Art and Poetry

Picture and a Poem

Today, as I framed the five watercolor  illustrations I painted for a December show at RiverRead, a local bookstore,  it dawned on me that I never posted the last painting in the collection.

This watercolor caribou is from a photo I took at Chena Hot Springs, A.K. earlier this year. He was such a sad, shy fellow that he turned his face from me every time I tried to take his photograph. He was being kept in a spot that seemed hidden, out of the way. Maybe he didn’t get along well with the other deer, or maybe it was because he wasn’t as attractive to look at with clumps of hair remaining from the last molt. His eye just seemed to look right through me.

Like the other illustration from this collection that I posted previously, there is an Emily Dickinson poem penned around the image. She never titled her poems, so we start reading them with no introduction.

There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, but these
Society shall be
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself—
Finite infinity.

I think the “polar privacy” fits this caribou. And the poem carries a mood that seems to fit my “Oceanic” theme.

I’ll post a picture of the installed pieces after they are hung tomorrow. I’ll also post the write-up that was written for RiverRead’s newsletter.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think.

Best – Anni

 

 

Into The Mystic

I love that song! I should have named this fourth piece in my Alaska series Into The Mystic. Maybe I’ll dream Van Morrison tonight. But the title for this piece comes from another famous poet, Emily Dickinson – The Warf Is Still. It works, but, darn it, it should have been Into The Mystic.

Here’s a link to Van’s song. If you don’t know it, I think you’ll want to.

And here’s the lyrics:

Into The Mystic

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun

Ere the bonnie boat was won
As we sailed into the mystic

Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that foghorn blows
I will be coming home

And when the foghorn blows
I want to hear it I don’t have to fear it

and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

When that fog horn blows
You know I will be coming home

And when that fog horn whistle blows
I got to hear it I don’t have to fear it

and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will flow into the mystic

Come on, girl
Too late to stop now

Written by Van Morrison • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

In An Abyss’s Face

Here’s the 3rd piece in my Alaska series. I’m giving each illustration a title from an Emily Dickinson poem. I liked letting the holes do their own thing, while making this piece of paper. I think it will look nice mounted on black mat board.

abyss

What mystery pervades a well!
That water lives so far –
A neighbor from another world
Residing in a jar

The grass does not appear afraid,
I often wonder he
Can stand so close and look so bold
At what is awe to me.

Related somehow they may be,
The sedge stands near the sea –
Where he is floorless
And does no timidity betray

But nature is a stranger yet:
The ones that cite her most
Have never passed her haunted house,
Nor simplified her ghost.

To pity those that know her not
Is helped by the regret
That those who know her, know her less
The nearer her they get.

Artistic Inspiration…

The first piece of art in a series, planned for a December show, is finished. It took me a long time to get started on this project – thanks to a venomous spider bite.

I’m not sure what my theme is yet. Right now there seems to be an “oceanic” element floating under the surface. Perhaps this comes from me trying to express the way it felt to be sailing on the sea during my recent trip to Alaska. Or maybe I’m trying to convey the way the vastness of the Alaskan frontier can send one spiraling down every existential rabbit hole that exists. The mountain ranges are spread out in Alaska, but heading to Anchorage from Fairbanks on route three you skirt along the Talkeetna Range with mountain peaks looming above that are just close enough for you to realize how small you are in this big blue world.

Thanks for visiting! Comments are always welcome.

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Updating Website

In anticipation of an upcoming show at RiverRead this December, I am reworking the information on my site   www.annijvisualartist.com

I’m not sure what I’ll present for this show, but I’m sure it will include my recent Alaska adventure in one form or another. Photos of my Alaska trip can be viewed on Facebook @ K.Ann Johnson67.

If my last few poems aren’t accepted by a journal soon, I’ll post them here.

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Photo: Anni Johnson, 2016