Scherzo (acrylic poured on canvas) by Suzanne LaFleur, used by permission of artist
Sprawling surface awaits her first pour
Thirsty for colors to caress
Thick acrylic syrup on parched canvas
Today is a lively melange
Cobalt and crimson, a bit of honey
In her mind, they crackle with life
Red tastes of ripest berries…
That lovely boulangerie last fall
as she lounged by the Seine
Blue, that glass sculpture, sheer perfection
She spent an hour gazing at the world
through its evening light
To be inside her head as she creates…
She is Artiste (Personified)
Effortless, this, while others bend over backwards to
pursue The Image
Her chiffon scarf danced between us
as we glided arm in arm down Julia Street
searching for abstracts, finding
Too much art, not enough time
New Yorker and European
by taste and by temperament
Awards are nice
but she thrives among others
who, too, hold art as sacred
Suzanne the Abstract
(c) 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Suzanne LaFleur (yes, do click and see her work!) is another force of nature I met during my stay in New Orleans. She is an award-winning artist specializing in abstract art (like I said, click the link!), a classy-as-hell dame, and possesses that extra oomph one needs to succeed in the arts. I know we will stay in touch, and I look forward to seeing her continue to blossom. I am linking this to ABC Wednesday for X (X-quisite!) and to the sidebar at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.
Folks, I regret not posting this sooner and perusing your blogs, but the Perfect Storm of computer changeover, malware on new computer, and That Old Gray Magic That I Know So Well (winter depression) converged and quite blew me out to sea.
Better days are coming. I look at Suzanne’s art, all your blogs, and know smoother seas are ahead. Peace, Amy
Bittersweet days and
Days spent on park benches
tethered to their lives
Wings pinned down by convention
Nights in her convent
the room of her own:
Smoke, coffee, tension
The quill stung with her blood
No control and again
voices voices voices
No rest, no cure
No choice, save the obvious
Stop the voices
Condemn them to
© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Mama Zen gave us a challenge: Write about Virginia Woolf. I have not been posting much lately, but this was inspiring to the nth degree. Thanks, Mama, I knew you could raise me from my slumber! Peace, Amy
Image by L. Diane Wolfe, used by permission of the artist
In the left corner
maneuver this heady circumference
Rough and jagged as
and just as blue
Stepping lightly, lest
fall into the bowl
scratching again with nails
bloody from the task
See the marks from
No one else here so
continue my inchworming
Whoops! that damned crag
hit it last time around
Slipdip and down
go, clawing my way to the top
like a silicone starlet
There is no end to this
am doomed, Sisyphus in ceramic
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Ella interview L. Diane Wolfe, a photographer whose work has been evolving for over 23 years; Ella found her on deviantart.com. Diane graciously offered the Toads some of her pieces to use as inspiration for poetry.
Also “in the margin” at Poets United, my other outlet! Peace, Amy
Last day of Poem a Day, or National Poetry Writing Month. It’s only fitting that I should “pass the torch,” in the form of a poem about our girl Riley, the artist. I’ve included one of her recent works, so PLEASE respect her copyright on this. For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, an “A to Z” write. Enjoy! Proud Mom Amy, who also took the picture years ago, when she was three.
Portrait of the Artist as a Little Girl
echo from goodgone hours
I just kindled logical moppets’s
Riley, shading timber umber
xysts, yurts… zebras
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Painting by L.R. Weinberger © 2013, all rights reserved.
Used by permission of artist.
Watercolor by Joseph William Arcier, my uncle
Rags-to-riches to rags and sandals…
The millionaire, bouncing carefree
around posh New Canaan in Bermuda
shorts. Wife said, “Joe, that’s not right.”
He succeeded at iconic artwork,
but his real artistry was in the stock market:
A short, stubby man, possessed of a brain
lithe, literal, and shining bright.
Uncle Joe hung with Robert Frost and
the edgy, eclectic artsy set. We’d visit
each summer; Joe and my mom, Charlotte,
sat up drinking, crooning tunes out of spite
for his wife Caroline, virtuous virago, waving
her washed-out Mayflower credentials. The
Barlows looked down at Mom, the sister-in-law
who sang in clubs, hair bleached Harlow white.
Joe and Charlotte both married into this
marred mix of thoroughbred and “We
Lost it all in the Crash.” My dad was
the only anti-snob we girls could cite.
Joe, cigar in the ashtray and a
parchdry martini close by,
taught me to dance, my small bare
feet on his Fred Flintstones each night.
Up late, singing show tunes; Caroline
would appear, her long (natural) blonde hair
pulled into a bun so tight – severe as
Judgment Day. We singers got tight
as beer and vermouthless martinis.
Olives floated easily, like our voices.
Dad couldn’t keep up, nor my sisters.
Just the three of us howling at moonlight.
When Joe died, it was quick as his smile.
The twinkle in his eye dimmed, he coughed
and fell off the chair face down. His
cigar butt burned a hole in the white white
carpet, and Caroline fretted about it
throughout the funeral. I stayed back home
to tend dear old Auntie Ruth. Didn’t
have the courage to see Joe dead, not quite.
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Uncle Joe was indeed a fine watercolorist, as you can see in his work above. He considered himself an artist first and a rich man second. Funniest moment? In the expansive, expensive back yard, which sported a huge glacial rock and a bocce court, he once took a deep breath and exhaled mightily. “You know what that smell is?” he asked his nieces. Dramatic pause, then his reply: “Money.”
His idea of the perfect martini was a lot of gin and then the cap from the vermouth bottle waved somewhere over the top of the shaker. He was a funny, wry, clever man who drank to excess and invested in the post-Depression market to unbelievable success.
He was Aunt Caroline’s polar opposite. He was the rain forest to Caroline’s Arctic; the happy-go-lucky slob to her pearls and tortoise shell hair combs. His habit of bopping around New Canaan, Connecticut (home to IBM scion Thomas J. Watson and many others) in shorts, Hawaiian shirt, and sandals drove my aunt nuts. This only made me love him more. He was an iconoclast: Well-read, poorly bred, bald head, lots of bread. Frost was indeed a friend, but he never bragged about it. Man, I miss that little big man. Peace, Amy
Longing Becomes Art (also for Riley)
Longing becomes art.
Art becomes enjoyment.
Enjoyment becomes shows.
Shows become employment.
Employment because aaaargh!
Aaaargh becomes strain.
Strain becomes I Need A Vacation
For My Addled Brain.
Brain senses loss.
Loss becomes lack.
Lack of inspiration.
Slacking, she wonders,
where did it start?
Time gives her longing.
Longing becomes art.
© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Poetic Bloomings asked us to take the last line from one of our old poems and use it as a springboard for a new work. The first line is from “Artistic,” about my daughter, Riley. The final line was, “Longing becomes art.” To see the original poem, head to this link, https://sharplittlepencil.com/2011/11/10/artistic-for-riley/