The road ends, but the journey continues...

Tag: artistic reflection (Page 2 of 6)

Giving Voice: Gaelynn Lea, Violinist

Friday, July 26th was the 29th anniversary of the signing of the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was also the day I first learned of a remarkable musician on the PBS Newshour – Gaelynn Lea, Violinist.

Notable quotes from her interview:

“Adaptive music is not as common (as adaptive sports) but I hope that it becomes more common.”

on playing the violin:

“I realize that you probably don’t know unless you have a disability that you spend every day modifying everything. I’m not concerned with doing it the way everyone does it, because I can’t really do anything the way other people do it. So, for me, finding a way to play violin was just a matter of time.”

The final set of lyrics to her newest release, “I Wait” written in defense of the Affordable Care Act, protecting those with preexisting conditions:

“We need a seat now at the table, so please invite us.
Or
Don’t pretend to care.”

Poetry Shoutout: “In Brigantia” by Andrew James Murray

In Brigantia by Andrew James MurrayGood poetry meets you wherever you are then draws you into its world. Seamlessly weaving place, perception; revelation, inspiration. Touching both the mind and soul.

The poetry of Andrew James Murray does just that and his second published poetry collection, In Brigantia does not disappoint.

~~~

I prefer reading poetry in the deep of night, the early recesses of morning. I like to take my time and linger, savoring each line and nuanced word choice within the context of the whole of the poem.
Yes, I flip through a new volume upon first receipt, even skim a few lines, but ultimately, the hunkering down with a new collection of poetry is an anticipated event – date – I make with myself for some dark day, quiet evening or womb-like twilight.

~~ Phrases to savor ~~

“From this soil,
seeded with the dead,
beautiful things will grow” (from: In Brigantia)

“Our country is too small
for road trips.

There is nothing epic
about these squeezed shores.
Where are we to go
to find ourselves?” (from: Motorway)

“A dog barks itself
into tomorrow,
clawing back the shade.” (from: Nocturnes)

~~Regarding process~~

“Some lines come to me when travelling, such as with Railway Platform.
We passed through a station (without stopping) which, due to rain sweeping in, appeared abandoned, except for a guitar case no doubt left by its owner who was seeking shelter while waiting for his/her train.
I was thinking about how platforms are normally busy places of greetings and farewells, and maybe some of those could, somehow, be held in the atmosphere and tapped into to work as inspiration to creative people. Like the owner of that guitar case.
Like seeds growing in darkness.
That’s how my mind works! And that’s how that poem was born before we’d reached the next station.” – Andrew James Murray

~~~

In Brigantia can be found at Amazon and Amazon UK

~~~

Andrew James Murray, Manchester UKAndrew James Murray is a writer and poet who is still firmly rooted in his childhood town in Manchester, England.
He has a wife who keeps him grounded, and four children who keep him young.
Among other things, he loves history and roots, books and writing, spirituality, landscape, music and the outdoors-all of which he can become a tad obsessive about.
He also tracks Great White sharks throughout the world over the internet, much to his wife’s consternation.
He can be found writing about anything and nothing over at City Jackdaw and at Coronets for Ghosts for all things poetry related.
Andrew is currently working on his first novel.

(He)art at its best

Just finished a fantastic time on the practice stool with the Prisloe.

Again.

(He)art at its best.

I’ve had a long string of days blissfully playing and practicing, composing and creating, with a focus on deep working through pieces yet to be recorded.
And all profoundly satisfying with more in store tomorrow and the next day and the next…

(He)art at its best.

Jude, their polydactyl cat

Jude, their polydactyl cat


Mon Ami #? (family name handed down throughout the budgies)

Mon Ami #? (family name handed down throughout the budgies)


Since settling in our daughter Michelle and son-in-law David’s home – house and pet sitting during their reunion vacation in Cote d’Ivoire* – my music has been asserting itself from deep within, taking center stage.

(He)art at its best.

Before leaving FloTown, I worked through fingerings, adding dynamics and interpretive notation to my scores for use in the Swimming with Swans Music Folio part of the total SwS project. I focused entirely on the task of getting those scores closer to publishing perfection. Often with the Prisloe in one hand and the other on the computer keyboard entering it all on the NOTION score program. Then taking that needed info and tweaking it on the page so it looks nice and uncluttered**.
This is the grunt work that occurs after the ‘fun’ part of creation. Kind of like the next-to-final, another next-to-final and yet another next-to-final edit before the truly-final edit of an author’s WIP***.

(He)art at its best.

I promised myself I’d get back into the delights of daily practice focusing on technique, exercises, etudes, sight reading, exploratory composition and learning new repertoire once we left FloTown and arrived at our destination.
I promised my music (and the Prisloe) this same reward for waiting patiently even though her cries for attention were persistent and enticing.

(He)art at its best.

And you know what? The music is rewarding me! Unleashing continuous waves of inspiration, direction and ‘living water****’ spilling forth from my (he)art through my fingers and into being.

Shelby their whippet-mutt, a WIP by Michelle

Shelby their whippet-mutt, a WIP by Michelle

~~~~~

END NOTES:

* Michelle has been gathering her last batch of data/research for her PhD thesis these past months in Cote d’Ivoire and David is joining her for a final week vacation before their return to the States.
** click here for a great article on how much notation is enough notation, if you’re a composer/musician this will be interesting for sure.

*** click here for a similar process as applied towards visual artists
**** “(S)He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his/her innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38
Yes, He is my source…

Reaching the Finish Line and Zeno’s Paradox

I have always been intrigued with Zeno’s paradoxes. Specifically, his Dichotomy paradox. As a mathematical concept it offers a glimpse into the world of infinity – an abstract concept of boundlessness – and by way of my own extrapolation: eternity – a reality outside of time, with no beginning and no end.

Yep, math is very cool*. People just don’t give it a chance.
We (I) tend to think of infinity as uncontained largeness, which it is, but Zeno’s paradox reveals another slice of that same infinity. Infinity as uncontained minuteness.
Mr. Zeno’s Dichotomy paradox simply stated says, Before an object can travel a given distance, it must travel half that distance then in order to travel that half distance, it must travel a quarter of that distance, etc. Since this sequence goes on forever, it therefore appears that the given distance cannot be traveled.
The way it was demonstrated to me back in the day was to stand a set distance from a wall, then take a step halfway towards that wall, then from that halfway point take another step halfway, and again until your nose is against that wall, but still some half of a half of an infinite half distance from that wall!
In this 21st century, I am a living example of Zeno’s paradox.
It seems I’m in a constant state of being ‘almost finished’ with various projects.
To be clear, I am not talking about confusing perfectionism with professionalism in the (he)artistic creation process. There is a time when something is truly done and learning to know when to stop ‘futzing’ with a project is part of that process.
What I am talking about is how my projects get ‘done, except for…’. Which then get ‘done except for’ something else then on and on until my nose is up against that wall and I’m staring down an infinite number of ‘except fors’.
Oh, I know that’s not truly a real-life application of Zeno’s paradox, but it sure feels like it. The infinity aspect of it certainly, but the frustration of projects never getting to the finish line – achingly acute.
Most of the time the ‘except fors’ are dependent upon some other factors that I cannot control which only adds discouragement to frustration.
Case in point, Mr. Zeno came to remembrance a couple months ago while I was ‘futzing’ with the liner notes for my upcoming Swimming with Swans: Goat Suite (Saga) cd (who knows anymore when it will be released :-().
I had all my ducks in a row – the artwork, layout, format chosen, and wav. files ready for replication, but there were just too many other obstacles asserting themselves, blocking the finish line. All ‘done, except for’ factors beyond my control – thus, hindering completion of the actual cd packaging and its release anytime soon.
But those liner notes, hey man, let me nit-pick/futz with those because I can control all of that.
In general, once I realize I’m in a Zeno’s infinite loop of frustration, I search for some other unfinished bits that can be readily completed if I take the time to focus on them. In my small multipurpose studio, such projects are easily seen and found.

Three different blocks

l-r: experiment in color & design limited to neutrals found in on-sale jellyroll pack; my take using the tiny flying geese border on ‘Red Rocks’ block; study in yellows using scraps in my usual free form piecing style


In this instance, my eyes strayed away from the practice stool and computer screen to the three quilt blocks laid out on my flannel design wall. They are each from three different projects and have been on the periphery of my quilting focus. I decided long ago to sew them the way they were arranged, but just wasn’t motivated to finish them.
In the name of surviving yet another cycle of Zeno’s dichotomy, I took to completing them and packing them away for later use in their respective projects.
That felt good.
And then that positive completion experience refueled my determination to work on a different slice of the overall SwS project while the aforementioned slice(s) are on hold. I opened my NOTION score files of related Swimming with Swans music and resumed editing several of those music scores in preparation for future inclusion in the project’s accompanying Music Folio.
That feels even better! 🙂

~~~~~~~~~

*Just for fun:

The dichotomy paradox leads to the following mathematical joke. A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer were asked to answer the following question. A group of boys are lined up on one wall of a dance hall, and an equal number of girls are lined up on the opposite wall. Both groups are then instructed to advance toward each other by one quarter the distance separating them every ten seconds. When do they meet at the center of the dance hall? The mathematician said they would never actually meet because the series is infinite. The physicist said they would meet when time equals infinity. The engineer said that within one minute they would be close enough for all practical purposes.

Specialty Feet

Soon after the first two weeks of my convalescence I set up what my sorella-amica Lisa called a ‘sewing sanctuary’ – a working layout that is user friendly for one such as I with ‘Specialty Feet’. I scrunched down the ironing board, placed it in between my desk and sewing machine and scooter around from station to station on my desk chair. Using the desk as my cutting table area, everything is amazingly manageable – at least in context of smaller projects. While I can (and do with blessings from the Doc) clomp happily around from place to place while in the boot, merely standing on my foot for no good reason is a no-no.

sewing sanctuary set up

My sewing sanctuary set up. Yeah, it’s a mess, but it works!


That same aforementioned sorella-amica challenged me to dig out the 2018 Row-by-Row quilt block kit we each purchased while visiting the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum last summer. Well, she didn’t out and out challenge me, but she texted me a photo of her completed block a few days before my surgery saying it was easy-peasy…except that the tiny flying geese border strips were a bit of a pain.
Who could resist that passive challenge? Not me.
Well, I stalled out at the sewing of the second half of those tiny flying geese blocks…ick, Too tedious and yes, tiny.
Tiny Flying Geese Construction

My ‘Specialty Feet’ resting while working on those tiny flying geese!


sewing machine accessory bible book coverNo matter, those circumstances pushed me to ferret out an excellent book I bought recently on specialty feet for the sewing machine and how to use them in various contexts.
(I bet you thought this post was only about my literal foot situation…HA! Fooled you.)
The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible by Wendy Gardiner & Lorna Knight is packed with information and advice on types of needles to use, size of thread, fabric idiosyncrasies and creative exploration of the assorted ‘Specialty Feet’.
This hands-on application on my Bernina is something I’ve dabbled in from time to time but never really got into as it took time away from my regular piecing and quilting projects. Now that I’m stuck at home* flittering between seated diversions**, I figured, why not go through this ‘get the most out of your machine – from using basic feet to mastering specialty feet’ book now?
wounded warriors specialty feetI can’t help but end this post with a slice of perspective…I will get out of the boot, I will resume my vigorous hiking in the mountains when we get back to where there are such places to hike, I will be able to wear sandals with my woman’s feet showing (even though I still maintain feet are pretty ugly under all circumstances!)…but for the many Wounded Warriors among us, their ‘Specialty Feet’ are permanent. Yes, enabling them more normal physical activities, but still composed of foreign materials and requiring new ways of thinking in their everyday usage.
 

“The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:19

 
* not entirely true, I get out and about, just can’t drive myself yet – plus I tire easily!
**I am currently in the middle of season 3 of Call the Midwife (I so love this series, especially as it’s based upon the true-life stories of the main character), season 7 part two of Dr. Who (after a so-so season 6, I am sooooo into The Doctor once again!) I am also going through stacks of reading material – some books by indie-authors, some craft, some contemporary novels, assorted magazines and ‘comfort’ novels I re-read on a regular basis. Then there’s the more business-like stuff I can’t escape because I am supposed to remain more sedentary than active: transferring files to my new computer, reinstalling NOTION sound bundles and the seemingly never ending edits, layout issues, etc for my Swimming with Swans project.

Giving Voice: Spirit of God

Seen on a billboard in the Denver Metro area between Wadsworth & Kipling on I-70W.
Summer, 2018:

“Fear is contagious…so is hope.” 

1977 spring break, hardin montana, laura bruno

Me (Laura Bruno) Spring Break, 1977, Hardin, Montana – photo Terry Friedlander (Griffin)

The above ‘quote’ prompted me to dig out this piece* I had a hand in creating back in the day. Yes, there’s a story behind its creation and yes, it’s a few decades old and yes, the recording is kinda funky…but the point is, it just seems like it’s time to share it with you my readers and little listers…perhaps its message will speak peace & hope to you this day.

Spirit of God (circa 1977)
Bill & Jim Griffin – instrumentals & vocals
Laura Bruno (Lilly)- lyrics & melody

When the Spirit of Truth comes
He will guide you
Can you hear Him calling?

No one knows where the Spirit goes
or how He moves
Can you hear Him calling?

When you’re lonely
and cold inside
Let Him woo you.

Spirit of God
Fall down
Let Your love surround
Show us Your way

Behold the Spirit shall dwell within you
and He will comfort you
Can you hear Him calling?

He now leads into all righteousness
He now convicts the world
Can you hear Him calling?

When you’re walking
and standing tall
Let Him woo you.

Spirit of God
Fall down
Let Your love surround
Show us Your way

When the Spirit of Truth comes
He will guide you
Can you hear Him calling?

No one know where the Spirit goes
or how He moves
Can you hear Him calling?

When you’re lonely
and cold inside
Let Him woo you

Spirit of God
Fall down
Let Your love surround

Show us Your way

Spirit of God

Fall Down

Holy Spirit DoveJohn 16:13

* Thank you, Bill & Jim, for your agreement & support in the posting of our ‘shared’ piece.

The Eclectic Blogger Award

Sometime In July, writer Sue Ranscht of Space, Time and Raspberries nominated me for the Eclectic Blogger Award. She’s the creator of the serial fiction series, Elliot’s Adventures. I’ve enjoyed reading these stories and heartily recommend them to readers of this post.
Started by The Shameful Narcissist, the Eclectic Blogger Award
The Eclectic Blogger Award  “…is presented to those blogs that are both eclectic and engaging, where conversation flows freely, where new and different ideas are always welcome. It’s to recognize blogs that always have interesting content to match the amazing, creative, and hard-working creators that make them possible. These are the blogs that inspire you to read, watch, play, and/or create content to further enhance not only the blogosphere but also the general zeitgeist, because they themselves enrich it with their existence.”
The Rules

  • Nominate whomever and however many bloggers you want for the award.
  • Share links from your blog for some of your favorite (or most eclectic!) posts.
  • Laura’s addendum: I am including links to some of my favorite posts on these nominees’ blogs.

My Nominations Continue reading

Proud2Bee Wall Hanging Finished

As previously mentioned here and here,  a few months ago I pulled out my stash of 2½ x ? fabric strips leftover from decades of projects and delved into a diversionary tactic* of piecing together a scrap version of the Dora Quilt**.

My 'Proud2Bee an honorary Manc' wall hanging

My ‘Proud2Bee an honorary Manc’ wall hanging


As I began piecing the scrap-blocks, I realized I preferred the non-calico blocks which included one made out of a bee print fabric scrap. The scrappy Dora Quilt soon evolved into my Proud2Bee an honorary Manc wall hanging with its sole purpose as a means to display my precious Manchester Worker Bee Badge***. A humble gesture by this everyday American standing in solidarity with those affected by that horrific terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena – on children – May 22, 2017.
examples of quilting swatches

Examples of quilting experiments


 
 
The top, ready for quilting, sat waiting for several weeks before I finally settled on the finishing details.
Using extra blocks as patches to experiment on, I explored a few of the decorative machine stitches on my Bernina and trying my hand at new-to-me methods of machine quilting using the walking foot attachment.
I really enjoyed finding designs from everyday sources and stitching with different types of threads.
Bee Block Detail

Proud2Bee Block detail featuring machine blanket stitching & Manc Badge placement


Parallel to this experimentation, I found I had just enough of that scrap bee fabric to make into single Proud2Bee blocks to send to two compadres**** for use as a mini-wall hanging to display their own Manchester Bee Badges.
Proud2Bee LBL 2017

Completed Proud2Bee Block mini-wall hanging


 
 
 
 
 
 
corner pockets for hanging dowel

corner pockets for hanging dowel


On my own Proud2Bee an honorary Manc wall hanging, I chose to use the machine blanket stitch for outlining areas of the pieced top and a wavy hand-guided stitch for the borders. Instead of a traditional rod pocket sleeve as sewn on the Proud2Bee mini-wall hangings, I tried out the corner method as shown in the photo to the left. I like it, but think it wouldn’t work as well with anything sized larger than 30 x 30.
As for the label…true completion comes with a label, IMHO (not that everything created by my own hands has been labeled). Signing and dating a quilt/wall-hanging piece are pretty basic and easy to slip in at the end of the project.
 
Proud2Bee an honorary Manc 2017 label

Proud2Bee an honorary Manc 2017 label


Personally, I like to add the name of the quilt/wall-hanging to the label also.
Thus piquing interest – starting conversations – priming the imagination.
Here is:
Proud2Bee an honorary Manc LBL 2017
 
 
 
(examples of other named projects here, here, here, here and here)
*I needed a breather from other projects
**from: “3 Times the Charm!” by Me & My Sister Designs
***sent to me by my Manc buddy…for basic info on the Manchester Worker Bee as symbolic of the city and as honoring those killed go here
****you two know who you are!

3 Days, 3 Quotes, 3rd Time #3

 Here I am doing my favorite blogger-tag game again: The 3 Day Quote Challenge. Half the fun is getting nominated, so I thank you Heather and Dizzy for the nomination.

The Rules:
– Thank the person who nominated you
– Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
– Share why this quote appeals to you so much
– Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day

3 Days, 3 Quotes, 3rd Time #3

Lee Krasner quote

Quote written on the wall at the entrance of the Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibit, Denver Art Museum 2016 (click on photo for details)


“I’m always going to be Mrs. Jackson Pollock – that’s a matter of fact – but I painted before Pollock, during Pollock, after Pollock.” Lee Krasner
 


Lee Krasner Abstract Expressionist Artist: 10/1908-6/1984

Lee Krasner Abstract Expressionist Artist: 1908-1984 (click on photo for credit/source)

(From this article here) “Abstract Expressionism is largely remembered as a movement defined by the paint-slinging, hard-drinking machismo of its poster boys Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. But the women who helped develop and push the style forward have largely fallen out of the art-historical spotlight, marginalized during their careers (and now in history books) as students, disciples, or wives of the their more-famous male counterparts rather than pioneers in their own right…Throughout her career, Krasner, one of the earliest and most innovative AbEx practitioners, would struggle against the marginalization of women artists, even changing her first name from Lena to the gender-ambiguous Lee in the 1940s. While she introduced her husband, Jackson Pollock, to the ideas and key progenitors of the movement for which he would become the posterboy, her relation to Pollock often superceded her own reputation as an artist.”

Lee Krasner, The Seasons, 1957 (click on photo for credit reference)

Lee Krasner, The Seasons, 1957 (click on photo for credit reference)

My three nominees for day #3 are:
– Deborah at Living on the Edge of Wild
– Annika at Annika Perry’s Writing Blog
– Ms Zen
at NorCalZen

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