Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Another solstice card

I have a hard time picking favourites. One year I created an image of a broken down old tree and then three of us took a road trip to Maine and spent hours hand-tying little bits of paper to the branches of the tree (to represent poems). We had a great time and I remember lots of laughter, and maybe a little vomiting. One year I created 75 cards out of fabric. They were multi-layered with quilting and piping and felting. It was a big project but I loved the thought that every one was just a little different.

I think, on the whole, that this is my favourite. I created the background by printing on paper using a Gelli plate, then scanning and manipulating the image. The bowl is from a photo I took of a piece in my mother's collection. I then coloured it and added a little shadow. The flowers are the serendipitous part. I was inspired to put them there near the end of the design process. At that point I was working with what I thought was a final version of the poem. It turned out that in the interim my mother had revised the last line to make a reference to anemones - the same flower type I chose to use. Insert Twilight Zone sounds here. I added little dots of gold paint to the centre of each flower before they were mailed.

The card:

And the poem by Nancy Nielsen:

December's Bowl

I beg December to fill my bowl
beg, like a monk
in a village of closed doors.

Nothing but crumbs
not the richness of May
the complexity of July.
No door opens to me.

No compassion:
icy path
up and down
up and down
shaking my bowl
a few crumbs of light rattling.

I remember June ‑
my bowl filled with light
sun swelling over the horizon
succulent words
rolling in the mouth
simple anemone,
rhodora, golden celandine
surprise of sky blue hyacinth ‑

In the open-handed generosity
of summer
I forget


Gray, the bowl of December.
Gray and cold and empty.

still it says patience

Patience for the light will open 
its door, the light, the sun
filling my bowl
see how it fills to the brim
with anticipation of anemones.

Straight Bay
December 2011

Her website - Salt and Stone Poetry

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