Friday Zen

close-up of a dragonfly from May 2013
A dragonfly – taken at last year’s RFM spring retreat, Memorial Day weekend at the Clearing in Amelia County, Virginia .

We spend a portion of each summer near my parents’ home on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. We’re next to a swamp … a freshwater seep that drains into the creek … one that provides water for frogs and dragonflies and birds. At dusk, we can sit on the back deck and watch hundreds of dragonflies feeding, aerial acrobats feasting on mosquitoes and gnats. A bit later, the frogs start to sing.

It’s a sweet spot, a small farmhouse in a soybean field just a short walk from my childhood home. How much longer will the frogs sing?  My heart breaks when I  think about climate change, about what we’ve done with fossil fuels, about a world without frogs.

But for now – isn’t this creature exquisite?


friday art: landscape photos

Would you believe these are landscapes from Mars? Taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) with a High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera. 

They’d make great source images for large abstract paintings.  There are 35 pictures from Mars posted in this series on the Big Picture website … other cool photo series, too.

Martian Landscapes on Big Picture website

richmond zine fest at gallery 5

Last night D, N & I went to the 2009 Richmond Zine Fest at Gallery 5    We walked away with a handful of zines and mini-comics.  Just for kicks, we walked a block over to Broad Street to take in the First Friday art scene.  D & I vowed to make First Fridays a monthly family event. N was less enthusiastic.

From  the Richmond Zine Fest website:
What’s a zine?
“From Stolen Sharpie Revolution
(pronounced like magazine without the maga) A zine is an independently created publication containing anything you want it to; personal experiences and stories, political ideologies, music related writing, gardening tips, fiction, travel stories, comics, photography, or anything you like. zines can be put together by one person or a group of people and they are usually photocopied but can also be printed offset, letter press, or mimeographed.”

What’s a zine fest?
“A zine fest is an event where zinesters (individual sellers as well as zine distro owners) meet up to sell and trade zines, as well as meet other zinesters. …  A zine fest is not traditionally a craft fair, comic book convention, or a book fair. We do not mind if these things are sold by tablers, but we do ask that they devote at least 10% of their stock to zines and other affordable printed matter.”

friday art: Richard Carlyon

The Richard Carlyon retrospective exhibition opens tonight. Four venues around Richmond are celebrating an amazing teacher and artist. D (my artist/teacher husband) studied with him. I wish I’d had that privilege.

What amazes me about Carlyon was how steady / stable his artist life was. It’s what I aspire to. He taught. He worked in his studio every day … walked to it from his house. For fifty years he taught artists and he made art. To paraphrase Julia Cameron, he kept the drama on the canvas.

Here are links to the four galleries participating in the retrospective.
The Anderson Gallery at VCU
His recreated studio is part of this exhibit.

The Reynolds Gallery
Early / late work & Eleanor

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond
This site has links to the other galleries, plus a podcast and a link to Style Weekly article about his life.

1708 Gallery
Interval – re: his interest in the “in-between” spaces

friday art moment

Jeanie Finlay is a UK artist who uses documentary work in an interesting way. Enjoy!


What she says about Home-Maker: “Home-Maker explores what it is like to be housebound, to live your life alone within four walls, focusing on the artefacts that the interviewees collected over a life time and how these objects represent memories and stories from their history. Often the stories are about the person who used to share their life who is no longer with them. The films also document in the intimate nature of the interviews, the close relationship that developed between the artist and the subjects.”

more about Home-Maker