Sunday, October 15, 2017

OTI:one poem, one pic, notes:10/15/17

Open To Interpretation

Dragons' Dance

Dragons dream,
And Dragons roar,
Fill the night their winged soar.
When daytime sleeps,
And their sorrow neaps,
Dragons play the stars away.


Notes: pen and ink, drawing from ones imagination, isn't easy...though I've seen it done grade school I'd draw, and a friend would draw too...his drawing would look like right out of realistic comic books...he could just 'see' I suspect, and drawing was no more difficult than inking a tracing he'd see with his imagination on the paper...much like all the inktober artists I've been browsing!'s kind of an amazing see them go to youtube and put #inktober2017 in the search box...anyway...was feeling the lack of the proper paper to use for ink, and noted hot press water color paper was off to Michaels, but they didn't have it...set the pursuit aside, and continued with what I have...but today, tried again, and went to Aaron Brothers, which I forgot was right close to Michaels in Costa Mesa, and today they had a one art pad or  books, and get two for free...I just wanted one, but came home with twelve, of different sizes!...nine canson illustration board pads (10 papers each), and three Strathmore bristol board  books...hundred bucks!...someone on web noted collecting art materials can be a kind of obsession...this foray flummoxed me...'you'll be busy awhile!'...'yes, I'll grow a beard, and not come up for air awhile...all your fault..."...and my inktober for today, day fifteen, brief...they've all been brief compared to the other efforts...this bunch can really churn out things...just the videos they make of themselves drawing, and chatting, is remarkable...much time and effort to make a good video, and many of them are very good...I made a few inks like above with a poem...this one I keep editing, but once inked on a page, that that one is like a tattoo...there is much in these, my inkings. of personal import...these particular ones I try to do at a restaurant, or somewhere where I'm out and about waiting...rolling up to Denny's I saw the morning star, Venus?, and I thought, oh, that fits the poem I'm about to try and illustrate...and the sun coming up was lighting up the bottom of a few clouds with orange and red, like it does in the morning, so I tried to put that in the ink...and too 'neap'...looking up 'neap', it wasn't what I thought it was, low low tide, it's like a tide that isn't because the sun and moon cancel one another out...which is a fit too, so I keep it...where the moon and sun are in the ink isn't exact!...I just wanted both in the frame...the Dragon pose is from the glass dragon I got at the Park, and is dragon in the sonnet, Crystal Shop...when I look at the ink, I remember all the little problems I had inking it...I'd like to be able to have a 'hand' in writing word captions, like comic artists do, but my handwriting has always been a scrawl, so need to practice, develop that...I draw with pencil first, then ink, this time with one of those pen the inking is an easy enough thing to do, unless one is doing it without an under drawing...the trick is to be styling when you are a calligrapher...everyone has a enough drawings and one discovers ones...writing the same...but there is like this urgent requiring thing to look polished, professional, or something...except for those, like my childhood friend, who just come by that naturally! inking is full of mistakes...'happy accidents'--Bob above is the Dragon's back leg...its too small...its not articulated right...but it kind of fits...maybe that is the only criteria that matters--does everything 'fit'...when done with inktober, I'll put them all together in a post...the stradeasel ones too...hope not to overload google's blogger!...a lot of the inkers self publish collections, many for sale...



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

OTI:two pics, six poems, notes:10/10/17


Black Ship Pods
from Black Dragon Lore

A Black Ship hull is crenulated from water line to Black Deck corposant railing.  It's bumpy, and each bump a  Black Ship Pod in some stage of growth.  When grown enough they can pop off and float beside their parent Black Ship.  And can re-attach until grown enough to be on their own on the wide ocean. When nearing this time, a nascent sail appears.  Pods with these sails are raced tethered to White Whales, the crews bracing behind the sail with their legs and knees while holding on to one another, and to the one holding the tether to the White Whale's harness.  There's nothing to hang on to on a Pod, and crews often slip off, a disaster if the tether isn't released in such event, or tangles up around the crew.

White Whales
From the masthead,
The lookout called down,
"White Whales!"
"Finish the hand,"
Said Poe,
And Ned sat back down.
"They won't begin without you."
Poe meditated over his
Dead Man's Poker hand.
He was the dead man,
And his was the last bet--
'Call or raise or fold...'
He thought long.
Petra scampered down
From the Red Wheel
And leaned low over
Blue Sky's hand,
Took in his cards,
And the discards,
Said to Blue Sky,
"No chance,
You're done.
Come away, Cerulean,
The Pods are on the waves
And the White Whales
Invite us to their fun."
Petra pulled Blue Sky
Away from the game.
Blue Sky dropped his cards
And Ned hooted,
And threw in his hand.
Ichi and Shaw had already folded.
"We're off too!" they both said.
Poe looked at the pot,
The scattered cards,
His own eight still unseen, face down.
"Mystery is no mystery
When the dead find their own answer."
Said Poe.

Turtle Soup

From the Masthead
The lookout
Watched the three person teams
Settle on to their Pods
And harness their tethers
To each their White Whale:
Petra (reigns), Blue Sky, and Dana;
Ned, Shaw, and Ichi (reigns);
Queequig, Ishmael and Poe (reigns).
Poe had felt the last poker hand
Ill omened, and donated the pot
To the onlookers,
His hand unseen, unknown.
Ravens flew down
From Black Ship Liz's rigging,
Settled one on each Pod crew's shoulder.
"Suit up!" Poe said,
And the Ravens morphed
Into black full body armor.
Petra laughed to see
Blue Sky's surprise
Through his face shield.
"The Raven Suit will provide you air,
And much else."
Petra said.
"I need air?"
Asked Blue Sky.
"You'll see!"
Said Petra.
"Last to the Pinnacle
Is Sea Turtle soup!"
Shouted out Queequig.


From the Masthead,
The lookout
Watched the teams begin
Racing to the horizon,
Their wakes like long
White brushstrokes
On the black ocean,
And he saw beyond 
What they, low,
Bounding over the waves,
Couldn't see,
A distant patch of fog
On the bluer than blue sea.

The Pinnacle Race
from Black Dragon Lore
The race just to get to the Pinnacle is no easy matter.  At the White Whales' break neck speed, the pods strike each wave like it was a floating log.  Experienced teams reign their Whale according to the waves, be they choppy, gullies and mountains, or dead calm.  Each team crouches atop their pod, locking their knees into the nascent sail.  One in front holds the tether reigns.  Through the reigns the Whale feels the crews' commands.
The two behind hold the one in front around the waist.  To stay on the pod maintaining their grip is a test of strength, to control speed and direction, one of skill, and to inspire a White Whale to win, one of spirit.

The Pinnacle
from Black Dragon Lore

The Pinnacle is a submerged Volcano, riddled with caverns and caves, tunnels and chutes, enormous to small, some so small a Whale can barely squeeze through.  The Race proper begins at its base, and concludes with the first to reach the top.  The Pinnacle, still somewhat active, illuminates much of the course with red glow from oozing pillow lavas and fumerals.  Juvenile Black Giant Squids mark out the course, using their color changing skins for course marking beacons.  This for the crews' eyes.  The White Whales see the beacons and caves fine with their echo-location--them, and Pinnacle Champion Ichi.  For the unfortunate, even a Raven Suit affords poor protection to a team that crashes inside the Pinnacle.


Notes: race lifted from movieMobyDick1956, and the 'earn your flying dragon' quests in WOW (World of Warcraft)...I've made Ichi into a kind of echo-locator...which would explain a lot!...ral...reference too the Farnsworth Bank off Catalina...bought a deck of cards, and Dead Man's Poker works!...can't find walnuts in shells anywhere...


Monday, October 9, 2017

OTI:one poem, two pics, notes:10/9/17

Open To Interpretation


Frustration is the mother of us all.


Note: all along have been wondering what a 'another thing on the tree' Black Ships might look like...don't know but they never will be definitively depicted!...but a start of course was Jack Sparrow's Pirate Ship Pearl...but I couldn't just copy that...and thought and thought...and three masts was certain...and a lot of other things...but three sails on each mast was bothering me...and I thought, 'just one on each'...I've seen old Chinese/Japanese ships like that...and I sketched a few sails...wide at bottom, tapering at top...such sails might block the wind from one another, a thought...and the conventional shape of sailboat hulls wasn't working...too un-black shipish!...and the thought, make it wide!...and I sketched that, wide with roundish shape...and thought, 'oh, it's a walnut!'...messed with the sails, 'oh, their leaves'...'aspens!'...and the leaf veins the, I was off to the web to look at walnuts...discovered they're used to make pen and ink inks, and, and!, to make little boats for kids, with paper sails, or leaf sails! make one of those, pour some candle wax into half a walnut, let it cool, put a toothpick in the wax...cut off the sharp point after poking it through the sail...add a flag with a piece of folded tape trimmed to a point...the dyi this is from is on youtube...several clips there on how to make walnut boats!...anyway, a Black Ship isn't kid stuff...well, maybe...and I've scaled up the idea...put a Black Dragon figure head on it...a Puffin...the masts, the veins, can bend and tilt, so that solves the sails getting in the way of each other's wind...I can use all kinds of leaf shapes...make Black Ship Medea with Black Oak leaves...Black Ship Argo with Live Oak leaves...thought of hull made from an acorn...maybe other nuts...went to all the nearby grocery stores looking for walnuts to draw luck...the rigging, and how to make the Ravens and Gulls without a lot of clutter, a puzzle...some other things...but most things fit!...wish I could with the octopus like color changes...and the lightning charging, going up the veins/masts!



Saturday, October 7, 2017

OTI:three pics and notes:10/7/17

Note: I finally found a head for my imagined Black Dragons!...Puffins!...there's even a pun...Puffin Dragons!...I've always known the feet I want, oversize Peregrine feet...been fond of them ever since I did a copy of an Egyptian tomb painting of Horus, the falcon god...but the head has been a mystery...there's back and forth on the web about dragons, and how anatomically correct they are...could they really fly as usually depicted?...big enough wings on something and anything can has it people could fly on Saturn's moon Titan...air just thick enough, and gravity weak aside!...but I thought and thought on this, and studied a lot of flying dinosaurs...nearly all of them have long beaks, or snouts, which is usual for flying sea birds...but there was one recently discovered that has a rounded snout...and I've thought to use that for model, but can't relocate it...anyway...knuckled down on the idea tonight trying to think of something for the #inktober2017 contest...and thought to look at parrot heads...parrots talk, and my dragons too...but their beaks all turn down...and then I thought of Puffins...I haven't any bucket things, but one would be to see in the wild Puffins...and their perfect...they have like facial tattoos...I can make different ones for each dragon...and they're black and white with red and orange highlights...the red is a fit...wings a puzzle still...this is not a scaly dragon!...feathers and such...webbed the clawed feet so when they swim...the Puffins have two long feathers on their head, or some such...have wanted a crest...and a flair on a long tail...the crest gets in the way of a puzzle...seagull wings maybe...seagulls are like the strongest birds...and why they prefer, over the ocean, the local strip malls, and Target parking lot, a mystery...Puffins and all the far north sea birds are in peril as global warming alters their niche...Puff the Puffin Dragon...too cute...ral...

OTI:two poems and notes:10/7/17

Open To Interpretation
There's things beyond our reach
But not beyond our dreams.

Oh, by some semblance we resemble them
That set us on our tortured sad journey.
As those with dark skins' freedoms light skins hem,
So we are born into their slavery.

At our slightest nuance they throw their whip
And lash and lash again at our twinned fate
Survived from that wreckage tossed around flip
Confounding our whole world from love to hate.

What with our hand cuffs and ankle shackles
We can only shuffle and dare not touch
In our dungeoned romantic debacles
While we scream and to our sanity clutch.

Who are we beside to them they carry
To know their disdain, their vengeful fury?
Dead Man's Hand

"Join us Blue Sky!"
Said Poe,
Sitting with Queequig and Ned
On the Black Deck
Of Black Ship Liz,
Playing cards with the black deck.
"We need another hand."
"I've observed,"
Said Blue Sky,
"And rules I know
All too well,
But yours confuse."
"Game's Dead Man's Poker."
Said Ned.
"After one wins,
One becomes the dead man.
You're dealt eight cards
But you can't look at them,
They stay face down
Until the end of the play.
Then you can look,
See what best five you have.
The rest play the usual way,
Five card draw."
"In such straights,
How can a dead man bet?"
Asked Blue Sky.
"The discards are shown face up
So there's some clue,
But not much for the dead man
Or anyone."
Said Poe,
"His hand could be
Or not be
Something or nothing;
His and our guess until the end."
"And whose advantage?"
Asked Blue Sky.
"Oh, Queequig's been known
To stay dead the whole game
And send us penniless below."
Said Shaw of the missing tooth grin.
"Make room, I'm feeling lucky as
Queequig, but not as ugly."
The five sat and played
A long while.
Blue Sky's attention drifted
To Destiny beside Ishmael
At the Red Wheel.
"That hand you can't see, is it?"
Asked Poe.
Blue Sky blushed.
"She's different." he said.
"She's Lenore."
Said Poe.
"Dulcinea." said Quixote,
Who was kibitzing.
"Captain of her crew."
Said Ned.
"Fate." said Queequig, and turned
Over his dead man's cards,
And gathered in the bets.
Said Blue sky,
"I mean from when I knew her,
When we were young, children."
"Best not to open her book."
Said Poe.
"The Dragons know!"
Said Ichi,
Wedging himself a seat at the game.
Queequig gave Ichi the black deck
And stood, joining the onlookers.
"Queequig won't play with Ichi!"
Laughed Shaw.
"She shares her cabin with the girls,
Her siblings, so long as anyone remembers."
Said Poe,
"That page we all know."
"Oh, and with Ichi too
Her cabin she shares."
Said Ned.
"Go fathom.
And now he's dead, and blind,
Winning your cares."
And Blue Sky smiled with Ichi.


Notes: hmmph...again I'm diverted by a thirty one day challenge this time, this month...hashtag inktober, hashtag inktober2017...this is the pen and ink crowd...very different from the plein air bunch...lots of Manga like images with Manga conceits--young girls impaled by swords and such!...that in the mix for Semblance, and a gawdawful MidnightMovie...movieGirlWithTheDragonTatoo2011 which has about every viewing restriction icon a caution...I like detective movies and have watched a spate of them of late...Bosh and True Detective on amazon prime...gawdawful too...oh, and movieMulholland Drive2001, which I had to resort to wiki to know if I actually watched a movie!...there's some strange things Hollywood turns out...there's been a dearth of watchable movies, even by my easy going censor, in the theaters of late...and I'm having to hunt and peck for stuff to rent from amazon...both prime and hbo and just general movies that amazon makes available for like four bucks to rent...just watched the middle one of the Hobbit trilogy...maybe after post watch the first one...I'm very good at consuming movies!...indeed, entertainments of all, it's something of a 180 to try and create things for an audience...hours and hours I'm spending watching tutorial art clips on youtube...time was Bob Ross was it for such on PBS...years and everyone with a pencil is making tutorials!...some so far to make a video for each day of the inktober contest....go youtube, search: needs some kind of algo to censor anyone with the sniffles!...they're much Bob Ross like fun to watch...and there's something so engaging about watching these instruction clips, and attempting pen and ink, plein air, etc., that one is transported away...a happy clam...Dead Man's Hand is a reach back to the beginning of the Black Deck Tales...I have to get a deck of cards and see if such a poker game actually works!




Saturday, September 30, 2017

OTI:three pics, two poems, notes:9/30/17

Open To Interpretation


Pied Piper
I ain't no pied piper
To be want'n' followers,
No saintly martyr
To be bedecked with flowers.

This world's enough
To know my footprints
Wave smoothed from rough;
She laughs away my tints.


Hercules' lion skin was old,
War torn and worn,
Now no more than
A mendicants hooded garb,
And he looked an
Impoverished fool
Running about the battlefield
Shouting something
Incomprehensible to hear
To the soldiers entrenched
On either side.
Theseus' Greeks,
And Minos' Cretans,
Had taken a break,
Too exhausted to retrieve their dead.
Giddy to be alive,
They found amusement in
Watching Hercules chase after a dog,
So far out in the field,
To distant to determine size,
Or who--
The warriors met surprise
When Hercules and Cerberus
In their career
Drew near one side or the other.
Then the warriors fell silent.
Tall Hercules they knew,
The three headed dog they knew of.
Hercules leaned on his knees
To recover his breath,
Said to the hiding,
"I don't suppose you could help
And wrestle down my hound."
No one spoke.
Hercules over them,
Cerberus over Hercules and them;
Cerberus seated, tongues lolling,
Awaiting the game's continuance.
Hercules rose up impatient,
"I suppose not."
And leaned forward
Reaching to grab Cerberus by the scruff.
Hercules said,
And pulled back his hand in pain,
His palm red, bloodied by bites.
Each singular hair
Of Cerberus' coat
Ended in a snake's head.
One warrior,
A bolder sort,
With temerity,
Grabbed up a nearby severed limb
And pitched it far out in the
Corpse strewn field.
Cerberus barked a high pitch
That hammers ears,
And bounded after the arm.
Hercules said,
Slapping the timorous bold
About the head,
Making his eyes red.
"Off we go again!"

Cerberus high barks
Called her litter
And they came running across the field.
Club wielding Hercules
Dispatched the mounted Shades
Back to Hell,
Grateful for something
Straight forward familiar to do.
And the three headed Hounds
Settled in about the field
Like so many
Three headed Ravens.
Three whistles pierced the gloom,
And Cerberus ran to
Arrived with Hermes,
Dragons Cadmus and Hermione.
Gingerly, Cadmus and Hermione
Hovered above Cerberus
And fastened the adamantine collars.
"A handy tune to have,"
Said Hercules to Orpheus,
"Best I learn it."
And Hercules took the leash
From Orpheus.
"This best I hold."
Hercules said.

Notes: posted the # stradaeasel pic is the extras, and third, last pic, is the to where Magnolia Street starts to cross PCH, and thought a war had started!...airshow along Huntington Beach...unexpected...Blue Angels I think...made my last contest plein air a painting of the jets...sorta...:)...Zora, my grand nieces cat, took an interest in my Cerberus sketch...thought myself it looked more like a three headed cat than a dog!

Friday, September 29, 2017

OTI:one poem and notes:9/29/17

Open To Interpretation
Collars And Leash
Beside the creek
On a pleasant afternoon
Some of the crew,
Madeline and Pip,
Watteau and Ned,
Composing new songs,
Challenging the newcomer,
Blue Sky,
Who sat beside Petra.
Laughing at their banter,
"You've met your match,
"Just so." said Blue Sky.
Orpheus, SunCloud,
Stood by and smiled.
Then from nowhere,
Thunder rolled
And the earth shook
And a crack in stone ground
And Orpheus fell into it,
Like a man's shadow
Down a cliff's face,
And gone from the day.

Orpheus wandered among the Shades,
And came up before
One who might know.
"What brings me here,
I thought I had your dispensation,
Said Orpheus.
"Don't get your flute in an uproar,"
Said Hades.
"That still stands.
I have a problem,
Cerberus is loose,
Hercules has given chase,
But headstrong as Hercules is,
He left behind Cerberus' adamantine
Collars and leash.
Cerberus ignores my whistles
But maybe your warbling tweets
She'll answer to."
"I thought Cerberus was male?"
Said Orpheus.
"You thought dead was dead."
Said Hades,
"Take the leash and collars,
Find Hercules."
Orpheus looked overhead,
Up the crack he fell through,
The opening in the dark
Like a distant tiny star.
"How do I get back?"
Said Orpheus.
"Your lyric has a refrain."
Said Hades,
"Call down your Dragons,
Cadmus and Hermione.
Hermes is on his way.
Oh, and they're getting out too."
Added Hades.
Asked Orpheus.
"Cerberus had a litter;
The dead are bounding
Heavenward astride
Three headed hounds."

Orpheus thought long
While he waited among
The somewhat jealous
Incorporeal twittering Shades
Gathered around him
Listening to him sing,
Long forgotten tunes.

"We barely fit
That long chimney.
Wings folded up we dropped."
Said Dragon Cadmus with
Dragon Hermione
"I have become thin."
Said Orpheus.
"If this is to become habit,"
Said Hermes,
"I'll have Hephaestus
Fashion winged shoes
For all your feet.
Added Hermes,
"Another thing, Orpheus,
Hades said.  You'll need to
Whistle thrice."
Said Orpheus,
"Next he'll tell me how to sing.
Enough 'ohs'...
There!...up we go!"
Orpheus hung on
To the adamantine
Collars and leash.

Notes: fussed with the Black Deck Crew in the wee hours...then slept until past 4pm, with an up and down to feed Maya, my dog...didn't eat myself...and so rolled out to Huntington Beach kinda late, like almost five...not going to be much time for the hashtag stradaeasel plein air painting, so on the way thinking how to do a sunset...lay down the oranges and yellows, let them dry, then the blues in the sky...blues over wet oranges are a problem...they turn, nearing the beach, I find the horizon all fog...fog even drizzling...well, this'll be easy and quick, I thought, greys, some greens for the ocean, a few waves...and done before the light is's a long slog across the beach, and with my head down contemplating, didn't know the sky cleared in a band along the horizon...the fog was lifting...not really fog...a low overcast...and the band was going through permutations of orange and yellow...and then the sun a silver coin, becoming the time it reached the horizon, the sky was clear as a bell...a half moon high overhead...made the painting of what I saw first...just the band...and it's okay...but there were all kinds of other paintings in the sky as the sun set...such is plein air!...tomorrow is last day of contest...we post a pic of all the 30 paintings, and I'll post that here tomorrow...have more than thirty, as I did extras with the extra paint on the pallet to start...then just got in the habit of doing two or more...Picasso is said to often have done two of the same, one for himself, one to sell...tonight only time for one...