What a rush! This was great fun, and engaged my creative brain in ways I did not expect. I'd do this again in a heartbeat!
The minute I walked into the Art Show Friday morning, the vague "I'll see what speaks to me" criteria became sharp and clear. I chose 18 pieces out of the entire show, and narrowed them down to 10, which I wrote for. Five of those were presented live this afternoon at the Festival, and the artists received a copy of the story (signed) that was inspired by their work.
I did not choose:
- Works whose message was clear - why muck with or restate something so strong?
- Works whose stories could not be contained to 100 words
- Works who possessed stories too discrete - in the future I might delve into these more
The narrowing down and selecting involved balancing the general themes of the stories (funny, sweet, contemplative, etc) and the various mediums and styles.
Here's how it turned out!
Note: All Stories are (c) 2014 by Judith Cullen
Use of any of the photo images on this page without the express permission
of the individual artists is strictly prohibited
Pieces Selected for Presentation at the Proctor Arts Fest Juried Art Show
Egyptian Two Step by George
Hoivik – Bronze & Walnut
“Do you come here often? I don’t remember seeing
Her lustrous feathers were ivory and
ebony. Her eyes
twinkled - endless pools of lapus lazuli. She shimmered
in the golden light, while her
legs shimmied to
“ I just flew in today from Aswan. I’ve never been to the
She smiled shyly. She was just
about to give him a
coy wink, as she looked up through her lashes at him.
“Ouch!” she suddenly cried. Her
majestic head flew up, eyes now filled with
pain and surprise.
“Oh. I bet that
was your foot.”
Blowing Kisses by Katy Tuma –
Day and Night. Winter and Summer I sit here.
Pinwheels tickle my ears, dandelions caress
feet, leaves dance around, and the snow gives me
a white sweater that does
not keep out the cold.
It does not
matter. I am here for a singular
Years pass. Moss, lichen, and dirt snuggle into
my creases. Someone comes along every once
in a while and
scrubs them out.
It is just the same to
I am here regardless of it all.
My lips remain pursed, forever blowing kisses. I
remind living people
what they are all on Earth for.
African Women Sunset
Michaelina Tenney – Acrylic
Sisterhood! Clasped hands, jangling bracelets
alight with greeting as the horizon
bursts into flame, touched by the
You are my sister. In
your company I am strong.
I am your
sister. In my care you shall be cherished.
Together, we are nurturers of life, planters of trees,
grain, weavers of cloth, and solvers
At my side, there is nothing we cannot
accomplish. At your side, our burdens
will be shared and our toil lessened. Hold
my hand. Weep with me, and share laughter. We will endure, my sister. Together,
we shall thrive.
Rudolph by Miss Liza Morado
(I just couldn't resist this one!)
I like Rudolph. His nose lights up.
It makes me happy, his nose.
I didn’t used to be all songs and
you know. Rudolph
had no friends. Everyone made
fun of him
because he didn’t fit in, though he really
wanted to. Sometimes people are mean to you when
a red-nosed reindeer.
Have you ever felt
That nose that everyone made fun
of turned out
to be a good thing. Then
Rudolph had lots of friends.
don’t always know as much as they think they do.
It makes me happy, his nose.
Express Yourself by Kim Shuckhart Gunns
One drawer has trims. A box under the desk contains
ribbons of all sizes, some creeping out from the lid.
There are no pastel shades in my paint box. There is
no separation of mediums – just pigment, vehicle,
and a hundred possibilities.
I turn up my music, loud. Brush in my hand, glue waiting,
I pour today’s essence onto the surface: bold strokes in
bright hues. There are no small thoughts this day. The
work emerges from the inside to the outer edges.
Limits are for sissies. Break away from the constraints of someone else’s rules.
Be yourself. Express yourself.
Other Works from Proctor Arts Fest Juried Art Show
Splashes of Silver by Jeanne
Strohrmann – Pastel
The dawn dances light across
waves of jade. A new cycle
begins that has happened across millennia. The tide wraps
its embrace around shore and
cliff: umber, onyx, and chalk.
From a vantage
in the waves of the air, a lone guardian
keeps watch over the coral filled with
a king’s ransom of
jewels. The golden,
ruby and silver flit and flutter in their
watery treasure box as the spray
sings a hallelujah sweet
enough to charm the raptures of the deep.
Why do men dig for wealth beneath the crust?
All the riches in the world are right here.
Creation by Judith Hunter –
Watercolor on UPO
It begins with two and a simple
tango, steeped in the
Couples joining in the dance of the
Universe. The music of the spheres
thrilling rumba, as opportunity winds, and dips.
Couples advance, retreat, reform. The rhythm
becomes critical as eternity jars
the floor with a
relentless imperative, “It is waiting there for us.
It must be found.”
Suddenly a single spark. It happened when the Gods
looking. “Did you see it happen?” The tune
slows to a waltz, as couples move to
a larger pattern. Each is part of the
whole: intricate and interwoven.
Big League Dreams by Sue
Stewart – Watercolor
His glove is next to his
cheek. I know what he smells,
is not conscious of it just now: the creak and
smell of the leather, the fresh
mown grass, the August air.
it like it was yesterday – like it is right now.
He is wondering why the short stop is hugging third
He is scrutinizing the batter,
choking up on the bat ever
so slightly. He
dreams of the small leathern sphere coming
right to him: sailing majestically
through the air and into his mitt. Hero
of the day! That is just the beginning.
Flight to Warmer Climes by
(It seems almost criminal to write something
comic from the stunningly beautiful watercolor
work of Pat Graham. But this avian conversation
would not leave my head.)
“Budge up there, buddy. It’s cold
“Haven’t you ever heard of
personal space? Hey! What are you playing at, tugging
A flapping slap is heard.
“Ow! It’s just that I have an
“Oh really? Time on your hands, have you?”
“Gone in for a bit of contemplation,
“No, really. I think this could work.”
“Well, what if instead of
clumping together, crowding each other, we actually
looked for someplace warmer
to stay till all this blows over?”
“Egad! I think you just might be on to something.”
So, it begins.
Blue Lotus Dream by Karen
Petrillose – Watercolor
(This one resolutely did NOT want to be a 100 word
story. So, a compound haiku came out instead.
It is just over 100 words, so there was no cheating
on the "critical mass")
The raindrops falling
They are tiny caresses
Washing in cascades
No bustling of birds
The hustle of humanity
Fuss to cloud my quiet
I am cleansed and contented
A still serenity
Go and seek your own
That which cleans and fulfills
Inhale, exhale, peace.
Therefore you are if you choose
To embrace accord
Be one with nature
Your breath cradled in its hands
Mind serene, joyful.
My world of blue, green
And water-born restfulness
Free from the uproar
All of this repose
Gaps, pausing between each breath
Is where it begins
The space wherein life
Transmutes, transforms, and
Is waiting for you
My profound gratitude to the artists who participated in this, to the wonderful Gene Kester for seeing the potential in the idea, and to Proctor Arts Fest for letting us take this out for a spin at their party.