E-Belle Arts Lettres - SUMMER  2009
from the

Black Feather Retreat
Box 588
Westbrookville, NY 12785

Table of Contents
(Here is what you’ll find below. This is the shell of the nut. ):


        A poetry reading in Hamilton, NJ, June 21, 2009 - Stone Monk CD
        The Blue Sailor
        a Surreal Poem
        An Autumn Day in the Field
        Cherry Blossom Festival

Bondage (a sculpture)
        Surreal Marmalade

  Artisano Manifesto

Big Camera
        Gorilla Skull Mask

Reported death of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

Events – Artist/Model Day planned for Saturday August 22, 2009

Artists and Galleries
        Wen Redmond (Mixed Media - Fiber)
               Barrie Samuels (Fire Hydrants)

Call for Comments: If you are an artist, poet, writer or just have an idea you would like to share, please send your contribution to me, by mail or email artist@spiritcrow.com

  Call for Artists:  The annual Artist/Model Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2009.  See the information page for more details or visit www.spiritcrow.com/artist/ .

  Call for Models: If you are a figure model (We appreciate all ages and body types.) or if you’ve considered modeling, the annual Artist/Model day is a pastoral venue.  Please call (973)-614-9101 with any questions you may have or email artist@spiritcrow.com.


Summer 2009 Issue – E-Belle Arts Lettres
Copyright © 2009 Mark Pilipski
Box 588, Westbrookville, NY 12785

Individual pictures and exhibits of works by others displayed within this Newsletter are used with the permission(s) of the copyright holders.  All other pictures and exhibits are presented under the Creative Commons License: (Basically, you may copy and distribute with proper credit and only for non-commercial use.  You may not alter any of the contents.) For more information see http://creativecommons.org/

This Newsletter is provided under the terms of this CREATIVE COMMONS PUBLIC LICENSE ("CCPL" OR "LICENSE"). This Newsletter is protected by copyright and/or other applicable law.  Any use of this Newsletter or its contents other than as authorized under this license or copyright law is prohibited.

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            This is the second installment of this newsletter.  It looks like we’ll be able to do this for a while.  Several readers, artists, friends, etc. have responded with comments, ideas and inclusions.  If you find anything worthwhile on these pages (or in the idea of these pages,) please act on it and forward and/or share this newsletter and your idea(s) with others.  Likeways, if you have any questions or comments, please ask or forward them to me.  If you are working on some art or writing that you would like to share, please send a description, photo and statement about you or your work.
        Embryonic growth, although exponential, begins on an extremely small scale.  Tiny seeds, given nutrients and time, blossom into huge organisms.  This newsletter began as a whim and we’ll see where it goes.  One of Emerson’s lesser-read essays is entitled FAITH IN THE SEED.  Sometimes (Maybe, most times) we should remember to have faith in the seed.  Fragile, feeble beginnings have the potential to become full endeavors.
        If this is the first time you are encountering this ‘newsletter’ (I’m still not sure what to call it.) and you would like to read earlier issues, either give me a call or find them posted on the website (http://www.spiritcrow.com/stone/index.html). 
     In addition to the many positive responses received, a few readers complained that this newsletter seemed a bit egotistical (reflecting only me.)  This is a valid complaint.  However, it was only the first effort and with a staff of one.  Now, with the help of other sources and comments, I hope to balance the content with various artists and works.  If you would like to present some of your work or ideas, please send them to me.  Earlier editions of the online versions of these E-belle Arts Lettres will be reworked so that previous entries reflect the current or updated status of the original essay or project, including comments by contributors.



Mark your calendar for Saturday August 22, 2009 for our annual ARTIST / MODEL DAY in Westbrookville, NY 12785

Make your plans to attend !

(This is the meat of the nut.)

  Poetry reading:

  The Poets Invitational at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, June 21, 2009 at 2:00 PM.  The link for this venue is (http://www.groundsforsculpture.org/calendar.php?year=2009&mon=6)

Mark Stone will be reading some of his recent works and offering the Stone Monk CD at this venue.  The CD contains more readings, excerpts from An Autumn Day in a Field and haiku from Rice Paper Chessmen.  The title derives from an origami chess set.  “While I was composing these poems into the CD, I was thinking of potential titles.  Erik Satie’s , “Pieces Froides” (Cold Cuts) came to mind.  I considered “Peu de morceaux de poisson” (Little Bits of Fish) or (Little Pieces of Fish) and tried to find an English to Japanese translation of this phrase, something akin to ‘sushi’ but a little more pedestrian.  However, despite the wonders of the internet, there seems to be no good translation readily available, so I stayed with Stone Monk.”

Haiku (although, not all in the classic form.)

Issa1, tonight you hold
The honored place at my table.
Hungry fly.

The fall moon after the rain
Gently warms me,
As I think of you.

  Reaching to touch a star
I stumble
As a firefly flicks his brilliance.

  Fukugawa frog2
Speaks in an old dialect


1.  Issa was a noted haiku poet who often wrote about common things, such as

2.  A reference to the haiku poet Basho.

The Blue Sailor or Drowned Woman by Mark Philip Stone

  There is a rumor, I have died,
More, now, a legend of my death.
I think the rumor is a lie.
As for the legend, I’ll just hold my breath.

Floating on the semen sea
Exiled from this bay
Held in his embrace
She was moonlight.
More radiant than life,
A beautiful Caribbean made white by death.
Some would say ‘pale’
But ‘pale and ‘pallor’ is sickness.
She is dead; a seductive absence.
What was She drifted as if asleep
Naked on a waterbed.
Calypso’s lover, Muse and daughter,
Even in death proudly erect and full of desire.
The flashing silver of minnows
Jewels worn, not possessed,
Show her station to be descended of the islands
Now, wedded to the sea.
I am sorry I was invited.
I must call upon her family with the announcement.

Cherry Blossom Festival:
     One year (It will have to be next year or beyond.  This is being typed at the beginning of April.  It is unlikely that I’ll get this done or you’ll read this before the middle of April but there is the promise of next year.)  I’d like to print up several handfuls of this little book of haiku, Rice Paper Chessmen, and pass them out at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. Maybe set up a little table and encourage people to compose haiku on the spot, while they are entranced by the blossoms and showers of petals.  This year is the 33rd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  There is a cell phone camera aimed at a few trees in the park to give you an up to the minute view of the arrival of the blossoms. (http://oxblue.com/pro/open/essexcountynj/cherryblossom). For those of you who have not had the pleasure (and it is always a pleasure!) to walk through the park during sakura (The blooming of the cherry trees), usually during the middle of April in Newark, it is well worth the trip.

Death of a Poetry Festival?:
     With the closing of Waterloo Village, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s backing of the biennial poetry festival has also ceased.  (http://www.dodgepoetry.org/)

Surreal poem: 
        After reading Andre Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto, I tried composing a surrealist poem using random cutouts of headlines from some old scrap newspapers.  There was some editing involved but I kept it to a minimum (I guess I’m not a pure Surrealist.)  A text version of the poem appears on the left and the original version on the right.


With Credit Frozen
but Still Cautious
       Tongues Wag

   Report seeks probe
To Soothe the Savage Cells
          The Brothels’
          Bottom Line

Performance Review
Please trim the verbiage
Shortness of breath

you devour.


  Composed after reading
Andre Breton’s
Manifeste du Surrealism (1924)


Surreal marmalade:

     This is similar to Marcel Duchamp’s objet trouvé (found objects.)  Commonplace pennies fill a quart Mason jar (as if they were jelly or jam) and a whimsical label calls them “Marmalade.”  A familiar object containing many familiar presents itself as something else.  There is also the interplay of implied value, monetary value and aesthetic value; a blending of objective, subjective and cultural perspectives.

Photographs of two ‘ready mades’ and Marcel Duchamp and Eve Babitz posing for the photographer Julian Wasser during the Duchamp retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of Art, 1963 © 2000 Succession Marcel Duchamp, ARS, N.Y./ADAGP, Paris.

“The goal of chess is to mate. We can thus see this picture as the record of a tableau vivant of a word play. Since Freud, vulgar theorists have held that chess and art, to pick two examples, are sublimations of sex. Given Duchamp’s attitude towards wordplay versus theory, it is better to see his life long interest in chess and eroticism as a sublimation of this picture’s wordplay! Given that the double meaning of “mate” does not exist in French, at last we have a satisfactory explanation of why Duchamp had to emigrate to America. In other words: in the beginning was the word; in the center the pun.” From: A Pun Among Friends by Steven B. Gerrard.


This sculpture is done in clay and stone.  I’d like to cast it in bronze.  Does anyone have any experience with casting?  I have one acquaintance that has cast several smaller pieces.  Perhaps this will make a good object lesson: how to get it done, sold or used and displayed, etc.  I’m contacting foundries, art schools and colleges to find a student willing to work on this or become a student for this project.

Music with the pages of VARIATIONS book – the book is available for free online at www.spiritcrow.com.  The physical presentation is in the form of a folio with loose pages:

        A dear friend suggested that certain pieces of music seemed to almost be evoked by specific pages of this work.  If anyone with a musical ear would read this short book (or even a few pages (Although, reading just a few pages might not give you the overall ‘feel’ of the work.)) and then make some suggestions for music to match specific pages.  You may even want to suggest some of your own music.  Bear in mind that many classical pieces are within the public domain, whereas contemporary music may require releases to use.

Artisano Manifesto – Excerpts and fragments of the work-in-progress:          
Must an artist suffer for his art?   No!   But many artists are obsessed with the production of their art and obsession, by its nature, leads to suffering.  A well-adjusted artist is a rare find.  In fact we tend to hold on the images and stories of the poor artist, the struggling artist, the insane artist (his art drove him mad!), the social misfit artist and many such other definitions.  Begin a conversation about artists and insanity and inevitably someone will mention Vincent VanGogh as an example of a mad artist.  Did his art drive him mad or was he mad and produced art?  In all probability VanGogh had the seeds of his insanity planted within him long before he pursued his artwork.  The production of art can be therapeutic but it need not be so.
        Even if you believe that you are self-taught, you should acknowledge that every piece of art or communication you’ve experienced has shaped who you are and what you can create.  You, through your creations may urge someone (some very distant someone) to create.
        Many have argued that creativity is just the sublimation of sexual desire.   Although the two, sex and creativity, are closely related, one can see that they are not necessarily immutably linked.  If I may misapply the expression of Propertius, "Ingenium nobis ipsa puella fecit." (My genius is no more than a girl.)  This sentiment was also echoed by Nabakov.  Libido is art.   It cannot be normally contained.   It will rise and overflow any container any obstacle in its path. 

Big camera
     A garage sale in Warwick, NY yielded a huge bellows camera, originally used to produce scaled images of typeset.  The plate size is 20”x 24.”  The focal length and rail is 12’ (Yes, twelve FEET.)   I hope to adapt this for photographic portraits.  Aside from some minor maintenance I need to collect techniques for plate making (unless, someone knows a supplier of very large format negative sheets.)  This camera is not easily moved, so it will be set up in the Barn Studio.  I’ll post some photos, as soon as they’re available.

Gorilla Skull Mask
     Masks seem to do so much more than offer us a new face.  They also evoke personalities that appear to be foreign to our normal selves.  People are often more willing to ‘talk to the mask’ rather than the person behind the mask.
        I, if I may use that word without confusion, have become intrigued by the idea that self, myself in particular and all selves in general, may be a myth.  Our desire to create labels and relationships has, perchance, defined a self, an ego, and stood it in good stead among all this confusion of being.  As such it stands out among the background, glowing among the dead leaves.  We think it more real than the late dusk air, as a firefly blinks before us.  That spot of light, that instance of illumination, seems more passionate than the damp quiet darkness that surrounded it.  (I say ‘surrounded’, past tense, for it is gone, flown to its next incineration, completely unattached to us.)

Gorilla Skull Mask

         Does the presence of a mask imply a self behind the mask?  Does a mask mirror or magnify some latent personality?  Consider myth vis-à-vis archetypes.  By wearing a mask does a person enable an already present personality (slightly akin to the image or perceived image of the mask) to present itself?  Maybe this occurs by inhibiting other aspects of a personality.  Or does does the almost ever-present personality (the one we use or see every day) create a facsimile of a personality that seems to fit the mask?

Artists and Galleries: 
If you would like to have your work or exhibition mentioned herein, please let me know about it.

Fire Hydrants  by Barrie Samuels, “Fire Hydrant Lady”
(All photos and content Copyright © 2009 by Barrie Samuels)

Why Fire Hydrants (fhs)?   I’d have to say they snuck up on me,  then  simply wouldn’t unstick.   They are everywhere – yet unseen. Invisible.   If ETs needed a ubiquitous ignored presence, the hiding-in-plain-sight fh is the perfect (dis)guise.  They are anthropomorphic in the R2-D2 (‘Star Wars’ robot) vein, with all upper body parts. All are capped, some with ‘eyes’ that follow you 360-degrees; two eyes watch you from any direction/angle.

     Once I noticed them, I couldn’t not.

I grew up in NYC where the fire hydrants are black with silver tops…black barrels, silver bonnets, where plugs are called pumps or hydrants because they water – street kids on steamy summer days and fires hungry for oxygen but fed aqua instead.  Technically, they are (upright) pipes connecting a water main (with a) valve to a firefighter’s hose.  Not to mention serious male symbolism -- Freudian or canine!

        If asked, ‘what color are the fhs in your neighborhood?’, most people would say ‘I don’t know’, ‘who cares’, or ‘red’.  If you said red, you may live in NJ…as I do…, but I never noticed the red ones until I noticed all the other colors.  Orange, yellow, cherry pink, dark blue, bright blue, light blue; greens from hunter to hued. Tops and bottoms mix and match at local will, most bi-colored, but I’ve seen a tri- and even a quad-!  Found one painted like an ice cream sundae, another like a carousel, and a small community of them painted like people. The colors, I’m told, can be arbitrary or indicators like connector-hose size and/or water pressure.

        I began taking their “portraits”, somewhat compulsively. Hundreds of them. They varied so much in shape, condition, age, size, maintenance, manufacturer (even one named “Darling”), that I realized they were in fact individual, unique, each one actually different!  Their valves and knobs were different, the chains around their ‘necks’ and ‘arms’ became jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, belts, locks, loose, tight, dangling, intact, connected. Different neighborhoods, backgrounds, weather, seasons. Personalities. Names. I had to keep reminding my self that they were dog urinals.





My favorite photo (not here) was made during a night shoot in a beach town with light blue fhs.  I flashed ‘face-to-face’ three times.  Barely noticeable in the middle shot was an unfocused snake in the grass. Thought it was a frog-head, ‘til I saw the body coils. It came out to see what all the flashing was, and was gone. His head was way too close to mine…. (Yes, got out the snake books, but couldn’t be sure...baby copperhead? corn? milk?)

Back to male symbolism, are we?

See that short pink one?

Until recently, they protected testosterone clusters like Giants Stadium and Meadowlands Racetrack. Ironically and predictably, no one noticed their pinkness and barely believed they were there when told.

Welcome ET!

contact info:  barriesam@optonline.net
Wen Redmond  - Mixed Media /Contemporary Art in Fiber 

(All photos and content Copyright © 2009 by Wen Redmond)

Bottles on a Sill

Row Houses

WEBSITE        http://WenRedmond.com 

BLOG              http://fiberartgoddess.blogspot.com

ETSY SHOP    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6325064

Wen Redmond  - STUDIOS- Salmon Falls Mill, Rollinsford NH 

and First Star Farm, Strafford, NH

            “Fiber art has sustained my creative impulses since 1975. It is a fluid and expanding art form. I enjoy pushing the boundaries to see ‘what if’.”
               When I work, I encourage a collaborative process with spirit or my higher self, that mind-boggling principle
of the universe. This process can also be called ‘flow’.  When you are in this state of mind, the intuitive is tapped and the work can become more than the sum of it’s parts. I work out insights, inspirations, feelings and reactions to the outer world. Allowing time for these inspirations to percolate up from my unconscious is a vital part of my process. 
The nature of my work permits the viewer to see different images within the very same piece, drawing the viewer in.
I achieve this with illusionary surface design or actual physical layering to produce one image.”

Local Galleries:

  Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, 37 Main Street, Narrowsburg, NY 12764,  phone (845)-252-7576

  Red Eft Gallery, 159 Sullivan Street, Wurtsboro, NY 12790, phone (845)-888-2519

  Fletcher Gallery, 40 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY 12498, phone (845)-679-4411


If you have an announcement you would like to distribute to fellow artists and post on our website, please send it along to me.  Artist@spiritcrow.com

I’ll include it in the next newsletter and post it on our website www.spiritcrow.com/artist

Models/Modeling exchange. Natural women 18 years of age and older for outdoor nudes. No pay but will exchange pictures for modeling or will do a modeling exchange. I have modeled for female artists, for their paintings/drawings, in exchange for modeling for my photography. If interested please email/call. (973) 460-1037. ndsnntre@yahoo.com.

 The annual Artist/Model Day is Saturday August 22, 2009


Announcement of the Artist / Model Day
Black Feather Retreat
Box 588

Westbrookville, NY 12785

Art, Artists, Figure Models, Performers and Gourmet food

Call for Artists - Call for Models

A day of fresh air, art, artists, figure models, performances, discussions and conversations among artists, poets, friends and lovers of art, self-expression and gourmet food.

        Information online at http://www.spiritcrow.com/artist/
        E-mail:   artist@spiritcrow.com
        Phone:   call for an information brochure 973-614-9101

Models:  If you’ve ever thought about being a figure model this is a wonderfully genteel venue.  Earn extra money  --  Artist Colony Setting.  All Body Types - Meet New ArtistsCall for details.