It started from the inside out. (Word!)


Poetry approached me in that chaos of raw inverted power and leaned over and tapped me on the shoulder, said, “You need to learn how to listen, you need grace, you need to learn how to speak. You’re coming with me.” I did not walk off into the sunset with poetry, or hit the town with a blaze of gunfire with poetry guarding my back. Rather, the journey toward poetry worked exactly as the process of writing a poem. It started from the inside out, then turned back in to complete a movement. And then on and on in the manner of a ripple in water, a song in the air.

~ Joy Harjo, Introduction to How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2002


Perspective (noun): An Anvil Dropped On Your Head.


It was 11:30 am this morning.
A bruising day and still on the wrong side of noon.
A meeting. A call. Another call. Another Call. A meeting. Another meeting.
And triple tasking, banging out emails during calls and reorganizing tomorrow’s calendar.
Then, a break in the storm.
Get off your a**.  Now!  Take a walk. Sitting is killing you. And if not that, the urine backup may get you first.

I grab my smartphone and scan the subject headings of my personal emails.
Half way down my in-box, my eye catches text in the subject line: “live and learn suggestion.
All in lower case.
The antennae clicks up a notch.  High probability of spam soliciting SEO help or telling me my blog sucks and I need professional help.

My thumb slides up to the DELETE key. [Read more…]

Francoise Nielly


My Modern Met, Vibrant Palette Knife Portraits Radiate Raw EmotionsWith bold strokes and vibrant colors, each of Francoise Nielly’s paintings exude raw emotion. Dabbling in a variety of mediums before settling into painting, Nielly has developed a trademark palette knife technique and with each aggressive stroke of oil paint on canvas, the artist sculpts these explosive images. The knife work allows her a full range of movement and the resulting portraits are expressive and unique, distinct faces emerging from the same paints.”

Francoise Nielly: “It’s known that the childhood is one of the most important periods of an artist’s life. When you close your eyes and think about those years, what colors and what kind of memories do you see? …I also nice times, like summer in Cavalaire where we lived on the Mediteranéan side, building huts and cabins and hunting butterflies. I have vivid images of colors, of brightness. Yellow, sunshine, blue, heat, cicadas, pin smell, light… all of that classical imagery of South France is very alive as an experience inside of me. Maybe it is what led me to the use of fluorescent colors in my paintings.

See more art by Francoise Nielly at and at My Modern Met.

Source: My Modern Met

Slip slip slip through your hands

Music: Elliot Moss – “Slip”. Lyrics. Song on iTunes.

Super Hyper Hair


“Jacques Bodin is a french hyperrealist painter who lives and works in Paris. Most of his paintings are made in an almost absurd scale and magnification, so the subject becomes a kind of abstraction separating it from ordinary reality and endowing it with a life of its own.”

Don’t miss more hyperrealistic hair paintings at Faith is Torment: Jacques Bodin

Find Bodin’s website and gallery here:

Source: This Isn’t Happiness

Big Wing. Big Bloody Wing.


I hope you’re enjoying your childhood.
When you grow up, a shadow falls.
Everything’s sunny and then
this big goddamn wing or something passes overhead.

~ Joy Williams, The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories


and a whole door to the past blows open


At unexpected points in life, everyone gets waylaid by the colossal force of recollection. One minute you’re a grown-ass woman, then a whiff of cumin conjures your dad’s curry, and a whole door to the past blows open, ushering in uncanny detail. There are traumatic memories that rise up unbidden and dwarf you where you stand. But there are also memories you dig for: you start with a clear fix on a tiny instant, and pick at every knot until a thin thread comes undone that you can follow back through the mind’s labyrinth to other places. We’ve all interrogated ourselves— It couldn’t have been Christmas because we had shorts on in the snapshot. Such memories start by being figured out, but the useful ones eventually gain enough traction to haul you through the past. Memory is a pinball in a machine— it messily ricochets around between image, idea, fragments of scenes, stories you’ve heard. Then the machine goes tilt and snaps off. But most of the time, we keep memories packed away. I sometimes liken that moment of sudden unpacking to circus clowns pouring out of a miniature car trunk— how did so much fit into such a small space?

~ Mary Karr, The Past’s VigorThe Art of Memoir (HarperCollins. 2015)




Melissa Cooke‘s (b. Oconomowoc, WI, 1982) drawings are made by dusting thin layers of graphite onto paper with a dry brush.  The softness of the graphite provides a smooth surface that can be augmented by erasing in details and textures.  

No pencils are used in the work, allowing the surface to glow without the shine of heavy pencil marks.  Illusion dissolves into brush work and the honesty of the material.

“In 2012, I moved to New York City from Wisconsin,” Cooke says regarding her inspiration behind the series. “Unaccustomed to city living, I am frequently overwhelmed. The bathtub has become a respite from this chaos, and a substitution for the calming comfort of Midwest lakes. Commotion is muffled underwater. Submerged, I am in the quiet, weightless in a space of reflection.”

Don’t miss more of Cooke’s drawings here: Melissa Cooke

Source: My Modern Met

Drive. And come alive.

Grant-haffner-1 Grant-haffner-2

East Hampton, Long Island-based artist Grant Haffner paints vivid landscapes inspired by the beautiful country roads and bodies of water of his hometown. Using acrylic, marker, and pencil on wood panel, the painter deconstructs the road scene into a striking series of graphic lines and eye-catching colors. Each image captures the exciting feeling of driving for miles down empty highways—watching power lines pass by in a blur, feeling the dips and turns of the road beneath the wheels, and enjoying the boundless expanse of sky overhead.

“When I drive I feel completely alive,” Haffner says on his Saatchi Art profile. “For a small moment, in between this place and that, I am free from reality. My truck and I become a motion of blurred color, barreling through space and time. I like to keep my window open to listen to the sounds that traveling makes, to enjoy the smell of the landscape. Every trip is a new one, not one sunset is the same. On the road I am a part of the painting. I am movement, color, sound, adventure and emotions. This is my landscape.”

~ Jenny Zhang, Gorgeous Pastel Paintings Capture the Endless Freedom of the Open Road



Labor Day


Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “The Harvesters” (1565),  at the Metropolitan Museum, “where it has been for almost a century now,” Randy Kennedy writes, “its peasants scything, sleeping and slurping their porridge on what was supposed to be a July or August day among the Netherlandish sheaves.”

See 11 Photos in Slide Show at NY Times: Art For the Worker’s Sake