Saturday, April 28

Steamboat Rock... a Virtual Vacation


If you need a vacation... but can't take one, there's always Google Maps to take you away on your virtual travels... floating, as you will, like a cloud over the desert landscapes.

Amazing new places can be visited... and you can also return to places you've been. All without leaving the comfort of one's computer.

It was with a real sense of adventure that I searched out Steamboat Rock. It's on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument, bordering both Colorado and Utah.

First I found the Green river... then I followed it along until I arrived at the unmistakable shape of Steamboat Rock.

I wanted to go back... I've been there twice on camping trips. Once by raft, going down the river and once I drove in by truck, down a winding hairpin road. It's a magical place. Peaceful, timeless, forgotten, almost inaccessible. A very difficult place to get to except via a Google Map instant tour.

There are Anasazi Petrogyphs that are high up on the cliff side... 40 or 50 feet up. No telling how the artists climbed way up there to paint those mysterious figures.

Steamboat Rock itself is an amazement. At sundown, the deep swirling river whirls in eddies under the cool shadow of the rock. You might be lucky enough to see a couple of mule deer swimming across to the other shore. But just basking in the immensity of space and time is fine too. Sometimes a person just needs to sit on a hot rock in the middle of nowhere and try to forget everything else.

There's signs up warning about rattlesnakes... wouldn't want to be bit way down there, in the middle of nowhere.

Steamboat Rock is carved by the Eons from Navajo sandstone. It's a beautiful light smooth sandstone that weathers into gently rounded shapes. Navajo sandstone covers most of southern Utah, where it has created lots of magical places. I don't imagine anywhere else I've been has the same sense of eternity... where one can feel and see the ages of time.

Tuesday, April 24

Planet Earth


A woodland picture... not too far away.

Nature... it just can't be improved upon, try as we might.

Maybe in the beginning everything was as peaceful and whole and fulfilled as a woodland scene like this. But it's all the striving and working and toiling that turns things awry.

I have been watching that fabulous 'Planet Earth' series on TV and really wonder why anyone would think it's worth spending millions to travel to Mars to look for bacteria... when so much life on planet Earth is going extinct.

If only Darwin could have seen the DVD of 'Planet Earth'!

Monday, April 23

Unexpected... Astonishing... Never Seen Before!



Nevermind the 'Perfect Pinkness' from that previous poem. This Astonishing fungii appeared in my backyard, appearing as mushrooms always do... unexpectedly.

It's growing on the trunk of a eucalyptus tree that was cut down a few years ago. It's amazing... but then Nature ought to keep all of us sentient beings in a constant state of amazement, if we only pay attention.

Saturday, April 21

I think that there could never Bee


I think that there could never bee
a thing as quite as loverlee
as a Tulip...

There's just some thing about them
so balanced and so fair...
a curving sprite that seems just right
so elegant and spare.

You can keep your Peonies,
Daffodils just make me ill.
Roses don't do that much for me...

This thing that is so Tulippy,
something simple that I see,
so elegant a simple shape
that folds into a tulip's nape.

It's all so perfect and so fair
as perfect pinkness fills the aire.

I think that there could never bee
a thing as quite as loverlee
as a Tulip...

© Johann Abbottsford Neezovitch 2007

Sunday, April 15

Graffiti on the electronic waters of oblivion...


Why does one blog?
Blogs are graffiti on the electronic waters of oblivion.

Because no one else will listen... or just because we might have something to say.

Movie reviews today:

Carnival of Souls (Classic B Horror movie) 1962

"I don't belong in the world….something separates me from other people" says Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) in perhaps the most lyrical horror film ever made. It is the unlikely 1962 masterpiece "Carnival of Souls".

I guess I've watched Carnival of Souls about half a dozen times now... and it still keeps working it's magic. I keep thinking it's 'my' movie... probably because it was filmed in Salt Lake City, where I went to university... (BA English). And probably because I lived in a creepy rooming house exactly like the rooming house in the movie, and all I wanted to do was escape and leave town. And probably because I once went to a crazy midnight bacchanalian ball at the SaltAir Pavilion... just like in the movie. (only with modern dance majors instead of ghouls)

Weird stuff! Highly recommended.

What's Up Tiger Lily? (Woody Allen) 1966

My other movie choice this weekend is Woody Allen's debut film, 'What's Up Tiger Lily?'. Very funny! The beauty of this movie is that it philosophically proves a point that anything that happens in life can be considered to mean almost anything in any number of ways. One might as well choose an entertaining script. Like Garrison Keillor says, "God writes mostly comedy... only people don't realize it."

Tuesday, April 10

The Prince & the Pauper


Rejection is part & parcel of any freelancer's life, of course. But stories like this one can help to ease the sting of the critical masses.

It's a news story about Joshua Bell, the world famous violinist. As an internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso his concerts regularly sell out at $100 a ticket. However recently he fooled everyone. Joshua Bell appeared unannounced and played for free... for an hour in the D.C. Subway (on his $3.5 million Stradivarius no less) as a busker.

What happened? For an entire hour he performed his free recital and basically nothing happened. The thousands of people walking past just ignored him completely. Only one person recognized him. Children stopped to listen, but were soon whisked away by their parents.

I think it's a valuable lesson to not take rejection too seriously in the creative arts. Nobody knows the value of one's own creativity better than we do ourselves!

"Some people occasionally put money in Bell's violin case, as he played the gorgeous Bach Chaconne (actually twice, the first and last piece), as well as other pieces by Bach for unaccompanied violin and the famous Gounod Ave Maria. No one stopped until the very end, when one young woman stood taking it all in, with the crowd rushing by her. She then chatted with Bell, saying that she caught his concert at the Library of Congress the month before."

Monday, April 2

A Mysterious Excursion



Here we have it... a little weekend getaway to the mysterious world of paint sloshed on canvas.

What am I trying to paint? Depth... Mystery... Nature. Primeval places that are overlooked by the workaday world.

Why do I paint the same scenes over and over? It's interesting how one painting begets the next. Before long the artist has developed their own lexicon of imagery. I've got lots of things nagging to get painted. All in good time...

Does it matter what an artist paints? Sometimes it doesn't seem to matter at all. Anything is the perfect subject matter, but some are more perfect than others.

Anyhow, now I've started into my new shipment of BIG canvases... so maybe I'll make some headway to wherever it is I'm going... despite my contentious relationship with those new blank canvases.