Even more, a photograph

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
– Andy Warhol

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What IS, A Photograph of the Mysterious

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
– Albert Einstein

I took this photo in a garden grotto – while exploring its caves. I like that nature has made the bold statement of “IS.”

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Of Course, A Watercolour

“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.” 
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Look closely and you will see a heart.

This Valentines day, as I contemplate love, fear, risk and all that spring and winter brings me, l’ll take Mr. Saint-Exupéry’s advice and accept (stay open to) them all.

valentine painting

Lunar Moon Mood, A Painting and Poem with Robert Creeley

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A Form of Women
by Robert Creeley

I have come far enough
from where I was not before
to have seen the things
looking in at me from through the open door

and have walked tonight
by myself
to see the moonlight
and see it as trees

and shapes more fearful
because I feared
what I did not know
but have wanted to know.

My face is my own, I thought.
But you have seen it
turn into a thousand years.
I watched you cry.

I could not touch you.
I wanted very much to
touch you
but could not.

If it is dark
when this is given to you,
have care for its content
when the moon shines.

My face is my own.
My hands are my own.
My mouth is my own
but I am not.

Moon, moon,
when you leave me alone
all the darkness is
an utter blackness,

a pit of fear,
a stench,
hands unreasonable
never to touch.

But I love you.
Do you love me.
What to say
when you see me.

Autumn, A Painting

self portrait

Autumn is my favorite time of the year.  Originally this painting was to be my representation of the Red-Light district in Frankfurt, Germany.   Although for some odd reason it morphed into a painting of fall, or autumn, with all of the reds, yellows and browns – which I happened to finish on the first day of Spring.  Odd..

I’ve had multiple conversations lately both here on One Street Shy and in private about Rainer Maria Rilke, who happens to be one of my favorite authors of all time.  Sometimes feelings are lost in translation so I have posted Rilkes thoughts on Autumn in both his mother-tongue and in English.  Seems fitting.

“Zu keinem anderen Zeitpunkt (als Herbst) bewegt sich die Erde lassen sich eingeatmet werden in einem Geruch, der Reife Erde; in der Geruch ist in keiner Weise eine Verschlechterung an den Geruch des Meeres, bitter wo grenzt es an Geschmack und vieles mehr süss wie Honig, wo sie das Gefühl haben, dass sie den ersten Tönen. Mit Tiefe in sich, Dunkelheit, etwas von der schweren fast.”

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”  – Rainer Maria Rilke

Trapped, A Photograph of The Red Light

“What freedom men and women could have, were they not constantly tricked and trapped and enslaved and tortured by their sexuality! The only drawback in that freedom is that without it one would not be a human. One would be a monster.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Red Light Frankfurt

Little by Little, A Photograph

Another Land, Jennifer Allison
Little by Little, Jennifer Allison


“Well, now

If little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you
Little by little
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For I shall already have forgotten you

If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life
And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots
Remember
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land”

― Pablo Neruda

Joy and Melancholy, A Photograph

“Our sadness won’t be of the searing kind but more like a blend of joy and melancholy: joy at the perfection we see before us, melancholy at an awareness of how seldom we are sufficiently blessed to encounter anything of its kind. The flawless object throws into perspective the mediocrity that surrounds it. We are reminded of the way we would wish things always to be and of how incomplete our lives remain.”
– Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

Symetry, The Parliment Building Victoria, BC
Parliment – Jennifer Allison

Sleep, A Watercolor

“When you go,
if you go,
And I should want to die,
there’s nothing I’d be saved by
more than the time
you fell asleep in my arms
in a trust so gentle
I let the darkening room
drink up the evening, till
rest, or the new rain
lightly roused you awake.
I asked if you heard the rain in your dream
and half dreaming still you only said, I love you.”
– Edwin Morgan, Selected Poems

Sleep, Jennifer Allison
Sleep, Jennifer Allison

 

Hardly Moving, A Photograph

“I don’t want to stand before you
like a thing, shrewd, secretive.
I want my own will, and I want
simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action.
And in the silent, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know
secret things or else alone.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to be folded anywhere,
because where I am folded,
there I am a lie.” 
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Garden Secret, Jennifer Allison
Garden Secret, Jennifer Allison

 

 

Woman Guest, A Watercolor Muse

“This being human is a guest house,
Every morning a new arrival….

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

Rumi – The Guest House

Rumi’s poem, The Guest House, is one of my favorites of his.  For many years I would read it to my yoga students while they rested in Sivasana.  This morning, after a cold, wet and windy brisk walk I settled inside of my warm studio to paint. Today my studio also became my Guest House. You see, I woke this morning with a lump in my throat; a lump of expression and emotion that as it always is with me, would only be sated by means of writing, painting or drawing. Otherwise that lump only grows until I metaphorically choke on it, unable to breathe.

When I first began painting the piece below I knew it would be a lesson; an experimental work.  I’m trying some new techniques with watercolor and synthetic paper and had this idea that I would make a black and white watercolor look almost like one of my charcoals.  The piece morphed at least a dozen times and in the end, looked nothing like what I intended it to be.  This happens all the time, but today – today my emotions morphed right along with my painting.  I had so many guests appear at the door of my mind, so many emotions, that I could scarcely keep up with all of them.  I’d stop for a cup of tea or a glass of wine and sit on the stool in front of my easel and stare at her – the painting.

In the end I was grateful for each of my guests as they were able to appear within each stroke and I worked some stored up stress out from my insides.  Also with my lump now gone from my throat I can breathe once more and although frustrating, I’ve decided to continue my self-study on watercolor techniques……and emotions.

Woman Guest - Jennifer Allison
Woman Guest – Jennifer Allison

Earth Poetry, Photographs

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.

Kahil Gibran

I am an advocate of many things –  of the arts, of humans, of trees, of philosophy, of poetry and literature, of interaction, of expression and of love.  A man whose words have always touched me deeply were those of the Lebanese-American Kahil Gibran.  If I could bring anyone back for an evening of conversation over a meal, it would be him.  I’d like that – to sit in an olive grove with Mr. Gibran and just listen…

Olive trees, as you may have read in my past posts, hold an allure for me.  I like that their gnarly trunks make this bold statement of, “I am here and have been for many years and will continue to do so,”  while their dainty silver-like leaves seem to be fickle in their presence..almost blending in to the sky behind them…

Religion, A Photograph

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs
for their religion–
I have shuddered at it,
I shudder no more.
I could be martyred for my religion.
Love is my religion
and I could die for that.
I could die for you.”
– John Keats

Religion, Jennifer Allison

Man, A Charcoal

“Was it necessary to tell me that you wanted nothing in the world but me?’
The corners of his mouth drooped peevishly.
‘Oh, my dear, it’s rather hard to take quite literally the things a man says when he’s in love with you.’
‘Didn’t you mean them?’
At the moment.”
-W.Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil

Man – Jennifer Allison, charcoal


Waiting, A Photograph

“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
― Oscar Wilde

On my last evening in Verona I walked through Piazza Erbe one last time.  While resting at a cafe I noticed this young man waiting by a statue holding a red rose and looking nervous.  I wasn’t going to shoot him, but then the old man to the left walked by him and noticed him as well.  He gave him a look I couldn’t pass photographing – a knowing look.  It’s not the best of photo quality…but it says a lot about the two men and their thoughts.

Waiting – Jennifer Allison

Ode to Daphne

“I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of all things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a sacrifice on their alters.”
Ayn Rand

Daphne, Hermes and The Storm of Lake Garda,  “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”― Rumi  – Jennifer Allison, graphite