December 31, 2009

Wet and white

Cat whisker in a walnut shell.
Squirrel fingers in the wet snow running through the trees... but he's gone to the Masonic Temple where the Wild West comes before Midnight.

Pine-cone wreath hanging over dead goldenrods around a cold sundial.

December 9, 2009

wildflower quilt: simultaneous posting out of control

I was drooling over leak of mythical Infinite Journal supposedly coming out as Microsoft Courier at and noticed their library using thin-tall thumbs just like the ones I designed for this page on my site a couple years ago. I always had a soft spot for these 2 punked pages...
flower-rainbow               and  alternative thumbs                  

Have to turn off those automated postings on Posterous.

Visit Forest Artists and Studios

Created a Ning network for Forest County area and created a Flickr app to allow users to bring in their fotos ... can embed the slide show, too :

Find more photos like this on Forest Artists and Studios

November 18, 2009

we are soft and squishy

My initial fling with Livebrush, the latest fad of design tooling.

Night treading, feet with soft cat fur on them underfoot in the dark after the fire has gone out.

Tonite is rain and wet paws squeak on the glass; tea water in a steel kettle sings for my cup, write the note over three times.

Shadow of my hair.
Sea water from the northwest of France to flush the senses. Or sinuses.

November 15, 2009

impure dancing

I came across a puzzling post the other day and instead of haranguing the poor people innocently posting their latest random thoughts, thought I would burden my non-existent audience here instead: I read this & wondered if academics tend toward ruining everything for everyone eventually:

Trained Writer #1: "I love poetry, but don't like hearing people read it."
TW #2:"Most poets should NOT read their poetry out loud. There are, however, some brilliant exceptions."
TW #3: "Be careful. I've sat through some bad poetry read badly, but people do have to have some kind of outlet for their efforts, no matter how humble. Consider that we have to listen to ads, see ads, hear pontificating politicians, talk radio, school and university administrators pretending to care about learning . . . , so a little bad poetry from an ordinary person is only a very minor difficulty."

TW #1, explaining their initial shared observation: "I get it. I don't mind hearing Maya Angelou, but for the most part, I like to read it and take the time to let it soak in. When someone is reading it, I can't seem to get the whole picture, and I definitely don't hear every word."

TW #2, defending their first comment: "I very much affirm what you're saying here. I'm pretty much referring to the pros here. I've heard so many singsong renditions of otherwise fine poetry, and it makes me cringe. Listening to some poets read their work, including a few around here, is a delight. But I do think that reading poetry is a different art than writing poetry, and some professional poets do not excel at both."

It puzzles me as to why the first "poets" with a small "p" was supposed to indicate Professional Poets with a capital "P" as if there were no other kind?

When we speak of artists we mean all artists - whether one is able to earn a living doing so is immaterial, we only mean someone producing art.
What are the un-poets supposed to do - are they even allowed to read their work aloud? What about Poets Who Are Published Yet Do Not Earn A Living From Their Poetry Yet (PAPY NAPY's)? A poet - small "p" - is someone producing poetry, that is all. Art and poetry are created to be shared - mostly and eventually, at least,- who cares how? It's nice to do it in a way that earns a living but that's not always why it is created.
And to return to the initial discovery: poetry is just read; sometimes aloud (less than half the time by the writer), and sometimes there's much pleasure and perhaps more understanding in relishing each dropped word on a page, in one's head, alone and quiet with the writer, just she and you and her words.

November 14, 2009

firesong cat-tears

Listening to Johnny Cash sing "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" holding kitty in the rocking chair in front of the fire, for some reason she always senses silent tears, twice she looks up:"Mom why are there tears?" don't worry kitty we cry over any & everything, always have, always will. I didn't know (or forgot) that "Ira Hayes appeared in the 1949 John Wayne film, Sands of Iwo Jima, along with fellow flag raisers John Bradley and Rene Gagnon. All three men played themselves in the movie. Wayne hands the flag to be raised to the three men. (The actual flag that was raised on Mount Suribachi is used in the film.)
'The Ballad of Ira Hayes,' is by Peter LaFarge. Covers of this song were done by Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Smiley Bates, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Kinky Friedman, Tom Russell, Hazel Dickens, Patrick Sky, and Townes Van Zandt."

Ira Hayes,
Ira Hayes

Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

Gather round me people there's a story I would tell
About a brave young Indian you should remember well
From the land of the Pima Indian
A proud and noble band
Who farmed the Phoenix valley in Arizona land

Down the ditches for a thousand years
The water grew Ira's peoples' crops
'Till the white man stole the water rights
And the sparklin' water stopped

Now Ira's folks were hungry
And their land grew crops of weeds
When war came, Ira volunteered
And forgot the white man's greed


There they battled up Iwo Jima's hill,
Two hundred and fifty men
But only twenty-seven lived to walk back down again

And when the fight was over
And when Old Glory raised
Among the men who held it high
Was the Indian, Ira Hayes


Ira returned a hero
Celebrated through the land
He was wined and speeched and honored; Everybody shook his hand

But he was just a Pima Indian
No water, no crops, no chance
At home nobody cared what Ira'd done
And when did the Indians dance


Then Ira started drinkin' hard;
Jail was often his home
They'd let him raise the flag and lower it
like you'd throw a dog a bone!

He died drunk one mornin'
Alone in the land he fought to save
Two inches of water in a lonely ditch
Was a grave for Ira Hayes


Yeah, call him drunken Ira Hayes
But his land is just as dry
And his ghost is lyin' thirsty
In the ditch where Ira died

lyrics from

The rate of people losing their jobs is the worst that it's been in 60 years.

October 30, 2009

fruity duty

Fun with Fruit (early stage, oil pastel plus warp and digital watercolour)

Handfuls of rotted globs from gutters,
remake the couch pour kibble break limbs fill with rainwater freezer dishes clothes checks boots notebook gas soup labels tea coffee pretzels

October 28, 2009

all see, all draw, be, am

Flaxseed toast rolled up morning glory strings, planted lamb's ears runners.

Glass storm doors, water runs out the hose, onions from the yard into the tabouli, fresh bite of tomato, parsley, olive, lemon juice.

Stacking wood, pile it high, make it tall, little mice run, stop, look up at me, and a Carolina wren calls.

Gooey oak wood mushrooms, transplanted asters ad infinitum, two four six eight clumps, soil solid, dark, resistant.

Ted washing down the yard with gasoline around the little boy scrubbing.

Cat has lost its bell, meter man walks reading spinning electricity, chef with a wounded shoulder is not cooking, should we sieve her homemade laundry soap?

Fallen leaves are a soft carpet speckled brown.

Gets dark, Jupiter and moon come out together prance beyond the branches, the surf of interstate eighty ebbs and flows with dark imaginings - does she go West or go East - a diesel-throated choral call.

Coast2Coast guest: "well, yeah, but it's not that technology makes it too easy, it's that we don't spend enough time sitting in the dirt anymore."
Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

Coloured bowls of coloured fruit on a wooden table pastel oils running dry on paper in the shadows no effort, all see, all drawn,




October 22, 2009

open the toy box & dump them all on the floor

Happy Easter!
Create your own Easter Egg at

"What made my dreams so hollow
I was standing at the depot
With a steeple full of swallows
That could never ring the bell
Oh I've come ten thousand miles away
And I ain't got one thing to show
Must've been a train
Took me away from here
But a train can't bring me home"

"And when the whistle blows I gotta go mama, don't you know
Well, it looks like I'm never gonna lose the freight train blues.

Well, the only thing that makes me laugh again
Is a southbound whistle on a southbound train
Every place I wanna go I never can go
Because you know I got the freight train blues
Oh Lord mama, I got them in the bottom of my rambling shoes."

October 19, 2009

Mona Lisa Mosaic Mural Unveiled

They say several hundred folks came out for the unveiling of the mosaic mural of approximately 70 individual panels depicting one large Mona Lisa - representing artistic views of the community. Each panel is a creation of local individual artists. The huge canvas will hang indefinitely in the concourse, but is expected to be eventually relocated.
Photos of each individual canvas contained in the 15' x 20' mosaic are on display in the Eastwood Mall’s Art Outreach Gallery (Niles, Ohio) along with an explanation of the work by each of the 80 artists involved.

Each tile in all 3 stages along with each artist's story can be explored here

This video fills in some other details:

I really don't know if anyone has even gotten a view (straight-on) from more than 40' away due to it being installed on the side wall of that mall hallway to really see if the illusion happens! The view from far away is at an angle but it seems to achieve the goal - I think if judged against earlier ones (only found in Canada till now) it looks like we've almost copied the balance between unique & "creating the whole".
Compare with this Ark Mosaic
Assorted Mosaics and Adam, scroll down, David & Mankind here (all Canadian projects)

October 13, 2009

twist of colour

Collecting firewood, cat dashing madly across the yards; pumpkin lights are up through out the village and coloured leaves cover the trails in the woods.
Some other yummy flowery artwork can be seen here: wildflower mixed media

October 12, 2009

northern state of mind

Rolling with a cattle truck through dark Indiana swales and vales

wondering what if anything separates us from the living things riding ahead

Earlier: floating high above the flowing river in the second story dark on a bed of air, the amber light of the street sweeper flashing four times on the wall

Cooking zucchini grown in Ohio, closing the storm windows, the wallpaper smells like my life in 1965.

After I leave it snows.

The guest on coast to coast is confused and host george noory asks a question
george noory the host asks a question and the guest is confused late at night a Wyoming woman truck driver describes the snow coming down and traffic stalled on mountains...

and the conclusion is that we are all one mind maybe even a wormhole mind
and we see the truck weaving down the midnight road carries not cattle but grain

40 30 40 50...30 40 50...50 40 30 40 hours go by

1300 miles 17 hours one hundred twelve dollars

Erie Islands Coffee from Alex 48 minutes after five in the Friday morning for one and a half dollars.

Parsing the alternate route so we may have geese, windmills, black walnuts, fields heavy with purple cabbage and an iron bathtub spewing bubbles in desolate Burnett and the Honey Fluff Donuts in Huntley;
and five miles north of Burnett in Dodge County four white cranes stand*,
and before Twinkling Star Road south of Atkinson: two sandhills, probably a bald eagle where 89 joins 14 in Wisconsin, and south of Woodstock, Illinois: two more sandhills.

Earlier: lentil soup, homemade cornbread, fingering a burgeoning burgundy beauty of a canoe born locally, Boris leaps over the fridge, pumpkin pie and Bolivian women wrestlers**, the laugh of Vali.

Boot Lake is heavy with snails, their shells heaping against the shore, twenty-five cent coffee at Karla's cafe "Where Rick Is" in Townsend in the North and homemade food at Carol's in Bonduel where a waitress is in the hospital.

Red wintergreen berries and maple, yellow aspen, white birch and a pair of loons trolling back and forth, fishing and people wading out to bring in their boat dock: this is Wisconsin.

Birchbark and red pine needles start a fire and loons cry under moonlight, mingle with coyote (or wolf?), faraway an owl, some geese flying south

Later: sketching craters of the moon
Crossing the sandstone with some dolomite and shale, undivided; including Trempealeau, Tunnel City and the Elk Mound groups; past intermediate to granite intrusive rocks generally discrete, weakly to moderately deformed bodies; past banded layered and migmatitic gneiss with subordinate amphibolite and biotite schist, past Rapakivi of textured quartz monzonite near Waupaca, past quartz monzonite near the Red River, Shawano County to the edge of granitic and syenitic rocks of Wolf River batholith, undivided.

Making Affluenza art, bridge under construction, riverside thickets muddy with rain, dark with night where they catch fish too toxic to eat

Frank shows me Where the Lions Are

* These cranes are numbers 24-08, 27-08, 28-08 and 30-08, two females and two males that were hatched in the spring of 2008. They have spent most of the summer in and south of the area where you saw them, and were sometimes associating with 5 other whooping cranes, also from 2008, who remain in that general area as well.
Ultralight-led Migration: 21 Whooping Cranes and crew with Operation Migration are ready to begin their fall migration south! Tomorrow’s (Oct. 13) departure from the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is tentative--the flight is heavily dependent on the weather and the cooperation of the birds. The flight generally takes place around 6:45 a.m. The decision to fly is decided in the morning, so it is not possible to call ahead to check on the flight status. If the Whooping Cranes and crew from Operation Migration do not fly tomorrow, they will continue trying on subsequent days until they get suitable weather conditions. The public is welcome to visit the Necedah NWR and observe the departure (150 miles northwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

** Also See: The Fighting Cholitas are a group of female lucha libre wrestlers who perform in El Alto, Bolivia

October 11, 2009

Grey Islands journal

working on how to present pages, work in progressJuly and August 2000 -- using an old ledger frfom the 50's as we wandered Islands of Newfoundland

September 28, 2009

dark under the trees

Listening to Vietnam veterans recalling how they let their minds be trained to dehumanize the enemy, being the only way they themselves could survive

cat snug in a warm sweater nest

leaves wet with rain

A man writes a poem about a too early snow in Buffalo, and the leaves are still on the trees, these young men going off to war.

Walking in the dim woods thinking of another young man, 38 sounding 15, speaking of the Humane Society of the United States as if it were one of the 3 branches of government, this is how his black and white world appears to him, at first it's oddly funny but then with a pang, one wonders what our country would be like if we did have a third of the government that only cared about living things?

September 24, 2009

twit snip dip

Electrically distracted by combining Snipping Tool with Facebook apps. like Graffiti painter and Twitter --- leading to being distracted by Twitdraw

or was it DrawingTwit...?

September 16, 2009

an empty drawer

Car full of smoke, burning the bones, sulfur rising, ashes on the meadow, hawk in the sky rising and falling on the murmur of voices in the shadows, around the corner out of sight, footsteps of a horse... unused garden pots.

Sparrows, always the sparrows and when I remember, the long line of arborvitae.

September 9, 2009

king fish jump

Fish jump, kingfisher shouts and flies upriver, downriver, it's low and cardinal blooms flow red along the shore, along with white boneset and nymphs wildly mating covering the wet rocks.
Swamp sunflowers, elderberries, partridgeberries, joe-pyeweed - green ferns against dark of where the door would be.
Leaves are turning and turkeys run through the meadow and along the road.

Cupboard doors open and shut,
raccoon, skunk, porcupine
sleeping on the cold hard ground

measuring cup, measuring spoon, a nebula shaped like a butterfly.

September 8, 2009

Lettuce eat us

Washing black dirt off the lettuce wondering, well, if the lettuce takes up dirt to make foodlettuce, why can't we just eat dirt? Why don't we skip the frivolous food step and get right down to the mineraly dirt? The lettuce is a transformer carbon machine making dirt edible for us (and H2O and CO2 and sunenergy). ( photosynthesis ) And on the other hand, lettuce can't eat us until we compost into dirt and become lettucefood. Just happened to be going to get this link to this wonderful song written and sung by Levon Helm, subject coincidental. Listen to whole song here:

Some rain, some eggs on blue plates. Cold comes in from the woods, flanked by chickadees.

September 7, 2009

uzz uzz

brown tree-bean buzz, cat fuzz,
and she was...
floating over the neighborhood.

September 6, 2009

hot old age bank

unsleep. trucks and banks. age old age.
whole wheat and the death-penalty. hot-eyed coffee in a huge room empty and full of dead. koi carp and yellow lotus in the pool and iron cranes can't prance.
blowup house made of colour and children fly. flames in the yard, sweet sticky goo -- a Jupiter-rise and wake the train, wrap us in the speed of noise and pages of books.

O sweet paper!

guilty of art

September 5, 2009

kitchen mind

Faces stare out a newspaper, handwritten words scrawled on paper.
Molecules in the steel tea kettle mingling with mine
to become the company man
soup in a cup, wooden pencil,
swallow your pride and your conscience, too
all those years
wooden table, hand-thrown clay pot from Janice's fingers;
Janice comes for lunch. We can't get the pickles out of the jar...
paper envelope, pitcher of water

you can never be set free

jar of marmite, real slate chalkboard bound with red felt, string and wood
is blank.

Youngstown Kitchens cupboards in a Youngstown kitchen,
the quiet of a kitchen mind photographing water falling from a faucet.

On the other hand is the black bear on the wall going to come down out of the calender and drag the moose calf into the underbrush of the flickering youtube and are you going to come out and push your typing finger into my soft grey matter?

September 1, 2009

golden brown perfume

sounds of distant explosions, ah we're in the Valley...The Bees, Ted and Gasoline along with Billy the Dog and sweet rotting odor of apples on the road.

Flocks of sparrows, flocks of goldfinches, grapes crawl growing behind the rectory...collecting cleome* seeds, discovering goldenrod has a perfume - never woulda thunk it - we have forty light bulbs in the house.

* "Cleome is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cleomaceae. Previously it had been placed in family Capparaceae, until DNA studies found the Cleomaceae genera to be more closely related to Brassicaceae than Capparaceae. The APG II system[1] allows for Cleome and the other members of Cleomaceae to be included in Brassicaceae." Wikipedia entry

August 30, 2009


A cocoa-cold morning, avocado trees shivering, gathering wood, picking up the pineapple plant.
oh my the death of Clippie, the MS paperclip listen here at: "Eulogy For a MS Mascot

dill seed

goldenrod in the breeze, squirrel buries an acorn, cat snoozes past noon and then looks at maps.
Pop-sickles, goldfinches, cardinals, walking dogs. Gathering dozen aluminum post office-ward -- and not all of them beer!-- because vehicles steered by kettles of beer veering down the road queer gives us the willies eerie.
Barker filling the air from first competition at our greatest little secret of best cross-country track in the area.
Little coon feet, lining up moldy clothespins, sweeping the carpet, getting the horse papers, 35 dollars and dill seed.

Katrina was four years ago. American Routes and Holly's trip

August 26, 2009


back to covers and memorials all death all a few feet away within arm's reach, within a breath not took.
Watching in awe a spider weave it's gossamer web on our clothesline,
tacking silvery filament to & fro guiding it just so with a back leg, running & spewing so fine a thread: I can't spin silk out my butt can u?
And the spider has spots on its legs like the one Big Daddy Rock sent dancing around the tattoo parlour in pennsylvania.
So delicate a deathtrap
wafting in the dark cold breeze

August 16, 2009


Igotanenvelope is a continuous art project where people leave empty self-addressed stamped envelopes in public places to be picked up and filled by others, who then send them back


I have to do this!

putting together Mona in the mall

CAPF is assembling the 70 individual panels for 14’x 20’ mosaic mural which will then depict one large image (The Mona Lisa)at the Eastwood Mall in Niles which has offered to host the project this fall/winter of 2009.
My piece intended to draw on our interest in astronomy, the fate of the Valley's steel industry, rides in a friend's plane over the beautiful Trumbull county landscapes, and Leonardo's interest in flight, flying machines, and his theories on astronomy and visual effects, I have painted a scene of a Bessemer converter (steel processor) "burning out" on the darker left-hand side, with the sparks flying up and mingling with the stars in the sky. On the lighter (landscape) side I have painted my friend's plane and some of the views from the air, including the coke plant in Warren. I overlaid quotes of Leonardo's observations on astronomy on the star field, and his quotes on aerial perspective on top of the landscapes viewed from the plane. The plane emerges from the dark clouds of industry to a possible brighter day.

Title of my tile (#27 -- mostly her hair, a slice of the landscape): Flight of Steel. The aerial quote in the mirror-writing text translates as: “The atmosphere, when full of mist, is quite devoid of blueness, and only appears of the colour of the clouds, which shine white when the weather is fine. And the more you turn to the west the darker it will be, and the bright areas you look to the east. And the verdure of the fields is bluish in a thin mist, but grows grey in a dense one.”

The night sky mirror-text: “the stars are visible by night and not by day, because we are beneath the dense atmosphere, which is full of innumerable particles of moisture, each of which independently, when rays of the sun fall upon it, reflects a radiance...”
The 2 Leonardo quotes are from translations of his journals.
The Bessemer converter depicted was a method of making steel from molten iron that had the most spectacular visual effects.
The process of the heat being blown through the charge takes a total of 12 minutes in 4 stages, 8 minutes of which are the spectacular “boil” of luminous 30 foot flame.
Manganese is added to blown metal combined with sulphur and oxygen to form malleable compounds, making the product forgeable. In a 25-ton blow, 7350 pounds of oxygen are neede to burn out 2135 pounds of carbon, 620 of silicon, and 195 of manganese.
As the converter is upended, the air is blown in. It bubbles up though the iron in a process much like gargling.
When air roars up through the hot charge, silicon and manganese are oxidized and the temperature rises rapidly. Sparks shower and ruddy flames appear. The charge grows steadily hotter and the flames turn yellow as silicon takes fire, then white as carbon is oxidized. Carbon monoxide escapes with a roar and burns at the mouth of the converter with a bright flame visible for miles at night.

The steel process description was derived from charts printed by a steel corporation reproduced in Portraits in Steel: An Illustrated History of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation by David H.Wollman, Donald R.Inman 1999.

Addendum:   December 2009 - I have since located an outstanding source of steel-making images in a 1944  film at Travel film Archive's YouTube channel: Steel Town, one of the American Scene series from United Films (16 minutes).
Further images can be found at Todd Engine,s extensive YouTube video collection including Steelmaking at Youngstown Sheet & Tube in 2 parts

papers and poetry: too many tons

Glad to hear my habit of being determined to read all of the Sunday NYTimes despite how far behind we get -- which leads to stacks of said newspapers -- is shared by GK:

this section of script starts with the New York Times song praising newspapers, followed by the tale of the barges of 80 tons of poetry going down the Ohio River near Cincinnati: (original broadcast June 13, 2009.)

Link to the audio (if the player below doesn't play):

Link to the page with whole show of June 13, 2009, with audio links:

00:33:53 "The Sunday New York Times" - GK and band
00:38:30 River script            
00:50:51 "My Babe" - Pat Donohue, Howard Levy and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
00:53:17 GK intros Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
00:55:44 "Rattlin' Bones" - Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
00:59:28 GK intros Bill Chambers
01:00:04 "Wildflower" - Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson with Bill Chambers

ooh, they added just the River Skit as MP3 on this page:  
  MP3 version    Real Audio version

books by Garrison Keillor

August 13, 2009

salty tube sand?

Does anyone know if there is salt added to that "tube sand" that we put in the back of pick-up trucks to add ballast so one can steer on ice and snow? I thought I could mix all this sand from these broken tubes into the Ohio cement-like clay soil to break it up a bit.
I did dump some around our prickly pear cactuses thinking they surely wouldn't object, and the next year they didn't do so well.

(these ones in my photo art were *without* salt)

April 5, 2009

A scene in a steel mill, Republic Steel, Youngstown, Ohio

A scene in a steel mill, Republic Steel, Youngstown, Ohio. Molten iron is blown in an Eastern Bessemer converter to change it to steel for war essentials (LOC)

Palmer, Alfred T.,, photographer. 1941 Nov.

interior steel mill

IMG_0720, originally uploaded by f0rcylracer.

I missed the glory of steel production in the Mahoning Valley and am rapidly catching up via some great portfolios on this photo by f0rcylracer being one of them-- see:


preliminary studies and sketches for a pen-n-ink project

in the studio something always lurks

February 24, 2009

where did it come from?

In answer to a friend's query: First I took an ordinary lousy photo of some wildflowers I picked--this is untouched photo: (click all these to see larger) then we used "levels" & "contrast" on photoshop:
then we played with channels (of colours) some:
then we tried desaturating:
then we played with channels some more:
then we cropped out a really yummy tile:
and with our little tile.....
we tiled out some bigger pieces of digital real estate:
see a little bigger variations and more in my Art Archives