nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘painting and art’ Category

my place, my niche

with 6 comments

All of us, as we self-isolate and stay at home, have become more familiar with our own place or space. We also have become familiar with our ‘niche.’ It is also a sort of space, but is more about how we use that space.

~

My space, on the macro-scale, is in the Northern Hemisphere and the temperate zone. I love the four seasons: perhaps summer, with it’s high humidity, least of the four. I live in a rural area; the bird chorus I hear each morning is associated with mixed hardwood and softwood. For more information on our ‘grey woods’ click here.

~

Our house seemed big when we built it 40 years ago. Today it is considered modest with two floors, three bedrooms and a loft. As I grow older, arthritis means I hang out mostly on the main floor. But upstairs, the loft stores my genealogy interests and the library holds all my books. On the main floor is my computer, my bird watching corner, my sewing basket and my drawing and painting supplies. Often, my husband is there too. So you see, I have most of what it takes to make me happy.

~

My space is more and more often in cyberspace. These days my family and friends are mostly there, on Facebook and Messenger. Just today I had my first meeting on Zoom.

~

I spend about half of my day on the computer, in one phase or other of one of my writing projects. Last week our wifi went down for four days. Usually, I refer to the on-line dictionary or thesaurus about once every fifteen minutes. With the wifi down, I wondered for a moment what to do and then thought, “Thesaurus. Dictionary.” A little dusty but serviceable.

~

So what is not part of my niche?

Music. I have a piano which I can play. And a guitar. And I have a stack of discs and a way to play them. I also have a small selection of my favourite music in my iPad. I tell myself it would be good to include more music in my life, in my ‘niche.’ So far it is only a thought.

Exercise. I will start by saying I do about 30 minutes of yoga-like stretches every morning. Otherwise I would not be able to get out of bed. If you follow my blog you know I am also dedicated to my stationary cycle but, since the first of the year, it aggravates my knees and I have not been doing this with any regularity. I have plans to reincorporate exercise into my niche, but so far, it is also a thought.

~

~

Of course, the world is full of possibilities and I have many gaps in my space/niche. I have interests in coins, stamps, games, puzzles, calligraphy and so on. I have no interest in flying kites, cooking, speaking another language or clock-making. But perhaps, someday, one of these may insinuate itself into my niche. So much to include, so little time!

~

So, what is in your space? Your niche? What is not in your space/niche?

~

All my best,

staying at home, wearing my mask in public,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 29, 2020 at 7:00 am

next book in the Meniscus Series: the illustrations

leave a comment »

For the last two days, I have been in a drawing mood. Not many authors illustrate their books (not including those who work on graphic novels), but I love this part of the process.

~

~

 

I have had lots of discussions with readers about the right and wrong of illustrating. Some think it takes away from the reader’s wonderful ability to imagine characters and scenes. Others think the illustrations take a reader deeper into the author’s intentions. As an author, I think drawings help get my ideas across. Since my books are told as narrative poetry, my words tend to be vary spare and I think of the drawings as extensions of the narrative.

~

I include two types of drawings in my books: portraits of the characters and sketches of the action.

~

The portraits are useful to me as a writer. They help fix the character’s face so the image does not migrate from book to book. I am really proud of the portraits and looking at them inspires my writing.

~

~

I am also proud of some of my drawings of scenes from my books. When the drawing is close to the idea I want to portray, sometimes it suggests new details in the text. Some drawings are not so good but I rarely re-draw. Instead, I think of these as representative of the weirdness of planet Meniscus. It reminds me of a line from my favorite TV show Lost. Daniel Faraday, on his first visit to the island says,

The light… it’s strange out here, isn’t it? It’s kind of like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t scatter quite right.”

On Meniscus, the pencil doesn’t behave quite right.

~

~

In every book, there are 23 +/- 4 drawings. Some are portraits or repeats of earlier scenes. Today, I did two drawings, both unique to Meniscus: The Knife.

~

All my best,

staying home

and staying in my two-family bubble,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 11, 2020 at 7:00 am

blue shadows

with 2 comments

Scan_20200326 (5)

~

blue shadows

~

crawl across the snow

reflect trunks and branches

tufts of lichen

curves of bracket fungi

curls of bark

~

blue shadows

nuanced in ultramarine

and pthalo

a dab of violet

but never grey

~

sinuous, diagonal

gaps of light

slow alteration

with angle of sun

no flicker of foliage

~

Scan_20200326 (6)

 

~

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 30, 2020 at 7:00 am

Watercolour lessons #3

with 6 comments

If you are staying at home more than usual in the coming weeks, I hope you have an interest to pursue, one to relax and involve you.

~

I have been taking watercolour painting lessons. As part of our recent practice of self-isolation, the lessons themselves have been postponed. But, with what I have learned, I can practice and enjoy what I find very relaxing. There is something calming about watching the colour flow from the brush to the paper, especially when using the wet on wet technique (paper is wetted prior to adding colour).

~

This afternoon I painted two studies of the Teton mountains which we visited in 2001 (totally from memory). I thought the first painting could use improvement, especially with respect to the trees on the right side and the water in the lower half of the painting. Actually, I don’t think painting 2 is an improvement. Copying watercolour is more difficult since the paint has a mind of its own. Also, the second painting lacks the spontaneity of the first.

~

~

~

As a result of this post, I give you two possible activities to help you during isolation:

1. have a look at the two and tell me which you think is best and in what respects.

2. pick up the tools for an activity you love and spend some time doing.

~

We are a social species. Although social-distancing and self-isolation are different for us, we are also a thinking species. We can understand that success against the coronavirus requires a community response. I have faith that we will soon be able to return to our normal activities.

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 15, 2020 at 5:03 pm

%d bloggers like this: