Image

Wishing You a Bountiful 2012

Hope in 2012 everything
that you hold meaningful
remains and thrives in your life,
a bountiful, living garden,
and,
if you have unfulfilled wishes,
they come to fruition and blossom
in all the ways that you would most like.


*hugs and love, Brenda




In the Park in June, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2011, Moleskine folio Sketchbook, sized with Golden GAC-100, and painted with watercolour and India inks.

Notes on the painting:

A few layers of GAC-100 (artificial rabbit glue) on the paper prepares it for painting. I found the GAK gives you a little time to change your mind - you can dab the colour out before it sets permanently, so it is a little more forgiving than unsized paper which absorbs the colour instantly. It has a satin shine that is not like a varnish because it grabs the inks and sets them. It is faintly glossy, like brushed egg whites on cooked pastry, beneath the paint, which overlays it and is opaque. The GAK is not like a varnish because it is underneath the paint. It gives a luminescence to the painting that the camera does not quite capture.

I have no idea how you would varnish a piece like this. A matte finish would destroy that faintly glossy luminescence, and a satin finish would remove the deep opacity of the paint.

Which means, keep paintings like these in my book, or framed under glass. It is a fragile surface that I would not wish to intrude upon with a fixative.

A dimly wrought portrait of my daughter. Because I could not work with the paint for too long, I was not able to get a likeness. The woman in this painting is older than my daughter and does not really resemble her. Her energy is here, though.


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Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch


direct link: Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch

This is a very good and very entertaining reading! I watched many times creating the video, and am still not bored! He's good, that Brandon man.

Brandon Pitts at his book launch for 'Puzzle of Murders,' published by Bookland Press, at the Toronto Public Library on November 6, 2011. Brandon was introduced by the publisher, Robert Morgan. http://brandonpitts.com

A video by Brenda Clews.

Notes on the video:

Editing this video, I came to enjoy the intermittent gritty, shaky, out-of-focus quality of the clip, and did not remove it; it provides texture to the reading. It helps to impart the sense of Geist (mind, spirit, or ghost), of the author, of the insane logic of the central character of Puzzle of Murders, of the murder mystery itself. It is as if ghosts and blood and memory swirl about. There is a bodily sense of the videographer in the fuzzy hand-held quality also, another Geist. That is the eye of the videographer, and it transmits a moving image to the audience viewing the scene. It is the eye of the world watching, or perhaps its ghosts. The view is not smooth, featureless, glossy, but cinematically uneven, rough. These imperfections in the video normally would be removed in editing. I resisted, then became accustomed to them, then began to understand that where the picture has a gritty motion is where the ocean of words seeps into the vessel of the reading from the novel. That's where the salt water enters with its briny catch of krill and seaweed and skeletal remains. The imperfections give texture to what is charming, beautiful. Beauty cannot approach us in its wholeness without its flaws, deformities, fragmentations. Slice-of-life, it's messy on the edges, it has its own reality. The book is full of slips and fissures, so is the video of the launch. I hope you enjoy what I have created from my video of the event.

I finished this video on Brandon's birthday, December 28th, 2011, a perfect birthday present for him.

The background clips are free stock footage from Vimeo: black ink; woman.


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Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







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Happy Holidays!




Happy Holidays!

(The card is based on my brother's art work, rendered in black and white)

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A Solstice Greeting and Wish for You

Dear friends,

...dear beautiful people in my life... you all mean so much to me, you cannot know.

...this year I thought I had nothing to share (art or poem or video), but, then, Shadow Cave is about reaching into the darkness in ourselves and bringing what is hidden in us to light, which is sort of like the return of the sun in the darkest moment.

It's a small offering, and perhaps too long to watch. Don't worry if you don't, I don't mind and I'll still love you. I did subtitle it, so click on the cc if you'd like to read along, or translate into another language.


direct link: Shadow Cave

It's based on a real ritual I did in 1995 and wrote an extensive entry in my journal about. I re-wrote the ritual as a sort of modern fairy tale. It's about integrating ourselves at our deepest levels, however we image that. Sometimes what is in our shadows is not anything 'sinful' at all! It's only what we've repressed in ourselves... which could be our recognizing how luminescent we really are!

Shadows and dopple gangers appear in this videopoem, as ever. :) Please forgive. (I just can't help being multiple, ya know!)

I offer it to the light within us.

On this Solstice, Festival of the Lights, and for the auspicious coming year, many blessings to you, wishes for good health, prosperity, good fortune in work, relationships, family, and the success of all your creative endeavours,

love, Brenda


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A Bio-Alarm Clock in my iPhone!


I highly recommend this little app for .99cents, if you have an iPhone (3 or 4), an iPod touch, or an iPad (1 or 2). You load the app, set the alarm, and put it on the mattress next to you face down without turning your device off. It maps your sleep cycles all night. In the morning it generates a lovely little graph for you. It is one of the best selling apps in the world, and it is not hard to see why.

Not only that, but it is an alarm clock that will gently wake you when you are in your lightest sleep phase in the half hour time period you set for the alarm.

You can learn a a lot about your sleep habits, and perhaps how to improve them so that you wake feeling refreshed, and ready for the day.

I've only used it twice, and have included my graphs too, at the end of this article.


Quoted from Sleep Cycle's website: http://www.sleepcycle.com/
Have you ever woken up feeling completely wrecked when the alarm clock goes off, despite the fact that you have slept "enough" hours? When this happens you have probably been awakened during a deep sleep phase, and your whole day can turn into one long zombie marathon.

Other days you spring out of bed with a smile on your face, feeling completely rested even though you shouldn't. As the alarm clock goes off, chance seems to play a big role in how your day will become. But does it really have to be that way? This is where the Sleep Cycle alarm clock application comes into play.





During the night you go from light sleep to deep sleep, occasionally entering into a dream state which is called REM-sleep. These are things that your normal alarm clock does not care about, and will go off at the set time regardless of whether you are in a light sleep phase or in the deepest sleep. However, since you move differently in bed during the different phases, the Sleep Cycle alarm clock is able to use the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement and determine which sleep phase you are in. Sleep Cycle then uses a 30 minute alarm window that ends at your set alarm time and wakes you in your lightest sleep phase. 

"This isn't really something new. These so called bio-alarm clocks have been around for years and work very well, but they usually come with a hefty $200 price tag. I realized that the iPhone has all the components needed, and decided to make an alarm clock that works exactly the same, but sell it for a dollar or two instead."Maciek Drejak, the programmer behind the application, says. 


Example 1: a typical sleep graph


Example 2: more irregular sleep with a period
of being awake or nearly awake at 6am

The second example has a bit more irregular sleep. The user did probably not sleep as well as in example 1. In this example the user's partner got up at 6am. This is clearly seen - the user was awake or nearly awake at around 6am when her or his partner got up. 


My graphs from two recent nights.



I was blown away because that day I did, indeed, wake at 7am, but as I didn't need to get up, drifted back off for awhile. My sleep hit some deeper phases but nothing like the "normal sleep graph."





Happy to see at least one dip into "Deep Sleep." This sleep was after 3 churning, sleepless nights, and I was exhausted, and, for me, slept very well. 


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Language is the cage through which I express my passion



Yay! HP has finally provided an OS X Lion driver for my printer scanner! I re-worked one of the ink drawings/paintings in my Moleskine sketchbook tonight.

"LANGUAGE IS THE CAGE THROUGH WHICH I EXPRESS MY PASSION" - detail - 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2011, India and acrylic ink, gel pen, oil paint on Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4 prepared with a base of acrylic matte medium. Prints available too!

I like the detail best. While I love Blogger's new lightbox, sometimes I'd like to show you a large image, so click on these linked words to see the detail in full screen-size. You can also buy the detail at Fine Art America - a single card for $6.50, or a print starting at $22.00 USD. Lots of options!

Below the first draft, and the second. I think it's finished, but... could give better definition to her arms and hands, make the line a little more lyrical; on the other hand, she is marionette-like. She is meant to impart a feeling of contained, and what easier way to convey that imprisonedness, in language, in form than with hands and feet that are as if sewn? The feet are hanging almost, puppet-like, and the hands as if sewn into the lines of the painting - yet there is a regal quality to her, I think of her as a doll who has echoes of a Spanish dancer, proud, beautiful. Her head, neck and torso have an inner frame, perhaps wood, over which the costume is affixed; the arms and legs are stuffed cloth. The way such dolls are. She wears a corset and only half of a skirt of black lace. Despite the contraints, she dances in the painting, the passion broiling in the red, firing her.





A man who calls himself Papytroll Michel (on Facebook) wrote: "Merveilleuse ta ballerine ensanglantée au visage dépecé.Très puissant.Très bon partage clair/obscur. Encore, encore d'autres :) Supernatural your ballerina stained with blood with the dismembered face. Very powerful. Very good clear / dark division(sharing). Still, still the others:)" 

I thanked him for his insightful comment that is like poetry, and '...I don't know where these paintings come from, even I have to try to understand them, and your comments help me to see deeper in their meanings... rarely do I set out to draw or paint something specific... rather... to discover what is there.'

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FRIDAY VIDEO/FILM POEM: 'Of Stars and People' by Ruah Edelstein


Ruah Edelstein's films exude an innocence and a child-like joy. Her animation is among my favourite. When I need to find blessing, I return to Ruah's films.

For the Solstice/Hanukkah/Christmas festive season, I present one of her Oah and Harlam Episodes: Of Stars and People.

In Of Stars and People, we find Oah falling through the skies downwards. Snow falls as Oah falls, turning in the sky. A male voice (Dylan Forman) narrates for Oah, and a female voice (Ruah herself) for Harlam. When Harlam appears, he seems to emerge from the landscape itself, and he is but a shadow over it. His eyes are deep, and compassionate. He turns, and we watch a white gull glide in the distance while the female narrator tells us Harlam 'was laughing.' Different levels of the landscape move differently in the animation. An outer sky seems to come with us as we draw back from the wide angle view of the scenic ocean with its mountains in the distance. 'Harlam was laughing at Oah. ' Then Oah is rising from a field of green with round white circles all about, rubbing herself off, having landed. Dandelion fluff billows a little like the snow we saw earlier. She is in a field of dandelions. 'But when a star falls, one must make a wish.' Oah blows a dandelion seed head, and "Made a wish for Harlam, instead.' The dandelion seeds fly out like little white trees, or snowflakes, or stars. 'Oah made a kind wish.' Both narrators speak the same words. Harlam is making a kind wish too. It is a giving message, and I love it.

Yoon Lee's music is perfect (he plays the guitar, kalimba and kayagum; with Molly McLaughlin on flute; and Kassandra Kocoshis on percussion), and if you browse Ruah's blog, you'll find more on his work, as well as a film, Summary, that they collaborated on. (A photo of Yoon scoring the music for Of Stars and People.)


Of Stars and People (2011) from Ruah Edelstein.
One more episode to the series! At first glance the stories about two weirdoes Oah and Harlam may appear as senseless. But when there is an overflow of senselessness, then appears deep philosophy.

These stories are not just shorts that I wrote, they are a worldview, answers to some questions of reality, grotesque simplicity of which seems to be surreal. In this project bits of life situations, thoughts, and actions are applied to animation, music, and a spoken word. There is a need to write fairytales for grownups, to write almost impossible stories, because when we seriously begin to talk about important and intimate things in life, most of us cannot take it.

Original music scored by Yoon Lee involves a rare use of instruments such as kalimba and kayagum (Korean zither).
Ruah's work has a deceptive simplicity, not only in the poetry, which is fairytale-like, but in the animation itself.

The figures have a transparency as they move over a background which appears through them. In her blog we learn, "I used oil paints for all the layers in the background, which was very fun to work with, while seeing how the paints interconnect after being layered digitally on screen." Before she reaches the stage of digitalizing, there is the rush of ideas, and storyboarding.

To the right you will see images of her work flow for the film featured today (if you click on the image, you'll go to her blog post). In the first image, simple, raw sketches of ideas as they emerge from her imagination. She writes, "This is one of my most favourite stages, where visuals are coming out for the first time to being without any restrictions, a very intuitive and spontaneous process to allow all sorts of visualizing ideas to come up." She says, be "loose," "minimilist," while "touching only on the keys of the story." Then comes the storyboard, which she keeps nearby her working area "at all times," shows to "friends and colleagues," and "thinks about over and over." She follows it closely when making the film.

Already we are beginning to suspect a master at work here. Browsing Ruah Edelstein's website, we find she is, indeed, an accomplished artist - in fact, the sale of her art enabled her to move from Europe to California where she is currently working on an MFA in animation at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Before being drawn to animation, she was an actress, and also directed. Originally from Lithuania, where she grew up while her country was still part of the USSR, her Bio tells us, that, at age 10 she was accepted in to "a renowned School of Fine Arts in Klaipeda, her hometown at the coast of the Baltic sea." Most recently, she had an Oah and Harlam film in the Chelyabinsk No-Festival of Video Art and Animation in 2010; Of Giants, was selected for the Animex Awards in Feb 2011, held in the UK; and she presented Oah and Harlam episodes in San Diego at a NOW conference for authors and critics of contemporary, innovative literature in Oct 2011. Expect to see this lady's work regularly on the festival circuits when she hits her stride. Her films, with their whimsical, fairytale-like stories and characters, and their deeper philosophies giving a profundity to her work, are outstanding.

_
This is my last article of 2011; FRIDAY VIDPOFILM will return January 6, 2012. Warmest season's greetings to everyone!

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London Poetry Systems features my videopoem, Voicings

My videopoem, Voicings, was featured on L|P|S! I'm delighted! London Poetry Systems writes: "Each month one video makes it onto the Systems homepage." It's here, on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/33159867. The YouTube upload is embedded below. (It was actually one of the rehearsals ::smiling:: I thought to upload different versions at different sites. ::smiling:: The final version is here.)

vimeo.com
London Poetry Systems is an open cross-media poetry platform. This channel is an archive of cross-media poetry. Check out the featured videos and if you'd like to know more about what we do, and/or contribute in some way, please visit the Systems at: http://www.londonpoetrysystems.com/


Voicings by Brenda Clews


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Seder Masochism by Nina Paley

Isn't this gorgeous?! Look at the motion all the way through, and those hind legs! Even the paws return back, with their claws, and not in perfect unison. Wow. Brilliant. Created by Nina Paley.

I'm loving this one too:


Now Even More Infinite

Nina writes: Some infinities are bigger than others. This Leviathan has a few extra receding loops, making it more infinite than the version I posted earlier.


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Wishing You a Bountiful 2012

Hope in 2012 everything
that you hold meaningful
remains and thrives in your life,
a bountiful, living garden,
and,
if you have unfulfilled wishes,
they come to fruition and blossom
in all the ways that you would most like.


*hugs and love, Brenda




In the Park in June, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2011, Moleskine folio Sketchbook, sized with Golden GAC-100, and painted with watercolour and India inks.

Notes on the painting:

A few layers of GAC-100 (artificial rabbit glue) on the paper prepares it for painting. I found the GAK gives you a little time to change your mind - you can dab the colour out before it sets permanently, so it is a little more forgiving than unsized paper which absorbs the colour instantly. It has a satin shine that is not like a varnish because it grabs the inks and sets them. It is faintly glossy, like brushed egg whites on cooked pastry, beneath the paint, which overlays it and is opaque. The GAK is not like a varnish because it is underneath the paint. It gives a luminescence to the painting that the camera does not quite capture.

I have no idea how you would varnish a piece like this. A matte finish would destroy that faintly glossy luminescence, and a satin finish would remove the deep opacity of the paint.

Which means, keep paintings like these in my book, or framed under glass. It is a fragile surface that I would not wish to intrude upon with a fixative.

A dimly wrought portrait of my daughter. Because I could not work with the paint for too long, I was not able to get a likeness. The woman in this painting is older than my daughter and does not really resemble her. Her energy is here, though.


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Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch


direct link: Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch

This is a very good and very entertaining reading! I watched many times creating the video, and am still not bored! He's good, that Brandon man.

Brandon Pitts at his book launch for 'Puzzle of Murders,' published by Bookland Press, at the Toronto Public Library on November 6, 2011. Brandon was introduced by the publisher, Robert Morgan. http://brandonpitts.com

A video by Brenda Clews.

Notes on the video:

Editing this video, I came to enjoy the intermittent gritty, shaky, out-of-focus quality of the clip, and did not remove it; it provides texture to the reading. It helps to impart the sense of Geist (mind, spirit, or ghost), of the author, of the insane logic of the central character of Puzzle of Murders, of the murder mystery itself. It is as if ghosts and blood and memory swirl about. There is a bodily sense of the videographer in the fuzzy hand-held quality also, another Geist. That is the eye of the videographer, and it transmits a moving image to the audience viewing the scene. It is the eye of the world watching, or perhaps its ghosts. The view is not smooth, featureless, glossy, but cinematically uneven, rough. These imperfections in the video normally would be removed in editing. I resisted, then became accustomed to them, then began to understand that where the picture has a gritty motion is where the ocean of words seeps into the vessel of the reading from the novel. That's where the salt water enters with its briny catch of krill and seaweed and skeletal remains. The imperfections give texture to what is charming, beautiful. Beauty cannot approach us in its wholeness without its flaws, deformities, fragmentations. Slice-of-life, it's messy on the edges, it has its own reality. The book is full of slips and fissures, so is the video of the launch. I hope you enjoy what I have created from my video of the event.

I finished this video on Brandon's birthday, December 28th, 2011, a perfect birthday present for him.

The background clips are free stock footage from Vimeo: black ink; woman.


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Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







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Happy Holidays!




Happy Holidays!

(The card is based on my brother's art work, rendered in black and white)

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A Solstice Greeting and Wish for You

Dear friends,

...dear beautiful people in my life... you all mean so much to me, you cannot know.

...this year I thought I had nothing to share (art or poem or video), but, then, Shadow Cave is about reaching into the darkness in ourselves and bringing what is hidden in us to light, which is sort of like the return of the sun in the darkest moment.

It's a small offering, and perhaps too long to watch. Don't worry if you don't, I don't mind and I'll still love you. I did subtitle it, so click on the cc if you'd like to read along, or translate into another language.


direct link: Shadow Cave

It's based on a real ritual I did in 1995 and wrote an extensive entry in my journal about. I re-wrote the ritual as a sort of modern fairy tale. It's about integrating ourselves at our deepest levels, however we image that. Sometimes what is in our shadows is not anything 'sinful' at all! It's only what we've repressed in ourselves... which could be our recognizing how luminescent we really are!

Shadows and dopple gangers appear in this videopoem, as ever. :) Please forgive. (I just can't help being multiple, ya know!)

I offer it to the light within us.

On this Solstice, Festival of the Lights, and for the auspicious coming year, many blessings to you, wishes for good health, prosperity, good fortune in work, relationships, family, and the success of all your creative endeavours,

love, Brenda


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A Bio-Alarm Clock in my iPhone!


I highly recommend this little app for .99cents, if you have an iPhone (3 or 4), an iPod touch, or an iPad (1 or 2). You load the app, set the alarm, and put it on the mattress next to you face down without turning your device off. It maps your sleep cycles all night. In the morning it generates a lovely little graph for you. It is one of the best selling apps in the world, and it is not hard to see why.

Not only that, but it is an alarm clock that will gently wake you when you are in your lightest sleep phase in the half hour time period you set for the alarm.

You can learn a a lot about your sleep habits, and perhaps how to improve them so that you wake feeling refreshed, and ready for the day.

I've only used it twice, and have included my graphs too, at the end of this article.


Quoted from Sleep Cycle's website: http://www.sleepcycle.com/
Have you ever woken up feeling completely wrecked when the alarm clock goes off, despite the fact that you have slept "enough" hours? When this happens you have probably been awakened during a deep sleep phase, and your whole day can turn into one long zombie marathon.

Other days you spring out of bed with a smile on your face, feeling completely rested even though you shouldn't. As the alarm clock goes off, chance seems to play a big role in how your day will become. But does it really have to be that way? This is where the Sleep Cycle alarm clock application comes into play.





During the night you go from light sleep to deep sleep, occasionally entering into a dream state which is called REM-sleep. These are things that your normal alarm clock does not care about, and will go off at the set time regardless of whether you are in a light sleep phase or in the deepest sleep. However, since you move differently in bed during the different phases, the Sleep Cycle alarm clock is able to use the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement and determine which sleep phase you are in. Sleep Cycle then uses a 30 minute alarm window that ends at your set alarm time and wakes you in your lightest sleep phase. 

"This isn't really something new. These so called bio-alarm clocks have been around for years and work very well, but they usually come with a hefty $200 price tag. I realized that the iPhone has all the components needed, and decided to make an alarm clock that works exactly the same, but sell it for a dollar or two instead."Maciek Drejak, the programmer behind the application, says. 


Example 1: a typical sleep graph


Example 2: more irregular sleep with a period
of being awake or nearly awake at 6am

The second example has a bit more irregular sleep. The user did probably not sleep as well as in example 1. In this example the user's partner got up at 6am. This is clearly seen - the user was awake or nearly awake at around 6am when her or his partner got up. 


My graphs from two recent nights.



I was blown away because that day I did, indeed, wake at 7am, but as I didn't need to get up, drifted back off for awhile. My sleep hit some deeper phases but nothing like the "normal sleep graph."





Happy to see at least one dip into "Deep Sleep." This sleep was after 3 churning, sleepless nights, and I was exhausted, and, for me, slept very well. 


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Wishing You a Bountiful 2012

Hope in 2012 everything
that you hold meaningful
remains and thrives in your life,
a bountiful, living garden,
and,
if you have unfulfilled wishes,
they come to fruition and blossom
in all the ways that you would most like.


*hugs and love, Brenda




In the Park in June, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2011, Moleskine folio Sketchbook, sized with Golden GAC-100, and painted with watercolour and India inks.

Notes on the painting:

A few layers of GAC-100 (artificial rabbit glue) on the paper prepares it for painting. I found the GAK gives you a little time to change your mind - you can dab the colour out before it sets permanently, so it is a little more forgiving than unsized paper which absorbs the colour instantly. It has a satin shine that is not like a varnish because it grabs the inks and sets them. It is faintly glossy, like brushed egg whites on cooked pastry, beneath the paint, which overlays it and is opaque. The GAK is not like a varnish because it is underneath the paint. It gives a luminescence to the painting that the camera does not quite capture.

I have no idea how you would varnish a piece like this. A matte finish would destroy that faintly glossy luminescence, and a satin finish would remove the deep opacity of the paint.

Which means, keep paintings like these in my book, or framed under glass. It is a fragile surface that I would not wish to intrude upon with a fixative.

A dimly wrought portrait of my daughter. Because I could not work with the paint for too long, I was not able to get a likeness. The woman in this painting is older than my daughter and does not really resemble her. Her energy is here, though.


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Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch


direct link: Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch

This is a very good and very entertaining reading! I watched many times creating the video, and am still not bored! He's good, that Brandon man.

Brandon Pitts at his book launch for 'Puzzle of Murders,' published by Bookland Press, at the Toronto Public Library on November 6, 2011. Brandon was introduced by the publisher, Robert Morgan. http://brandonpitts.com

A video by Brenda Clews.

Notes on the video:

Editing this video, I came to enjoy the intermittent gritty, shaky, out-of-focus quality of the clip, and did not remove it; it provides texture to the reading. It helps to impart the sense of Geist (mind, spirit, or ghost), of the author, of the insane logic of the central character of Puzzle of Murders, of the murder mystery itself. It is as if ghosts and blood and memory swirl about. There is a bodily sense of the videographer in the fuzzy hand-held quality also, another Geist. That is the eye of the videographer, and it transmits a moving image to the audience viewing the scene. It is the eye of the world watching, or perhaps its ghosts. The view is not smooth, featureless, glossy, but cinematically uneven, rough. These imperfections in the video normally would be removed in editing. I resisted, then became accustomed to them, then began to understand that where the picture has a gritty motion is where the ocean of words seeps into the vessel of the reading from the novel. That's where the salt water enters with its briny catch of krill and seaweed and skeletal remains. The imperfections give texture to what is charming, beautiful. Beauty cannot approach us in its wholeness without its flaws, deformities, fragmentations. Slice-of-life, it's messy on the edges, it has its own reality. The book is full of slips and fissures, so is the video of the launch. I hope you enjoy what I have created from my video of the event.

I finished this video on Brandon's birthday, December 28th, 2011, a perfect birthday present for him.

The background clips are free stock footage from Vimeo: black ink; woman.


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Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







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Happy Holidays!




Happy Holidays!

(The card is based on my brother's art work, rendered in black and white)

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A Solstice Greeting and Wish for You

Dear friends,

...dear beautiful people in my life... you all mean so much to me, you cannot know.

...this year I thought I had nothing to share (art or poem or video), but, then, Shadow Cave is about reaching into the darkness in ourselves and bringing what is hidden in us to light, which is sort of like the return of the sun in the darkest moment.

It's a small offering, and perhaps too long to watch. Don't worry if you don't, I don't mind and I'll still love you. I did subtitle it, so click on the cc if you'd like to read along, or translate into another language.


direct link: Shadow Cave

It's based on a real ritual I did in 1995 and wrote an extensive entry in my journal about. I re-wrote the ritual as a sort of modern fairy tale. It's about integrating ourselves at our deepest levels, however we image that. Sometimes what is in our shadows is not anything 'sinful' at all! It's only what we've repressed in ourselves... which could be our recognizing how luminescent we really are!

Shadows and dopple gangers appear in this videopoem, as ever. :) Please forgive. (I just can't help being multiple, ya know!)

I offer it to the light within us.

On this Solstice, Festival of the Lights, and for the auspicious coming year, many blessings to you, wishes for good health, prosperity, good fortune in work, relationships, family, and the success of all your creative endeavours,

love, Brenda


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A Bio-Alarm Clock in my iPhone!


I highly recommend this little app for .99cents, if you have an iPhone (3 or 4), an iPod touch, or an iPad (1 or 2). You load the app, set the alarm, and put it on the mattress next to you face down without turning your device off. It maps your sleep cycles all night. In the morning it generates a lovely little graph for you. It is one of the best selling apps in the world, and it is not hard to see why.

Not only that, but it is an alarm clock that will gently wake you when you are in your lightest sleep phase in the half hour time period you set for the alarm.

You can learn a a lot about your sleep habits, and perhaps how to improve them so that you wake feeling refreshed, and ready for the day.

I've only used it twice, and have included my graphs too, at the end of this article.


Quoted from Sleep Cycle's website: http://www.sleepcycle.com/
Have you ever woken up feeling completely wrecked when the alarm clock goes off, despite the fact that you have slept "enough" hours? When this happens you have probably been awakened during a deep sleep phase, and your whole day can turn into one long zombie marathon.

Other days you spring out of bed with a smile on your face, feeling completely rested even though you shouldn't. As the alarm clock goes off, chance seems to play a big role in how your day will become. But does it really have to be that way? This is where the Sleep Cycle alarm clock application comes into play.





During the night you go from light sleep to deep sleep, occasionally entering into a dream state which is called REM-sleep. These are things that your normal alarm clock does not care about, and will go off at the set time regardless of whether you are in a light sleep phase or in the deepest sleep. However, since you move differently in bed during the different phases, the Sleep Cycle alarm clock is able to use the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement and determine which sleep phase you are in. Sleep Cycle then uses a 30 minute alarm window that ends at your set alarm time and wakes you in your lightest sleep phase. 

"This isn't really something new. These so called bio-alarm clocks have been around for years and work very well, but they usually come with a hefty $200 price tag. I realized that the iPhone has all the components needed, and decided to make an alarm clock that works exactly the same, but sell it for a dollar or two instead."Maciek Drejak, the programmer behind the application, says. 


Example 1: a typical sleep graph


Example 2: more irregular sleep with a period
of being awake or nearly awake at 6am

The second example has a bit more irregular sleep. The user did probably not sleep as well as in example 1. In this example the user's partner got up at 6am. This is clearly seen - the user was awake or nearly awake at around 6am when her or his partner got up. 


My graphs from two recent nights.



I was blown away because that day I did, indeed, wake at 7am, but as I didn't need to get up, drifted back off for awhile. My sleep hit some deeper phases but nothing like the "normal sleep graph."





Happy to see at least one dip into "Deep Sleep." This sleep was after 3 churning, sleepless nights, and I was exhausted, and, for me, slept very well. 


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Language is the cage through which I express my passion



Yay! HP has finally provided an OS X Lion driver for my printer scanner! I re-worked one of the ink drawings/paintings in my Moleskine sketchbook tonight.

"LANGUAGE IS THE CAGE THROUGH WHICH I EXPRESS MY PASSION" - detail - 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2011, India and acrylic ink, gel pen, oil paint on Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4 prepared with a base of acrylic matte medium. Prints available too!

I like the detail best. While I love Blogger's new lightbox, sometimes I'd like to show you a large image, so click on these linked words to see the detail in full screen-size. You can also buy the detail at Fine Art America - a single card for $6.50, or a print starting at $22.00 USD. Lots of options!

Below the first draft, and the second. I think it's finished, but... could give better definition to her arms and hands, make the line a little more lyrical; on the other hand, she is marionette-like. She is meant to impart a feeling of contained, and what easier way to convey that imprisonedness, in language, in form than with hands and feet that are as if sewn? The feet are hanging almost, puppet-like, and the hands as if sewn into the lines of the painting - yet there is a regal quality to her, I think of her as a doll who has echoes of a Spanish dancer, proud, beautiful. Her head, neck and torso have an inner frame, perhaps wood, over which the costume is affixed; the arms and legs are stuffed cloth. The way such dolls are. She wears a corset and only half of a skirt of black lace. Despite the contraints, she dances in the painting, the passion broiling in the red, firing her.





A man who calls himself Papytroll Michel (on Facebook) wrote: "Merveilleuse ta ballerine ensanglantée au visage dépecé.Très puissant.Très bon partage clair/obscur. Encore, encore d'autres :) Supernatural your ballerina stained with blood with the dismembered face. Very powerful. Very good clear / dark division(sharing). Still, still the others:)" 

I thanked him for his insightful comment that is like poetry, and '...I don't know where these paintings come from, even I have to try to understand them, and your comments help me to see deeper in their meanings... rarely do I set out to draw or paint something specific... rather... to discover what is there.'

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FRIDAY VIDEO/FILM POEM: 'Of Stars and People' by Ruah Edelstein


Ruah Edelstein's films exude an innocence and a child-like joy. Her animation is among my favourite. When I need to find blessing, I return to Ruah's films.

For the Solstice/Hanukkah/Christmas festive season, I present one of her Oah and Harlam Episodes: Of Stars and People.

In Of Stars and People, we find Oah falling through the skies downwards. Snow falls as Oah falls, turning in the sky. A male voice (Dylan Forman) narrates for Oah, and a female voice (Ruah herself) for Harlam. When Harlam appears, he seems to emerge from the landscape itself, and he is but a shadow over it. His eyes are deep, and compassionate. He turns, and we watch a white gull glide in the distance while the female narrator tells us Harlam 'was laughing.' Different levels of the landscape move differently in the animation. An outer sky seems to come with us as we draw back from the wide angle view of the scenic ocean with its mountains in the distance. 'Harlam was laughing at Oah. ' Then Oah is rising from a field of green with round white circles all about, rubbing herself off, having landed. Dandelion fluff billows a little like the snow we saw earlier. She is in a field of dandelions. 'But when a star falls, one must make a wish.' Oah blows a dandelion seed head, and "Made a wish for Harlam, instead.' The dandelion seeds fly out like little white trees, or snowflakes, or stars. 'Oah made a kind wish.' Both narrators speak the same words. Harlam is making a kind wish too. It is a giving message, and I love it.

Yoon Lee's music is perfect (he plays the guitar, kalimba and kayagum; with Molly McLaughlin on flute; and Kassandra Kocoshis on percussion), and if you browse Ruah's blog, you'll find more on his work, as well as a film, Summary, that they collaborated on. (A photo of Yoon scoring the music for Of Stars and People.)


Of Stars and People (2011) from Ruah Edelstein.
One more episode to the series! At first glance the stories about two weirdoes Oah and Harlam may appear as senseless. But when there is an overflow of senselessness, then appears deep philosophy.

These stories are not just shorts that I wrote, they are a worldview, answers to some questions of reality, grotesque simplicity of which seems to be surreal. In this project bits of life situations, thoughts, and actions are applied to animation, music, and a spoken word. There is a need to write fairytales for grownups, to write almost impossible stories, because when we seriously begin to talk about important and intimate things in life, most of us cannot take it.

Original music scored by Yoon Lee involves a rare use of instruments such as kalimba and kayagum (Korean zither).
Ruah's work has a deceptive simplicity, not only in the poetry, which is fairytale-like, but in the animation itself.

The figures have a transparency as they move over a background which appears through them. In her blog we learn, "I used oil paints for all the layers in the background, which was very fun to work with, while seeing how the paints interconnect after being layered digitally on screen." Before she reaches the stage of digitalizing, there is the rush of ideas, and storyboarding.

To the right you will see images of her work flow for the film featured today (if you click on the image, you'll go to her blog post). In the first image, simple, raw sketches of ideas as they emerge from her imagination. She writes, "This is one of my most favourite stages, where visuals are coming out for the first time to being without any restrictions, a very intuitive and spontaneous process to allow all sorts of visualizing ideas to come up." She says, be "loose," "minimilist," while "touching only on the keys of the story." Then comes the storyboard, which she keeps nearby her working area "at all times," shows to "friends and colleagues," and "thinks about over and over." She follows it closely when making the film.

Already we are beginning to suspect a master at work here. Browsing Ruah Edelstein's website, we find she is, indeed, an accomplished artist - in fact, the sale of her art enabled her to move from Europe to California where she is currently working on an MFA in animation at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Before being drawn to animation, she was an actress, and also directed. Originally from Lithuania, where she grew up while her country was still part of the USSR, her Bio tells us, that, at age 10 she was accepted in to "a renowned School of Fine Arts in Klaipeda, her hometown at the coast of the Baltic sea." Most recently, she had an Oah and Harlam film in the Chelyabinsk No-Festival of Video Art and Animation in 2010; Of Giants, was selected for the Animex Awards in Feb 2011, held in the UK; and she presented Oah and Harlam episodes in San Diego at a NOW conference for authors and critics of contemporary, innovative literature in Oct 2011. Expect to see this lady's work regularly on the festival circuits when she hits her stride. Her films, with their whimsical, fairytale-like stories and characters, and their deeper philosophies giving a profundity to her work, are outstanding.

_
This is my last article of 2011; FRIDAY VIDPOFILM will return January 6, 2012. Warmest season's greetings to everyone!

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London Poetry Systems features my videopoem, Voicings

My videopoem, Voicings, was featured on L|P|S! I'm delighted! London Poetry Systems writes: "Each month one video makes it onto the Systems homepage." It's here, on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/33159867. The YouTube upload is embedded below. (It was actually one of the rehearsals ::smiling:: I thought to upload different versions at different sites. ::smiling:: The final version is here.)

vimeo.com
London Poetry Systems is an open cross-media poetry platform. This channel is an archive of cross-media poetry. Check out the featured videos and if you'd like to know more about what we do, and/or contribute in some way, please visit the Systems at: http://www.londonpoetrysystems.com/


Voicings by Brenda Clews


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Seder Masochism by Nina Paley

Isn't this gorgeous?! Look at the motion all the way through, and those hind legs! Even the paws return back, with their claws, and not in perfect unison. Wow. Brilliant. Created by Nina Paley.

I'm loving this one too:


Now Even More Infinite

Nina writes: Some infinities are bigger than others. This Leviathan has a few extra receding loops, making it more infinite than the version I posted earlier.


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Wishing You a Bountiful 2012

Hope in 2012 everything
that you hold meaningful
remains and thrives in your life,
a bountiful, living garden,
and,
if you have unfulfilled wishes,
they come to fruition and blossom
in all the ways that you would most like.


*hugs and love, Brenda




In the Park in June, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2011, Moleskine folio Sketchbook, sized with Golden GAC-100, and painted with watercolour and India inks.

Notes on the painting:

A few layers of GAC-100 (artificial rabbit glue) on the paper prepares it for painting. I found the GAK gives you a little time to change your mind - you can dab the colour out before it sets permanently, so it is a little more forgiving than unsized paper which absorbs the colour instantly. It has a satin shine that is not like a varnish because it grabs the inks and sets them. It is faintly glossy, like brushed egg whites on cooked pastry, beneath the paint, which overlays it and is opaque. The GAK is not like a varnish because it is underneath the paint. It gives a luminescence to the painting that the camera does not quite capture.

I have no idea how you would varnish a piece like this. A matte finish would destroy that faintly glossy luminescence, and a satin finish would remove the deep opacity of the paint.

Which means, keep paintings like these in my book, or framed under glass. It is a fragile surface that I would not wish to intrude upon with a fixative.

A dimly wrought portrait of my daughter. Because I could not work with the paint for too long, I was not able to get a likeness. The woman in this painting is older than my daughter and does not really resemble her. Her energy is here, though.


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Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch


direct link: Brandon Pitts: 'Puzzle Of Murders' book launch

This is a very good and very entertaining reading! I watched many times creating the video, and am still not bored! He's good, that Brandon man.

Brandon Pitts at his book launch for 'Puzzle of Murders,' published by Bookland Press, at the Toronto Public Library on November 6, 2011. Brandon was introduced by the publisher, Robert Morgan. http://brandonpitts.com

A video by Brenda Clews.

Notes on the video:

Editing this video, I came to enjoy the intermittent gritty, shaky, out-of-focus quality of the clip, and did not remove it; it provides texture to the reading. It helps to impart the sense of Geist (mind, spirit, or ghost), of the author, of the insane logic of the central character of Puzzle of Murders, of the murder mystery itself. It is as if ghosts and blood and memory swirl about. There is a bodily sense of the videographer in the fuzzy hand-held quality also, another Geist. That is the eye of the videographer, and it transmits a moving image to the audience viewing the scene. It is the eye of the world watching, or perhaps its ghosts. The view is not smooth, featureless, glossy, but cinematically uneven, rough. These imperfections in the video normally would be removed in editing. I resisted, then became accustomed to them, then began to understand that where the picture has a gritty motion is where the ocean of words seeps into the vessel of the reading from the novel. That's where the salt water enters with its briny catch of krill and seaweed and skeletal remains. The imperfections give texture to what is charming, beautiful. Beauty cannot approach us in its wholeness without its flaws, deformities, fragmentations. Slice-of-life, it's messy on the edges, it has its own reality. The book is full of slips and fissures, so is the video of the launch. I hope you enjoy what I have created from my video of the event.

I finished this video on Brandon's birthday, December 28th, 2011, a perfect birthday present for him.

The background clips are free stock footage from Vimeo: black ink; woman.


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Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







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Happy Holidays!




Happy Holidays!

(The card is based on my brother's art work, rendered in black and white)

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A Solstice Greeting and Wish for You

Dear friends,

...dear beautiful people in my life... you all mean so much to me, you cannot know.

...this year I thought I had nothing to share (art or poem or video), but, then, Shadow Cave is about reaching into the darkness in ourselves and bringing what is hidden in us to light, which is sort of like the return of the sun in the darkest moment.

It's a small offering, and perhaps too long to watch. Don't worry if you don't, I don't mind and I'll still love you. I did subtitle it, so click on the cc if you'd like to read along, or translate into another language.


direct link: Shadow Cave

It's based on a real ritual I did in 1995 and wrote an extensive entry in my journal about. I re-wrote the ritual as a sort of modern fairy tale. It's about integrating ourselves at our deepest levels, however we image that. Sometimes what is in our shadows is not anything 'sinful' at all! It's only what we've repressed in ourselves... which could be our recognizing how luminescent we really are!

Shadows and dopple gangers appear in this videopoem, as ever. :) Please forgive. (I just can't help being multiple, ya know!)

I offer it to the light within us.

On this Solstice, Festival of the Lights, and for the auspicious coming year, many blessings to you, wishes for good health, prosperity, good fortune in work, relationships, family, and the success of all your creative endeavours,

love, Brenda


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A Bio-Alarm Clock in my iPhone!


I highly recommend this little app for .99cents, if you have an iPhone (3 or 4), an iPod touch, or an iPad (1 or 2). You load the app, set the alarm, and put it on the mattress next to you face down without turning your device off. It maps your sleep cycles all night. In the morning it generates a lovely little graph for you. It is one of the best selling apps in the world, and it is not hard to see why.

Not only that, but it is an alarm clock that will gently wake you when you are in your lightest sleep phase in the half hour time period you set for the alarm.

You can learn a a lot about your sleep habits, and perhaps how to improve them so that you wake feeling refreshed, and ready for the day.

I've only used it twice, and have included my graphs too, at the end of this article.


Quoted from Sleep Cycle's website: http://www.sleepcycle.com/
Have you ever woken up feeling completely wrecked when the alarm clock goes off, despite the fact that you have slept "enough" hours? When this happens you have probably been awakened during a deep sleep phase, and your whole day can turn into one long zombie marathon.

Other days you spring out of bed with a smile on your face, feeling completely rested even though you shouldn't. As the alarm clock goes off, chance seems to play a big role in how your day will become. But does it really have to be that way? This is where the Sleep Cycle alarm clock application comes into play.





During the night you go from light sleep to deep sleep, occasionally entering into a dream state which is called REM-sleep. These are things that your normal alarm clock does not care about, and will go off at the set time regardless of whether you are in a light sleep phase or in the deepest sleep. However, since you move differently in bed during the different phases, the Sleep Cycle alarm clock is able to use the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement and determine which sleep phase you are in. Sleep Cycle then uses a 30 minute alarm window that ends at your set alarm time and wakes you in your lightest sleep phase. 

"This isn't really something new. These so called bio-alarm clocks have been around for years and work very well, but they usually come with a hefty $200 price tag. I realized that the iPhone has all the components needed, and decided to make an alarm clock that works exactly the same, but sell it for a dollar or two instead."Maciek Drejak, the programmer behind the application, says. 


Example 1: a typical sleep graph


Example 2: more irregular sleep with a period
of being awake or nearly awake at 6am

The second example has a bit more irregular sleep. The user did probably not sleep as well as in example 1. In this example the user's partner got up at 6am. This is clearly seen - the user was awake or nearly awake at around 6am when her or his partner got up. 


My graphs from two recent nights.



I was blown away because that day I did, indeed, wake at 7am, but as I didn't need to get up, drifted back off for awhile. My sleep hit some deeper phases but nothing like the "normal sleep graph."





Happy to see at least one dip into "Deep Sleep." This sleep was after 3 churning, sleepless nights, and I was exhausted, and, for me, slept very well. 


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