Tulips and Daffodils, Painting 4



Because the flowers, which I was given exactly a week ago, are ready for the compost, this is my last painting of these tulips and daffodils. It is quite abstract. Likely it's mostly finished, except for some minor tinkering maybe tomorrow.

Tulips and Daffodils #4, 12" x 16", acrylics, oils on canvas.




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Tulips and Daffodils, Painting 3

Tulips and Daffodils 3, 16" x 20", oils, acrylic ink on canvas.

When I came home last night and looked at this painting drying on the wall, I thought it 'too dark.' This morning I rubbed out a lot of the colour in the background, added some definition to the daffodils, some white ink lines to the the background energies.

The flowers were a gift last weekend, and I followed a hankering to paint them (by buying stretched canvases and covering my dining room table in plastic sheeting)- this is my third, and likely final, painting of the vase of beauties.


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Musa Sing: Of Dying Daffodils and Tulips

Tulips and Daffodils 3, 16" x 20", oils on canvas.

Wish I'd taken a photo of the underlying sketch because I liked it. This painting works, I know it does. But it is not 'neat' or 'tidy' or very well contained. It is on the edge of oblivion. A floral swan song. The flowers are dying, the flowers are dying...

...magnificently.

The drive to abstraction is causing emotional distress (you should be glad you didn't see), but every attempt I make to bring the flowers to my usual dance between drawing and painting results in a decrease of energy on the canvas, and so I must respect the muse, and let the musa sing...


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Tulips and Daffodils, Day 2, Painting 2

Tulips and Daffodils 2, 2012, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", India inks, oils, Moleskine folio Sketchbook.

My second portrait of the flowers, done yesterday. In my Mole. I had a rough internal day, and this little painting took far longer than it looks like it did. I rubbed out and re-did the vase many times, for instance, as well as the background. The India ink would not adhere to the wet oil paint, either, and thus I struggled through the hours. In the end, it didn't seem worth the effort. Some days are like that.

(I do laugh, though. If you know anything of my green fire, chthonic rhizome garden goddess, you might see her here. Entirely unintentional - but garden goddesses who are molecular frenzies, chlorophyll arias, are like that - one arm bent behind her hourglass figure in a blue strapless dress, her bosom bursting green stalks,  yellow daffodils and red tulips, no head, but you can't have everything... lol)

On the table, today, the tulips are fully opened and on the edge of wilting, their moment of glory passing, the daffodils are still singing, their stems  plunged in the vase of water, and I'm hankering to paint them all again. I think I'm ready to make the transition from working solely in my Moleskine Sketchbook to canvas. On the phone this morning checking canvas prices, wow, quite a range! A 16"x20" regular stretched and primed canvas sells for $7.-$12.00! Then I found an art store way downtown that had a 5-pack deal for $22.00. It meant a 6km hike, a huge shoulder bag, and my dog, with my badly sprained wrist, a bit fearful, but I couldn't leave my woofy honey at home!

Though the trip took awhile, with a few other stops, I returned with the purchased canvases. By that time the light was disappearing, but I did manage a rough sketch on a canvas. So... maybe another painting before the flowers drop away. Maybe.

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Tulips and Daffodils

Tulips and Daffodils, 2012, 16" x 20", oil on canvas.

Yesterday I was given fresh flowers, and so I dashed over to the art store and bought a canvas and came home, set up my dining room table, and painted them.

My son really likes these flowers as they are, and so, despite the leaves losing that white scraped line from a distance, I am considering it finished. It is a painting for a small space, a kitchen or hall, meant to be looked at up close.

For me, the painting is about the two extravant, opulent tulips, each offering to bloom outside the canvas.

When I finish my current Moleskine Sketchbook, my intention is to purchase (somehow) 30 canvases and proceed to paint them.

Other than my self-portrait, these two aims (the Mole and the canvases) are my art projects for the year.

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White Petal


direct link: White Petal

After recording a few ad-lib voiceovers, and being unable to leave this project alone, finally I wrote something along the lines that I'd hoped for. Which was a discussion of relationship, reminiscent of Annie in Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall (1977)' or Cristina in his 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008),' or like a Wong Kar Wai character who simply can't commit, simply can't, like York in 'Days of Being Wild (1990).' The character Birkin's description of relationship in D.H. Lawrence's 'Women in Love (1920)' before he marries, along with Lawrence's writings of the sexual electricity between people was an influence. There's a little Germaine Greer here too, I think ('Female Eunuch (1970).' And all those women who became nuns during the centuries so they could gain an education and could write, paint, compose outside of the confines of marriage and having 16 children. Some of us dance to our own music. (Said with the grin of a Cheshire Cat.)

Don't forget that 'Faded opulence. Over-the-edge-of. Yet floral abundance. The flowers are the stars—beauty, that edge of fading.'

See also Erica Jong's article, 'Is Sex Passé?'

People seem generally to prefer no poetry voiceover with one of my creative movement/yoga dance videos, so I have, instead, written something that is more of a narrative, that has enough of a story and a philosophy, but is I hope embodied in the movement of the woman who's on the edge of.

I wrote a story that I hope is captivating, whether you agree with the point of view or not. There is a push/pull here. The flowers are like a visual refrain, a chorus throughout the piece. The beauty of flowers, the garden, the hidden utopia of Eden within the garden, the garden of sensuality that draws us in and then becomes a way to control women, the way matrimony can be. The text written (after waiting weeks for it to emerge) to discuss something far more serious - women's creativity, and for my generation at least, it remains problematic. Eros, creativity, a life force, arising out of eros (the body, passion), I believe an artist needs this. A woman's muse is not entirely the same inspirational configuration as a man's, and surely each is again differently configured across generations, cultures, ethnicities, sexual preferences, life experience.

_
In the video footage, experimenting... always learning! Trying this and that with the clip. Having fun, and it shows in the humour of the piece.

There are sections to this video: doubles (video itself a type of mirror or reflection of the world), single, layering, shifts in colour and style as the yoga dance continues.

Who are we? Repetitions of ourselves. Our memories create us in our fragmentary identities. I fold into who I was or who I will become. Uncertainty is confusing. People flee from my uncertainty.

White Petal

Look into a dissolving mirror
bones, skin, neurons

the self-image.

This poem is not neat as intact
petal veins, mysterious as garden
fossils.

The poem writes,
rises from ruminations, dried
flowers on my spine
bursting seeds.

_
Danced, videoed, edited by Brenda Clews; background music by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors, from an old favourite, Initiation: gabrielleroth.com/

_
The words spoken in White Petal:


I live in the city in a small apartment - a doorway and shelves covered with fabric. I want to see myself dance before it is too late.

As I dance through the years I reflect on who I am. Every incarnation of love in my life remains with me and carries me to the next immersion, the next wave.

I don't seem to have lost any of the great loves of my life, yet I am a woman who prefers to remain alone. I am a recluse, a very private person, master of myself.

I've been married twice. The first time, a five year relationship in total; the second time, fifteen years, but we had children. Both times, that feeling, imprisoned, denied. Not them, but the nature of legal union. Owned. Like being throttled; my creative and intellectual freedom threatened. It was a struggle to stay and I kept ending things, unable to find my footing, my self in the annihilation of coupledom.

Was I there to be a foil to his light, to support him in his work and dreams? Did I feel this nurturing love reciprocated? Each time, I'm not sure why, I began to die, and I need to blossom.

Women blossom in their creativity.

Some of us find deep comfort in the continuity of nuptial relationships. Others find themselves choked out in the garden of marriage.

I am not a relationship type. I love, and love deeply, but go in fear of being caught, being hitched.

Every incarnation of love in my life remains with me, carries me to the next immersion.

I am sensual, but have spent vast stretches of my life alone.


When you touch the Tantric nerve, sweet pleasure moans. Do you remember?

It's like a saxophone and you wonder if everyone can hear it. The music, sinewy lightning.

Once the pleasure grabs you, the nerve pounds in your blossoming. Helpless, this vortex. Sink, this magnet's circuitry is on. The cells murmur.

Grind, lubricate. Thrust. Push yourself into infinity. Lose yourself in the moment; lose all moments.



I find it hard to dance with anyone else. My rhythms never quite fit, my movements an outer expression of an inner drama being realized through the dance. I dance for my muse.

My muse captivates me endlessly. My muse is demanding. My muse insists without respite until I do. My muse drags me into this dance and makes me write these words of my life. My muse keeps me half-hidden while revealing a vision in my art. I endlessly seek what moves inspiration into artistic form.

I seek the pulse, the core of mystery, the orgasm of the flower.


My life is a vision, of loneliness, love, dry deserts and blossoming oases. My drum is tribal and I dance shamanically with my gliding, writhing, undulating body of passion.

_




Each of those boxes is a video layer - 
to give you an idea of the complexity of the construction of the piece. 
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Survival of Beauty

The unseeded seed, unflowered flower, is without consequence, easy, undiscovered, resting in the future.

Quiet in the husk, shell, unrooted, unopened. Genius of possibility, profound. Before the strength of the tendril, what opens, reaches, sensitivity, the grounding, earth, nourishment of soil. Or the unfurling of promise into stalks and leaves and fragrant colour of soft petals fertilized by bees, the wind.

In the flowering, my hands beside my face, fronds, follow the sun from dawn to mid-day to dusk, twisting stalk to drink the light. At night the head of petals rests. Or it rains, cup of petals communing.

In the flower, survival of beauty.

In the flowering, nourishing fruit ripening the future.



Detail from The Lady and the Chimera, 2010.


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