Friday, October 16, 2009


Acrylic on paper Private Collection

True Friends

Acrylic on paper Private Collection

Buoyancy by Rumi

*This poem is dedicated to my friend, J. I promised to post a Rumi poem on the sidebar, but the one I chose was quite long, so here it is, presented as a new post.

Love has taken away all my practices
And filled me with poetry.
I tried to keep silently repeating
No strength but yours
But I couldn't.
I had to clap and sing.
I used to be respectable and chaste and stable,
but who can stand in this strong wind
and remember those things?
A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself.
That's how I hold your voice.
I am scrap wood thrown in your fire
and quickly reduced to smoke.
I saw you and became empty.
This emptiness, more beautiful than existence,
obliterates existence, yet when it comes,
existence thrives and creates more existence.
The sky is blue. The world is a blind man
squatting on the road.
But whoever sees your emptiness
sees beyond blue and beyond the blind man.
A great soul like Mohammed, or Jesus,
moving through a crowd in a city
where no one knows him.
To praise is to praise
how one surrenders
to the emptiness.
To praise the sun is to praise your own eyes
Praise, the ocean. What we say, a little ship.
So, the sea-journey goes on, and who knows where!
Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck
we could have. It's a total waking up!
Why should we grieve that we've been sleeping?
It doesn't matter how long we've been unconcious.
We're groggy, but let the guilt go.
Feel the motions of tenderness
around you, the buoyancy.
Rumi, 1207-1273

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Pleasure of Paper / Part I

"The Night Before Surgery" Acrylic on Saunders Waterford

Canvas or paper? Each time I develop an image, either mentally or through sketching, with the purpose of beginning to paint, that is the question I ask myself.

While canvas is certainly more popular to art buyers than paper, I absolutely adore the absorbency and resiliency of paper. In addition to allowing a larger variety of techniques than canvas, paper is much stronger than it appears. These are just some of the reasons I love working with paper so much.

My love of paper began several years ago when I began experimenting with several different brands and types, finding a few that have become favorites over the years.

For a variety of works, I love Aquarius II paper because of its strength and versatility. I can decorate it, do calligraphy on it or complete paintings on it. It is a soft, strong paper that absorbs multiple layers of color very well. The trick to achieving a substantial-looking matte finish is painting extremely thinned opaque white coats between each layer of color. Contrary to popular belief, this will not dull your colors. They will remain vibrant if the white coats are applied extremely thin. Aquarius II paper gives this technique a strong look on a soft paper. Bear in mind that I'm using acrylics in a manner similiar to watercolor.

Decorated Aquarius II paper is the absolute best for using as covers for handbound books. The entire process is a joyful experience from choosing a decorative technique for the cover to actually putting the measured cover onto the book. The very first handbound book that I presented to the public was a labor of love, selling at auction for a price well beyond my expectations.

For painting, traditional watercolor papers are my first choice, although I sometimes use acid-free boards, as well as canvas (see my painting below, "Within My Heart, I Give Thanks"). These papers include Kilimanjaro, Twinrocker, Arches and Gemini (which never fails to result in a lovely finish). Both Gemini and Saunders Waterford are my favorite papers for painting. The Twinrocker is magnificent, but expensive - and rightly so, as it is in a league by itself.

I also like the Canson MiTentes papers - another work horse, as well as printmaking papers such as BFK Rives and Stonehenge for calligraphy or decorating to use for collage. Because I like to control every aspect of the creative process, all my collage papers are handpainted. Over the years, I have accumulated large boxes of painted papers which I have often shared with other artists. I have also used these papers for paper weaving, collaging boxes and creating colorful paper mobiles. Other papers used include a multitude of rice papers and unsual textured papers.

In future posts, I will talk about some of the techniques I have used for decorating and altering paper. As soon as my photographer friend arrives, I will be posting calligraphic and collage work as well as newer paintings.

"Within My Heart, I Give Thanks" Acrylic on Canvas

My House #3

On a perfect day, the stairs
are easy to climb
My steps softened by
the smell of mint
The sublime comfort
of the living room
Complete in its colors
of invitation.
I need go no further
for love.
Still, into the kitchen
Familiar things
are found brighter
this perfect day
Where polished pots know
what to cook
Where varied vegetables
bake by themselves.
Where the kitchen's warmth
radiates throughout
Where beauty reigns
on this perfect day
Filled with memories of
visits and laughter
Of lovers, friends
and family.

I need go no further
for love
copyright 2009, Georgette Jones

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Necessity of Beauty

Note: There are seven new Haiku poems posted on the sidebar.

This post was inspired by my recent visit to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens here in Ann Arbor, particularly the section of tropical flowers, plants and trees in the conservatory. Thriving in a simulated environment of high humidity among a fountain of Koi fish and natural rock paths were all manner of bougainvillea. There were far too many names to remember. However, I did remember the Sausage Tree in the tropical section and the Jade Tree in the desert section. On the grounds, some of the trees that captivated me were the Kousa Dogwood, Paperbark Tree and European Hawthorn.

I was unprepared to be completely overwhelmed and in awe of the breath-taking beauty before me. The sense of joy I felt was mentioned in a nearby sign regarding the miracle of the natural world, punctuating my feeling of being in the midst of a unique experience.

New acquaintances here in Ann Arbor had urged me to go see the gardens, but I never seemed to find the time. I am so glad that I went there, because I felt peaceful and happy the rest of the week.

Being among such wonders makes me think about how important it is for us to view beauty on a regular basis, and how necessary it is to our well-being. While it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, few would disagree that the beauty found in nature is exceptional.

Some other things I find beautiful are: A baby's smile (especially when received across a crowded room); the form of horses, cats and dogs; people (especially when people-watching); a well-tailored garment; a lovely piece of fabric; a beautiful room; a fine painting; classical music, and of course, the form of a tree. No two trees are alike, with the texture of the bark, the configuration of the branches and the color of the leaves making each one unique. The same is true of people.

God made each person unique. It is this uniqueness that I find so attractive, as most people are physically beautiful. If you get to know them, the nature of their spirit show in their faces, revealing their inner selves. Perhaps one of the reasons we become artists is because we find beauty in so many things.

"Thank you, God, for beauty and for allowing me to appreciate beauty every day. In many ways, it makes life better."

The Week in Gratitude #3

- I am grateful for waking up this morning knowing that I have not mistreated myself or others through unkind words or deeds.

- I am grateful that I don't mind whispering "I love you" to myself when necessary. Try it sometime. It feels good.

- I am grateful for my art. Creating it makes me feel empowered in an uncertain world.

- I am grateful for the other artists I have met on this blog, and look forward to meeting more.

- I am grateful for the family and friends who visited my space yesterday. We had good food and good fun. It was a blast, ya'll - I needed that.

- I am grateful that I am finally learning to live from moment to moment.

- I am grateful for music. It is the flip side of art.