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Archive for January, 2018

Beach Junk for Art

Below is a water color painting I completed on a piece of old plastic found on the beach.
An artist friend asked me to help her find a piece of driftwood she needed for a commissioned art piece she was trying to complete.  She had searched several beaches near her house and couldn’t find the correct size, and asked for help.  

On our beach, I doggedly searched for the piece of driftwood with her specifications and found only some small pieces of wood, along with old shoes, pieces of plastic, an unhinged toilet seat, a few seashells, as well as plenty of seaweed and lots of old, jangled, plastic rope. 

Are you surprised by my description of what I found on the beach?  You shouldn’t be, as most ocean beaches are cluttered with junk.   Much of it is plastic.  

When I told my friend that I couldn’t find anything she wanted, she replied,  “Well, we should just switch to painting on plastic.  There sure is plenty of that laying around.”   

A few days later, while again scrounging around on the beach, I found a rather large piece of blue, eroded, plastic that used to be part of a 25 gallon container.  It was an interesting shape, so i took it home then scrubbed it up and left it outside to dry in the warm sun of our Island of the Abacos.  

Then I painted the plastic, first designing the structure with gesso, a kind of acrylic base, then following up with watercolors.  The roughened and worn plastic surface moved the water colors slowly around in interesting ways. Where the plastic was still smooth, the paint moved about quickly and then mingled and mixed with other colors.  

As I shifted the brush size and character, I started to get some pleasant varied patterns on the old plastic.  

Pretty soon, I was lost in the painting and having a great time.  

The end result has a sort of shiny, porcelain look to it.  

I like finding junk to paint on.  And I sure like the price of the canvas.  

Plus, now there is one less piece of plastic garbage on the beach.

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What Actually Happened?

Are found truths eliminated lies?
– proved wrong before truth pursued?
Is time not wasted while examining lies?
Is proving a lie truth 
or is truth hiding elsewhere?

Are lies scientific evidence when found false, like proving the null hypothesis?
Are lies facts when truth is obfuscated?  
Are lies kind when they are white?  
Are lies easier to live when when they bely the meaning of facts?
Are lies truer when falsified?
What about pathological lying?  
What are we going to do about that?

Sketch and poem by MJC

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Ahem

How is it that 
concern for others is worthless?
real is fake?
data are junk to be ridiculed?
declarations of love laughable?
insults the norm?
while we all fall down, together?  
Is there anyone left standing?
This hurts!

Cartoon sketch by MJC.

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Who is that Woman?


She mystifies me, that woman,
holding her paint brush confidently in her left hand,
sitting as she does left leg over right, appearing poised and comfortable in her flowery dress, hair flying, bun loosely in place.

She looks like a beautiful tiger, or
an exceptional rose hanging over tall branches, alone and colorful.

I wonder what she is thinking, this woman of the late 1920’s, an artist painting just a few years since American women could vote.  
Is she looking forward?

She might be aghast if her visionary powers are excellent.

Is she trying to forget?  While sitting comfortably in that brief time between two world wars.

Is she reveling in the present?
I hope so.




Oil painting on canvas by MJC
Water color on paper by MJC

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