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For those new to the BoneSpark scene, the “Odd Bits” posts are meant to be glimpses of art/prose/poetry works-in-progress as well as tinder from things that strike my creative fancy: be it cereal boxes or books. So, like Forest says, you never know what you’re gonna get.

ART

Everything is set for the Arts Evening on April 2. Trolleys will shutter patrons around the historic Olde Towne Arts District. My work is being hosted by Hair-Port on Robert Street. Contact City of Slidell for maps and parking details.

Started a new oil pastel series in the studio.  Here’s two of the gals from that series:

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On the acrylic side, I have begun a large canvas based on a montage of 1940’s swing dance photos.  This is the start of a whole suite of swing dance scenes.

POETRY

This past Wednesday, I attended a poetry reading at the Artists’ Galleries de Juneau, another Olde Towne small business.  Poet Michael Czarnecki wp8acd3daf_05_06(who also founded and runs FootHills Publishing) read from several of his collections.  I was especially intrigued by his book Twenty Days on Route 20, which is reminiscent of Kerouac  and is being developed into a screenplay by a young woman whose name I did not quite catch.  I took home a hand-stitched copy of Twenty Days and was gifted his most recent collection wild voices come when they will, which is a compilation of selections from his daily poetry practice.  Check out his websites for both daily photos and poems.  And stay tuned (here on the blog) for a short interview and a full review of the collections at Sabotage Reviews.

MORE ART

Czarnecki’s Asian-influenced poems led me to contemplate the Japanese influence on my beloved Mary Cassatt, Van Gogh, Monet and other Impressionists.  The Making a Mark Blog has a great roundup of resources on both the fuller history of Japanese art and Japonism.

Little Art Talks also has some fab videos on both subjects free on Youtube.

BOOKS

I’m pouring through artspirit Robert Henri’s little gem, The Art Spirit.  Here are a few choice passages on beauty, art and the bonds it creates:

When the artist is alive in a any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature…He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Whereas those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.The world would stagnate without him, and the world would be beautiful with him.

 

A work of art which inspires us comes from no quibbling or uncertain man. It is the manifest of a very positive nature in great enjoyment, and at the very moment the work was done.

It is not enough to have thought great things before doing the work. The brush stroke at the moment of contact carries inevitably the state of being of the artist at that exact moment into the work, and there it is, to be seen and read and by those who can read such signs, and to be read later by the artist himself, with perhaps some surprise as a revelation of himself … He who has contemplated has met with himself, is in a state to see the realities beyond the surfaces of his subject. …Through art mysterious bonds of understanding and of knowledge are established among men.

In other passages, he talks about “a song within us” evoked by beauty and the deep desire within every soul  “to express..this song from within, which motivates the master of all art.”

Such a song motivated Israel’s King David and drew him back to the author of beauty (Psalm 27: 4) I have been drawn to this author lately as well, slowly absorbing Chris Shook’s  Beauty Begins and Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord,   as well as Charles Swindoll’s David:A Man of Passion and Destiny.

For those who haven’t already read it, poet Robert Pinsky’s The Life of David is also a good read.

 

And for those who would like to go deeper into the Psalms, download my free e-book Studies in Biblical Poetry.  [The link is at the end of that blog post.]

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