Saturday, November 6, 2010

politics of adjustment

I think we all have intense internal relationships with the wild world that signify our need for a counterbalance to the mindless destruction our technology has wrought on the planet.

The manipulation of money supply through the ages to finance war and thus technological supremacy is coming up against the wall of resource scarcity. The oceans are dying, bio-diversity is being stamped out, and anthropological diversity is being decimated. It's really unfortunate that money doesn't grow on trees. If it did, we'd have better control over it for we would have to nurture it and cultivate it and then distribute only what was harvested. Just imagine what Wall St. would look like.

Politicians exist to preserve existing systems, not change them. The political system itself is both cumbersome and anachronistic in a period of history when decisions could be made on important issues simply by entering objective data into computers. Unfortunately, the majority of people respond to simplistic concerns which only tend to repeat the cycle. The idea that you could sit and talk to individuals in order to alter their opinions is pretty hopeless when the first thing they'll do when faced with difficult circumstances is to find someone to blame.

I've been feeling bad this past week not to have been able to discuss the current political situation directly with my friends and former co-workers in the US. Even though I don't believe I can change anyone's mind, I still believe I can help to change hearts at little.

Anyhow, I've been working to block out the design for a new painting. Here's the not quite finished line drawing of the main character. Tell me what you think.


  1. I really like what you have there. She looks pensive, maybe a little angry. Or perhaps I'm projecting. I'm angry because I think we can be so much better than we are right now.

  2. I see that lovely figure as a self-portrait, in the very mood that Lisa describes. Of course you are upset, angry and sad for your home country and friends, and I am too for our neighbours. We are so closely connected across this very long border.

  3. I love the new drawing Susan. Like you I despair of the political system. The shower in charge in the K are a case in point

  4. have you been watching me?
    yes, i know but wow, does it "feel" like it her, btw, and she does have a bit of a pensive, melancholic look about her tho i can see you could really do something with her...
    just popping by,,came down with the wretched flu-with it's myriad lovely facets- last night and it's floored me, quite always, perfect timing...everyone's leaving in the next few day--dazed is how i feel just now...sigh...she reminds me of whats going on inside my head/heart/mind.♥

  5. The line drawing is amazing. There is something about it that makes me feel like it is antiquity. You have such a talent for making the personal seem archetypal. xo

  6. lisa - Of course you're correct in your assessment. It seems to me there's little we can do other than try for some clarity and compassion.

    marja-leena - I'm feeling sad because I couldn't bring more people with me. Not that Canada is a perfect place but at least the political process here still has some validity.

    jams - I'm glad you like it as it took some effort getting her just right. Politics in most places has become Kabuki theater.

    linda - I've often seen myself come up with a really good drawing and then proceed to ruin it during the painting process :-). It's irritating.

    I'm sorry you've come down with the flu and sorrier your family members are on their way home. I hope they'll be back soon and that you recover quickly so you can paint again.

    belette - You wouldn't believe what a struggle it is sometimes but I'm very pleased at such high praise.

  7. I like this - and I'm looking forward to seeing it in color. Many of your recent paintings have contained children and animals - this seems like an older subject, with a more pensive feeling. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it, and how it's set in the rest of the painting.

  8. I love your drawings, I really do. You'll choose colors, for your new subject, that will please the eye. The figure will yake the form of what we need to think at any given time.
    Now I know someone that has lived for quite some time innthe USA and now lives in Canada. Yoyu are familiar with all of the typical USA dribble that you describe. The other night while watching Hockey Night in Canada, a show which I watch regularly throughout the season, Don Cherry did a piece on Canadian Veterans. Seemed like I was in America and that the two countries are nearly the same with the exception of health care.
    I don't even want to try, to make what I see as common sense, someone elses sense. They, like me, will not budge from their opinions and who they'll vote for.
    I'm blabbering, just trying to give you a sense that we're having a conversation. Keep up the good work. I'll be traveling soon, be back with bells on in a week or so.


  9. what you can do with a 'simple' line!!! though i don't pretend to have anything approaching your skill, i empathize completely with the experience of ruining a beautiful drawing when i add color.

    i'd like Canada better without the cold.... and the conservatives.... call me jaded... or just despairing, as i see another long, dark, cold winter staring me in the eye.

    we have a new, young mayor, who has raised hopes for intelligent, insightful leadership. coincidentally, his wedding early this past summer, was my the first wedding gig i did with my harp. i believe real, permanent change starts small and grows. if municipalities will stick their necks out and take a stand, the potential is huge.

  10. We are all still trying to come to terms with what the election results mean. I think that one good thing from this situation is that liberal bloggers are more motivated to work on political issues. There is more energy out there in the blogosphere I think.

    I love the background color in your drawing.

  11. steve - The paintings of children were done small - 5x7 on 7x10 Arches - so I was able to work a bit faster than usual and also fit them on my scanner bed. Now I'm ready again to take on some larger pieces - an exciting but scary process.

    spadoman - I'm really glad you do.

    Yes, I lived in the US for more 33 years and was already past 30 when I arrived during Jimmy Carter's presidency. Silly me, I figured all would be well from that point on and that with the Vietnam War over America would return to sanity and leadership for the greater good. Now I've returned to Canada and see signs that say 'Support Our Troops'. The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is a right wing Conservative who ordered a billion $'s worth of police protection for the G20 summit in Toronto last summer and just this past weekend Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Condoleeza Rice, Stephen Hadley and others were right here in Halifax talking about nuking Iran. It's a bit depressing but I'll keep up the effort.

    I hope you have a very good and safe trip.

    gfid - There's more of it now and I think I've played around with the little ones enough to feel confident of the colour.

    I'll be here to help vote out the Conservatives - just hope a lot of others agree. Apathy is a communicable disease.

    That's pretty cool that you played at your new mayor's wedding. I agree that grassroots is the only way for real change to happen.

    liberality - I remember my husband saying the country would have been better off if the Republicans had won in '08 because the left would have been energized rather than demoralized. He was right and I hope you are now.

  12. I think, as always, that your talent is amazing, that you emote powerfully with the simplest of lines and purest of palettes.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where you take us with this one; the journey is always magical!

  13. I love her, but she does look a little pensive.

    I agree with you 100% about the politics of the US. It's a stacked deck, and the house of cards is in danger of collapse.

  14. cr - Muchas gracias :-)

    The new one(s) may take a while.

    nancy - Pensive and sad is what I meant. I agree with your assessment too.

  15. I like artists of whatever genre who - intentionally or not - leave room for interpretation, room to let one's own thoughts flow and fly; artists who - intentionally or not - inspire (at least) a few others to discover the realm of phantasy within themselves.
    This very drawing is a fine example.
    Chapeau, Susan.

    And no. I do not care about the colours to come. :)
    Actually, I'd like you to make a second drawing of this girl; of just the girl. No accessoires needed.
    As Robert Frost wrote:
    So, if you find you must repent
    from side to side in argument,
    at least don't use your mind too hard,
    but trust my instinct - I'm a bard.

  16. sean - From my perspective the drawings that end up on paper are only hints of visions whose complexity I've been unable to capture. It's always a relief to know when someone else has caught a glimpse of meaning in one of them. I don't work very fast, nor do I draw very much any more because I get captured by subtleties. For you I will see if I can see her well enough again to give us both another perspective.

    Nice poem :-)