Ekphrastic 1

cottentotintotem

they cast eyes down at me
like second class,

but it is they
who will never know
feeling of bare feet
warmed by sweet soil
sun has been baking
all day,

just for learned men
to find fault with
without ever tasting

- Corey Leigh Kirby



An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.
— Poetry Foundation

Faulkner Sketchbook Mining 1

It stars just by reading. Open up one of my Faulkner novels (will never lend one to you, too embarrassed) and you will see notes in the margins, pencil and pen underlining, an occasional doodle or silly commentary. These are some of the mining sketches i did during my residency in Elijay, Georgia, in 2018. Many of these became full fledged paintings, but something about the little miners is sometimes more successful.

This is generally the idea behind sketchbooks, i suppose. Taking ideas and compiling them and giving room to those things that keep nagging at you for one reason or another. This particular book-to-sketchbook thing was new to me, but surely not a new thing for many fellow makers.

I’ll be sharing a few of these, because Faulkner has been a huge force in my work over the past few months, mostly in this form. It’s led to a general loosening and a rooting, too.

Excerpts

Like most artists and writers, and folks that like to keep track of time with words and images, i have drawerfuls of sketchbooks. I am mighty bad at planning paintings, and worse at following through. Whenever i get in a rough spot for inspiration, i turn to that drawerful and see what keeps coming up. Those pages get pinned to the wall so i have to look at them and think about them, and hopefully carry them on through. When the painting gets made, and when you get that painting, you get the sketchbook page, too. It’s a full circle thing. It would be strange if the idea got left hanging without it’s fruit. Anyway. Here’s the first of many sketchbook page posts. Excerpts.

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Firstchurchgoinmulesketchbook4

Beginning To Beller

churchgoinmuleartist

Well, i sat down to the typin board yesterday and avoided doing any work by spending an hour looking for a good photo to use. Then i realized i should probably go get my photo made again. Then i ran out of coffee. Then i ran away from the typin board.

Reading books about how to be an artist, how to make the leap, how to become the story, the first step was to always claim yourself an artist. Just say it already. The next was to learn what your limitations are. Well, i didn’t think i was afraid to call myself an artist. And i didn’t think i had any limitations with sharing stories.

Turns out neither of those things are truly true. So maybe once i have that sorted out, i can come back to y’all with the artist’s story. Right now i need to write it.

In the meanwhile, in that passing time, this blog will be there for all those things y’all wanted to know. What’s involved in the process, who and what inspires me, history-stories, poems, studio practice, and sketchbook glimpses. So lookin forward to sharing those that i love with you here. It turns out not every-body knows who Ma Rainey or Walter Anderson are, after all.

Hey friend, take my hand, let’s head down to the crossroads together.