on stretched canvas (nighttime shot, not so good for whiteness or colour)

untitled, 1st wash, 24" x 30", oil on stretched canvas (taken in shade of sun, better colour)

The photos are not very good. The canvas where there isn't paint is white. But these are simply a tracking.

Beginning this piece was a challenge. The kitten was sleeping. I chanced putting a canvas down and doing a quick paint sketch. Then the dog walked right on it! Impossible!

I know what I'd like to do, and do hope it works out.

Comments (1)

Picking Cigarette Butts

A man and a woman are sweeping the grass in the park. He with a broom; she with a whisk broom and dustpan. They are slowly filling a garbage bag. Who are they? Kindly, concerned neighbours? On a Sunday? But, why sweep the grass?

Following my meandering dog, I make my way over to say hi, and to joking ask, after remarking that the weather today is wonderful after that snow squall and heavy north wind of yesterday, "Why are you sweeping the grass?"

She says, squatting, filling her dust pan, "Cigarette butts."

"My goodness," I say, looking around. "The grass is filled with butts." And then a speel, "I hate how people throw live butts. My dog has almost stepped on lit cigarettes a few times, I really have to watch. And my neighbours threw a lit butt a few summers ago over the fence into dried sticks and leaves - we were in a drought." (I didn't say that that day I yelled back over the fence, 'Please put your butts out first - that hit dried sticks here, and good thing I was here to put it out for you.' And that the people in that backyard behind the very high very enclosed fence didn't say a word but went inside immediately.)

"Community work," she says. "We have to do so many hours cleaning cigarette butts in all the parks. There's people doing this all over the city."

"Wow. Well, it's healthy and good, and hope you're not too sore tomorrow!" (She is squat walking sweeping close to the ground.)

"Me too! Thanks." "Enjoy the rest of the day!" "You too."


Poets Series: Brandon Pitts @ Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir

Beginning to think that plain pencil works best for these short sketches of poets that I find myself doing - I now take art supplies since even though I think I'd like to sit and enjoy the readings with a glass of wine, I always end up grabbing a pencil or pen because something interesting happens, a costumed reader, or the challenge of drawing a performing poet like Brandon Pitts... This is the 3rd time I've tried to draw him... and I wasn't going to. I only had my writing Moleskine notebook with me, determined to either write or simply listen. Ha! Let's start with that shape of head and shoulder (which I didn't get - after I'd finished his face and came back to the particular slope of suited shoulder, he'd finished and had sat down). He has a very distinctive face, especially his dark eyes, and yet his features are, well, he is good looking, nothing too accentuated that would make it easier to offer enough of a 'recognizable' visual notation for someone to say, 'Yeah, that's Brandon.' I never take reference photos, btw. Never. What you see is what you get, and if I tinker later, it's from memory. Anyhow... sharing Sunday night's sketch. Brandon Pitts at Lizzie Violet's Cabaret Noir at Q Space in Toronto on 14 Apr 2013. 6" x 7", graphite, Moleskine notebook.


Poets Series: Two Musicians at Portobello

Two Musicians at Linda Stitt's poetry and music afternoon at Portobello Restaurant in Toronto on April 13, 2013. 8.5" x 11", graphite and conte on 130% archival art paper.


An Ice-Storm in April

Pellets of snow ice fall on the roof tiles sticking to them in gullies, bands, slats. The tiles, buckled, laying over each other for the run-off. Wet, rough, sandpapery.

There are no legions of souls. Only empty air.

The rough peck of ice falling from the sky.


Poets Series: Rishma Dunlop @ The Art Bar

Rishma Dunlop, a poetry reading sketch at the Art Bar at Q Space on April 2, 2013. 4" x 6", Aquarelle graphite on 130lb archival art paper. This drawing was done with a water-soluble 6B pencil, and so can be wetted and then it will change, and may lose the likeness here, so I thought to post the original sketch before seeing what a wet paintbrush produces.

(Unfortunately, once again, I forgot my 'distance/close-up' glasses, and so she was fuzzy in the distance and likely the likeness is too. Lol.)

Rishma was on my thesis committee for a thesis I didn't finish at York U about a decade ago. She's a fabulous poet, essayist, literary editor and teacher. I bought her book, 'Lover Through Departure,' and look forward to reading the poems. It was wonderful to see her again.


Poets Series: Joani Paige @ HOWL

Joani Paige at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space on March 24, 2013. A little sketch that I turned into an ink painting. 8.5" x 11", graphite, India and acrylic permanent inks on 130lb archival art paper.

(Was trying to recall how I did my ink paintings last year...). Original pencil sketch here, and a video of Joani singing that I did in 2011.

Poets Series: Gabrielle at HOWL

Charcoal sketch of Gabrielle B. [it is nigh impossible to find images of her on the NET, and she's a published author, and so I think that is a deliberate choice, and therefore naming her is not, I suspect, apropos] at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space on March 24th, 2013. To the left, the untouched original sketch done there, and, to the right, finished in various colours of conte. I had to rely entirely on memory for the colour, which perhaps I oughtn't to have done since to my eye the finished drawing loses the spontaneity of the sketch, but I wanted to attempt the rich skin tones. 8.5" x 11", 130lb archival art paper.


The Poet Who Is Either Silenced Or Speaking Fire

It is the kinda day to pick up your cross and bear it.

I'm not saying I'm wishing you a Good Friday, exactly. Actually this drawing was drawn a month ago and I just finished it tonight and took a photograph under daylight bulbs.

'The Poet Who Is Either Silenced Or Speaking Fire,' 2013, Brenda Clews, 8.5" x 11", mixed media on 130lb archival paper.

Jun 2024
Apr 2024
Aug 2023
Oct 2022
May 2022
Oct 2021
Sep 2021
Jul 2021
May 2021
Jan 2021
Oct 2020
Aug 2020
Jul 2020
Jun 2020
May 2020
Dec 2019
Sep 2019
Aug 2019
Jul 2019
May 2019
Apr 2019
Feb 2019
Jan 2019
Nov 2018
Sep 2018
Aug 2018
Jul 2018
May 2018
Apr 2018
Mar 2018
Feb 2018
Jan 2018
Dec 2017
Nov 2017
Oct 2017
Sep 2017
Aug 2017
Jul 2017
Jun 2017
May 2017
Apr 2017
Mar 2017
Feb 2017
Jan 2017
Dec 2016
Nov 2016
Oct 2016
Sep 2016
Aug 2016
Jul 2016
Jun 2016
May 2016
Apr 2016
Mar 2016
Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Dec 2015
Nov 2015
Oct 2015
Sep 2015
Aug 2015
Jul 2015
Jun 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Feb 2015
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Oct 2014
Sep 2014
Aug 2014
Jul 2014
Jun 2014
May 2014
Apr 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jan 2014
Dec 2013
Nov 2013
Oct 2013
Sep 2013
Aug 2013
Jul 2013
Jun 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Jan 2013
Dec 2012
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Aug 2012
Jul 2012
Jun 2012
May 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2011
Nov 2011
Oct 2011
Sep 2011
Aug 2011
Jul 2011
Jun 2011
May 2011
Apr 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Dec 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Sep 2010
Aug 2010
Jul 2010
Jun 2010
May 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Feb 2010
Jan 2010
Dec 2009
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Sep 2009
Aug 2009
Jul 2009
Jun 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Dec 2008
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sep 2008
Aug 2008
Jul 2008
Jun 2008
May 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007
Oct 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
Jul 2007
Jun 2007
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007
Dec 2006
Nov 2006
Oct 2006
Sep 2006
Aug 2006
Jul 2006
Jun 2006
May 2006
Apr 2006
Mar 2006
Feb 2006
Jan 2006
Dec 2005
Nov 2005
Oct 2005
Sep 2005
Aug 2005
Jul 2005
Jun 2005
May 2005
Apr 2005
Mar 2005
Feb 2005
Jan 2005
Sep 2004
Jun 2004
May 2004
Oct 2003
RSS Feed