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Showing posts from January, 2013

Poets Series: Art Bar, Jan 29th

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Sketches of featured poets reading at the Art Bar Tuesday night at Q Space in Toronto. One likely done; the other I may tinker with. A new style seems to be emerging for these 'Poets Series.'




The first one, The Poet Is Loose, and the second one, Cryptic Readings, 2013, are both 9"x 12", 22.9cm x 30.5cm, mixed media on 80lb archival Strathmore drawing paper.

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A novelist at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space

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A novelist at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space on Jan 27, 2013, by Brenda Clews, 9"x 12", 22.9cm x 30.5cm, art pens on 80lb archival Strathmore drawing paper.
While the second drawing I did was posted yesterday, this was the first one. I wasn't going to share it, but after working on it for a bit decided to.
He read a chapter from his novel. He spoke of characters; I saw figures around him.

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A poet at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space

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A poet at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space on Jan 27, 2013, by Brenda Clews, 9"x 12", 22.9cm x 30.5cm, art pens on 80lb archival Strathmore drawing paper. (Original sketch and the final with some red pencil in the hair done the next day - scanned images.)
A new style for drawing at poetry readings. And I would like to stay away from naming the poets because that frees me from representation, which has become too much of a burden. Given the dim lighting, that I generally forget my distance glasses, the angle of the poet from where I'm sitting, that there is often a big microphone covering their mouth and so on doing a more realistic sketch is too onerous.
The only thing I will say about this one is that the poet is 'into' zombies and when I showed her after and laughed, saying, 'It's you with zombie influences...' she said she loved it, but was probably only being nice. She has Salem red hair.
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the poets are coming

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Trying a different style because I need to find another way to draw at poetry readings. Relying on the style that is developing for life-drawing sessions, as I have been, is not working - poets giving readings of their work don't pose, the angle is usually not interesting, and so on. Today I picked up some art markers, the kind with fine points at one end and brushes at the other and which use archival permanent inks. I think I will work with my ongoing theme of multiples, multiplicity.

the poets are coming, 2013, 9"x 12", 22.9cm x 30.5cm, art markers on 80lb archival Strathmore drawing paper.
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Character, Theme, or Plot?

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The question was, 'Which is of greater importance: Character, Theme, or Plot? What do you think?'

While I cannot consider Aristotle on plot and character, nor whether 'Waiting for Godot' calls these aspects of written art, drama, novels, into question, I can speak from personal experience.

Plot is the design of a life. However that might be construed. Character is the individual thrust, how the person handles what's thrown at them.

Ok. So plot is narrative. Suspense. What grabs and holds. Character creates plot, I guess. Even in Aristotelian terms. Hubris. Or, oppositely, the magic miracle.

And really, plot, narrative, is what 'sells.' It keeps us hooked on the unfolding of events that may or may not be caused by the characters of the central characters.

In 'Waiting for Godot,' Beckett creates a situation in which the characters await a central narrative, a dominant metaphor, a Godot, who never appears, and yet, like them, we wait, we wait to see if…

On sketching from life or using photographs

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In response to a question at Facebook about whether I sketch from life or use photographs:
...sketches are either from life, or directly from my imagination. Occasionally, I take a reference shot with my iPhone if I have a good start on the drawing itself. The camera turns 3D space into 2D and sees it in a way that an artist might not if they were to turn the same scene into a flat picture. Often a drawing made from a photograph looks like a drawing made from a photograph and lacks the energy that doing it from real life would impart. If you use photographs, stop using them at a certain point in the process of drawing or painting and let the energy of the scene speak directly to you. Don't fully rely on them and don't duplicate them - make your own interpretation. Just my take on it. ___

Art Bar last night

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Photo taken at the Art Bar last night by Norman.

...I like to give credit for photos if I can... barely know Norman - he's a fellow poet and artist, and a naturopath. Seems a very nice man, a good friend of a friend. We exchanged phone numbers and he apparently always takes an identifying photo. We both did open mic - his was a sound poem; I like his work very much. I've been trying to go to the Art Bar - weekly poetry readings with an open mic - for 6 months, and made it in -20C weather last night. I love poetry! I love Q Space! :))

Below two quick charcoal sketches I did, absolutely untouched, and of course thinking prolly both women would hate them, so no names for the Internet browsers to catch. :)


Poets reading at the Art Bar at Q Space, 2013, Brenda Clews, 9" 12", 22.9cm x 30.5cm, charcoal sketches, finished drawing is mixed media, on 80lb archival Strathmore drawing paper.

And below is a little pic from the Portobello poetry reading on January 5th, the day …

#4 drawing from the final Keyhole Life-Drawing Session finished

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This is the drawing I did last night, and that I'm not too happy with. I used conte crayons and some pastel pencils on what is really a watercolour paper, so the texture of the paper peeps through. I finished a sketch (which I included here) from the very last Keyhole Life-Drawing session whose theme was 'Fight Club.'

4-final, Keyhole Sessions, 12013, Brenda Clews, 15" x 11", charcoal, conte crayon, pastel pencils, 130lb archival paper.

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I accomplished my main, really my only, New Year's Resolution yesterday, and then last night did a really bad drawing. Wonder if they're related? Lol. I'll try to fix it as best I can and post later. :)))))

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A Woman in a Sketchbook

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I guess it was 3am when I finished this little 'test sketch.' I mostly used conte crayon, which is awkward to make fine lines with, and am now wondering if conte comes in pencil form. Anyone know?

A Woman in a Sketchbook, 2013, 6" x 6.5", charcoal, conte crayon in Moleskine A3 sketchbook.

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An untitled woman

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So I tested the Clear Gesso, and it's not bad as far as clarity goes, though Acrylic Matte Medium seemed a bit better even with its slight gloss. The Clear Gesso has a slightly gritty surface when dry, though, making it easy to continue to work with charcoal, pencil, conte crayon. This test image is 4.5"x6", drawn inside the back cover of my Moleskine sketchbook.

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Untitled sketch in-process

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Tinkering, this will become another gold leaf type drawing, sharing stages and process. Wasn't enough light when I took the photo. Pencil in my large Moleskine sketchbook. And demmit, I forgot to pick up acrylic matte medium from the art store and it's closed now.

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The story in a drawing

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Moleskine notebook.

I did this poem drawing in October 2012. At the time, I decided not to type out the words. Frankly, I'm tired of seeing my poetry elsewhere on the NET. Bits of it, a line here or there, a title, or the substance of what I've written reworked. Perhaps I should take it as a compliment that I am somewhat influential, but truly I find it insulting to discover my verbal images being used by other writers, or the style of my work being copied. So I've stopped posting poems and prose poems here in my blog. But I do like to keep an archive, and Google has an incredible search engine for blogs, meaning I can find a poem if I remember only a phrase. So I am encrypting my writing, and have no intention of passing on the password either. Sorry, just tired of being seen as 'raw material' for other writers and not being given credit where credit is due.

Of course, you can read the prose poem in the image. I'm just not making it easy to copy.

And I'l…

The Charter for Compassion, a TED talk by Karen Armstrong

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I was given hope tonight watching this. I read her massive study, A History of God, in 3 world religions no less, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, 16 years ago and she changed my thinking. She's an amazing woman with not just compassion, love, insight, but facts at her fingertips the rest of us only dream about. I am so glad to have found her on TED Talks, and to be, once again, deeply inspired by her. I truly believe the way of compassion, the way of conscience, is the only way this crazy globe is going to survive the massive challenges of the future.


direct link: Karen Armstrong makes her TED prize wish: the Charter for Compassion

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Illuminata

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Some photographs today of 'Illuminata,' an illustration for my prose poem of the same name with some lines from the poem written into the ink painting. I have used little bits of filters to elicit certain effects because rain white cloudy daylight can be very bland when it comes to gold leaf. :)







Illuminata, 2013, Brenda Clews, 28.5cm x 42cm, 11 1/4" x 16 1/2", graphite, India ink, copper, silver and gold leaf in a Moleskine A3 Sketchbook.

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