Friday, September 4, 2015

Love, It Is Our Home

You be the book, I'll be the binding
You be the words, I'll be the rhyming
~That's What's Up, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

I thought this song could make a nice writing exercise..."You be the ____, I'll be the ______"

Lennon and Maisy:

Linda at TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gurney Journey

The thing I love about dinosaurs is that they are on that balance point between fantasy and reality. It might be hard to believe that mermaids and dragons really existed, but we know that dinosaurs did- we can see their footprints and skeletons but we can't photograph them or see them, except in our imagination.
~James Gurney

Jim and friends

I don't usually feature blogs for Art Thursday, but I'm making an exception. Dinotopia creator James Gurney has an incredibly informative blog called Gurney Journey, where he covers a multitude of topics. Some examples include pencil sketching (I like that he sketches everywhere, even during concerts), lettering (I was impressed by Jake Weidmann), watercolor painting, museum visits, and plein air painting. I really like his posts about painting gear -- I love that he shows what he takes when he paints outside. Gurney also does posts on what other people use. Here's a great post about Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida's painting set-ups. Gurney also has a fine set of randomness that he refers to as rabbit trails.

Quotes from his site:

Where did you go to college?

I went to the University of California at Berkeley, but I didn't take any classes in the art department there. Instead I sought out the archaeology and paleontology professors and asked them if they needed an artist to render artifacts. They let me loose in the vast Kroeber Museum collection. One of the things I got to do for school credit was to render Egyptian scarab carvings for a scientific publication. After participating in an actual archaeological dig, I decided to major in anthropology. I then went on to study drawing and painting at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

What was your first real art job?

I had to drop out of art school because I got a job working in the movie industry as a background painter for the animated film Fire and Ice, (Bakshi/Frazetta, 1983). My assignment was to paint the landscape scenes that appear on screen behind the action. Over the course of a year and a half, I had to paint over a six hundred scenes—jungles and volcanoes and swamps—entirely from my imagination. Each afternoon, when I watched dailies, I could see characters moving around in the spaces I had just painted. It was like living inside a painting. I became hooked on fantasy art, and soon after, began working as a cover artist for science fiction and fantasy paperbacks.

Some examples of his art:

Dinotopia, Episode 6A

Dinotopia Outtake

Irving at IMC

Blacksmith Jay

Allen Williams

West Clare Graveyard

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hold On

So, bless my heart and bless yours too.
I don't know where I'm gonna go
Don't know what I'm gonna do.
There must be somebody up above sayin',
"Come on, Brittany, you got to come on now!
You got to hold on...
Hey, you got to hold on..."
~Brittany Howard

Alabama Shakes:

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hidden Poems

Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.
~Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Could we say the same about poems? In this case, books are mirrors for poems you have inside you:

Poetry for Children is the Poetry Friday host today.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Appalachian Beauty

The more prejudice I faced because of where I was from, the prouder I became of that place. Once I was on the road, at a booksigning, and a woman asked me why I loved Appalachia so much. I said, “Because when you are from a place and a people you have to defend all the time, that makes you love them that much more."
~Silas House

I had a hard time figuring out what to feature for Art Thursday this week. I wanted to do something in honor of the Roanoke, VA WDBJ journalists. A very sweet high school classmate of mine used to work at that station. Peace seemed like a good subject, but I have talked about peace before (more than once!). I wound up deciding to spotlight Appalachia in general.

McAfee Knob
by Seuss

Appalachian Trail
by Frank Kehren

Walls of Appalachia
by Sathish J

Plethodon glutinosus
by squamatologist

Thurmond Depot
by Frank Kehren

by Aaron Knox

Links to previous Appalachia-related posts:

* She Lives
* Still
* The Mountain Music Project
* Appalachian Spring

Friday, August 21, 2015

One Clear Call

I had a different plan for this week's Poetry Friday, but someone I was very fond of passed away suddenly on Wednesday, so I am making today's post in his honor.

Dr. Michael Doran was the principal of my oldest child's high school. As I have mentioned before, I volunteer with the Reflections arts program so I knew Dr. Doran personally through that and I appreciated his enthusiasm for the arts. Additionally, I had the pleasure of hearing him speak many times, including graduation, where his speech was perhaps my favorite. Dr. Doran's wit, common sense, good nature, intelligence, and cheerfulness made him a very special person. My daughter summed it up: "He was the best."

Principal Michael Doran
Thomas S. Wootton High School

Dr. Doran was a fan of poetry. He was from Ireland and grew up in England, and he particularly enjoyed British poetry. My guess is that he liked If, Song of the Wandering Aengus, and The Cup, among many others. Here's Crossing the Bar by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in honor of Dr. D.:

Crossing The Bar
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Reading to the Core.