Tea + Poetry

Earl Grey

Notes had been sent asking after my whereabouts. I hadn’t indulged in my favoured Earl Grey, tiramisu and panna cotta combo for months. This is my day off, so I presented myself at my friends’ patisserie just after 11.00 (dessert before breakfast, people) and got to work. Eating, that is.

Orange panna cotta

As for play time, this is what I got up to. Special thanks go to Egbert Starr for permission to work on this composition using excerpts from his brilliant prose poem, The Gallows’ Horse. Please visit his blog to read the full version.

open magazine pages with tiramisu and orange panna cotta

Featured magazine – Numéro, Tokyo, April, 2016. Vol 95: Perfume ads; “Dark Romanticism” and “Pretty Killer” editorials by Ellen Von Unwerth with art direction by Yuni Yoshida.

Dark Romanticism with glass try and tea

Prose poetry excerpted from “The Gallows’ Horse” by Egbert Starr.

Facing pages; poetry on magazine page; empty dessert jars

Upper:
I said to the wise man I met, “Love.” And I said to the crone the same. To children, I said to them, “Love one another.” To kings, philosophers, chemists, scientists of every kind, my message was exactly so.

Lower:
I remembered from the land above the flower of my treachery. I remembered my rage and anger and my fulsome seductions of a thousand Persephones. How pleased I was! How capable! How incisive and cross-quotable my demonic possibilities. I was in the world of common men without compare!

second page with poetry written on

Epic prose poetry, and it tasted fantastic. My friends and I chatted while I worked, so they were my guest editors. Thank you for reading, too. Enjoy a sip of all right until we meet again. SB

Hygiene

Hygiene, or a sense of professional decorum, is important when communicating with readers. In this post, I discuss my personal blogging hygiene. I am not the most appropriate person around here, but I have guidelines for being “professional” even while I’m acting out.

The Emperor’s Nude Hose, courtesy The Daily Mail.

Terminology
There’s a follow button around here but I’m not Yeezus. I prefer to say subscribers or readers. Frankly, no-one is hanging on my every word. Everyone visits willingly and this makes feedback immensely valuable.

Calling cards
Right, so when someone gives some feedback on a post, I never assume they’re in love. They’re not getting carried away in the fantasy of us. In return for their kind support, I don’t suddenly post missives about my happy family life, my husband, wife and three point five children, my happy engagement, my hot muscular boyfriend, my busty girlfriend or announce that I am in fact, gay, asexual or bisexual. I don’t conclude that attention from a blogger means they want, you know, a relationship. Like, for real? That’s whack.

Rapport
To begin with, I try to post things that readers might enjoy. If I invite feedback, I look out for it and respond as soon as I see it. If I have objections to post content, I quietly leave. WordPress is not a bistro, so ordering authors around is not on. Conversations and continued attention are the best ways to develop rapport with other bloggers. Self-adulatory messages along these lines don’t count: “Hello, Good on you for recognising my genius. I’m grateful for every minion…”

Taylor Swift needs eye drops

Humblebrag or brag-brag? I can’t decide.

Command prompts
Showing up on blogs like the Supreme Queen of the Universe and commanding bloggers to “read, like and follow” is poor form. Occasionally, I point bloggers to posts I’ve written but when phrasing my requests, I remember how someone snarled at me, “Obviously you didn’t memorise read my (PhD thesis) proposal.” It had taken him six years, on two scholarships, to write four pages. It was a full two minute read. I promised to never talk to anyone like that.

Assumptions
When someone visits my catalog and exclaims that I’m “strange”, I’m reminded of the recording artist (you’ve never heard of him) to whom I was almost engaged. He had spent his career in the tabloids, on stages and in bathtubs with models in a drug induced haze. He called me, “stuck up” because I said that in our future together on Paradise Island, I would like to spend Sunday mornings watching polo. Think about this for a minute. To what was this person’s assessment of “fun” calibrated? Thank you.

Image credit: Behance

Solidarity
I’m not a judging panelist, but a member of a community. So, when commenting on posts, I’ll say how much I enjoyed reading. I’ll read as if I’m watching my favourite Russian pianist live in concert. I call out from the balcony. Brava! Bella! Then, backstage, I shower her with kisses. I offer the same to you.

Corona

Pink edit - Popsicle

Berry Soda

Acrylic and moulding paste on
A4 illustration board (processed)

Orange edit - Orange silk

Orange Silk

This is a practice painting I’ve been playing with since early March. It started as an orange stigma and petals in shades of green, on green illustration board. Later, I painted over it in light rose and oxide black. And finally, in deeper shades of rose.

Two versions of the painting were photographed on magazine pages. Below is the light rose edit I’m using as wallpaper for my phone.

iPhone screensaver edit - on magazine pages, a model is wearing a spiky Game of Thrones style tiara and necklace.

Corona – The Same Face

Outtakes: The collage below shows the edits that nearly made it to the main presentation. This time, I really couldn’t make up my mind. The final deep pink version appears in this one.

Collage of alternate edits

Collage with texture details

Corona - Banner with inverted text, by SB

As always, I wish you a lovely day. Thank you so much for viewing.

Magazine photos – Maggie Jablonski by Elena Rendina for Numero, Tokyo, “Be Gorgeous”, vol 91, November, 2015. 

Antique Moss Green

paper plate with green wall paint
Antique Moss Green

Ordinary, exterior wall paint (yellow in green) drying out in a paper dish, on a sheet of newspaper. The result of a demonstration that wall paint doesn’t blend like artists’ colours.

Think

Poster colours on masking tape

Think – Grey

Poster colours and masking tape on 120 mm x 100 mm notebook cover.

Poster colours on masking tape

Think – Green

 

masking tape

Masking tape

Today, I wanted to play with watercolours and masking tape. I tried something complicated with art and poetry (the inked portions) on Sunday afternoon but messed it up. After hearing encouraging remarks from a friend, I taped another layer and splashed out on a new idea.

Setup – before painting

 

Think – Raw (unprocessed)

Keep it simple if/where you can and have a great (Independence) week(end) ahead.

Coffee + Heart

Melbourne – Monday, June 13 – 08.08

GUEST POST

Reflection and photos by Machine.Gun.Meow (mGm)
Facebook: Machine Gun Meow Twitter: @MachineGunMeow
Instagram: @machingunmeow

Growing up in Nairobi, as a girl of Indian heritage, diversity has shaped my worldview. I have been in a nostalgic mood of late and, given recent tragic events, SB asked me to share my morning reflection with you.

While watching The Revenant last night, I noticed the treatment of the Native Americans in the film. I said to Mr. Meow that it is unfathomable that we, as a human race, seek to hate others based on differences.

Filtered

We could go to land’s end and the hate would find us because there is always something that distinguishes one person from the other. What is more unbelievable is that the situation has changed little in the two hundred years since the film’s setting. Simply put, the hate stems from a sense of righteousness or superiority, whether you blame it on religion, ‘science’, politics or custom. I feel we must find a higher order of being instead of looking for problems where none exist.

Mixed bowl

At the moment, I am writing a fantasy fiction novel. In it, I explore the idea of diversity. The questions I contemplate are, “What is the alternative to diversity? Is it uniformity or conformity?” I wonder, is that the kind of world we want? Are we better off being cookie-cutter images of each other? Is that what would encourage acceptance?

Reflection

If the defilers of diversity were confronted with the alternatives, would they reconsider their position? This is wishful. I concede I have no solutions.

 

No Forks Given

aluminum cans

Varnished aluminum cans …

A head dressed up

… dressed up a head

Can I have a witness? Two hours after swearing on a stack of fifty imaginary Bibles that I would never, ever, ever publish anything from my archives, I found myself wedged in a situation.

Hiatus

Hiatus

Wired

Lomo wired

newspaper roses

Newspaper roses

Summer, 2009 – A friend and I thought, “Let’s, like, totally deface a mannequin as an homage to Alexander McQueen (memba that headdress?) and Junya Watanabe (Comme des Garçons).” Yeah, sure, she had some at home, so we borrowed one. Ow!

Netted

Netted

Defaced

Defaced

red tab

Red tab

Instead of using plastic to wrap the soda cans, as in the McQueen Horn of Plenty Autumn 2009 show, we used 110 denier tights, glue and wire. Nail polish went on the lips, can motifs and Hangul lettering. The barcode was inked with permanent marker.

Forked over

Silver painted forks

My friend was really into Korean pop music and the Hangul script was hers. I have removed the forks because I don’t remember why we added them.

The heart can

Heart can wire

They are tucked away in a basket on a nearby shelf. But please don’t get any ideas. I’m not giving away any of my forks.

No Forks Given

Modern art, these days

Thank you for viewing. xo

Buccaneer

Dutch replica of warship

Buccaneer

closeup of port side bow

Ghost Ship

Replica of Dutch built warship

Docked

These photographs were taken on Thursday and Friday (May 19/20), in a small port town, where I attended an art conference. May is the month in which I return home to do laundry and repack my luggage. I hope it’s been a good month for you.

cave, nuanced

Treasure Cave

wooden peg, close up

Pegged

wooden peg, monochrome treatment

Posted

Dutch replica, portside, medium closeup

Ship, Port Side

Wood Love

An open sack of charcoal; the opening is in the shape of a heart

Charcoal Heart

strips of wood, interlaced

Stripes

Captured in a forest reserve. The torches below were for our evening bonfire. The chopped wood for the bonfire is shown in the second to last photo.

In other news, I managed to make curry, over a coal fire, for ten hungry colleagues. No idea what I was doing and there was lots of improvising. So, it felt like an episode of MacGyver. The ingredients (curry powder, streaky bacon, potatoes, carrots and onions) were already prepped by the research facility that hosted us. Everyone was nervous about the potatoes but I Gordon Ramsayed them and they came out just right.

Torches for a campfire on the ground

Torches

Logs on a log shelf processed in black and white

Shelved

wood for a fire, in an iron grill

Wood Burn

Thank you for viewing.

Omelette Pizza – Easy cheesy breakfast

Omlette pizza brunch with Yokai Watch

Hello and best wishes for the month of May. This is my brunch. I used one egg for this omelette because (excuse me) I needed room for the cocktail.

Omlette pizza full

Easy cheesy, omelette pizza:

  • Sautée plum tomatoes with sausages and garlic.
  • Cook an omelette on one side, flip it. 
  • Top the cooked side with the tomatoes and sausage.
  • Top that with shredded Gouda cheese.
  • Reduce heat and cover skillet until the cheese melts.
  • Photograph right away.
  • Eat omelette while it is hot.

Greek yogurt with raspberry sauce

The cooking time is short. If you’ve made an omelette pizza before, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s in this?
One egg; sausages – diced; plum tomatoes – halved (green, orange, purple); black olives – sliced; finely shredded Gouda cheese; garlic – grated; rock salt (a little); butter/sesame seed oil.

a part of the omlette pizza folded up

My dessert of choice is Greek yogurt and raspberry sauce, which mGm will appreciate. The May Day cocktail, fresh cut strawberries in blood orange juice and sparkling wine, is for Work in Progress.

fresh strawberries (cut) in blood orange juice and sparkling wine

Thank you for viewing.

Refined

Rubber stamp on magazine print, with inked verse on recycled paper
[a] Finally, a readable version (gives up)

Collage: Rubber stamp on magazine print; lavender scented ink (in quill) on recycled paper. Photograph: “Pretty Killer” editorial by Ellen von Unwerth, Numéro, Tokyo, April 2016.

A mindful process refines me. When a thing feels auto-, it’s time to reset and learn as I go.

Refined
[b] Proofread (gives up)

The quill and lavender scented ink are with a friend’s mother. She’s recuperating after a long hospital stay. Writing in a start/pause/adjust style should keep her mind and hand muscles engaged. I practiced for several hours to get a feel for the process. She’s now giving it a try.

Thank you for viewing.

Floral Wilt

floral sculpture dramatic filter
[i] Delilah

Floral sculpture, wilting

Warm wishes for a peaceful and safe Easter weekend. To my Hindu friends, I hope your Holi was full of love and joy.

floral sculpture filtered in pink [ii] Pink this, Fuchsia

For this project, I tried to create a sculpture with wilting flowers. I rearranged them a few times and photographed each version until I found a good balance.

floral sculpture filtered in red
[iii] Carmine phase

I used wilting petals to bring emotional texture to the composition. I hope you like them, too. Thank you for viewing.

Tortoise

Tortoise

Acrylic on hemp canvas (processed)

What is your tortoise in life?

Long live the King!

Parliament based on columns, Vienna

This medical morning, for the King, started in a Vojda Space Cab. It surged through a private subterranean concourse, along a 500 km track, nonstop to Brussels. Technically, he was dead, long live the Queen.

Images of the plane wreckage were shared everywhere. The world sat down to look. “Surely, no one survived the impact,” agreed the comments.

Conspiracy theorists weren’t having it. They leaked reports of advanced stem cell research. They explained mitochondrial nanorepair kits. Available in portable spray cans, a generous spritz regenerates cells from the inside out. Over time, nanorobots rebuild nerves, blood vessels and tissue. Surgeons supervise them over WiFi.

365/17 - Banned by Justice

Hours earlier, tributes labeled the monarch, “Guru of a pampered and oblivious sect.” But a news anchor tearfully reminded everyone that Lear was a single father. He’d done a great job, if his youngest daughter capsized the world’s oldest monarchy. When the forty second eulogy was over, the King became an icon of equality and fair play.

The conspiracy theories remained unbelieved until some atheists tweeted prayers. Minutes later, temples, synagogues, churches and mosques around the world were crammed with supporters.

“We forgive you,” pleaded the congregants. “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!”

 


Long live the King | SB
…continued from Lear

Photo credits: Parliament based on columns, Vienna and Banned by Justice from Dominik Bartsch via Flickr.

Letting it go…

an assortment of stationery cans, a few Disney Frozen and Heartful Fairy, colour Greetings from my desk friends.

Some stationery (note paper) with a can do attitude and best wishes for the month ahead. A little bit of support from friends can go a long way.

an assortment of stationery cans, a few Disney Frozen and Heartful Fairy, black and white

Lear

365/26 - Lotus Elise

It was a grey morning. The King’s jet landed, without pomp, on the wet tarmac. To demonstrate the urgency of the matter at hand, he held court in the hangar.

Flunkies prepared champagne infused strawberries, seared swordfish, and dark chocolate wrapped in silver vark. All nestled peacefully by a hedge of white lilies. The floral scent was powerful enough to obliterate the King’s rage.

Cordelia smeared wasabi on her swordfish with a flash of defiance. Her father had filed a lawsuit (€1.2 trillion) against her to “recover assets essential to the economic prosperity and political stability of the nation.” This morning, he’d asked to see her without their lawyers.

Karl der Große, Rathaus Osnabrück

He spoke, judging her. “The Imperial Household is divided but there you sit, eating sashimi.”

“Dad, his cousin’s going to be Empress. She is the rightful successor.”

“You cannot be in love,” trumpeted the monarch. “In this era, love’s flight risk factor is treble thousand. That boy …”

“That man. That heart surgeon.”

“One rank up from butcher, cosplaying as normal. It is undignified for a future Emperor to touch the flesh of yet dead men.”

“This is incredibly bigoted!”

“Pledge your loyalty to me. Rescind this vile protest and I will abdicate. You will be Queen.”

Succession contracts wafted about her face, close enough so she would catch sight of the lucrative terms. Cordelia did not flinch.

 

Lear | SB

Photo credits: 365/26  – Lotus Elise and Karl der Große, Rathaus Osnabrück, both by Dominik Bartsch via Flickr.