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August 25, 2014


New Group of Seven -- I meant to write united into one, but untied came through my fingers. What could be made of that? Love your work.

I can feel how deeply inspired you were.

Martha, I would be delighted to be an untied member of the Group of Seven, since that would mean once connected but now free to do my own thing! You're the poet so you can decide what your typo meant. In any case, that's a very encouraging comment. Those painters, along with Emily Carr, made so much out of the north woods and mountains and water -- I find them very inspiring, especially in the power and emotion they managed to get into their landscapes. Thanks so much for the comment.

Thank you for saying that, Ellena. I really hope that my work has emotion...for so many years I was afraid of that, or too cautious, maybe, and it showed in the carefulness and accuracy of what I produced. I'm trying to move beyond that now, and it helps when viewers say what they see and feel...so thank you.

A stunningly successful and enjoyable work here.
This is just so full of energy and 'place'!

Thanks, Paul! I am going to start another today, I hope...What you said on FB about form and color energy in landscape hits the nail on the head for me, but it has taken me a while to figure out an approach. Those are the things that attract me in the natural world, but somehow they aren't obvious until you change your head-space and stop just seeing "prettiness." Iceland changed that for me, and it's also helped to be in Canada where things are a bit rougher and wilder.

As with music, putting together words that best serve painting can strain meaning. Analogies that miss by a millimetre in effect miss by a mile. And we all know how anthropomorphism can get out of hand.

But here one word comes immediately to mind. The evolution of that lowering rock says "power". Yet rocks are inert; their strength permanently at rest. It doesn't matter, no other word seems to fit. More important still, given that a human hand is at work, I have an inescapable impression of paint confidently applied. Power and confidence, then. They aren't qualities you'd admit to in public I fear, even if you secretly agreed. Too assertive you might say. Then let me say them on your behalf.

Thanks, Robbie. Most women have learned to see the word "powerful" as pejorative, unless they are the Thatcher-type, but "confident?" Why not? I certainly want my artwork to be both powerful and confident, no problem with that at all. But "power" as a general self-description? It's tricky, isn't it? Because most women ARE powerful, and many of them know it too. Just as for rocks, it is a natural thing, but unlike rocks, we have to learn to own that quality and use it well.

I love the sense of movement -- the stream leaps off the page -- and also the green of the moss against the stone. This is beautiful.

Beautiful paint 'gestures', Beth, quite apart from subject matter but also wedded to it. My only quibble might be the introduction of that tree trunk in the middle - I feel that it wasn't necessary and divides the image. But never mind that, keep going in this direction!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.