Sunday, August 6, 2017

PROCTOR ARTSFEST 2017 ~ Art Inspired Stories

Welcome to this year's stories and poems for the Proctor Artsfest Juried Art Show!

This is year four of this project, and this year I shared with the audience at the reading my goals for Art Inspired Stories: to get people to embrace the experiencing of visual art fearlessly so that every time they see a work, they immediately wonder what's beyond the edges, and what they would do one they arrived there.

There are 22 compositions in this year's series.  Fourteen of them were read at the show on Saturday, August 5th. As always, some stories are more poetry, others more prose.  Some are esoteric or philosophical, and some are just plain silly. Some are simply dialogue.  Some stories shouted at me right away, and some whispered that there was an idea there if only I was brave enough to seek it out.

Stories read at the show are denoted with **

Pieces Created for the Proctor ArtsFest 2017
Juried Art Show
 Note: All Stories & Poems are © 2017 by Judith Cullen
Use of any of the photo images on this page without the express permission 
of the individual artists is strictly prohibited

After Election Day **
by Jillian Fried, Acrylic

It all seemed to clear when we marched,
Image copyrighted by the Artist 
issues were sharply contrasted
I understood the difference
between us and them.

It was self-evident when we cheered,
that the platform defined lines
of black and white
between right and wrong.

Now the cheering and the marching is over. 
The pavement is littered with confetti,
deflated balloons, crumpled cardboard
the ardor of citizen patriots.

The clarity of black and white is fading.
Shades of red and blue mixing to gray
infiltrate my sense of right and wrong
and nothing is quite as clear.

Looking with honest eyes, I don't see
opposition, I see my neighbors.
Our fervor was encouraged to embattle,
and now we are supposed to stop.

Today we are a nation.
What were we yesterday?

Blue Poppy **
by Karen Marie Petrillose, Watercolour

Coryphee of fields
Image copyrighted by the Artist 
wind-bent stems sway together
reflecting the sky

Not painted in hot
like your blossoming cousins
flaming red, orange

Stealthy, you trick us
luring with a modest blue
till we are so close

A burst of stamen
vibrant contrast catching us
off guard with brilliance

While you blithely dance
to a sacred melody
Mother earth sings you

Canyon River **
by Bill Colby, Woodart

Image copyrighted by the Artist 
A quiet morning. Standing on the shore, students and teacher both vibrating with the mutual
excitement of being "in the field." Soft breezes rustles leaves, water flows effortlessly, and the cool green morning light is full of comforting promise.

Teacher clears her throat, "Everything here is constantly changing: rock carved by wind and water, and worn to earth; earth shifted by water, and penetrated by flora.  The universe is a sculptor constantly shaping, molding, beginning again with a new form, a fresh concept of nature."

I see the shore anew - not as still as it first seemed to be.

Contrast **
by Tori Bell, Watercolor

Left to right
Green to red
Leafy mass and
feathery thread.

So very different
in our dance,
and yet we fit
it's more than chance.

One sails aloft
one raised to light
Images copyrighted by the Artist 
the breeze unites us
nature's sight.

There's room out here
for you and I
contrast belies

That we are one
in creation's clue
essential parts
of the wider view.

Free Fall **
by Bill Colby, Acrylic

"Remember the tortoise!" the great voice cried. We tumbled together, shattered by calamity.

Shards called out, children separated against their will, as the air rushed past.  "When we land we have to find our former edges," one cried, planning for a landing we could not yet perceive.

"I'm red, and orange - red and orange," one called in desperation, followed by the multitude calling out their own identification.  Then we hit, falling everywhere across the ground.

"Does anybody remember what we looked like?" a voice whispered.

"Remember the tortoise!" was the reply, "Make something new from what you once were."
Image copyrighted by the Artist 
Grandmother **
by Olga Gavrilovskiy, Watercolor
Image copyrighted by the Artist 


I can still smell the odd mix of mint and tobacco that hung about her like a rare perfume.  Her hair covered in the traditional way, always somehow matching eyes that spoke to me  
"я тебя люблю."

I look at the pattern of her scarf, noting how the colors flow one into the other, like her skin.  Hands and face glow with character and life.  If I could see inside I could count the layers like the rings of an ancient oak, each more translucent than the next and telling a of a journey I can never entirely conceive.

Hi, My Name is Q **
by Pat Graham, Pastel

Image copyrighted by the Artist 

"Look at you!  Aren't you just the prettiest kitty cat there ever was?"

Paws folded neatly in, tail curled artfully, the merest hint of movement in whiskers that will not deign to respond.

"What's your name, pretty girl?  What's pretty kitty's pretty name, huh?"

Golden eyes reflect an impatience that comes with superiority, and the pointlessness of correcting this foolish one.

"Can I pet the pretty kitty?"

"Do not!" the regal face warns, "This is a violation of sovereignty!" Another blink and a low growl.  The hand retreats.

That was close.

"Don't touch. He doesn't really take to strangers."

Hosta Hideout **
by Denise MacDonald, Drawing

Image copyrighted by the Artist 
"You can only see me if I let you, only if I want you to.  I am the great, wise jungle cat.  What I desire most, right now, is privacy. 

"From the vantage of my bower I can observe you as you fumble about: tripping on garden hoses, stumbling on mysterious holes in the lawn, dropping your yard cuttings around the bin.  You are quite entertaining.

"I watch for danger, your hilarious antics guarded from sneaking perils.

"I am the great, wise jungle cat, and it has been a pleasure protecting you.  What I desire most, right now, is tuna."  

In the Snow
by William Harris, Photograph

Image copyrighted by the Artist
"Try to look dignified, will you?"

"It all is so white.  I've completely lost my sense of self."

"Don't be silly."

"But what about them?"


"Them!  In the other picture.  The geese in the crosswalk."

"Don't look at them. We're not geese."

"But what about them?  Who are they?!"

"I said, don't look!"

"At least its not so white in their ..."

"Look at me!  Right now!  Focus .... focus."

"Okay.  I'm okay now.  Thank you.  I almost lost it."

"You're all right."

"Whew, that was a close one."

"Now that we're focused, let's get back to trying 'dignified'."

Metal Abstract #17
Image copyrighted by the Artist
by Chris Parent, Mixed

Hand to hand standing
suspended in each other
before the pale moon

Shadows fade and play
gamboling in the cool light
rippling night air

Tangles, ripples, vines
orbit us in a warm wash
blur to our passion

Trees sway and clouds dash
all are satellites tonight

to where we connect

Pampas Grass **
by Joseph Reder, Photograph

Glow in lunar light
Image copyrighted by the Artist 
the Mother's brushes raise high
heads nod to the moon.

Do you show the way
to secret cavern magic
hidden to mortals

Do you comb the air
catching errant fae in flight
feathered reprimand

Do you paint the breeze
with hallowed messages
for sanctified ears

Glow in lunar light
reverent fronds reaching high
honoring the moon.

Peace, Love, Balance
by Marchell Libellule, Mixed Media

Oh, I believe in them,
Image copyrighted by the Artist

the great necessities of the soul
ideals of my heart.

Peace to calm the tempests
at those gritty places where
opposites collide

Love to bear the spirit
up into the heady atmosphere
of a higher self

Balance as a reminder
that living is a constant shifting
between what we want
                        what we need

                                 and who we care for

Photo Booth Dogs
by Janette Seilers, Acrylic

A sniff and a lick.
Image copyrighted by the Artist

"What was that for?"

"You've got a bit of something on your ear.  Don't want that in the shot do you?"

A nudge and a yip.

"Hey, that smarts!"

"Well budge up then.  There's room for three in this frame."

"I'm in front!"

"No, I'm in front!"

"I said, I'm in front!"

"Stop it, both of you!"

Soulful eyes gazing at you.

"It's been a long road my friend. Are you sure you are okay?"

Another sniff and a long rub.

"What was that for?"

"Just wanted to remind you. I am here for you."

River Bank **
by Susan Strohm, Mixed

Image copyrighted by the Artist 
Look.  Look close.  Listen.  Listen with your soul.  The lore of the land is preserved, recorded in the water-lapped mud.

The carbonized grain of ancient forest monarchs.

The fragile structures of weary aqua dwellers.

The lace-like growth trimming the tale of a small beast's journey, what it saw, and what it found on the shore on arrival.

What did you contribute to the epic?  The waffle of your rubber sole imprinting itself in the eternal silt.  What secret did you miss, what truth disregard?

What will the future wanderer see of you, when they read the journal of the river.

Shi Shi Rocks
by Fred Armitage, Photograph

Air, water, sand, and tide
Image copyrighted by the Artist
motion perpetual around
sturdy sentinel

Cloud, foam, wave, and shore
waltz to the roaring music
that never goes quiet

Rock, cliff, tree stand tall
a dance even slower still
in constant changing

Whirl, wash, ebb, and flow
static is man's illusion

the world is motion

Spirit Man **
by Christopher M. Tipton, Acrylic

Image copyrighted by the Artist 
His sight-free gaze sees your reality clearly. "Come with me and look within," he intones in a whisper.

Taking your hand in his firm, ridged grasp, you feel his power, closing your eyes at his baritone insistence.

Nothing but dark, and the inside of you lids. Then a growing stain of color: another, and another, and another.  A bright line skirling through inner space, illumined against the brightening stain.  More and more, line, curve, color.

"Enough!" the voice rasps. "See now that the world within is more vast than you can measure. Remember to exist in balance without, and within."

Storm Clouds over Seattle
by David Hollenback, Photograph

Image copyrighted by the Artist
"My city is bigger than yours," said the mortal to the natural, "I have buildings that scrape the sky,
needles the pierce space, great ocean vessels come and go from my shores.  My city is great."

"I commend your pride," the natural replied, "yet don't forget respect where it's due.  I am the sky, space, and the water.  I am the air, the ground..."

"Yes, I know AND we are champions of super bowls, and former sonic supers, and ..."

"Clouds. Did I mention the clouds? I am them too, you know."

"Oh, yeah.  Right."

"Now, whose city is bigger?"

The Organ Master Shoes "for Jeff Orr"
by Marcia Wilson, Pastel

It is only half the dance,
Image copyrighted by the Artist
the arms flowing, the fingers
caressing, invoking

A gesture of long duration
from upbeat to end note
and extended thought

The Master takes flight
sleeves adding to motion
musical wings

While below another dance
holds the Master in
precarious balance

Feet that move as hands
freely over the expanse
of aural opportunity

We, never knowing that
mastery means the tipping point
between above and below

Dancing on the organ
while the notes flow free

treble, bass, and coda

Tranquil Maiden **
by Karen Hopkins-St.Clair, Acrylic

Image copyrighted by the Artist
This is your time, bright Áine,
filled with light and the land bursting
with the blossoms of your joyfulness. 

Will you wed the Manannán, sea god,
reveling in the midsummer feast he conjures
from foam and devotion.

Will you wed mortals instead
a reminder of the responsibilities of sovereignty
to lead unblemished.

Or will your radiance defy them
joining hands with your sister Grian
to balance the seasons.

They dance for you in Munster.
They sing your legend in Tyrone.
In Limerick they speak with reverence
of Knockainey, your honored home.

Bless this time, Áine of summer,
granting bright tranquility,
and bountiful fertility to the land.

Treasured Memories **
Image copyrighted by the Artist
by Carolyn Burt, Scratchboard

When I think of that chair, my mind conjures the beloved worn spots and the little places where the trim had frayed.  I remember that when I leaned back and turned my head, I could see the spot where Grandpa's pipe ash singed the lampshade.

It all comes back to me in scents, glimpses of her world, her throaty chuckle as I remember it.  Yet here she is in this moment - fresh like the chair.  Her face reflecting the familiar calm serenity I knew decades later; after marriage, war, and life had scratched away at her unrelentingly tranquil spirit.

Whirling Yei
by Cheryl C. Gunderson, 3-D/acrylic on Gourd, Navajo Sand Painting

image copyrighted by the Artist
Let it lift your spirit.
Your feet are bored.
Your fears are irrelevant,
just forget what you look like
and become your own joy.

Others don't matter.
Let your feelings expand.
You will feel so much better,
dare your body, engage the world,
let your soul breathe free.

Do it for your own soul.
Welcome others to join in.
Life is not for napping,
there'll be time for contemplating,
but for now just get up, get moving,

and Dance.

You Know Where You Are Going **
by Liz McDevitt, Pastel
"Who has the directions?"
Image copyrighted by the Artist

"I thought Harry had them."

"Hey!  Don't look at me.  I don't have 'em!"

"Where are we, then?"

"Here, clearly."

"Yeah, but where's here?"

"Here's where we are..."

"I know that!  But where is here?"

"What difference does it make?"

"I'm goin' this way."

"Hold on, hold on.  Wait a gall darn minute. Now let's stop for a moment and think.  Let's figure out where we are now."

"Whadda we need to know that for?  We just need to know where we are going."

"Where ARE we going?"

"I dunno.  Harry?"

"Hey!  Don't look at me!"


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a poem about my art. Very special, I will keep it always. Reading it helped me see a new meaning in my piece, the next level. So cool! Tori Bell