Placing Myself Under House Arrest and Reading Michael Ondaatje

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Wynton at the Fairmont by Carla Saunders

Probably no one will notice that I’ve been put under house arrest. I’m not Lindsay Lohan or Aung San Suu Kyi. All I want to do is go to the studio and paint, hang out somewhere and draw or take some photographs, even try writing a poem. My studio is neater than my room at home. There are three paintings at the studio waiting for me to complete. But, here at home there are bills to be paid, forms to be filled, magazines to be read or to be thrown away and piles of papers, books and ‘stuff’  waiting to be put someplace. We’ve moved a bookcase into my room.  It’s empty. Books are in bags, piled on the floor. Papers are stacked in the bathtub. There is a tower of art that is about to topple.  A soft white rabbit ready to pop out of a soft black top hat, sits by my computer.   Legacy by Linda Spence is open on my desk.

Michael Ondaatje’s book,  Coming Through Slaughter is on top of a pile of books somewhere in this room.  Ondaatje wrote about  Buddy Bolden  a New Orleans cornet player in the early 1900’s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fezzxFjcf This book is my all time favorite. It’s as if you are reading a poem, or going in and out of jazz improvisation or wandering through an abstract painting. Today and until I finish this room, time on all technical devices shall be limited (after I finish this post.)  Permission is granted to go out to buy food or get some exercise. Maybe I’ll listen to some jazz while I get this place organized.

‘You Can’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover’ – Journey of a Photograph

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You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
You shouldn’t form an opinion on someone or something based purely on what you see on the surface, because usually after taking a deeper look, the person or thing will not be what you expected it to be.
When looking for something to read, people will often times only glance at the cover of a book before making a decision. Due to this, many books get overlooked merely due to the title or picture on the front of them being unappealing to the eye. However, if one were to open the book up and peer into its contents, they’d probably find that they were missing out on some interesting and valuable information. Hence, don’t judge a book by its cover!
 
The phrase is also applied to people. How? Well, before getting to know someone, a person tends to first judge others based on their outward appearance, their nationality, or other external factors. It’s a shame, though, because while a person might look rough on the outside, you can never truly know what they are like on the inside unless you ‘open’ them up and get to know them.
 
The phrase goes back to at least the mid-19th century, as seen in the newspaper Piqua Democrat, June 1867:
 
Don’t judge a book by its cover, see a man by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a [???] jacket and yaller pants.”
 
The print in the newspaper I was looking at was really small and hard to read, but even so, I tried quoting it as accurately as possible. Regardless, there was enough clarity to make out the phrase for sure.
Emily’s photograph has been sent to the next participant in http://journeyofaphotograph.com/
As you can see the envelope is becoming it’s own a work of art.  Click on the envelope to see details.
For the purpose of showing you the envelope, I  placed Emily’s photograph over the next person’s name and address.
The envelope is only the cover of an interesting project involving an online collaboration.

Moushrabiyas, Picasso and the Red Line – Morocco, Spain and California

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New version of ‘Rolled’ – unfinished   click on image to enlarge

Paintings evolve. Sometimes painters work on a painting for years. Picasso did. Going back to the studio I looked at the painting ‘Rolled ‘ which I thought was finished.  It’s so dark ! I can’t see the variations in color! All shapes are the same size! Auughh It needs work. So I started to paint. One stroke changes the painting. Another stroke needs to be done. I turn the canvas in a different direction.  I looked at  ‘Ghost  Horse’ and thought, how can I relate this canvas to that one? On paper I sketched my hand, foot and elbow, cut out the shapes and pinned them on the canvas. (I know, I’m not supposed to puncture the canvas with holes according to the old rules) Now I have to integrate the bigger shapes. The red line needs to be stronger. Well, maybe it is ok……

‘Rolled’

One of my blogger friends looked at this painting . His response was To be honest, I don’t really get paintings, esp. illustrative, abstract  paintings. It is nice to get into the mind of a painter. Er? Any hint … interpretation? I’m totally dense.
OK . You have challenged me! You are from S. California so you probably swim in the ocean. Ever get rolled by a wave when you are in the ocean and don’t know which way is up? So if you look at that painting, on the lower right just above the red line you will see a little white paint shaped like me falling legs and arms up with curved back, If you look around the painting you see bits of blue sky The painting or ocean is dark with flashes of light. all kinds of shapes, fish, kelp, water swirling maybe you get slammed against a rock and get a flash of pain (red line). So my painting is how I felt when I got rolled. Or how I felt with some situation going on in my life. How I felt in my head.
Abstract painting is like interpreting jazz. Abstract painting is made up of variations of color, form, line, texture, space. It’s how the painter feels. How does Branford Marsalis feel when he plays his saxophone? He makes that instrument talk using variations of sound. How do you feel when you respond to these abstract music rhythms and sounds?
Squint your eyes when you look at a landscape. It reduces your ‘picture’ to basic shapes, color, line, texture, space.

‘Zellig’ by Carla Trefethen Saunders available on Amazon.com

This painting has many layers. It started out in the year 2000. The painting was about how I felt about moushrabiyas. In Morocco, in strict Islamic tradition, moushrabiyas or intricately carved geometrical screens were designed to keep Muslim women hidden from view. These screens on balconies and windows allowed women to observe their surroundings without themselves being seen. I was told they were to protect the women from men’s eyes. As a western woman I interpreted that as taking away women’s rights. Our world is in a turmoil when it comes to the issue of women’s rights.