songofcopper: (Cosmériffick)
This afternoon I’ve been doing a little art experiment. (I have no formal skill in this area, so any success - define the latter as you will - is largely down to serendipity or Divine intervention!!)


Recently I acquired some kyogi - these are wafer-thin sheets of pine wood, traditionally used in Japan for serving food.

Writing on kyogi )

Anyway, whimsical penmanship aside, seeing the wood grain pattern on the kyogi reminded me of those Edvard Munch woodblock prints called ‘Towards the Forest’ - obsessive iterations of the same image, produced and reproduced, the texture of the wood being called into service as part of the composition.

Brooding menace )

Recently, I’ve been enjoying discovering various artists who are new to me: they fall into several categories.

Archetypal Artists )

Aside from meeting these extraordinary artworks, I’ve also been finding much enjoyment in many of the things that have inspired them. Some of these are long-standing loves, some newer.

Gleeful Gloom, in painting, word and photograph )

All around, so many proofs of possibility: at some point, looking at other people’s genius-born meisterwerks ceases to be off-putting, because you know full well you can’t emulate or equal them. There is no tension then - you can’t feel intimidated by the foregone conclusion of your own lack of skill. Somehow it becomes possible to just have a go, without worrying about the outcome.


Crepuscular Encounter )

Now that I know this works, perhaps I’ll make other things - time will tell. Anyway - clearly I’m no kind of skilled artist, but it is inevitable that buoyed in the tidal wake of those blessed with great artistry there will always be happy accidental amateurs bobbing about. What can I say else but ‘come on in - the water’s lovely’.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014 20:36
songofcopper: (Albrecht Dürer Forever)
Yesterday, very very overdue indeed, I gave myself a much-needed haircut. Really, it is quite a relief to feel like myself again! Hair is psychologically significant, even if to own so is apt to make one feel rather superficial.

No Actual Capes )

Hyperbole Overload

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 18:10
songofcopper: (Albrecht Dürer Forever)
Annoying discovery of the moment: the word ‘alchemy’ has become thoroughly meaningless. When you search for the word ‘alchemy’ all you get is a Vicipaedia article and about a hundred companies whose founders clearly have no imagination whatever. You can practically smell the thought process - “Uhhh, well, Clive, we could go with ‘synergy’ or we could go with ‘alchemy’… ‘alchemy’ is easier to spell, right? And it starts with an ‘a’. That’s, like, really positive, yeah?”

It is always a shame when words get bland. Think of the word ‘fantastic’. That really ought to indicate that the thing described has a beyondness, an aboveness, a quality of the dangerously imaginative. But these days, it’s ‘fantastic’ when you can successfully book a table at a restaurant, it’s ‘fantastic’ when someone hands you something over a shop counter, it’s ‘fantastic’ when something goes right in the most mundane way imaginable. ‘Fantastic’ - seriously?

Then there’s ‘incredible’. That word was originally intended to convey that an event or thing is beyond comprehension, that it’s unbelievable in the literal sense (which I have to qualify, because - inevitably - ‘unbelievable’ itself often gets handed out in response to things that are… hilariously believable).

And of course, we regularly tell each other that something is ‘amazing’ when it has not actually amazed us in the slightest, or that something is ‘marvellous’ when it is in fact no kind of marvel. Worse - we bandy the words ‘love’ and ‘hate’ and ‘starving’ and ‘torture’ when we really mean ‘it’s ok I guess’ or ‘it’s not up to much’ or ‘I’m looking forward to lunch’ or ‘that stings a bit’.

Maybe words are like drugs. The more you overuse them, the less effective they become? It feels like we need a massive shot of hyperbole these days even to move an eyelash. You can see this on any talent show where the participants have broken through the barrier of basic mathematics in order to offer A MILLION PERCENT. Careful, now. You might find yourself having to pay that back one of these days. You’ve just signed away your soul. The Devil himself (manifesting in the shape of Simon Cowell) is chuckling at you.

I searched for ‘alchemy’ expecting to have to wade through a bunch of credulous new age flannel, not… recruitment agencies and IT systems security firms. And restaurants. (Restaurants! “Would you like sulphur with that, sir, or may I suggest a little antimony on the side?”) And cosmetics firms, and media companies, and local community projects, and jewellery designers, and - lord save us - dentists. (Well, I guess the dentist kinda makes sense… if they still do mercury fillings?!)

Alchemy should be a powerful word, not a catch-all for some slick transaction resulting in ‘hey presto’. It should - it must - speak for those transformative moments in which one thing becomes another. It should be a word that reminds us that nothing is ever lost or gained… it only changes.

In All Things, I Know Myself To Be Mercury, Not Granite. That is something I need to remember, ponder, analyse and… accept.


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This journal is not a private diary, it is more like an occasional, imaginary column. Therefore, much of it is on public display. However, if you want to read my occasional attempts at creative writing, my Caution Elf tells me I should only show that stuff to my friends. You know what to do. :-)

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