You know, I still can’t quite believe that this book idea got its real pages and was actually breathed and believed into being.
I don’t know enough about the cosmic formulation of serendipity to prove it or disprove it as a ‘thing’, but it happens enough in my world to get my attention. Here is a solid example. I decided to make an art book that combined my paintings and prose and have been deep in the process for more than a year.
My collection of art and words in this volume speaks to a mindful connection between ourselves and our landscape, I hope to invite you in to resonate with nature and evoke your own sacred stories. This is an important way of being for me and one I wanted to share in a book format. So I made the work, found a book printer and landed on an April publication date that fit into their production schedule.
Just a few weeks ago in doing some leg work around the ins and outs of making and publishing and marketing books in Canada, I tuned into the League of Canadian Poets. On their website, I found this blurb:
National Poetry Month began in the US in 1996, spearheaded by the Academy of American Poets on the steps of a post office in New York City. There, the story goes, Academy staff members handed out copies of T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Waste Land,” which begins, “April is the cruellest month…” to individuals waiting in line to mail their tax returns. Established in Canada in 1998, NPM now brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets from across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture.
Celebrate nature with poetry this April!
The League of Canadian Poets invites you to celebrate the 21st annual National Poetry Month in April with nature – whether it’s mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, or plains; whether it’s a cityscape or a landscape. Read, write, and share poetry that translates the emotional, practical, and reciprocal relationships we build – as individuals and communities – to the natural world onto the page”
“Well, now – how cosmic is that”, I thought.
I invite you to watch for daily shares and treats, here and elsewhere on social media throughout April as we celebrate National Poetry Month and gear up for the Paint & Prose’s birthdate!
I am ten days into a series that I am creating on paper as a daily study. I don’t know how many I will complete, but at minimum I’ve decided to make forty pieces. Each piece is an original acrylic work on archival 9×12 140lb paper and is partnered with 2-3 lines of my original prose. I am still trying to sort out the underpinnings of how this will all go, but for now, I invite you to follow along on my Facebook page and here on my blog for daily reveals.
I ( perhaps regrettably) will be open to considering prompts and if you sign up for my ridiculously irregular newsletters, I may get better at sending them and you’ll get a chance to win one of the Prose Paintings prettily framed and everything, at the end of the series.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Happy Late Summer, I hope you are still getting outside a lot as we shift towards fall. I know I don’t want to miss a thing. September always feels more like the beginning of the new year to me than January does. Things, including me, feel invigorated and inspired by travel, rested and ready for what’s next.
In keeping with that vibrancy, I’m happy to announce that I am now being represented exclusively in the Montreal area by Galerie Bloom.
Needless to say, I am very excited to be hanging with their roster of wonderful artists in this gorgeous space in Old Montreal. They are located at 224, rue St-Paul Ouest Montréal, Québec H2Y 1Z9
You can view my artist page on the Galerie Bloom website here.
I was very grateful to friends who were willing and able to help out with transporting the first shipment of works to the gallery in the juicily colourful Madmatters company van.
Madmatters in Montreal!
So long summer with all your
fields of rising corn and dusty rolls of hay
Good night rocking end-of-dock meteor shower shows
So long lazy morning coffee flavoured adventure planning table meetings
till next time long meandering hikes and swims and runs
“Well, I have not been Not Painting while I’ve been Not Painting”
His eyes widened for a moment while he considered this.
“Ok”, he said momentarily, “I think I get you grammatically. Can you say more?”
We were outside, standing just off the trail in a deep forest off Northeys Bay Rd, near Lakefield, ON. ( We went outside in July and essentially came back inside in August at violet hour, when the end of summer streetlights came on and called us home. )
This morning towards the end of my morning run, I came upon this random pop up art exhibit on a utility pole.
What a delight to stumble upon!
I loved the oddly juxtaposed mix of anatomical whimsy and various fasteners and hardware.
I don’t know who the artist is, so can’t give credit or find out more about them sadly.
There is never nothing going on…
We headed out together, to run
Him; an hour, training at tempo
me, 45 relaxed; if I felt it…
Up to the highway in company;
jostling, chatting, planning.
Then he hit pace And turned right
Where the limo with the antler mount is parked
I followed, briefly entertaining the idea of trying to catch him
just to see what was in my legs, and his smile.
But a sudden caw-caw-phany
Stopped me in my tracks,
and on he flew away
on his own course.
Here, a murder of crows was talking insistently
in the trees above this sign.
Can you believe it?
I’m just back from a deeply shifting trip to Southern California. We spent most of our time there away from the urban centers, hiking and exploring mountain lake regions and the Mojave desert.
I took this photo along the Hidden Valley Trail, Joshua Tree National Park. This is a short and easy hike that allows you to explore the enclosed valley that received a lot more rain in the 20th century. The huge boulders protected a large untouched grassland. Now you hike in through the entrance that rancher William Keys blasted for the benefit of his cattle to see Joshua Trees, pines, oaks and yucca along the loop trail.
What a landscape. I’m still processing my response to the whole adventure and I’ve been sitting with something that photographer Ansel Adams said around it all:
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”