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Showing posts from October, 2005

1 - From BOD (Book of the Dead), for Halloween...

For Halloween, some pages from my NaNoWriMo novel last year, "The Book of the Dead," and I did post this section last year, and will add 3 more sections of this story over the next couple of days...

Her fingers and toes began to grow warm, tingling, even as they were freezing. She is losing feeling in them. She cannot move her toes, nor her fingers. They do not feel like they are part of her. Her legs feel numb. She tries to roll, and cannot move. Her cheeks, exposed, are like stone slabs, weighted and heavy on her face, etched with ice, and then she no longer feels her cheeks or nose or chin or eyes. She can't open her eyes. They are encrusted. It feels as if her scalp has been pulled off her head, a terrifying feeling, and then nothing. Her skin feels like a shell, an exoskeleton, but soon she can't feel the ice her body is ensheathed in anymore. She is still breathing, slowly, painfully. Breathing is laboured, like a huge weight is pushing down on her chest, and sh…

One Hundred Million Sperm A Day

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The original drawing, albiet with photoshop lighting, from a drop-in, non-instructional lifedrawing session at the Toronto School of Art.




100 Million Sperm A Day

100 Million Sperm A Day, ink, pencil on paper, text a digital layer, 11"x14", ©2005 Brenda Clews

Sassure and the biological referent...

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(Update: added a sketch drawn not on paper but with a stylus and tablet on a screen from a few years ago when I was writing a paper for another ARM conference... there's a counterpoint interplay and vision between the two images that I hope is evident.)

In response to the last post, entitled, "Passion, like a flame... or a semiotics of sexuality, or an anatomy of desire..." A little something on semiotic theory...

Hi everyone- I'm not saying that we as individuals want or don't want to have children, or even think about them if we're past child-bearing age, not at all, only that that biological reality is there in heterosexual unions in ways that aren't in homosexual unions.

So it can be looked at semiotically in Sassure's sense, where the "referent" is an object in the world, or a relation to the material world, rather than a concept of it. Sassure's work as a linquist revolved around signs. The sign is created by a signifier (material or …

Passion, like a flame... a semiotics of sexuality, an anatomy of desire

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From the September drop-in non-instructional lifedrawing session with the male model:










"Passion, like a flame..." ink, pencil on paper, text a photoshop layer, 11" x 14", ©Brenda Clews, 2005.

The drawing, when I'd finished it, seemed to speak about homosexual love, queer love, same-sex desire. The way it entraps, because of the culture, the struggle with it. For someone gay, it's not just, 'Are they potentially interested,' but, 'Are they gay, or could they be, too' - a double question. So he is... pulling back, thinking, yet crouched, his body alive with desire, his libido flowing towards the object of his desire. Whether who he desires is even aware of him is not indicated in the drawing.

As I worked on the drawing, I started thinking about whether sexual orientation configures the experience of desire. This profile of desire has no procreational element in it; it's pure sexual desire. Meaning it's different to heterosexual desire wher…

ARM Conference today...

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I am at an Association for Research on Mothering (ARM) conference at York University this weekend.



Good thing I finally splurged on an internet connection - I thought the conference was next weekend, and so missed 2 days of it! I volunteered yesterday, and sold journals...

More about these amazing conferences later, gotta run...
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Update: When you're working, you don't get to go to many panels. My view of the conference therefore very limited. It's mostly in the chatting between panels where I meet wonderful women doing most interesting work. But over-riding everything is a flow of mother-love, acceptance of each other, nurturance. It's hard to explain how fulfilling these conferences are emotionally. It could be Andrea O'Reilly too, who founded ARM, who's got a fun social side, heck, she's a party person, and not just a prolific writer of books, of which she publishes at least one a year. Leaders really do put their individual stamps on group…

Drawing Down the Muse

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Drawing Down the Muse, ink on paper, 8.5" x 11". These sketches are from a lifedrawing session in Vancouver last July. They were 3 minute poses and I drew three of them on one page. The model had a tatoo of a black cat on her back. By adding the lighting, and creating a literary title, I've turned it into a coven of women in a dramatic setting. They are bathed in what is essentially stage lighting (via photoshop), so a representation of the moon, its shining...
Drawing Down the Moon is the title of a book by Margot Adler. When this ritual is enacted during a full moon, there is a powerful influx of energy. In my drawing I have played on the title, drawing from and connecting to Adler's book, but added a reference to the Muse, or inspiration. I am interested in creativity, our visions and the ways we express them in artistic or literary or musical form. The moon is a very ancient and rich symbol for this process.
It's all in the white moonlight that pulls the ocean …

On-line again, at last...

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Finding accessing the internet through the library very limiting, and ultimately frustrating, both for posting my writing and art, and especially for the close reading I like to give posts, and the comments I often leave after a day of carrying words with me, I finally got on the phone and called around about internet options. The house in which I am living doesn't have internet or cable. I use a cell phone. And I need to keep my costs way down. So installing a land line was out. It turns out that the cable provider for this area, Rogers, has an "ultra lite" internet service, which they claim is 5 times faster than dial-up, for $20./month, flat rate, no installation fee, no modem rental fee. It took the guy an hour and a half to install it here. And I am ecstatically on-line again. In the intimacy of my living space. Accessing you all in the library was strange, not just because of the time limit, but because reading in a public space over a public computer lacked the in…

A spark...

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Currently Reading
Poems of Paul Celan: A Bilingual German/English Edition
By Paul Celan, Michael Hamburger
see relatedLove lies on my heart. Like a sheaf of love letters. Or the eclipsed body of my lover. Hours endlessly relentless. Do I dwell in the silence of the soul? Do I even believe we have a soul? A spark of being, that's all there is. A blazing little spark forging through life. And it lies on my breast tonight, love in my heart, beating, expanding, contracting. The pulse. Love is the pulse. My spark is dim tonight, faint._image:http://www.playafoot.com/photos/pages/651.html

The Move- a section somewhere

Somewhere in "The Move" (re: novel-in-progress, or extended meditation, or whatever)- blurring the edges between fiction and life.....


On the edge of calamity, there seemed only a choice between returning to a house where she had unwittingly become a target for projections of her landlord's shadow sides, and had been physically threatened, or a woman's shelter. Unable to find suitable, if temporary, housing, she let go.

She let go of the struggle to find housing. She decided to play a game and find her way, not by the map you carry in your mind, what you've understood about life and your place in it, the route you've traveled, its familiarities, but by intuition. By not thinking you know what lies around the corner; but navigating, instead, by trusting your instincts.

The letting go expanded her vision. Streets took on a luminous glow. The early morning world became welcoming in ways she'd forgotten. As she closed her notebook filled with ads scribbled from …

SunMan, Oh Apollo

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Original sketch with photoshop lighting.










"SunMan, Oh Apollo," ink, pencil on paper, 11" x 14", from a lifedrawing class September 2005. The energy of light, of a confident male sexuality...

I rather like him in the 'glowing edges' Photoshop filter... so then he's called "SunMan, Oh Apollo Night," and if it's a little contradictory, well whoever said Greek gods weren't.

The library system has been down most of the week. Even today it's taken more than an hour to upload this post. I feel estranged from you all and am missing the community here more than I can say.

My son just visited for a few days- we hadn't seen each other since mid-July -which was wonderful. After he left, being turned away by 2 internet cafes, where it was claimed that my uploading would slow everyone's games down, sigh, I managed to upload the life drawings that I've finished where my brother works...

Much love to everyone- I think about you all, you'…
I've moved- into a much, much happier place (I hope). Just temporary, but a rather roomy basement apartment with 2 southern windows, which is nice, and I've been able to turn the kitchenette into my bedroom by hanging a piece of canvas as a curtain giving my daughter the bedroom, which she is happy with. Seems to be a nice house where our dog is more than welcome; it has far more space than where we were living (a one room garden house) for a much better rent, and in the cache area for my daughter's school. No internet, however. So I'm writing this at the library. The CD ROMs and floppies are all disabled in the library system. I shall have to see how I can upload images some other time. I am doing a little tutoring in student's homes, and I've had students so far from Gr 2 to College, and am enjoying it. Not enough work though. My 3-bedroom house of furniture is still in storage. My son is still waiting to rejoin us as soon as I get financially settled again. …