A note from the Sculptors to the Painters

Why cant the English language be more vowel-rich, like Hawaiian  or maybe Tagalog, which seem to have evolved from something like song. English sounds as if it came from people who spent their centuries muttering surly pinched consonants. Just look at the word SCULPTURE for instance. Another one of those consonant-laden, vowel-starved words. Obviously evolved from the struggle inherent in the ponderous effort to defeat gravity. Then, the years of practise to learn to pronounce it. Never mind spelling it. And your fingers will always stumble over it, at the keyboard. Auto-correct was invented as a bypass for just such awkward finger work. Starts off weirdly enough, with that hissing S, brought up short against the hard C. There C looks passive enough, but sounds like an annoyed K, standing sharply, hands on hips. The real problem is that wad of consonants in the middle though. LPT. Try pronouncing that, even with meagre help from the U’s. It sounds like choking, or vomiting. This stack of angular consonants is held up by these two ineffectual U’s. Borrowed from their natural habitat in quiet words like murmur. The U at its best has never been one of those exuberant singing vowels. The RE is just an attempt to wind things up peaceably. I suppose they re just trying to make something passable out of it. But it comes off as an apology what you’ve been forced to go through already to get to this point… Dear painting/drawing/sketching artists, See what we are up against? Yours truly,  the...

We like our News scary, but we like our Art safe??

Unless you are selling your artwork to an art museum of some kind, your artwork is probably destined for somebody’s living room. And, apparenty, this is what people want in their living rooms: a couch, obviously TV, novels, video games, all preferably featuring variations on murder and war. Art that is the opposite of murder and war. Over the years, I notice what I can and cannot get away with: Animals are ok. People with animal heads no. Cats yes; rats no. Dragons yes; snakes no. Blue yes; green no. Female body parts maybe; male body parts no. Skeletons maybe; wormy skeletons no. Guitar yes; the head is the guitar no. More than 2 arms maybe; more than one head no. Two eyes yes; three eyes no. (Do not mess with the head.) I happen to like things that are a bit twisted and alarming. Sigh. People want their art to be maybe beautiful, maybe unique, amusing, perhaps a little thought-provoking. But nothing really unsettling, scary or revolting. I get that. I dont exactly want that stuff in my living room either. But take a look at what else is in the living room. The TV, with its ongoing anxiety-producing murders, autopsies, end of the world horrors. The News itself. Mayhem somehow make a better story than chickadees. Novels on the coffee table feature murder torture and betrayal. Doesn’t this all seem odd? Wouldn’t you think the Stephen King fans would be a little more tolerant of a nice little autopsy sculpture?? We seem to love to be faux-scared by novels, movies and video games, but we want our...

Lake of Two Mountains by Arleen Pare

I have a huge crush on this book. I think I might be in love. I think about it all the time. I put it down in my favourite spot so my hands can find it in the mornings. The firs and cedars read over my shoulder, whisper the words back and forth to each other all day. I am jealous of Canada’s governor general — I would like to give this book my award. I am jealous of anybody who reads it. But anxious, too, for everybody to read it. Just as long as they understand, as the forest does, that Lake of Two Mountains  is Mine. Something cracks. Sadness or love.  If only this book would love me back. If it would even glance at me, I would blush, tongue-tie something stupid....