Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Master Renoir

Many years ago when I was studying art in school, a teacher at the time walked by my easel as I was working and said something to the effect, “You have such a painterly style.”   I thought she just meant that I was applying paint like I was slopping it on a bedroom wall..

Renoir’s “Dance at Bougival”

Yes, that’s pretty much my style.

Not surprisingly I have spent quite a bit of time studying the paintings of the Impressionists who were masters at the “painterly” style.   The classical way of learning the fine arts was by copying the work of the old masters.   When it comes to landscapes, I imitate Claude Monet; but when it comes to figures, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is my man.

Renoir was a master at using light, color, form, and just a touch of line to capture figures in a moment of time doing ordinary activities.

I just love his work.  I hope my work does him justice.

ljgloyd 2017

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A Little Advice on Writing and Reading about Writing

As I stated in my Sunday post, I have stopped working the creativity recovery program I had started two months ago.     I am sure this program and others like it work for a lot of people, but not for me.   I encourage those individuals to keep working at it.   As for me, I have another way.

The only thing that helps me to overcome a writing block is the physical act of writing.   I write something everyday.  Sometimes it is only in one of my journals.  Sometimes it is just posting silliness on my Facebook page.   Sometimes you get a blog post like this.

If you were to ask me my advice on writing, I would say:

1) Carry a journal and pen or an electronic device with a note-taking program with you AT ALL TIMES;
2) once a day in the journal or on the device, write one sentence that is an observation of something around you or in your life.  Just one sentence.  It can even be one word;
3) then try for a second sentence;
4) and then a third;
5) and keep writing sentences until no more come.
6) You will end up with at least one sentence a day.  Add them all up and you will have at least 365 sentences.   You will probably end up with a lot more.  It is exponential once you are on a roll.

Then, if you do feel the need of some wisdom from those more experienced (and who doesn’t?), study your favorite writers.  And if they have written books on writing, you have hit the jackpot.

Here is a list of my favorite books on writing.  I refer to them often.  Actually, most of the advice I give above are variations and paraphrases from some of these books.

Bird-by-Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,  by Anne Lamott
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King
Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury
Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, by Natalie Goldberg
Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, by Susan Goldsmith Woolridge.

Now, get off-line and write.  🙂

ljg

Obligatory Disclaimer:  I did not receive any of these books from the publishers.  I bought ’em all and I like ’em all.  🙂

 

 

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Magnetic Poetry: Drunk on Catnip and Instinct

Magnetic promptI came across a site that I am adding to my list of resources:  Magnetic Poetry. You’ve seen these before, I’m sure– those little magnets you move around ro make verses. You can fool around with this online now. From a little play session I derived this:

Drunk on catnip and instinct,
tortoiseshell goddess of the night,
you howl your lovesick love song
in a flood of full moonlight.
Your clowder of lovers
from my back fence leap
to worship your beauty
And rouse me from sleep.

jgloyd 2016

Postscript:   I thought the word “eat” in the image was “cat”.  What a totally different poem I would have crafted if I had followed through on “eat”.


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Learning the Craft: Ray Bradbury on Fahrenheit 451

Besides actually writing, listening to  other riders talk about their craft is another way to learn how to write. YouTube is a great resource for this.   One of my favorite authors is Ray Bradbury, and he was particularly generous in giving interviews and talking about his process. Here is an 11 minute video of how conceived and wrote Fahrenheit 451 .


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Resources, Reference, and Inspiration

Spring

“Spring”, Lawrence Alma-Tadema [Dutch, 1836 – 1912], Oil on canvas, 1894

I have always relied upon images seen in museums, art books, or online to jump start my creative impulses.  Because of this, I was so pleased to find out a few days ago that the J.P. Getty Trust is now allowing the download and free use of nearly 5000 high quality digital surrogates of its collection.  The plan is to eventually add more of the Getty collection over time.   Here is what they say on their blog:

Today the Getty becomes an even more engaged digital citizen, one that shares its collections, research, and knowledge more openly than ever before. We’ve launched the Open Content Program to share, freely and without restriction, as many of the Getty’s digital resources as possible….     To read the entire post and access the Open Content collection, go HERE.

 So I am taking advantage of this opportunity and posting one of my favorite paintings in the Getty collection.  It is “Spring” by Dutch/British painter, Lawrence Alma-Tadema. It is a fairly large painting (70 1/4 x 31 1/2 in).  Here is what the Getty says about it:

A procession of women and children descending marble stairs carry and wear brightly colored flowers. Cheering spectators fill the windows and roof of a classical building. Lawrence Alma Tadema here represented the Victorian custom of sending children into the country to collect flowers on the morning of May 1, or May Day, but placed the scene in ancient Rome. In this way, he suggested the festival’s great antiquity through architectural details, dress, sculpture, and even the musical instruments based on Roman originals.  Alma Tadema’s curiosity about the ancient world was insatiable, and the knowledge he acquired was incorporated into over three hundred paintings of ancient archeological and architectural design. He said: “Now if you want to know what those Greeks and Romans looked like, whom you make your masters in language and thought, come to me. For I can show not only what I think but what I know.”   Alma Tadema’s paintings also enjoyed popularity later, when his large panoramic depictions of Greek and Roman life caught the attention of Hollywood. Certain scenes in Cecil B. De Mille’s film Cleopatra (1934) were inspired by the painting Spring.  (See this text HERE)

Each time I go to the Getty, I spend more time with this painting than I do with most of the others.  There is a story in every face in this painting.   This painting alone could generate ideas for several stories.  I could use it as a reference for drawing exercises.  I could excise parts of it for use in a digital constructions. My point here is simple.  You probably already know this, so use this as just a reminder:  Look at what other artists and writers have done and use it as a jumping off point for your own work. If any of the Getty folks are reading this, THANK YOU so much for making your collection available to us.   What a fantastic contribution to creative persons everywhere.  — ljgloyd Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.