276

sketchI’ve been following (somewhat obsessively) news about the 276 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. From the time I learnt of it, my mind has been alternately ablaze with outrage and hope for the girls recovery. Although this story has aroused a frenzy of international attention, there have been so many other deaths and lives changed forever by the atrocities committed by this group. At a certain point however, in our world of sordid war making, we’ve become numb to the statistics. One reads 276 kidnapped school girls, but what does that even mean? One reads 300 villagers killed, but what would that feel like? Although the numbers are merely a means of conveying quantity, I can’t help but feel that one human being is much more significant than the number 1 conveys.

 

On thinking about this, I’ve started putting together my current painting. What does 276 young school girls captured by islamic militants with a penchant for rape and brutality look like? Each girl would look different. Each girl would have a whole unique life and anatomy as well as a whole string of relationships with the people around her. The girls kidnapped were between 16 and 18. These would be girls with hope for their futures, standing on the brink of adulthood.

 

I imagine myself with my high school classmates at that age. What would we have done if approximately one quarter of our school had disappeared? How would I and my friends have reacted at being corralled by these monsters? Naparima Girls’ High School’s entire raison d’être is to educate young women to be the brightest in the country. My classmates and I were all so lucky to be born in the Caribbean and not in place that is hateful toward women and education. Although it comes with it’s own baggage, being a West Indian woman is a great and powerful thing. I’m not thankful enough for that fact.

 

So that’s where I am. The canvas is ready and I’ve started working through some sketches. I’ll post some pictures as the painting progresses. This one may take a while.
Thanks for tuning in.

 

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Collect

Painted rocks

 

I collect rocks. I collect rocks and shells and then take them with me all over the world wherever I move. I literally have a box of rocks from scattered places. It’s not really for sentimental reasons. Some have strong memories and images attached to them, but mostly I find them pretty. I collect rocks of different shades and shapes, all of which are particularly unique and beautiful to me. I can sit and stare at them for a long time, seeing the sediments and crystals that compose them as well as the odd scratches and bumps that form them. Recently I started making pendants by wrapping them in silver wire.

These rocks are a few that I painted last night. There was a Blues festival on this weekend and so while listening to a concert being played down the street from my apartment, I sat painting rocks. I’m thinking I might try to make a couple into pendants. The others I want to leave in different places I go to. Maybe in the same way that I picked them up, someone else will find them and my little painted rocks will continue their journey around the world. Even if no one ever laid eyes on them again, it’s nice to think of putting them back out in the world rather than having them sit in my living room.

I moved into a new place this month. I’ll finally have a studio space to myself. When writing a friend an email earlier today I realized that I haven’t painted anything for the whole year. Instead this year, I’ve been drawing. I used a brush pen to do these little drawing/paintings on these rocks.

Anyway, if you come across any weird painted rocks when you’re walking through the park – I guess now you know where it came from!

As always, thanks for tuning in.

 

 

Bliss


This painting has been on my easel for the past month. It started out with something I saw/felt in yoga class while in a balance posture. So the first layer was based on that feeling. Over the next few weeks I put a couple other layers on, but by then the original feeling had faded and for a while there I really hated it. The real epiphany moment came last week while I was working on it. There was a moment where I had no idea what I was doing with it anymore and I decided to say to hell with it and just have fun. After that over the next couple hours something emerged and the original impetus came through.

I like this one alot and I hope you enjoy is as well.

Also, this is a necklace I made for my mom that is a combination of wooden beads and pearls. I like the contrast of natural materials.

Lisa

Beginnings & Continuations

O open this day with the conch’s moan, Omeros, 
as you did in my boyhood, when I was a noun 
gently exhaled from the palate of the sunrise. 
A lizard on the sea-wall darted its question 
at the waking sea, as a net of golden moss 
brightened the reef, which the sails of their far canoes 
avoided. Only in you, across centuries 
of the sea’s parchment atlas, can I catch the noise 
of the surf lines wandering like the shambling fleece 
of the lighthouse’s flock…’

Derek Walcott, Omeros

It’s hot out. This has been the first week in Toronto where it’s safe to say that without fear that the utterance will bring on an unforeseen frost. My patio door is open, a soft breeze moves the curtain and my small faux antique looking fan is swishing away between myself at the dining table and my easel at the other corner of the living-room.

I’m still unsure what the audience is of this blog. Is it friends? family? interested artists? random strangers? noone at all? I’m not sure. Either way I suppose, the purpose of this blog is to take my work out of my living room and into the world.

In addition I am making a new rule for myself: I will not be showing any old work. Only new work. I need the freshness of constant creation instead of the hauntings of my past works, emotions and images. So however small, my aim is to each week update this blog with the things I have managed to make.

The painting featured here I completed about a week ago. I’m still iffy on the name. It relates strongly to something I experience during yoga sometimes. These day’s I’m going to a new studio in my new neighbourhood called Kula.

Thank you for giving a tiny part of your day to my meanderings.

L.