E-Belle Arts Lettres
from the
Black Feather Retreat
Box 588
Westbrookville, NY 12785
SPRING  2009
Not quite a blog; Not really a newsletter;
(Something a little warmer than email. Although, some of you are reading this as e-mail.

Intent (I guess no one ever has just one intent):

My intent is:
(I realize that many of these are not complete sentencesÖIíve listed a few, anyway.)
Just to keep Ďin touch.í
To find people with similar interests.
To find people who may be interested in what Iím doing.
Create a dialogue (correspondence.)
Look for comments, feedback, ideas, critiques.
A place to show your work, my work, our work.
Literary and/or artistic (this includes many forms, i.e. music)
Redefine community Ė a community of artists Ė lack of social skills Ė a preoccupation with work Ė simply separated by distance.
City versus rural (each has its own advantages and problems)
To gather and sit with coffee, tea or wine and exchange ideas.
What about the artist in isolation?
What about artists living in little towns, like Westbrookville, Cleveland or Tokyo?
How do we find each other (How do we find them?)
The Net gives us access to other artists and kindred spirits all over the planet. I think we should explore this growing society.
To generate a list of artist/model/writer/poet/musician contacts.

I would like to send these out predominately via e-mail. If you received this as a mailing (with a stamp on it) or just picked it up somewhere (I tend to leave copies sitting around) and you would like to receive more of these, as they are produced, please let me know or send me your email address (Itís a lot cheaper to send email copies than to buy postage.) or if you donít have an e-mail address, or, if you prefer paper copies, send your postal address to me. Likewise, if you would rather avoid seeing these ever again, just let me know. Iíll drop your name from my mailing list.

One of my dreams is to establish a self-sustaining artist commune or colony. As such, I have a couple of apartments for rent and available studio space in the barn. Also, Iím seeking patrons to help support this idea. If you are in a position, or if you know someone in such a position, to financially contribute to the Black Feather Retreat, please give him or her our information.

Artists/Model Day:

Each year, usually a Saturday or Sunday in August, we organize an

Call for Artists: Artists/Models Day. It is a picnic, a gathering, a reunion, of artists and models for a day of sketching painting, eating, talking, visiting, and generally communing with one another.

Call for Models: Models: If you have experience or if you would like to try figure modeling, this is a pastoral setting. We provide lunch, a modeling fee, and an introduction to many artists working in the field. If you are interested in joining us this year, let me know. You can check the website www.spiritcrow.com for details and plans, as they are posted. A brief report of last yearís gathering is below.


Some current photographic projects:   

You can participate! You can participate in any of these projects! Read the brief descriptions of the photoessays.  If you would like more information or would like to participate in a project, please contact: Mark Philip Stone

Payment for models is usually copies of their individual photos and signed numbered copies of the completed work, as it is published.

Keeping It All Under My Hat - This series of self-portraits is a unique mirror. Looking at the same person, often the same expression, varied only by the hat, seems to convey an unexpected wide range of responses and interpretations. Do clothes make the man? Here we see that the hat certainly does make our impression of the man. For this project, if you have an extra hat please send it to me. (Any type of hat is welcomed but be aware that Iíve got most of the ordinary hats and would like some more exotic and extraordinary or ethnic hats.)

Women In Love (Femmes en Amour) - More than a feminist work, this series portrays Sapphic love partnerships, selected from many social layers and ages. Sisters, Sistahs, Grrls, Friends, Lovers, Paramours, all. The women presented here love each other. Whether they are portrayed in their homes, out on the town, in the studio, dressed or stripped of all social references, their touch, their gaze, their poise, bespeaks their love for each other. Couples only, please give me a call, weíll see what we can arrange.

D/s - Erotic Images (Dominance/submission) - Painfully crawling and clawing our way out from under Victorian sexual repression has left exotic islands of dominant and submissive themes. These practitioners choose to be forced to comply with their natural proclivities. A dichotomous denial and at once an affirmation of their sexuality; the love bite that makes us scream. If you want to be tied up for a few sessions, call me.

Behind My Back Ė A series of photos of a singular female model seen from the rear, holding an object in her hand behind her back. All of the objects are familiar, such as an apple, a knife, an handkerchief, a book, etc. yet some seem incongruous with a naked body and imply a story; Why is she hiding the knife behind her back? Does the snake represent the serpent in the Garden? This one is still in the developmental phase. Iím looking for a model with Ďphotogenic derriŤre.í

Some current art projects:

Studio/Barn Ė Iím using the barn as a studio. Unfortunately, the winter weather makes this impossible for a few months each year. In the Spring of í09 I plan to build a big Russian stove in the basement to act as a furnace. If you need some workspace and are willing to travel to Westbrookville, give me a call.

Wooden Sculpture
Ė A block of old oak beam is slowly becoming three heads.

Wooden sculpture by Mark Philip Stone (Mark Pilipski) Black Feather Retreat

This is an homage to my father, who was infatuated by wooden African figures. The old oak (from 1847) is dense and resists most standard cutting tools. It almost feels as if Iím working with some sort of stone. Fortunately, the cellular grain is very forgiving and tolerates a lot of errors on my part. I do have several old beams that may not be used for construction but at about 8"x11" may be cut for sculpting. If you would like to try your hand at this type of wood, call me.

Woman in a Cadmium Shower / Woman with a Cadmium Dream - These are two large (4í x 6í) canvases with the image of a woman encountering a cloud/smoke being/lover. These are loosely based on the image of Jupiter and Io by Correggio. (c.1532)

Woman with a cadmiun dream / woman in a cadmium shower canvas by Mark Philip Stone (Mark Pilipski)

woman with a cadmium dream postcard by Mark Philip Stone (Mark Pilipski)

The image on the right is a postcard size (4"x6") sketch of the same.

Some current literary projects:

I have some CDs of DREAM STONES, a Poetry reading at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. for sale or download: (If you want a CD of this reading sent to you via the mail, please sent $2 and your address to me to cover postage, etc. If you would rather download these, try the website.)

Sample: Lying Ass Pony by Mark Philip Stone

If you want me, Baby, here I stand.
But you must be warned
Iím not an ordinary man.
Iím mean and Iím stubborn
And Iím true to myself.
Iím walking free.
I ainít sittiní on a shelf.
My mind is active and my body is engaged
Iíve left lovers crying. Iíve left people enraged.
And if I donít tell you
It ainít my fault if you donít know.
Iím not going to lie to please you
But I just might let you go.
The truth is what feels good
And this feels good to me.
I donít have time for lies
The truth has set me free.
Some may call me a player.
Some may call me bad.
Some may say Iím real good.
Some may think Iím mad.
I may be crazy, Baby
But Iíve got loving on my side.
So saddle up that pony
Letís take her for a ride.

THESEUS Ė Iíve just completed this script. Here is a call for readers for a staged reading of THESEUS (IN THE LABYRINTH): at least 3 women and 3 men are needed. (I could use a few more but this minimum will get us through.) Iíd like to set up a reading of this script to expose and work out any technical flaws.

Below is the ĎCast of Charactersí for this drama. If you would like to participate, or if you know someone with an interest in theater or acting, please let me know. Iíll send copies of the script to you and weíll work out a schedule, so we can all get together in one place for a few hours.

Cast of Characters

Theo(Theseus)A policeman and the younger brother of Percy. As Theo he wears a policemanís uniform and contemporary clothes. As Theseus he wears a tunic.

Percy (Perseus) A violent drinker and abusive husband; Theoís older brother. As Percy he wears contemporary clothes. As Perseus he wears a toga.

Mary Gordon (Medusa) Percyís wife, a young beautiful woman with dreadlocks in her hair. She wears a simple white cotton dress.

Psychiatrist (Minotaur) A doctor, counselor. As the Doctor he wears a lab coat or suit. A bullish creature within the Labyrinth. As the Minotaur he wears a large pair of horns.

Two Women These are two loose women attached to Percy (They have no speaking lines.)

Young Boy (He has no speaking lines.)

The Three Fates: Are seen standing, wearing gauze Clothos, Lachesis veils over their heads and and Atropos whole bodies. They appear to be naked beneath the sheer veils. They may wear flesh colored body suits to create the illusion of nudity, if needed. They should be fecund women, implying sexual maturity and youthfulness. They speak through the veils and usually only to each other, often simultaneously; Reciting different overlapping lines. They have pleasant singing voices. Whenever they sing, all action on stage ceases. They speak in a Ďsing-songí manner tending toward the operatic.

The Three Crones: Are the aged Fates. They sit in Crone 1, Crone 2 cheap folding lawn chairs in and Crone 3 front of an apartment building near the stoop. They almost never look at each other while they talk. They often (as the Fates do) speak their lines simultaneously. They tend to be overweight and dress in shabby clothes. They occupy their hands with knitting. One holding a skein, one knitting, one, occasionally, cutting loose threads and organizing the wool into skeins. They speak in a common tongue, as gossips do.

Artisano Manifesto: intro, etc. -

Manifesto Artisano

(The Artistís Manifesto)

Being a small journal describing the artistís life and works and the relationship of these to the economy, society, spirit, health

and sanity of the individual.


Artist Manifesto - Mark Pilipski - an autumn day in the field

Excerpt and Intro: I hope to represent some of my own thoughts about art, as well as the musings of others. Whenever, I present anotherís comment I am not necessarily endorsing it as a truth. It is simply something someone said about art. My hope is not to mold the readerís mind to my philosophy or any other. Rather I would like to present a full table and let the reader decide what to eat.

Iíve recently come across some essays by Lewis Hyde (author of THE GIFT) in these he writes about the place (I donít know if this is a good word in this context) of the artist in a society "whose commerce consists almost exclusively in the purchase and sale of commodities."

Iím not sure how these thoughts tie together with some of mine but I hope to develop these further.

I knew from the moment I could recall my earliest thoughts, I was an artist. I get the impression that this is true of most artists. Thus, most artists are born, not made. We may, and this is very sad to me, try to ignore our artistic nature but this leads to only two possibilities; one very negative and the other pathetic; either all that makes you an artist is perverted and put to other uses or it is ignored until such time that it bursts forth of its own accord. Neither of these possibilities is in harmony with a healthy nature.

I would like to set this up as a blog, so that I can collect comments from others as this work progresses. If you have any experience setting up a blog or using one, please tell me what you know and where I can learn more. Right now Iím at the stage of looking at otherís blogs trying to decide which format and design I like the best and how this one should appear. During the meanwhile, please send your comments to me via email artist@spiritcrow.com or through the regular post.

MY JOURNAL - Variations: A brief history of the development of the Variations Series: While recovering from my first bout of surgery, I spent a pastoral day in a field near my now home in Westbrookville. (At the time I was living in Passaic.) Out of that day of reflection came some notes. These turned into a little book called An Autumn Day in the field. (Written in 1992.) Among the notes was an idea for a series of artworks I later titled VARIATIONS. The first prototype of these went on public display in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC in 1994. The first entry card for the piece entitled MY JOURNAL was created on February 11, 1996 and displayed at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit in NYC. The book, MY JOURNAL ( http://www.spiritcrow.com/ ) the postcard series and the website version grew from these beginnings. I hope to produce a video based upon this singular work.

port authority display works by Mark Pilipski and others - Variations



A photo of a display case at the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 40th Street and Eighth Avenue, showing some artworks by several artists, including the first VARIATIONS piece (top center.) (1994)

September 6, 2004 Ė Labor Day - Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Artist, Mark Philip Stone, presented his ĎVariationsí series at the W.S.O.A.E.

Variations art works by Mark Philip Stone (Mark Pilipski) at the washington square outdoor art exhibit

The streets of Greenwich Village convey Ďvariationsí of their own. The public debut of the ĎVariationsí series by Mark Philip Stone was met with an Honorable Mention Award from the membership of the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit and a visit from the Wild Animus Troupe.

Mugging for the camera, these performers know a winner whenever they see one. Having perused the entire exhibit (they were parading through the exhibit promoting a book, aptly titled, Wild Animus) they favored Mark Philip Stone with their antics.

Report of the Artist/Model Day, August 2008 -

We had Idyllic weather and a wonderful gathering in the meadow. After some bagels, etc. around 11 AM we began the figure model sessions. Male and female models occupied the small stage platform continuously until about 6 PM.

Artist model day at the black feather retreat westbrookville, ny 12785

artist model day at the black feather retreat westbrookville, ny www.spiritcrow.com

Just artists doing what artists do in a beautiful pastoral setting.

Each artist brings a unique style to sketching the human figure.

Here are some odds and ends:

The website for these E-Belle Arts Lettres is WWW.SPIRITCROW.COM

Iím writing this, as if my life were important enough to share. I realize that each of us lives an ordinary life. Yet combined we see extraordinary lives and events emerge. Each and every one of us contributes to life, as we know it. Why not share? Some (or even just one) of your thoughts, my words or actions, may lead you or someone to a new work, a new idea, a new masterpiece or maybe they will be just so much fun. Either way, weíve shared some ideas.

If you would like to contribute an image or idea or just talk about your work(s) or announce a show or performance, please let me know and send it along to me.

As I mentioned above, Iím not sure into what form this will evolve. So feel free to submit whatever you like. Iíll do my best to incorporate it and send it on for others to enjoy.

Interviews: The Healing Arts Ė Interviews with artists, poets, writers, actors, dancers and musicians. This is a reincarnation of an old Public Service Television show we produced in the Ď70s. Using the net weíll be able to produce this online and my hope is that we can create a library of programs and interviews.

I need to find a literary agent. If you know anyone interested in such, please let me know of them or them of me.

Intern or student or volunteer to act as an agent. [Iíll provide plenty of guidance. I just donít particularly care for follow-up and phoning or reading rejection letters (even though I know they are just part of the business.)]

If you donít want your name to appear, please let me know. Otherwise Iíll do my best to quote or mention any other contributors.

If you would like to receive this in its paper form (as a postal mailing) please subscribe to help defray some of the printing and mailing costs. I have no cost estimates or publication schedule, as of yet.

The email version of this newsletter is free if you send your email address to me at artist@spiritcrow.com

Tell a friend Ė have them get on the mailing list for announcements, invitations, openings, previews, etc.

Each year we grow a little bit. If you would like to help with next yearís event (There is a lot of planning, advertising, gathering, set-up, and dozens of things to do.) just let me know. Iíll invite you to join us.

What are you working on? Send me some photos and a description of your work(s) [You can always use the printed results as part of a presentation packet. (Iíll rewrite if it needs it.)]
What are your plans?
In the future (it is very difficult to plan for the past) I would like to include audio files and video files within this letter.

Shows and gallery Announcements:

Iím watching the development of art galleries in Lambertville, NJ, waiting for some opportunities. A few galleries in Lambertville, NJ: General tourist information about the area is available at www.lambertville.org.

ROBERT BECK GALLERY 21 Bridge Street (second floor); (609) 397-5679. www.robertbeck.net.

MYLES CAVANAUGH FINE ART GALLERY, 12 Church Street; (609) 2732983, www.mylescavanaugh.com.

HAAS GALLERY, 71 Bridge Street; (609)-397-7988 www.haasgallery.com.

JIM'S OF LAMBERTVILLE, 6 Bridge Street; (609) 397-7700. www.artnet.com /jimsoflambertville.html.

GREG MARRA GALLERY 22 Church Street; (908) 892-6463,

PEDERSEN GALLERY, 17 North Union Street; (609) 397-1332.

COLETTE SEXTON GALLERY, 32 Bridge Street; (609)-397-4022 www.colettesextongallery.com.

WHITE FLAG, 8 Church Street; (609) 397-9500.

Copyright © 2009

Mark Pilipski (Mark Philip Stone)
The Black Feather Retreat
Box 588
Westbrookville, NY 12785