Passers By

As a composer and as a musician I’m a true believer – and this is not to be overly diplomatic – I’m a believer that there’s artistry in everything from a lawn gnome to a desk chair to a symphony to an Andy Warhol painting. There’s art in absolutely everything.

Darren Criss

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Passers By

by Carl Sandburg

Passers-by,
Out of your many faces
Flash memories to me
Now at the day end
Away from the sidewalks
Where your shoe soles traveled
And your voices rose and blent
To form the city’s afternoon roar
Hindering an old silence.

Passers-by,
I remember lean ones among you,
Throats in the clutch of a hope,
Lips written over with strivings,
Mouths that kiss only for love,
Records of great wishes slept with,
Held long
And prayed and toiled for:

Yes,
Written on
Your mouths
And your throats
I read them
When you passed by.

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After I photographed https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/fish-mural/ in Lewiston, Idaho, I walked a few blocks to Old Town. Here I found more murals on a brick wall and 4 cheery chairs on the sidewalk across the street from the library. The chairs are constructed of steel and bolted in place. I collect old table chairs always with intention to paint them. These look devine in solid colors. Keep it simple.

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Canoe collision

What do you do with a fleet of aluminum canoes? Sculpture, of course!

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We detoured off Highway 26 in Washington to see Palouse Falls. I like traveling the backroads. We crossed the Snake River from Clarkston, Washington into Lewiston, Idaho. From the bridge I could see a mural of fish painted on a long building. The canoe sculpture in front of it astounded me. Next morning I came back and photographed the art installation. It really is worthwhile to take the back way and linger along the journey. This is only some of the artsy Old Town in Lewiston.

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This is the wall of a seafood company alongside the river and railroad tracks. The mural artist is Rolf Goetzinger of Spokane. With his brother Peter they create public art and sculpture in cities and hospitals. You can see their galleries http://www.artistbrothers.com/. They created another mural of the way Lewiston used to be in Old Town. It’s worth the time to take a driving break away from the gas stop and the Lewiston grade to see the public art in this college town.

This is my 5th post in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I was nominated by https://dpw67.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/becker-vineyards-feb/. The point is to post a photo and story, any style fiction or non-fiction or poetry you like, for 5 consecutive days. Nominate another blogger each of those days and don’t forget to tell them. Participation is totally optional and you don’t have to have an invitation to join, anyone can take up the challenge. Doug invited me the day before I left for vacation and I waited a couple of weeks before I had time to get on it. Today I nominate Sharron McConnel to take up the Challenge. Sharron posts interesting photos often and writes brief concise pieces with them to give her readers interest and focus. She, too, travels the backroads and writes about it, with photos. Check out her blog https://sharonmcconnel.wordpress.com/.

pebble mosaic

waymarker croppedOutside the Pompeii exhibit at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, we came upon this pebble mosaic. Titled “Men come and go like the waves of the sea”, it was created by http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20000305&slug=4008351 based on a portion of Chief Seattle’s famous http://www.chiefseattle.com/history/chiefseattle/speech/speech.htm. Though the authenticity of the speech is  http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1985/spring/chief-seattle.html, the intent is sound and haunting.

I looked for information about this stone mural and found that it’s  a noted waymark.  Waymarking is something like geocaching, or constructing cairns to mark your way or to celebrate a location. It depends on locating by latitude and longitude, which you can do with a hand held GPS or with a zip code on line . It looks like fun and there maybe way more waymarks in places I’ve been or where I regularly visit. You can learn about waymarking FAQ about waymarks http://www.waymarking.com/help/faq.aspx?f=1  and   http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2VXZ.

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The artist in me couldn’t leave this art technique alone. I looked for more samples by the Jean Louise Johanson and found none on line. And of course I looked for instructions for crafting my own pebble mosaic designs with river stones and found objects. I got this! In summer I’m in the river almost every day, I could just bring home more stones in small amounts after each dip. Better yet to get a passel of my grandkids together and make a gathering and designing party. My new garden begs for paths and stepping stones. If you want to see amazing stone mosaics around the world and get construction instructions, look  http://www.inspirationgreen.com/pebble-mosiacs-underfoot.html.  My way is to start with a small manageable project, one that is portable and not overwhelming to complete.

Today marks my 4th post in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I just post a photo and story, or any sort of writing, every day for 5 days and nominate another blogger each day to participate. Anyone can join, you don’t need an invitation. Find out more about how to join the ChalIenge in any of my 3 previous posts, linked below. Today I nominate https://thestorytellersabode.wordpress.com/ to participate in the Challenge. Time is not of the essence in this Challenge until you start your first day. I was nominate by https://dpw67.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/becker-vineyards-feb/ the night before I left on vacation and I didn’t start my Challenge until a few weeks later. My first 3 day’s posts are https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/metamorphs/https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/clay-faces/, and https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/glass-garden/

Metamorphs

“I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.”

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

“What’s happened to me,’ he thought. It was no dream.”
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

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I photographed these insects in the Butterfly Garden at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle using my Canon PowersShot A530 digital point and shoot camera, no flash, hand held. One of the shots of the mating butterflies was made by my tall grandson. You might notice the difference in perspectives between his hight and mine.

The collection is wonderful to reflect on. Some butterflies are tattered, so much like our lives over time, quicker for some than others. These metamorphs lend themselves to metaphors and haiku. I’ll add it to my writing projects.

This is day 3 for me in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. In the challenge we’re asked to post daily for five days a photo and some writing that relate to each other, and to nominate another blogger for the challenge. You can read more about the challenge and see my first two days’ posts and nominations https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/clay-faces/ and https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/glass-garden/. Anyone can take the challenge, no need to be nominated if you want to join. Today I nominate Marcy Erb at http://illustratedpoetry.com/ for the challenge. She posts illustrations and related poems so this challenge should fit right in with her style.

Faces in mud

Pompeii faces in mud IMG_0809

I recently experienced the Pompeii Exhibit in Seattle.  This plaque relays the theater interests in that opulent city. I’m looking at the espressions of the men. I’m looking at the art style and wondering how it was crafted. I think I can do something like this. I’d probably go the long way around to get there. I have a plaster mold of my face, used for making theater masks. I’d fill the mold with plaster and then use the cast to apply clay and form the images. Then when dry or fired, depending on which type of clay I use, I would adhere it to the clay background. I wonder if all the faces and the background have to be wet to adhere? This might have been from an artist’s workshop because once this part is complete it can be used to cast duplicate, maybe even in bronze. Something to think about.

Another thing to consider is what story I can reveal from this art piece. It absorbs me. No women. Open mouths, different social classes. The lower one looks like he could be wearing a lumberjack cap.


About this post

I took a vacation away from my pretty-much-isolated home in the Rocky Mountains and ignored blogging for a couple of weeks. In that time on my travels I gathered photos and writing ideas. The day before my vacation Doug Warren invited me to join the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I agreed to do it, but told Doug I wouldn’t get on it until I returned from my trip. Here is my second post in this challenge. I made the photos with my Canon digital point and shoot with no flash in low light in the exhibit, hand held with slow shutter. I like the effect. I like it even more when I see it in Adobe CS4 and I don’t need to do adjustments, though I can imagine ways I might play with the image.

About the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge

Join the challenge! You don’t have to wait for an invitation.

You can read Doug Warren’s posts for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge https://dpw67.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/becker-vineyards-feb/. In Doug’s blog you can find links to read what other bloggers have posted for the challenge.

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Don’t forget to tell the blogger you have nominated. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.

I nominated “GonnaBeAWriter” for my first day’s nomination. I think she’s a deep thinker and avid writer. I haven’t seen many photos with her writing but from what I see in her banner, no doubt she can do this. Here’s the link to her blog. Look her up for some good reads. https://xavanessa.wordpress.com/

I nominate Dune Mouse for my second nomination. She writes dark and fantasy and illustrates with her own photos, wonderously enhanced. You can find her blog https://cybeleshineblog.wordpress.com/.

The Glass Garden

red glass flowers framed with greeenery

A pop of red blossoms through the greenery! A tall stalk of clustered trumpets glowed like amber and rubies in the sunset. LaWrynn was mesmerized. Ah, to be a humming bird this evening. But she had come to this world without wings, and though her feet were enormous for her miniature stature, she was thankful for a small nose that she felt made her look quite adorable.  

glass flower buds against sky

She inhaled deeply while she stretched her arms up toward the pinnacle of crimson glass buds towering above the flower and even over the tree tops. Up, up, up to her tallest. A salute to the sun. She exhaled as she slowly stretched her torso down toward the florescent stems. Red stripes encircled them, warning her of the plant’s phantom poison. She wanted to climb a shiny trunk anyway. She wanted to balance on the bloom’s stigma and view the world from this so special place. LaWrynn continued her exhale, stretching down until she touched the soft moss covered ground. Spreading her fingers open alongside her toes she pushed one leg back and then the other extending her body into plank pose. Then she felt herself collapse to the ground and roll onto her back. She laid her arms straight out from her sides forming a T shape. Breathing rhythmically LaWrynn studied the clouds. She imagined ships and snails and faces in their strange shapes.

glass flowers against sky

Suddenly a giant bud sprang open. Its stem swayed in response to the abrupt disturbance. She jerked into the fetal position and then scrambled for safety behind an emerald bush. Had the blossom heard her thoughts? Had she spoke aloud her desire?

 glass garden with greenhouuse

Beyond the sheltering leaves she saw the sun sliding behind the green house roof. She felt an impulse to run inside before the doors locked for the night else she feared she would spend the damp chill darkness among giant insects whose homes she suspected were hidden within the enchanted glass garden. 


About this post

I took a vacation away from my pretty-much-isolated home in the Rocky Mountains and ignored blogging for a couple of weeks. In that time on my travels I gathered photos and writing ideas. The day before my vacation Doug Warren invited me to join the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I agreed to do it, but told Doug I wouldn’t get on it until I returned from my trip. Here is my first post in this challenge. It’s an Ekphrastic writing. That means the writing is inspired by or related to an art piece, be it visual, music, performance, architecture or other art forms. This art inspired this vignette in the collection of stories I’ve started about a spirit who emerged from the other world through a badger hole on the first night of Samhain. She gets stuck in this world because she failed to get back through the portal on the third night. You can read more about LaWrynn, who is as small as a wren, https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/lawrynn-stories-fantasy-and-celtic-lore/.

I made the photos of glass flowers at Chihuly’s Glass Garden. It’s a permanent exhibit at the Seattle Center. I was leaving the center after a day with family and didn’t have time to linger if I wanted to catch the ferry for the home trip to the Olympic Peninsula so I took some shots into the sun as we passed it. Chihuly is a fabulous glass artist and teacher. You can find out more about him and the Glass Garden http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/

About the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge

Join the challenge! You don’t have to wait for an invitation.

You can read Doug Warren’s posts for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge https://dpw67.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/becker-vineyards-feb/. In Doug’s blog you can find links to read what other bloggers have posted for the challenge.

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Don’t forget to tell the blogger you have nominated. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.

I am nominating “GonnaBeAWriter” for my first day’s nomination. I think she’s a deep thinker and avid writer. I haven’t seen many photos with her writing but from what I see in her banner, no doubt she can do this. Here’s the link to her blog. Look her up for some good reads. https://xavanessa.wordpress.com/