“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
― Markus Zusak,
A beautiful folk dance from Russia:
And as a special bonus, another folkdance starting with Y: Yar ko parag, from Armenia:
Word for the day: xylography—the art of making engravings on wood especially for printing.
In other words, a woodcut.
The master of woodcuts was Albrecht Dürer (1472-1528), a German painter and printmaker during the Renaissance.
Here are some examples I saw at a special exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum last year:
The Adoration of the Magi
Detail of The Adoration of the Magi
Detail of The Annunciation
The complexity in Dürer’s work is amazing, especially when you consider that he carved away everything except what you see–thin lines, dashes, intricate folds and feathers…
You can see his initials (the stylized A surrounding the D) in the details.
What could be better than a unicorn quilt? Two of my favorite things combined. A search on Etsy yielded these patterns. Most of these are for paper piecing. Make a single block for a wall hanging or pillow cover, or make several and add borders for a larger quilt. Click the link under each illustration for more information.
Small unicorn head–this is a more ambitious project; you should be an accomplished paper piecer before you attempt this one.
Which is your favorite? Mine is the small unicorn head, but I’m not skilled enough to make that one. I’m tempted to try the pillowcase, though I’d make the mane in gray and cream rather than purples for a more realistic effect. I prefer real unicorns, with split hooves and goatees, rather than the fake ones that look like horses with a horn stuck on their foreheads.
Mary Oliver, that is. A prolific poet, she is most inspired by nature, and walks daily for inspiration. 82 years old, she is still writing.
Insights from Mary Oliver:
Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.
I had a very dysfunctional family, and a very hard childhood. So I made a world out of words. And it was my salvation.
I consider myself a kind of a reporter—one who uses words that are more like music and that have a choreography. I never think of myself as a poet; I just get up and write.
I love the line of Flaubert about observing things very intensely. I think our duty as writers begins not with our feelings, but with the powers of observing. [Gustave Flaubert— ‘Talent is a long patience, and originality an effort of will and intense observation.’]
It’s very important to write things down instantly, or you can lose the way you were thinking out a line. I have a rule that if I wake up at 3 in the morning and think of something, I write it down.
If I’ve done my work well, I vanish completely from the scene. I believe it is invasive of the work when you know too much about the writer.
I have a notebook with me all the time, and I begin scribbling a few words. When things are going well, the walk does not get anywhere; I finally just stop and write.
Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing—soften their roughest edges—to accommodate themselves toward a group response.
I believe art is utterly important. It is one of the things that could save us.
To learn more about Mary Oliver and sample some of her poems, see her page on the Poetry Foundation website