Members' Writings

District 23 Member Writings

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The Muse of Poetry

Poetry's Muse
Hides from me
In a thousand corners;
Gleefully observes my
 Futile, empty thoughts.
Delights in dimming
Flickering sparks of imagination.

Poetry's Muse
 Charges unbidden
Into my dreams;
Wakes me from fitful sleep,
With tumbling images
Clamouring for expression,
Competing for creation.

  Poetry's Muse
Sits on my bedpost,
Chuckles at my struggle
To catch a theme
Merging beauty with wisdom;
Then in the early hours,
 Disappears with the Dawn.

Carole A. Martyn

Grateful

Grateful mother taught me to read
before I started school
sailed through Dick and Jane
spelling dictation, Think and Do books
tapping my toes to The Yellow Rose of Texas
hopscotch, tag and skipping double Dutch
all fun.

Grateful Miss Norton read us poetry
images, words, rhythms
luscious language
Bliss Carmen’s Ships of Yule
Wilfred Owen’s Indian Summer.

Later discovering the great writers
thanks to Miss Rattle
Faulkner, Huxley, Hemingway
In university
Keats and Wordsworth become kindred spirits.

Reading – as natural as drinking water.
parlayed it into a career
Now it relaxes, stimulates, informs
Grateful for literacy
served me well.

by Gail M. Murray

RTO’s Lynda Pogue makes it to New York City!!

The following is an excerpt from an interview that took place between ex-North Yorker Lynda Pogue and the Agora Gallery’s Karin Maraney in New York City.

Regular readers of ARTisSpectrum will be familiar with Lynda Pogue from the articles she contributes to our contemporary art magazine. These often show connections between other forms of art, such as music or acting, and visual art – a link Pogue explores herself in her own life. With diverse interests and a talent that cannot be confined to a single form of expression, this is an artist who soaks in the world she lives in and creates works that combine all those experiences with something unique from within, to produce constantly evolving, ever-intriguing and intensely emotive art.

To find out how she does it, read on!

What is the most important thing you would like people to know about you as an artist?
Lynda:
How I communicate my passion for creating begins as a new journey each time I face down the blinding whiteness of a blank canvas. The voyage starts through a relentless exploration of color and light and how they combine to tell a story… this thrills me beyond description.

I’ve come to believe that it’s a fallacy when one says that a true artist has “found her or his voice” because this often means that every painting the artist has completed has identical recognizable and repetitious qualities. I pride myself in the eclectic, expansive artworks I have created and continue to paint. The same applies to my photography. The downside of this is that I can be difficult to market if a gallery owner wants an artist to have one identifiable quality. That will never be me. When a viewer walks into a show of mine, they know that there will be something for everyone because of the breadth and scope of the paintings.

I began as a ‘literal’ painter and have now moved into representational and abstract works …although I must return to watercolour every once in a while to soothe my soul. I’ll be an emerging Canadian artist until the day I die because I believe that, with each canvas, I discover something fresh, innovative, exciting. My art will never be “established” but always new and inventive.

And, because I’ve given myself permission to continually change styles, I grow exponentially. For example, what I might have learned as a beginning watercolourist on paper I now take into the way acrylic paint or encaustic wax moves and combines and jumps across a canvas.
Learning one thing continually affects the other. Doors open for the open mind.

Your work has been appreciated all over the world, by a wide-ranging audience. What do you think it is in it that speaks to so many different people?
Lynda: I believe that each of my paintings expresses a different meaning, a different tone, and a different (dare I say it?) spiritual quality that moves different viewers in diverse ways.

I’ve watched and heard so many people as they experience my art that, at some level, whether they are collectors, artists, or those that are just discovering the power of real original art, they respond to honesty and genuine passion. They immediately feel what I felt while painting.

I always hear how people want to touch my work (as you know, that’s a big fat no no in a gallery) and, to me, that equates with people wanting to climb right into one of my paintings. How electrifying is that for an artist?

Your work is often influenced by other artistic experiences in your life – from music to plays. What kinds of things play that role, and what sort of an impact do they have?
Lynda: Fabulous people who are truly engaging have always influenced me! As a teacher and consultant in Ontario, Canada I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best educators in the world. As Coordinator of TVO’s Virtual Classroom (major television station in Ontario) I worked with camerapersons, directors, writers… and when going live on-air, the visual medium came alive for me. As Director of Education for the Royal Ontario Museum I came in contact with a number of geniuses who worked miracles in several different mediums. Also, one of the critical influences of my artistic journey has been through the support and nurturing from Angela Di Bello, the director of the Agora Gallery in NYC. When I showed and sold works from this gallery, Angela encouraged me to do my first ‘series’ of works. This advice has stood me in good stead for several years. Agora has published articles about my work and I have been writing articles for the past 8 issues of ARTisSpectrum magazine. I learn so much when researching for the articles… I’m forced to look at my own works with new eyes every time I write. This has all led me to create a solo exhibition for Agora Gallery. HOW COOL IT THAT FOR AN ARTIST… TO SOLO IN NYC?!?

Experiences that impact my art have also come from my teaching Integrated Arts (visual arts, dance, drama, music, media arts) at the Faculty of Education at York University in Canada. My students and I have lived and breathed all the arts and it’s been my job to hook one art form into another so everyone encounters both the distinctive character of each art form and those qualities that are common to all. This concept spills over into my studio when I might hear a piece of music whose rhythms become integrated into a piece of art.

Another powerful influence that got under my skin was a play that has deeply impacted me as an artist… John Logan’s award-winning play “Red” in NYC. The brilliant Alfred Molina played the intrepid artist Rothko who was fascinated by the colour red because of the way that it could evoke emotional associations. His work is  meditative, and requires the viewer to spend time with it, requiring us to be active participants. I long for people to experience this with my own art. While sitting in the theatre, drinking in every moment of “Red” and soaking in the color red that was on ‘Rothko’s’ canvases, I mulled over how I might explore the multiple layering of colours in a more profound way in my own art.

 

 

 

At the Toronto International Film Festival I saw a movie about Gerhard Richter whose art fetches more money than any other living artist. I LOVED absorbing his techniques and I’m learning while experimenting with how to blend both powerful and soft colors as I create several new paintings.
I’m a painting machine these days!

What is the main thing you would like your art to accomplish in the world?
Lynda: I want my art to move a person to smile, cry, laugh or nod with agreement while climbing into my work… then we will have had a common experience together. Honest art has that kind of power.

You have talked about the ‘wow’ factor in the past. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Lynda: On my website I’ve been quoted as saying: “I’ve always admired people who reach beyond their grasp. Passion and gutsiness are the hallmarks of innovation.”

I’m crazy about the moments when the colors and textures that are unfolding on a canvas provide me with an emotional reaction. And, if I’m experiencing this response, I know that a viewer, who’s seriously interested in art, will enjoy the same reaction because they are “into it”… They can sense that I do not painstakingly sketch in detail nor do I labor over the details in photographs… I begin my painting journey directly on the canvas with explosions of energy, color, and interesting surfaces; and whatever form the painting takes will reveal itself to me and open up as I respond to the moment. Then it may take weeks or months to unfold and tell its story.

Anyone who’s been moved by a piece of art knows that tiny moment of breathlessness: the internal ‘wow’ factor.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in art?
Lynda: You must find a way to polish your own star!

Remember Liza singing “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a cabaret old chum.”  The message to anyone serious about their art (or any profession) is to be actively involved rather than passively waiting in their own artistic journey… to get out there and let the world know about your passion in as many ways as possible… and for goodness sake, PLEASE don’t continue to do the same the same the same art.

If you just keep repeating something, you’ll be spinning your wheels. And you know what’s shaping under those wheels? Ruts! Don’t go there. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep building one idea into another. Keep experimenting.

Creating art is one of the most exciting, honorable and important professions on earth. Always has been. Always will.

Lynda’s “Serendipity” artworks exhibition will be presented at The Peppermill Gallery in Todmorden Mills (Toronto) from December 3 – 14, 2014.

Truth is truth
To the end of reckoning.

William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, Act 5 Scene 1

Lynda Pogue’s dazzling and diverse artworks can be seen online at http://artisspectrum.com/magazine/31/#86  (scroll through our archives to see past articles by and about Lynda) or at http://lyndapogue.com/.
Lyn