Look at What the Light Did Now

Jen Hall came over to archive some work in the studio.  I’ve been really aching to get a couple of pieces out into the world, one inspired by a  poem by George Bowering (thank you, George)…
 
(a recent letter from George)
Hey, Kathleen,

 
I like your wolf in the snow
and I am glad that my words could have a part in it.
 
Hope to see them in the flesh, or charcoal, or whatever.
 
Well. Hope to say hello in person some time.
 
I am the way and the heavy.
 
  
George’s poetry is so powerful, that to have words of his sent to me via electronic mail also feels like poetry.
 

Thank you, George Bowering

 
and another by Paulette Dube (thank you);
 
Paulette shaped a heart-felt message for me as well, but it stays here, tucked in my heart.
 

Paulette’s Words Take Flight

 
…but, I didn’t want to send the paintings out of the studio until I had them photographed.  I’ve converted my old photo slides to digital recently and I realize that I used to tear out the door, often with wet paintings, in order to meet deadlines.  If I photographed my works, they were haphazard trapezoidal shapes of every variety; they were unfocused and they hardly qualified as an archive at all.  Here would be an example.
 

Poor Quality 🙁

 
So now, I have no REAL history of what has come before, to even consider how all of that work influenced this.  See.  This is why I am excited that Jen came to the studio this morning.
 

Jen’s ‘Take’ on an one of my ‘old’ paintings.

 

Photo of taking Photos by Jen Hall

 
 
Little Wings and Feist
 
Hear it like a pounce upon a peak, oh
Look at what the light did now
Bear it like a bounce upon the beak, oh
Look at what the light did now
Land and water and bird or beast, oh
Look at what the light did now
Shiny little band or golden fleece, oh
Look at what the light did now
 
In my will I went ’til it’s wasted
Look at what the light did now
Taste the taste I taste ’til it’s tasted
Look at what the light did now
Bought it like a boast that burly beaming
Look at what the light did now
Got it like a ghost that girly gleaming
Look at what the light did now
 
Like a dead tree that’s dry and leaving
Look at what the light did now
Play it on me with grief and grieving
Look at what the light did now
I would finally fall to pieces
Look at what the light did now
We’ll meet soon as nephews… nieces
Look at what the light did now
 

And the Wolf Shall Lie Down With the Lamb: Isaiah 11:6

Covenant Painting Inspired by Poet, George Bowering

I asked poet, George Bowering of Simon Fraser University if I might embed his words to the poem Wolf Between the Trees in my piece, representing the hope for peace, expressed in Isaiah 11.  His poem, published on this post, is an offering on the website, Canadian Poetry Online University of Toronto Libraries.  To my request that I use his words in the piece, George Bowering wrote to me,

Dear Ms Moors

I think I like what you’re doing.
So I’ll say sure, you can use “Wolf Between the Trees” in your art.
As long as I get a look at it somehow.

Best–gb

Wolf Between the Trees

George Bowering
From:   : Blonds on Bikes. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1997.

His wife, his wife,
his daughter, his daughter,
his granddaughter, her brother,
knelt in a circle
in huckleberry woods,
digging with fingers, under pine needles,
a small hole in which to place
smoking sweetgrass, optic moisture,
& by the grandson, his grandfather’s ashes,
gray Douglas Woolf, fine at last,
poured from expensive plastic bag
removed from official metal box,
taken from out a brown grocery bag,
his usual appertenance.

      .

Fifty steps from here
he wrote accurate prose
in his favourite ramshackle cabin,

juncos rescued from the cat & buried
under bushes, small daughters
didnt know what they were
rehearsing, now

his favourite knitted cap
has a rock in it, thrown
far as can be into the woods

as they call them back in New England
where few people came
to know he was from, gone
back there as well as here, wouldnt
you say?

      .

Now the women have a picnic,
sitting close as they can to the wolf in the woods,
huckleberry cider, jack cheese, bean & chile spread,
nothing from Europe, songs from mountain folk,
holed up in dark city, sitting firm
on clear prose, tears in all their eyes,
smiles on their faces, smoke from the sweetgrass,
no airliners in the sky, no
mote in that eye.

Below Nine Mile Creek, in Wallace,
Idaho it is 99 degrees. An old man in a see-through hat
leaned on the wall outside a bar.

I said when does it warm up? He replied
moving nothing but his toothpick,
wait till next winter.

      .

Doug will be up there next winter,
no romance, no spooks, meaning
no, he will not be writing a story, that is
over. If you want to visit, use your fingers,
open a book,
dig.

Intensity

Incorporation of Ash and Isaiah

In North Bay, Ontario, I climbed deep into a gully across the street from 42 Market Street to play…to imagine…to build imaginary kingdoms.  With all the moves that we had made and with a new one in the plan, I dug down deep into the pine needles.  I wrote my name into the soil, when I finally hit dirt…then carefully, I covered my name up with the soft needles, smoothing them over.  I thought perhaps, in doing this, a part of me would remain.  George Bowering’s poem gave me words that I needed when I first read it.  I’ve incorporated burnt ash and several match sticks…into the painting.  This piece is a many-layered piece that connects culture, narrative and covenant.