-6 degrees

One part heart
Three parts feather

How big is the spark
That beats in you

And doing so
Warms us both?

— Claudia Kern

You can find this poem and others along with some of Claudia Kern’s art at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley website.

Also… tomorrow, 20 March 2021, at 5:37AM (0937 UTC) marks the Vernal Equinox.
Happy Spring!!!

The Eyes Have It

These eyes are from the final image… notice the more rounded iris on the left… still a bit cross-eyed… but nowhere near as bad as in my first draft.

Over the summer I painted this fella from a photo in the Sktchy app on my phone. First I drew in a rough sketch in pencil and then painted a light base layer.

I’m using an Arteza Watercolor Journal – 9 in. X 12 in. This paper sucks up paint and I knew I needed layers to get the desired contrast and vibrancy.

Better. I even thought I was done. But no. I’m sure you can see it too… there’s something wrong with the eye on the left. His eyes aren’t tracking correctly… he’s cross-eyed in my journal but not in his photo. (I’m sorry I can’t show you the photo but he owns the copyright and I don’t have permission to post it. You can see it linked to my work in Sktchy.)

Anyway… it sat on my desk for months before I attempted the fix. It’s subtle, but I rounded the iris on the left hoping to separate the two irises and correct his focus. It seems to have helped… sort of… not entirely, but it’s time to move on, turn the page and select another victim.

A Fitting Tribute

On Thursday I watched numerous cultural luminaries sing the praises of Congressman John Lewis during his funeral celebration at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. There were family, friends and past presidents including President Obama, each one speaking glowingly, but only one captured my interest so completely. Jamila Thompson, John Lewis’ Deputy Chief of Staff spoke so eloquently I needed to revisit her speech on YouTube.

Thank you Ms. Thompson, you did Mr. Lewis proud.

As a staff, we are heartbroken; we are lost, but we know that the work continues, the fight remains, and we cannot – we must not get lost in the sea of despair. So if asked how you may honor the congressman, I will echo the words of the greats who stood here before. You can make sure that his work, his sacrifice, his message lives on, and that there’re actions that every person can do regardless of their age or their station in life. Be kind, be mindful, recognize the dignity and the worth of every human being. Be the best version of yourself. Be informed, stay engaged, even though the work is hard. And, if you’re of age and eligible, for the love of God, please vote. Thank you.

Jamila Thompson
John Lewis’ Deputy Chief of Staff
30 July, 2020
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Atlanta, Georgia