Monday, August 22, 2016

Swim with the Fishes

It rained last night. This is unusual as this is monsoon season, where the clouds build all day and then dump water all at once in late afternoon. This was a gentle rain for a few hours in the wee hours of today. It's humid, but cooler than it has been all summer. It means summer as we know it here in the desert is drawing to a close and it'll just be hot for the next couple months.
To me, it means get busy!
This is for last week's IAST, an exploration of the new tangle, Drogon by Lily Moon.

In Plain Sight
Don't you just LOVE her work? It's Gorgeous, with a capital "G."

And I went back and did the previous IAST, one big "Abeko," surrounded by Lynn Mead's geometric tangles.

And this week's Diva, a focus on "ING:"

For the EIM, dolphin. This is a swimming bottlenose dolphin. Definitely not a fish.

Did you see the news item last week about the gazillion year-old dolphin that was hiding in a museum? Life is funny that way.

I was going to draw a swimming pig as dolphins have been called, "sea pigs," but that really wasn't working out. At all. And drawing what is called a sea pig was getting harder. And weirder.
Another time, perhaps?

We went out on Bartlett Lake last week, rented a boat for a day to celebrate the kids birthdays--they're only two weeks apart (and three years) and it's getting harder to get them together at the same time or to convince them to hang out with old people, now that they're twenty-somethings.
They're more fun to play with, in my mind. At least, the experiences are more interesting.

We were swimming with a LOT of fish.

The title for this blog entry comes from where I wanted to go with the TwobyTwo. I really wanted to make a "concrete" poem about... concrete! In New Jersey there's a certain saying about swimming with the fishes that involves concrete, (read: "The Godfather") which is why I couldn't make that work. That thought just derailed all creativity.

So my next thought was a poem on water. This is what came about:

It's kind of a political statement on water--a resource that we desperately need and can't keep up with the demand. Here in Arizona, I've seen it not rain for 220 days. I've also been the recipient of 4 inches of rain in an hour. And a flood. So, in the grand scheme of things, everything balances out.

All the same, water is precious. Use it wisely.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Six Degrees of Separation

You've heard of "six degrees of separation?" That we're all connected somehow by a friend of a friend in six or fewer steps? According to a recent poll through a Facebook algorithm, with the advent of social media, it's now even less than four.
If you're visiting here, we're one step apart, although we haven't formally made our acquaintance.
You may know of the party game, "Six Degree of Kevin Bacon?" It's kind of a trivia thing where you start with an actor and by association through movies you get to Bacon, with a capital "B," with the fewest steps.
Mr. Bacon doesn't know me from a hill of beans, but I'm closer to him than he may care to think.

First, my ex' brother played Drew Pigeon opposite Bacon in the movie, "Mystic River." I still haven't seen the movie, but I read the book! Second, my friend's son was producer of the very moving HBO special, "Taking Chance," starring Bacon. Thirdly, the crazy drunks that came up with the game went to my alma mater, long after I graduated, so I've not met them nor have I played their game.
I just know these things.

Sally, I dedicate this post to you because you like to know things. And you have relatives in Maine.

So do I. My parents live there. I visited many a time, long before they retired there.
It's a big state, with a lot of wilderness. Logging is big business and so are potatoes. But the best thing is Acadia National Park, which is celebrating its 100th birthday, as is the whole of the National Park System.

The view of the Atlantic from Cadillac Mountain is awesome and one of the first spots in the US of A to see the sun rise. The crashing surf, the rugged granite rocks, the scent of salt air and spruce.

Lobster! Need I say more?!
Oh, and it's home to the ONLY fjord in the lower 48, Somes Sound.

This is important information because "fjord" is the word of the day at the EIM. I've only seen Somes Sound once; I remember the family driving alongside one summer. Tall spruce and firs, granite rock, clear blue skies. (And more lobster).

Not far from there is Mount Desert Rock lighthouse. It literally sits on a rock.

There is also a Mount Desert Rock lighthouse here in Arizona. On Lake Havasu are fully functional scale models of famous lighthouses created to aid navigation on the lake. (Lake Havasu is also home to the London Bridge. It migrated).

You can walk right up to this one, I guess. We have a boat trip on Havasu on our bucket list, to see all the little houses.

In the meantime, we're watching 16 Tons of Monty Python. We're up to the 10th ton. Or, if we're somewhere with television, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Are you? There must be a few tangly people watching as the theme at the Diva this week is the Olympics. I squeezed three out of the five rings into a square.

It's more Venn diagram than modern athletics, but I'm not minding it. Consider it a visual representation of just three degrees of separation.
I guess we're not really separated at all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Of Whales and Birds

I'll start with my contribution to the EIM. I had a whale of a good time finding information about cetaceans, the big mammals of the sea.

First up, the biblical account of Jonah and the Whale, a detail from the illustration by Everett Henry titled, "The Voyage of the Pequod," for the story, "Moby Dick," also known as just, "The Whale," by Herman Melville, the tail end of a whale and an image of a breaching whale.
Did you see the story of the whale they call "Granny" in the news this week?
Life can be funny that way, don't you think?
Ah, whale tales all! You can call me Ishmael.

Moving right along....
Next I tackled the TwobyTwo. The first two drawings are kind of self-explanatory.

This one requires a bit of back-story. I was in Sedona one day a while back and stopped by Garlands, a gallery for exceptional Native American jewelry, ceramics and weavings. I saw a beautiful Tree of Life (Bird Pictorial) wall hanging depicting hummingbirds and metallic yarns were used to make those lovely birds shimmer. I knew then that it would haunt me forever that I didn't buy the unusual piece (Navajo like to use only wool from the sheep they raise themselves. Metallic threads are unheard of), but the tag had more zeroes than I had.
So here I've attempted to draw a hummingbird that doesn't look like the Twitter thing:

I dream of hummingbirds, which I guess is a good thing.

Before I let you go, I'll share the Diva challenge piece for the week.

That's it for now. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a brilliant day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I'm Melting!

It's our rainy season and it hasn't been so much hot as it has been humid. Never did like that much when I lived on the East Coast; I forget how that feels. I look forward to the return of warmer, but drier, weather.

The weather factored into my thinking for the EIM this week. The word is, "sheep." While I've been doing plenty of my version of counting sheep (I count backwards from 100), I couldn't possibly do something so straight forward. I've been doing a lot of internet searches for the upcoming TwobyTwo and I went with a wooly (sheep = wool) blanket pattern called, "storm:"

I drew this with markers from this antique blanket for sale. The central design is called a "whirling log," a sacred symbol for all things good and is no longer used by the Navajo. I think you'll understand why that is so.

Rain also seeped into my Diva piece, a chance to try out a new pattern, Knightstar by Daniel Lamothe.

I can almost hear the corks popping for the celebration at the IAST, Adele's third anniversary:

Every day is a celebration; bring on the Champagne!
Be sure to see what all the other creatives are dishing up and if the spirit moves you, try out the TwobyTwo--two-inch art (you have plenty of time)!
Have a brilliant day!