Photos, Writing

Come and Visit

The other day I found a treasure of old photos, some of my old blog posts I’d saved on Microsoft Word, and a plethora of unfinished poetry. Since then, I’ve been rescuing my blog posts and adding them to my site. As many of you know, I deleted those old posts years ago and I’ve regretted it. Not everything from those files is well written—I wince a lot when I read my old stuff—but it’s all a record of who I was and the growth and changes I’ve gone through.

I think I miss most the comments from my followers. Those are gone forever.

Anyway, I’ve been plugging those holes, rebuilding the past. Lots of old poems, art and photographs to look at. And more on the way.

So stop by, leave comments at my About page, and don’t be a stranger.

I’ll end now with a sunset photo at a lake near my home. A perfect place to collect my thoughts and find peace.

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Art

Farm Sky Painting

Forgive my excitement if it seems like I’m bragging, but I’m excited right now with my latest accomplishment. I love it when a painting I do ends up well. That doesn’t happen often. But I stayed focused all the way. I’m sure it was because of my huge crush on skies and farms and gorgeous sunsets.

Two views. Enjoy.

Art

Elsie Gee Cartoons

I took a “Drawing Cartoons” class when I was a kid because I used to draw them in my school notebooks when I was supposed to be paying attention to my teachers. I was a big daydreamer. Luckily, ADD wasn’t a big social issue then, so I was able to adjust on my own without Big Pharma drugging the life out of me.

Still, habits can be hard to break. I doodled in my college notebooks, too.

Elsie Gee was a character born in my college notebooks, a spirited girl who got her name from my initials LCG. I copied the drawing style of one of my art teachers because I’m terrible drawing hands. His philosophy was “Keep It Simple.” It worked.

The three panels here are my favorites. They reveal the young woman I was… and my dependency on tracing paper, lol!

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Photos

Photography

Is photography art? If so, when does a photograph become art? And who decides?

Is it when we want a photograph framed and hanging in our homes that it becomes art?

I’m considering adding some of my photography to this blog. But I’m undecided on whether to add it under my Art heading or give it its own heading.

I’m not a professional photographer. I take snapshots of things I like. I don’t define my photographs as art, but many friends and family members do.

I believe skilled craftsmanship is the defining element of art. Art turns the ordinary into something extraordinary… something people want framed and hanging in their homes. I don’t consider any of my photographs extraordinary. The elements in my photography are timing and good luck.

If my photographs are to be called anything, I think the right word is “interesting.” Nothing more.

But friends and family disagree and tell me I’m too hard on myself. So with that in mind, photography as art, I suppose, dwells with all things art: in the eye of the beholder. Which returns us to my dilemma: What do I list it as? Art? Photography? Or just plain Pics?.

The photograph above of an American Bald Eagle sitting in a tree in my backyard is a “right place, right time” lucky snapshot that I really like looking at. So much, in fact, that I’m thinking about framing it for my office. Maybe when I do, I’ll have figured out where it belongs here.


Update, 9/15/2017:

My photography will be under the heading Photos.

 

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Artwork, Writing

The Blogger Me

It feels good to blog again about my poems and art. Although I have been blogging since 1996, I feel like a stranger blogging again and reaching out and meeting new bloggers here at WordPress.

I pen mostly free verse poetry—poems written in open forms sometimes called “Naked Poetry,” a term coined from the anthology books Naked Poetry: Recent American Poetry in Open Forms (1969) and The New Naked Poetry (1976) by Stephen Berg and Robert Mezey. My maternal grandmother had them and other books about poetry in her library. Robert Frost was my favorite poet when I was old enough to read, but I soon favored the “naked poets” and their open form styles and began creating my own free form poems at nine years old. I won a few awards when I was a teenager and at college, but winning accolades and gaining fame was never my motivation for writing poetry. And honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever been motivated by anything more than a calling to write down the words that fill my mind day and night and to structure them into forms that please my sight, tongue and hearing.

I write fiction, too, but not often. Storytelling involves rules of structure that restrict me from developing anything comparable to the sight and sound of open poetry. In that sense, I’m probably more of an artist than a writer. And I do enjoy making art, whether I’m drawing or painting.

Like every kid growing up in North America during the 1980s, music surrounded me, whether it was on the radio, TV, or thumping from my dad’s stereo with speakers as large as our refrigerator. My dad taught me how to play guitar, so I turned some of my poems into songs. That’s when I created my nom de plume Colleen Ackerman from my middle name and my mom’s maiden name. I liked it better than my real name. I went through a phase when I despised the name Lola because of (1) the song Lola by The Kinks, and (2) the song Copacabana by Barry Manilow. The Kinks’ song is about a man falling for a transvestite named Lola. The Manilow song is about a showgirl named Lola with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there. She danced at the Copacabana north of Havana where she and Tony the bartender were lovers until some guy named Rico came along, killed Tony and sent Lola on a 30-year downward spiral into depression and alcoholism. People still make comparisons of those songs and me. If I had a nickel for all those times someone asked me “Are you a dude?” and then laughed, I’d be a millionaire. And I’m still a little irked at my cousins who set me up on two blind dates on the same night when I was 16. The one date’s name was Tony. The other date was a boy named Rico (if that was his real name—I have my doubts). Anyway, when two boys show up at your house at the same time to take you to the local dance, it’s painfully awkward and embarrassing and not very funny.

I began blogging my poems and art when I was a girl in California so I could stay connected with my relatives and friends around the country. (Anyone from the old Geocities’ Paris neighborhood? If so, Lola Fae/Colleen Ackerman says hi.) I met many people in many guises whom I termed the friendliest ones as “blog pals” and spent countless hours reading their writing and looking at their art and photography. That’s when I fell in love with the Internet. And that’s why I’m here twenty-one years later—I’m still in love with it!

As I mentioned, it feels good to publish my poems and art again. I hope to do so for a long time.

Love and peace to all.

Artwork, Writing

On Writing Poetry

Art

Pieced Together

Here is an abstract-type self-portrait drawing from when I quit trying to fit in with others and learned how to fit in with me.

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