"I haven't written for years," he told me. A teacher himself, who is just now tentatively putting his work on the internet, he still suffers wounds from... a writing teacher's harsh critiques.
What? When did critique become an opportunity for destruction?
I watch my own girls growing, trying. I watch them play, write, draw, paint. I especially watch my big girl. So tentative, so dear. There are those who would seek to destroy. Don't paint that way. It's [terrible, terrible]...
Today, though, I rejoice. For one who sees my girl. She's a teacher hired especially to work with *someone else* in the room, but she sees my girl.
This note from her, upon encountering these drawings...
Your drawings are beautiful. The costumes so clearly depict some of the qualities of each continent.
I thought you might be interested in borrowing this book. Although the title is "Fashion", a lot of the activities are about where we can get our inspiration for our art.
Thank God for Mary. And for all those who see, celebrate, and support, as she does.
'Happy Birthday to Cousin' acrylics and fabric painting by Sara, 12. Used with permission.
Las Noches Azules del Alma
I was meaning to translate some poetry. I was meaning to...
then the title caught me afresh...
blue nights of the soul.
How could I go on? Colors invaded, urgency overtook. Translation will wait. Set it aside. Capture this feeling...the blue nights of the soul.
'Blue Nights of the Soul', in soft pastels, by L.L. Barkat.
Qui Es in Caelis
At the last moment,
I lifted the paper, and so much
was the residue of soft pastels...
they drifted like ashes across the page...
and I thought, yes.
Red Dress City
'Qui Es In Caelis' (who is in heaven) soft pastel, in memory of September 11, by L.L. Barkat.
Deeper than Vision
Some say the artist is about vision. Seeing the world. Setting it down. And some say the artist is about telling. A story that needs to be heard.
But when I hold these soft pastels, it is pure feeling that overtakes... surges through my fingertips, my whole being.
Maybe what takes shape is really something I've seen. Or a story that's been circling within my soul. But at the level of experience... me, these raw colors, this paper, these movements, art is deeper than vision. It is elemental soul.
'Aria' in soft pastels, by L.L. Barkat.
Remembering the Heron
Some days my body just aches with sorrow. It is the way I am. Given to melancholy, given to tears. Oh, I can smile too, laugh the world away. I guess no matter what I feel, I feel it deeply.
On the hard days, I am finding that pushing color onto paper is a solace. Moving my hand in circles, embracing white space and giving it shape. It opens me.
Today I sat against my bed pillows. In dim light I worked with greens, blues, purples. I tried not to be afraid of black. It gives heart and depth to the page. With these colors, I remembered the heron on Long Island. Each morning I would watch him slowly make his way along the edge of the lake. Glide, glide, glide, jab... silver fish flipping, caught by sly elegance. Sometimes the heron would take flight. I loved that. It could make me smile in awe, or cry.
The Heron, in soft pastel, by L.L. Barkat.
Soft pastels, packed, in the red canvas bag. Drawing paper packed too. Intentions to create.
I touch none of it while I'm gone. Instead, it is I who am touched by mornings and evenings, myriad wonders. Grains of sand, beach grasses, trees sculpted into permanent leaning beside the sea.
Perhaps what fascinates most is the light. How it moves through, illumines, casts shadows long and lacy or haunting. I have never paid so much attention to light before; each day brings a new kind, and I follow it over dunes, into seed pods, over pebbled waters. I reach to touch it, but instead it touches me.
Shell at Sunset photo, by L.L. Barkat.