Thursday, March 27, 2008

White Dust and Mandalas

Artist Scott Wade lives on a caliche road (a mix of limestone dust, gravel, and clay) that coats his car windows with a white dust. He uses that dust to create temporary art. I couldn't resist sharing this Einstein. The impermanence of it reminded me of Tibetan monks making sand mandalas, so I am also including a Tibetan healing mandala below.

Impermanent Albert
By Scott Wade

A mandala is a picture that represents the world. Buddhist monks pray as they make these delicate artworks of sand. The monk-artists do not keep the mandalas, but dismantle them afterwards to symbolize the monks' belief in not becoming too attached to material things. After this mandala was dismantled, the monks poured it into a flowing body of water to symbolize sharing its blessings with everyone.

Tibetan Healing Mandala
By members of the Drepung Loseling Monastery

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Susan Else's Fabric Sculptures

Fabric sculptures by Susan Else. Wow!

Work in Progress
By Susan Else

By Susan Else

See also Dreaming of Rivers, Teamwork, and Your Move.

Friday, March 14, 2008

U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic

Quote of the week:
To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which all good citizens owe to their country.
~ George Washington

And now a poem:
by Charles Simic

Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

From Return to a Place Lit By a Glass of Milk

Mr. Simic is our current U.S. Poet Laureate.

What is a Poet Laureate?
"Laureate" comes from the laurel plant, which in ancient Greece was sacred to the sun god Apollo, and was used to form a crown of honour for poets and other heroes. The word "laureate" came from that to signify eminence or glory.

A Poet Laureate is a poet who is chosen to be honored by a country, state, town, or school for their talents. In the middle ages, England's kings and queens started having personal poet laureates who would compose poems in the royals' honor. In England, poets laureate traditionally receive the title for life; in the U.S., their term is approximately one school year.

In addition to our national poet laureate, there are also state laureates:
Poet Laureates of the individual states

More about Charles Simic:
Charles Simic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1938 and lived his childhood in the midst of the European battleground of World War II. As he told JM Spalding of The Cortland Review in 1998, “Germans and the Allies took turns dropping bombs on my head while I played with my collection of lead soldiers on the floor. I would go boom, boom, and then they would go boom, boom. Even after the war was over, I went on playing war. My imitation of a heavy machine gun was famous in my neighborhood in Belgrade.” At 15, he moved to Paris with his mother; the next year they joined his father in the U.S.

Becoming a poet in Chicago and New York: Simic’s family settled in Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, and he graduated from high school there. He has said that he began to write poems to impress girls: “I still tremble at the memory of a certain Linda listening breathlessly to my doggerel on her front steps.”
from poetry

Lastly, in the spirit of poets writing works for special occasions and political events, here is a link to Maya Angelou's recitation of On the Pulse of Morning at the 1993 presidential inauguration.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Digital Photo Art

Two shimmering, colorful digital photography artworks:

Ice Drop Abstract
By Harry W. Yeatts, Jr.

Light In A Cage
By Harry W. Yeatts, Jr.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Poem for Your Pocket

The first annual National Poem In Your Pocket Day is coming!

The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you on April 17. You could also add a poem to your email footer, post a poem on your blog or page, or text a poem to friends.

Poem In Your Pocket Day has been celebrated each April in New York City since 2002. Each year, city parks, bookstores, workplaces, and other venues burst with open readings of poems from pockets. Even the Mayor gets in on the festivities, reading a poem on the radio. For more information on New York City’s celebration, visit here.

And here's an excerpt from Happiness by Jane Kenyon. She creates wonderful, surprising images.

...happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

More Illustrations

“Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.”
~Marsha Norman

Some Late Visitor at my Door (from The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe)
By Gustave Dore

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."


I could pretty much fill a whole page with just Arthur Rackham's illustrations. They are beautiful and haunting, fascinating and mysterious. There was one from Romeo and Juliet that I wanted to post, but couldn't find. I'm not even sure what story this is illustrating, but it seems as if you could make one up just looking at it.