Friday, March 31, 2006

Photo Friday: Metallic

I can't stop myself

Take this RED. Light a 17" Roman Candle underneath it. Throw on a stack of crackling lightning, 132 tubes of molten Chanel "Fire" Lipstick, and a beating heart. Now focus a hot high noonday sun on it. THAT'S almost as red as these were.
A pixel can only do so much...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Illustration Friday:
Monster Part 2 -- Grendel

"...'Monster!' he howled.

'And the joy of self-knowledge, that's a great compensation! The easy and absolute certainty that whatever the danger, however terrible the odds, you'll stand firm, behave with the dignity of a hero, yea, even to the grave!'

'No more talk!' he yelled. His voice broke. He lifted his sword to make a run at me, and I laughed--howled--and threw an apple at him. He dodged, and then his mouth dropped open. I laughed harder, threw another. He dodged again.

'Hey!' he yelled. A forgivable lapse.

And now I was raining apples at him and laughing myself weak. ..."

Copyright 1971 John Gardner


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Illustration Friday: Monster (Part 1)

Inquiring minds want to know...and yes, it is a photo, of a ride at a carnival.
(My apologies to those who prefer to be mystified or think I can airbrush.)

Photo Friday: Smooth

His name was Carl Chelf...

If you saw my Illustration Friday post for Tattoo, you know one of the images I made incorporated art I found in a chest of drawers in a bric-a-brac shop. I was so excited about the art I completely forgot to make good notes about who created it, and promised more details as soon as I could get them.

The store I found the work in is called The 1898 Store. It's in Buda, Texas.
This is another one of the artist's drawings.

His name was Carl Chelf, and according to his widow Jeanette Welty Chelf he was the first geologic curator of the Texas Memorial Museum of Science and History, among other things. He was an archaelogist and a geologist. He was born in Abilene Texas in 1915 and passed away in 1986.

Jeanette is also a very interesting artist -- but her pictures are too large to scan, so I need to take photos of them to share.

She told me that Carl stopped drawing after they married. She never knew why.

It was a little sad to me that she was selling his drawings, but they have found a good home with me and a few of my friends.

Makes me wonder about all the people out there who are creating magnificent, interesting things who may work as plumbers, or managers, or any number of other occupations, and whose work never sees daylight.

I hope you get the chance to run across secret treasures like these, and I hope if you do you'll share them. Jeanette was very excited that Carl's drawings have been shared, and I'll pass along any comments you'd like to share the next time I'm at her store.

And of course this image is copyright Carl Chelf and Jeanette Welty Chelf. If you share it, please tell people Carl created it.

Ready to open

Friday, March 24, 2006

Waiting to tackle IlloFriday & PhotoFriday


Transparent to what surrounds it, this heat-ripple
silhouette bends the world, shy gravity tethered to
parallax disjunction photon by photon until that
weak force wears out, frays, inner voice lapsing
into tongues of crackling flame, sussurations of
wind-scoured phonemes, water licking at rocks.

Thick and opaque as clotted cream or concrete, body
a fact among facts: once was fair-skinned now spotted,
mutable but the template constant, some essential
pattern recognizable the way each mesquite is different
yet stamped close to others in a spectrum of trees.
Fact a sacred mystery, how these fragments and numen
make up a whole that contains the larger whole.

I am nothing except ingress and egress, a flowering tube
through which the universe sips itself, salty sour bitter sweet.

A leaf on the water.
Someone singing in an alley, words lost in the distance.
A deep tenaja lasting through summer.
That moment. Then all moments.

Over the creek


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"The force that through the green fuse..."

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer. ...

... And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

Dylan Thomas

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Inside, Out

Until Blogger Lets Me Post Images Again...

Crow and Jay Both Learn Something

Once upon a never-not-yet, Crow was the cleverest and vainest of all the birds. He envied Jay his blue feathers, and decided to trick him into telling the secret of how they got so blue so Crow could get some blue feathers for himself.

Grabbing a small mirror in his claws, Crow flew to a branch near where Jay was perched and crackled, “Jay! Jay! I’ve trapped someone in this glass who looks just like you.”

Jay didn’t like Crow at all, but he was very curious about how anyone could be trapped in a flat glass.

“Here, let me look.”
Jay gasped and almost fell out of the tree –– that Crow had done something terrible all right, there was another Jay trapped in the glass.

Crow croaked, “You see?”
“You bet I see –– and you better let him out, Crow, or you’ll be sorry!”
“Now Jay," cackled Crow, "what can you do to make me let him out?”

Well, Jay was mad, but Crow was bigger. Jay knew he couldn’t fight Crow and win. But he knew Crow loved to bargain, so Jay said, “Maybe I can’t fight you, but I could give you something to let him out.”

“Now that would do. Here’s what I want –– I want pretty blue feathers like you.”

Jay cocked his head and looked sideways at Crow.
“That’s a secret only Jays can share!”
“Ah, too bad for your friend in the glass, then.”
“Well…let me ask another Jay. Maybe it’s okay to break the secret to save someone.”

Jay flew off to a high rocky place, where the pine trees were bent and the wind was cold. There was one very Old Jay who lived on that mountain. He told Old Jay what he saw and what Crow wanted.

“That Crow! He’s nothing but trouble! But I know how we can help our trapped friend and get Crow back without giving up our secret. Come with me.”

The two Jays flew down from the high place and over a town. They circled a street until people left for work, then circled a block until people left for errands, then a house until people left for lunch, and landed on a scaffold near the side of the house. There sat a can and a roller-pan full of wet blue paint. Old Jay told the younger, “Get Crow to come here. Tell him to chant ‘Pretty Me’ three times then take a bath in this magic water. While he’s busy you can set that other Jay free!”

The younger Jay flew back to Crow and said he’d give up the secret but Crow had to take the glass with him. So Jay led Crow with his mirror over trees and hills to the town, the street, the block, the house, the scaffold, the wet blue can and roller-pan.

“Okay Crow –– here’s the magic water we Jays use. If you chant ‘Pretty Me’ three times and take a good long bath in it, you’ll be as blue as I am.”
Crow was so excited, he put the mirror right down and jumped into the pan.
“Pretty Me! Pretty Me! Pretty Me!” he crowed as he flapped and wriggled until he was drenched in blue.

Jay couldn’t enjoy the sight.
He was peering into that mirror wondering how to set the trapped Jay free.

“Get out of my way!” screeched Crow. “I need to see myself –– I must be beautiful by now!” And to Jay’s surprise, he saw Crow appear in the trap.

“What kind of tricky magic is this?” yelled Jay. “Where’s the Jay gone? How did you get in there?”
“Ha ha, you stupid Jay, this is what Crows call a looking glass –– you see yourself with this glass! There never was any trapped bird, it was just you!”

Crow expected Jay to fly at him and attack, but Jay just started laughing.
“What are you laughing at, you stupid Jay?”
“Well, Crow, you sure fooled me. But I think we fooled you even better.”
“Oh, I got your secret, and you got nothing –– how do you think you fooled me?”

Jay whistled, “Can’t talk, people coming. Bye-bye!” and flew off.

But when Crow tried to fly, the paint weighed on his feathers and stuck them together, and all he could do was hop and drip and stomp off the scaffold, past some very surprised painters, and up the long road home.

Those house painters still talk about that time they saw a wet blue Crow walk right by, stomping and cussing a blue streak.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Illustration Friday:
Feet, or...
The Silver Shoes

"... but then the Munchkins, who had been standing silently by, gave a loud shout and pointed to the corner of the house where the Wicked Witch had been lying. ..."

" 'What is it?' asked the little old woman, and looked, and began to laugh. The feet of the dead Witch had disappeared entirely, and nothing was left but the silver shoes.

" 'She was so old,' explained the Witch of the North,' that she dried up quickly in the sun. That is the end of her. But the silver shoes are yours, and you shall have them to wear.' She reached down and picked up the shoes, and after shaking the dust out of them handed them to Dorothy. ..."

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Frank L. Baum

(As ever, click on the image to see more detail...)

PhotoFriday: Technology (Wrecked Pipes)

Blogger's been acting oddly.
Some of those Fat Pipes may have become Wrecked Pipes.

PhotoFriday: Technology (Fat Pipes)

Illustration Friday:
Feet, or...
A Snail Dreams of Dance

Another treasure hunt to find props, and then a visit to a wet garden.
More to come on the ink-flow contributor from last week.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

"...dreams of focused action..."

"... We always think of the imagination as the faculty that forms images. On the contrary, it deforms what we perceive; it is, above all, the faculty that frees us from immediate images and changes them. ..."

Gaston Bachelard
Air and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Movement

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Anodyne: New from old

That broken carousel made me feel too sad.
So, here's something new from an old redbud.

Ahh. I feel better now.

What I found once I started down

The very lonely skeleton of a carousel.

Strange giraffe patterns inside.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

At my feet

The graffitist used some sort of reflective paint --
Mr. Bones was positively glowing.

Permament wishes

An empty fountain never stopped a determined wisher...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Illustration Friday: Tattoo

"... And this tattooing had been the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island ... Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but whose mysteries not even himself could read, though his own live heart beat against them ..."
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

The rest of the story:
Looking for something that would bring the spirit of Queequeq to life regardless of my current hand skills, I found an antique shop (really more a hodgepodge shop) in a small town outside Austin chock-a-block with ancient dressers, each drawer full of something unexpected.

I found wonderful, expressive ink drawings lying loose in the back of one stuck drawer, and grabbed a few along with some props.

As I went to pay for the treasures, the elderly woman behind the counter told me her husband had done the ink drawings -- he was an anthropologist and a geologist -- and he stopped drawing when they married, much to her dismay. He passed away in 1986. She shared that she was a painter, and when I told her what I intended to do with his art, she was very excited his work would have new life through the Internet.

I was so engaged in our chat I neglected to get their names.

But I will, so I can credit him for the ink-flow at the heart of this image.
And I will also make sure his originals enjoy a good, appreciative home.

Locked and bolted

Time capsule

This is one you really should click on to enlarge.
Now, off to gather things for IlloFriday...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Johnson City and Jan Svankmajer

This reminded me of Jan Svankmajer's animation.
No telling what you'll see on a street corner in small-town Texas.