Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Upon waking, the sky, for a brief moment,
glowed beautifully, a blue backdrop to a landscape
covered with yesterday's new fallen snow.
A fiddle tune was playing on the radio, so
I danced a little jig & drew a little sketch.
(not too little a sketch, used a Canson XL Mix Media 9 X 12 sketchbook-
very inexpensive compared to watercolor paper)
Monday, December 9, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday I played a recording of an accordion waltz at my French story time & we, parents, young children, librarian, danced & spun around the room in between stories & rhymes & songs. C'était très agréable.
Today, for my blog, I repeated my exercise where I close my eyes & pick an old travel journal at random. Voilà, I picked one with a page describing a 2005 experience I'd had in the Paris Métro. (written on the above page, left side. Click on image to enlarge.)
Searching "accordéon" I came to "Paris Accordéon": It's a shop on Rue de la lune in the 2ème arrondissement that offers repair, lessons & sales. There's a wonderful video. (click here) I listened to it en français taking dictation. The monsieur described, played, explained. Several thoughts that I noted (Please excuse errors in my French):
"On voit beaucoup beaucoup de gens qui sont fous de l’accordéon...Ils sont amoureux de l'accordéon...même les gens qui ne jouent pas."
(They see lots & lots of people who are crazy for the accordion, in love with it.)
"Il y a autant de garçons que des filles qui jouent..."
He talks about an accordion revival in France in the 90's due to a group of popular singers, & how its history is one of dance music...of how people find old accordions in their basements or attics, ones that belonged to their grandfathers. He talks about how accordion music has found its way into jazz & rock....
It's accused of being sentimental music & some people mock it as well as Polkas. But, I'm trying not to care. My passion for accordion music is deep in my Polish blood...
Some years ago I was surprised by an accordionist playing on the streets of The Old Port in Portland: Joe Therriault. I invited him to play at a celebration at our library. It was his CD that I played for the children last Friday. Through the Internet I just learned that he died in 2007 at age 82, & I'm grieving a bit... Like the accordionist in the Paris subway, we had a nice communication, performer & audience sharing a passion. That year I also hosted an accordion festival in conjunction with the French conversation group that I used to lead. During a festival workshop, I held an accordion & tried to play a little...pas facile!...I'm wondering, is it too late to be able to learn on a small one...?
I guess I'll have to go to Paris Accordéon to find out, n'est-ce pas?
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Meet my old Toddler Time Assistant. I had bought him at a "Bear Show" in southern Maine directly from his creator who had made him all by hand. When I retired from those Toddler Times, I drew this little portrait & found it today when I was searching for something else. I still do have the bear.
I drew this guy long ago when going through a difficult period. I was working with young children then, but I think he was more of a comfort guy for me in my personal life than a work assistant. Seeing it today I'm rather stunned by how much he seems to be reflecting the way I felt at that time of my life.Photographer Mark Nixon photographed old, worn & "injured" toy animals & posted them online after he saw the relationship his son had with a stuffed Peter Rabbit. It caught on & now there is a book, Much Loved, of photos & the stories behind them. He talks about how powerful the memories of this early bond are for many adults. My parents saved my Zippy Monkey who I just learned was from the Howdy Doody Show. It's weird how real he still seems to me today. PS. The bear in Nixon's portrait above is 104 years old!
I wonder if you have stories of your old toy animal friends, or your children's...
Monday, December 2, 2013
Journal page on 90 lb. Fabriano 9 X 12 cold press
While driving & enjoying the views on either side I'd be thinking: Payne's gray plus raw sienna plus indian red or hooker's green plus ultramarine violet plus raw sienna...In the end I used my violet instead of payne's gray. I'm loving thinking about warm & cool grays & if my hands have to be on the wheel, then I can mix them in my mind!
Some one just told me about their trip on the same day & time on the NJ Turnpike: bumper to bumper, jams & crowds at rest stops. Oh, so happy to be here, I am! I recently came upon the song "Simple Gifts" in the book Giving Thanks, edited by Katherine Paterson. An excerpt:
"...And when we find ourselves in the place just right
'Twill be in the valley of love & delight."
(Can I change "valley" to "coastline"?)
Saturday, November 30, 2013
A late November walk at Moose Point.
I sketched with no glasses on & big old bulky gloves because
it was C-O-O-O-L-D & windy!!
A friend said that November's landscape is too Stark.
Stark: Especially by the sea, Stark for me is crisp & cold & sparse,
& on a sunny day the blue-greens of the sea
are intensified by the diminished colors of the earth.
Nature has sort of de-cluttered her space for awhile &
I can enjoy the bare essentials.
PS. After some time, yesterday's sketch from the upper window
didn't feel quite finished. Voilà, a bit more elaboration.
Barbara of Folkways Notebook,
I liked your idea to cut a few branches to bring indoors...!
Friday, November 22, 2013
This earth helped me to recite a poem
when I was a guest at our library story time today.
And this sun.
Earth who gives to us this food.
Sun who makes it ripe & good.
Dearest Earth & Dearest Sun.
We'll not forget what you have done.
By Christian Morgenstern
The poem was from Katherine Paterson's new book,
Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers & Praise Songs of Thanksgiving.
She compiled selections from many places, traditions & religions. Wonderful!
I helped the librarian to dramatize The First Strawberries by Joseph Bruchac with paper "puppets, & she read Giving Thanks by Chief Jake Swamp, which has long been a favorite book of mine to read to children at this time of year. All this inbetween lots of wiggles & giggles & itsy bitsy spiders in a happy group of young children & their adults.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I needed to stop & look at how my brain feels this morning...
To my surprise, it looks a bit like a Kandinsky painting!
Sometimes I would like it to be more like this, my brain.
My To Do List.
This doesn't even include basic housekeeping.
Or a million other ideas & To-Do's that are jumping around up there.
Time for a walk. Maybe I'll start like the hare, but end up like the tortoise.
My brain would like that.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Wanting to use some of my miniature paper scraps, I chose a theme source by closing my eyes & "blindly" pointing to one of my old travel journals that were lined up in the closet.
I got the book: "Provence Trip, 2006".
I chose some sketches from the book & reproduced them on a small scale.
2 1/4" X 4 1/4" Arches Cold Press
Serendipity. I got some of my favorite doors.
New doors are inviting me lately. How will I go through them?
One door at a time is OK. Miniature steps are OK...à petits pas...
Grateful I am for this suggestion.
2 1/4" X 3 1/4" Arches Hot Press
Each tiny image stands alone, but is part of the group.
They're united by Place. By Time. By Color Palette.
And, sentimental as it may sound, by Love.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Miniature Sketch from October, 2013: 3 1/2" by 2 1/2 "
This drawing has been kicking around in an unfinished state for awhile. I had planned to toss it, but on this rainy, blowy morning I developed it a bit with some glazes of wet over dry.
Later, the sun came out & the wind outside my window became still. If I had painted on this picture then, would it have a lighter, calmer mood?
Drawing/painting can be about rendering a scene, but also about responding to the flow of energy that is within us & responding to our surroundings at any given moment. And it also can be about just enjoying the feel of the medium.
PS This is a revised post. Earlier I had shown the unfinished version too but I've decided to just leave up the final.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The Full Smiling Moon above Penobscot Bay.
If you drive from Rockland to Belfast, on certain nights,
she will keep you company.
A half hour before my drive I had come upon a card
in a bookstore in Rockland that said,
"Expect a Miracle."