I came across this reference Whirlpool Stilled in a yoga book “Yoga and Psychology”, I don’t know if it’s a book my mother read or not, or if that’s a common term for obtaining peace of mind, but she did practice yoga and loved it. I first found the poem difficult but after reading it and re-reading it I fell in love with it, it’s complexity and deep hopefulness for the human condition. The layering, text and colors of the painting became quite complex with this piece, while working on it I kept thinking of it being like a fine wine with a very complex taste. I wanted it to appear “white” then appear “dark” with many colors but seemingly few. Here is the poem! [Read more…]
Archives for May 2013
This Morning I finished The Lady of the Lake! The piece was a lot of fun to do, it uses watercolor and encaustic (hot wax) mostly. I found a wonderful iridescent blue and green powder to add to the wax and it worked beautifully. I ended up really loving the poem it’s based on, whereas at first I didn’t respond to it. Appearances are not always as they first seem! Here is the poem if you missed it in a previous post;
The Lady of the Lake
I know a beautiful lady
The Wirlpool Stilled
Melded limbs adroit
At slow surrender to Lethe’s
Shadowed world of being and non-being
Holding wooden arms, called voices murmuring,
A white noise sensurrounding all.
We wake only to sleep.
The shore beckons. Vibrations
Of pupiled streams continue
As coiled incantations worm
Brutely into our brains, gnat gnarled
And choking now with spidered webbing.
Mired in more than mud,
The daffy’d ducks nibble toes
Pulled heel back; we cannot flee
The pleasured pressure
Of their pecking beaks.
Dragonflies hover the mirror’d surface
Of the flitting purpled pool.
Urgent needs draw us on; the buzzing
Flies apart. Reeled through inlets
Of sludge awash with sedimented crust,
Lipped tongue engurgles sound.
It is not the bell we hear,
But the clanking of the clapper.
Stepping ashore, I stagger.
The Whirlpool Stilled
We found two letters with beautiful illustrations from 1938 after my mother passed away from Helen Hoaks to my Grandfather Sweet. I think a lot lately about these letters. What a different era it was in terms of communication—the speed of communication. To take the time to illustrate four out of five pages in a letter is by today’s standards incredible! They also alternated who spoke within the letters. The first page is a funny one, at first one would think there’s some kind of abuse going on but when you read the letter they are wrestling! My Grandfather Sweet was very athletic and excelled in wrestling, he served as captain of the American Wrestling Team at the Pan American Games in 1937, where he won a gold medal. When he was young it was thought he would achieve great things (according to the newspaper articles that were saved, and what my Grandmother said at his funeral). He went on to be a English teacher at a small community college in Oklahoma, where I think he felt he could in the end have a greater impact—through education.
It also makes me think about ego and what part it plays in art, my own art, and my mother and my grandfather’s writings. I feel a part of them in me, because literately/genetically they are a part of me. Over time I do think people will be able to see themselves more in their ancestors, with so much more being saved through the internet. I couldn’t find out anything about Helen Hoaks, if anyone knows about her and her work as an illustrator please contact me! Her illustrations are beautiful and charming!
My mother wrote a poem entitled “The Lady of the Lake” which inspires the painting I’m working on above. I’ve written the poem within the piece, maybe five times now. It’s fading in and out and not really meant to be legible. I don’t usually post paintings before they are finished or in progress but this one is making me think a lot and I wanted to share it. Here’s the poem:
The lady of the lake
I know a beautiful lady
Who lives by the lake.
And yet she’s cruel, [Read more…]