A Matter of Perspective–Friday Poetically

Chuck Close Portrait

Image by Bklyn_Spencer via Flickr

One of my favorite living artists is Chuck Close. I was excited to see that Brian Miller’s prompt at Friday Poetically addresses his works. http://onestoppoetry.com/

A year or two ago I enjoyed touring students and the general public through an exhibit of Chuck’s art at Nevada Museum of Art. In addition to his well-know mosaic-like portraiture there was a collection of tapestries. Close used digitally manipulated photography to generate computer images that he sent to a tapestry weaving firm in Belgium  The museum displayed this work so that the visitors could carefully look behind the hangings to see all the threads that went into the finished work. It was an amazing experience. To view some of Close’s tapestries, you may enjoy visiting http://www.magnoliaeditions.com/Content/Close/Close.htm

A Matter of Perspective

Stand too close to life
and you will only see
little squares of colors.

Take a few steps back.
Look how the whole
becomes apparent.

If you view a tapestry
from the backside
confusion presides.

Step up, face it head-on
the precision of the image
will stun you.

Go ahead, manipulate reality.
The outcome surprises,
at times, clarifies.

Leonnyes Z to A Challenge–O is for Osprey and Owl

Plate 61 of Birds of America by John James Aud...

Image via Wikipedia


Feathered predator
eyes wide-open, posed to kill,
grasp your prey in flight.


Wise one, great horned owl,
teach me the secrets you hold
through years of watching.

I spent four hours at our museum today (Nevada Museum of Art) where the feature exhibit is John James Audubon, a collection of 50 prints from his original watercolors.  The tour I led was for Senior Citizens and included an art component. I incorporated poetry into the tour, reading from Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets who has written a lot of poetry on birds. We discussed metaphor, simile, haiku and cinquain. I gave the participants time to write their own poems using whatever form they wanted to. After the tour they did an art project (pastels/feathers) and I had them include their poems on their picture with some really great results. At the end of the class, one of the women came up to me and thanked me for helping her face her fear of poetry! These poems were two I wrote using O-birds in the exhibit.

Submitted to Leo’s Z to A Challenge: http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/

The image is the one I used for owl!

Poetry Potluck–“Art and Environment”

Old Razorback Mountain at the Black Rock Desert

Image via Wikipedia

This poem is submitted to Poetry Potluck. The theme was buildings, landmarks, monuments. I have chosen the Nevada Museum of Art, where I am privileged to be a docent. 

Art and Environment
A Mirror Cinquain

form and function,
art and architecture—
Nevada Museum of Art,
Black Rock.

Black Rock—
desert wilderness, holy ground,
fertile, arid playa,
Burning Man Art,

The design of Nevada Museum of Art was inspired by the nearby Black Rock Desert. The museum focuses its mission on the influence of humans on the environment and is home to the Center for Arts and Environment. The museum’s mission guides the staff in its selection of art for exhibition and for acquisition. Check on the link to NMA to see images of the museum.

 Each year, on Labor Day Weekend (the first weekend in September), the Black Rock Desert is host into a counter-cultural, artistic community known as Burning Man.  The festival’s attendees number between 45,000 to 50,000 people, transforming it for a short period of time into the 3rd largest city in Nevada.

The form for a mirror cinquain is as follows (in syllables):


Art as Inspiration — Fernando Botero

Did my first Botero tour at Nevada Museum of Art yesterday with a group of senior citizens. Such an incredible exhibit by the contemporary Latin American artist who draws inspiration from the religious and cultural realities of his country of birth (Colombia) but also from the work of great European artists who he studied.

Words that come to mind while spending time with his work: color, shape, storytelling, parody, irony, transience, tragedy, power, sadness, exaggeration.

Yesterday’s tour led itself. The seniors brought such a wealth of insight, awareness and even knowledge of the elements and prinicples of design. I learned so much from them and saw details I hadn’t noticed before.

I’m looking forward to the public tour this afternoon–maybe even a chance to let him lead me into the writing zone.