Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beech Mast and Beech Leaves - Medium: Pencils F and 2B

Monday, September 27, 2010

Peppers and Scotch Tape - Medium: Pencils H, 2B and 2H

Max Monday

Quappi with Parrot - By Max Beckmann

"Colour, as the strange and magnificent expression of the inscrutable spectrum of Eternity, is beautiful and important to me as a painter; I use it to enrich the canvas and to probe more deeply into the object. Colour also decided, to a certain extent, my spiritual outlook, but it is subordinated to life and, above all, to the treatment of form." --Max Beckmann, On My Painting

Sunday, September 26, 2010


"Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been three weeks since my last confession, and these are my sins: I wanted to kill…to kill, uhm…to kill…"

"Yes, you can say it."

"A poodle."


"An old lady's poodle. Actually it's more of Shih Tzu-Pomeranian crossbreed."

"How many times did this…desire happen?"

"I lost count."

"Okay, well, anyway, that's not really a sin. In fact, you might say it's a kind of virtue."

"Really? I mean, the thoughts are pretty bad."

"What are the circumstances."

"Well, you see Father, I work at this old folks home and there's this little dog. Every time I walk by the fence the dog runs up and down the length barking and yapping at me; and when I get past the end of the fence and proceed to the further gate out of the property that little dog changes the velocity of his barking into staccato bursts of triumph, and you can just tell, you can just tell, somewhere in that dog's little pea brain, he thinks that his barking has driven me away. ARGHH!!!"

"I see."

"And it's just, it's just…"

"You just want to punt that furry little son of a bitch like a football."

"Yes, Father, exactly!"

"You want to see that little fur ball flung barking off a sea cliff."

"Err, uh…"

"You want to see that scruffy mutt tied to a pole and used for a game of tether-ball."

"Well, Father, actually I did think about taking the snow-blower to dog's face once at full blast."

"Hmmm, that's an interesting one. I'll have to try that next time."

"What's that Father?"

"Oh, nothing, nothing! For your penance say one Our Father in honour of St. Francis of Assisi. Now say the Act of Contrition."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cork and Apples - Medium: Pencils 2B and 2H


"One of the things I love about being Catholic" should probably be banned as a way of starting off a sentence, or indeed, an entire blog post; nonetheless, one of the things I love about being Catholic is being in another Province or State or country, like across the border, and driving with a friend through unfamiliar territory and, looking around, not for anything in particular, you see above all the other roofs and towers a cathedral spire, and you just know in your heart of hearts that it is a Catholic spire, saying, "Let's go there and check it out"; then winding through streets, the spire remaining solidly in one's sights, and finally arriving there and determining that, yes, it is Catholic, and further, noticing that people are going inside, and that, oh, the time is 5:00, and why don't we go in for Mass?


Word & Question

This month's Word & Question (the rules of the poetry game found at that link) is hosted by Dauvit Balfour at his blog Crosses and Cradles. You can read other entries by people there.

The Word I received: Meander

The Question I received: Do dials yawn?


Too fast to see the speed with which shadows
wheel across the dials, in parks where men play chess,
we did the yawning first, fled set rhythms,
afraid to so meander - or not knowing how -
we stamped the pace of nature with our yawn's
contagion: the worded tree rings, the autumn dander,
like these were the home of the slowness
we tried to get rid of; no longer struck
with their rushing vision of persistence.
Such is it to get too fast. The thick meadow webs
the spiders build among the tower grasses
seem old; as the hay-bodies, seed-headed, lean heavy,
revealing clouds of arachnid-works between,
we no more think of instantaneous cities.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Garden Sprawl Friday

One of the great things about British Columbia is that it's the perfect place to grow tomatoes.

The tomatoes set like bunnies, and later in the season the rain continues to hold off while the sun, like a caressing mother, gently ripens the beautiful nuggets to juicy, ruby perfection.

Unlike other places, we are superior in the growing of tomatoes. Many and fruitful are the days for the eating of tomatoes, sun-drenched and flavourful, in this province at this harvest time of year. Some eat nothing but tomatoes the daylong in various ways. Some are known to eat them out of hand, like apples.

I'm still deciding what I'm going to do with all this bounty. Surely some of it will go into canning, while others will go into a nice pasta sauce, while still others will be eaten fresh with some nice cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil and sliced garlic with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt marinated in the fridge over night with scrumptious roasted peppers. It will also probably be eaten with some feta cheese and using this crisp romaine to serve it on top of:

Three words: delish. I'll invite some friends over to eat it while we watch a pirated download of Eat, Pray, Love and weep copious tears of fulfillment.

Cucumbers - Medium: Pencils F and 2B

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hilltop - Medium: 2B Pencil

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Birds - Medium: 2B Pencil and others that I cannot remember.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ear of Corn - Medium: Pencils F and B

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Apple and Knife - Medium: B Pencil

Friday, September 17, 2010

Woods - Medium: Pencils 2B, HB and I think H2 and H, but I'm not entirely sure, as this was done on multiple visits and I was being rather random about selection of pencils.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

St. Michael - Medium: Ink Brush

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Glass - Medium: Pencils HB and 2H

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Apples and Celery Stalk - Medium: Pencils B and 5B

Honey Pot - Medium: 2B Pencil

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Molly - Medium: H Pencil

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fork and Peach pits - Medium: Pencils 2B and H

Lamp, Hat, Cup - Medium: 2B Pencil

Paper Bag - Medium: B pencil

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Max Monday

In a previous Max Beckmann post some dear person linked to an ArtTube video in the comment box. In this video, Annemarie Lütjens, the infant in this previously featured painting, Portrait of the family Lütjens,

is interviewed, giving memories and talking about her family's relationship with Beckmann.

What I found startling was how quickly one can connect the woman in the video with the infant in the portrait. One can understand if a person, however many years down the road, didn't quite resemble their portrait as an infant; you could take that person's word for it. But to so easily see the resemblance, having only first seen that person's painted profile as a one-year-old, and then seeing her real face over fifty years later? That's how well Beckmann captured not just a person's physical likeness, but the self.

Also interesting is to learn how Beckmann painted a portrait; not having the people sit for him during the painting, but following them around, drawing them first. After all that gestation, then he would paint, with the sketches, but not with the people present.