Book Review (Rick Daddario’s new collection of Haiga)

Book Review (Rick Daddario’s new collection of Haiga)

 this is not that haiga book cover 1 sml 6x

You may remember Rick Daddario the wonderful photographer, artist and poet from Hawaii who has been a guest on my blog previously.

Today I am writing about Rick’s new (2012) book of art and poetry in the form of Haiga called This is Not That – They are Just Connected (Becoming Haiga ~ Haiku within Image).

Haiga is a haiku placed within an image to create one work. The image and the haiku can individually stand alone, but there is an added magic when taken together. Ideally an interaction of sorts where the sum is greater than the parts.


Rick talks about the process in the introduction:

… a process of discovering relationships between image and words. Ideally the end result will engage the mind. I enjoy creating haiga. I learn by doing, as well as by seeing what others do. It’s also fun to simply play – which to me is an intensely focused way to create.

What better person to produce Haiga than Rick who is not only a talented artist but an experienced and skilled writer of haiku. Each page in the book is a sumptuous combination of art (or photography) with one haiku.


Reading the collection is akin to experiencing exquisite moments where one is suddenly awakened to the now; a meditative excursion in time and space through the eyes of an aesthete, eyes which are attuned to capturing the essence of life’s ups and downs, beauty and sadness. A  book of Aha moments where there is sudden clarity in the mist.


I love this book 😀

It is a pleasure to have this collection of Haiga on my bookshelf and to be able to leaf through the pages when in need of inspiration and hope. If you want to see more examples of Rick’s work or to find out about the availability of his new book just pop over to his 19planets blog.

Sound of Peppermint Bottle

Sound of Peppermint Bottle

Sound of Peppermint Bottle

Still life, Peppermint Bottle
Cézanne looks; I hear
peppermint bottle

chocolate block
red toffee apple
clip clippety clop

rubber plantation
prelude to power
carnation, lactation

molten glass
salt spray, Esperance

butter batter bitter with a squeeze of lemon

savouring words
sound and association


Note: Cézanne’s Still Life, Peppermint Bottle is reproduced here from Wikimedia Commons.

NutherNote: I got the idea of this poem from blogging artist extraordinaire Aletha Kuschan. She is a big Cézanne fan and had been inspired by a detail in his Peppermint Bottle to paint apples. Thanks Aletha 🙂

AndNutherNote: When I was a scruffy school kid I used to write down my favourite words. I think chocolate was at the top of the list (ahhh what a consonant and vowel combination; plus an association with a textured and tasty treat that I was rarely allowed to eat 😉 ).

Do you have favourite words?

Do tell!


Guest blogger – Hawaiian artist Rick Daddario

Guest blogger – Hawaiian artist Rick Daddario

Guest blogger – Hawaiian artist Rick Daddario

Today I would like to introduce you to a wonderfully creative blogger Rick Daddario who resides in Hawaii (lucky him 🙂 ). He is a visual artist, photographer and poet who blogs at 19 Planets Art Blog.

His work ranges from drawings, watercolours, acrylics, sketches, mixed media, digital drawings and paintings, digital mixed media collage, photographs and altered photographs, haiku and haiga ( ie., combination of image and haiku), mail art or postal art.

I am a big fan of his blog and find his work calming and meditative, with a focus on seasonal changes, nature, observation and simplicity. His blog is like a resting place next to a clear, serene pond with beautiful water lilies for company.

I asked Rick my usual two questions for guest bloggers:

Why do you blog? What do you like best about blogging?

Here is Rick’s response:

Rick Daddario

Why do you blog?

Until you asked, I don’t think I’d really asked myself this question. Maybe the answer to the follow up question will help?

What do you like best about blogging?


Ten things I like best about blogging:

Liking something best is hard – because one day (one moment) it might be one thing and the next day it’s two other things. So ten things I like about blogging:

1. Most artists I know like to see/understand how people respond to their work. I’m like that. Blogging helps me to know how people respond to my work without the stress of “showing” – as in a Gallery setting or selling, although I like to do both of these at times too. Blogging allows me to show my art; Visual Art (maybe I should include flash writing too) to people related to my field as well as those interested in what I do. Knowing I have a place where people can find and look at my work is one of the things I like about blogging.

2. I also like the interaction that can occur. Something I do may excite someone else to do something of his or her own. I like that. Seeing what others do can have the same effect on me. I like that kind of exchange.

3. There is also the idea of connecting around the planet. Being in contact with people from all over this planet appeals to me. Maybe it’s the sense that we are all one, that is most often reinforced through this connection, that I like. May be it’s the sense that the world is a big and amazing place with a lot of different points of views and ways of seeing/living on earth that excites me about this connecting. Connections – yeah, I like that about blogging.

4. Seeing my work outside of the environment where it is created helps me to take a more critical look at what I’m doing. Blogging is one of the ways I can do this.

5. Blogging is an easily approachable structure that facilitates collaboration. I like working on collaborative works and/or projects. By blogging I can often pick and choose projects and collaborators for future work – or others can pick and choose me if what I do appeals to them. I like when someone approaches me with ideas and possibilities in this way.

6. I also like when people ask questions. Sometimes responding to a question is a good way for me to know myself – what I think, or how I might do something. It helps me to explore my world – my knowledge, thoughts, work process etc. I often find out what I actually think when I respond to a comment. I like that.

7. I also like when people tell me what my work brings up for them, what it makes them think of – a memory, or an idea, or something they’ve thought of because of what they see in my work – how my work might connect to them.

8. Eventually (soon I hope – which I’ve been saying for a long time) I’d like to link my blog up to what I’m thinking of as an Access Gallery – a way I can post work in different formats for affordable purchase. I’d like to integrate my blog into part of that process although not as a predominant component because I don’t want to get trapped into making what I think might sell. I like this idea and the web and blogging seem to me to be an easy and informal way of approaching this.

9. I think blogging also helps me stay on track creating. I find what I like to do and I do that. My interests change, as long as I keep going where my interest is, I know I’ll want to keep exploring my creating process. The blog allows me to do this in my own way because I’m not required to blog under a predetermined condition or constraint. I like that freedom. Free to be myself – blogging allows me to do that.

10. Yeah, too, I think I have found some great friends through blogging, as well as co-workers, collaborators, peers – and teachers – and those who can teach me too. Blogging allows me to see that there are a lot of terrific people in the world – I like that.

I’m sure there are more things I like about blogging. As soon as I think I’ve said the main things I like best, I seem to think of something else I like about blogging. As you know, I am quite capable of rambling on and on until I get to some place or thing that I like. It seems to me the reason I blog is somewhere within these things I like about blogging. When blogging is no longer fun, I’ll probably stop blogging. Oh, yeah, another thing I like about blogging – it’s fun.

May be that’s the reason I blog – it’s fun.


It is fun Rick – thank you 🙂

Rainbow Lorikeet by Benedicte Delachanal

Rainbow Lorikeet by Benedicte Delachanal

The wonderful French speaking artist Benedicte Delachanal from Montreal in Canada has painted a copy of my photo of the Rainbow Lorikeet!

Just one of the reasons I love the blogosphere 🙂

Rainbow Lorikeet by Benedicte Delachanal

Here is the original photo.

Rainbow Lorikeet by Gabrielle Bryden

Thank you very much Benedicte and gros bisous – it is splendiferous 🙂

Citrus Fiesta (artist tipota)

Citrus Fiesta (artist tipota)

orange peels ssp by tipota

Citrus Fiesta (tipota)

this is a silkscreen print i did called “orange peels”

and here is my story:

citrus is not just the sweet/sour juicy pungent fruits we all know. it is a color pallette, a pattern to say the least.
to say the most i’d tell you my childhood impressions of the citrus groves along the sunshine parkway in florida, where my family would drive every year at christmas holiday when i was a child, and we’d stop at the grove stands and buy bags of navel oranges (a rarity up in the north then) and pink grapefruits. this is all along the last leg of the yearly winter trips to miami to visit my greek grandparents. i am proud of my halfgreek heritage – have you ever met any greek who isn’t? because with every daily greek meal, i mean it, lemons are required, a staple item. my relationship with lemons goes back a long way. ok.

so, the thing about the citrus groves in florida is that the scent of oranges along the highway is like a perfume. it is everywhere, the breeze carries it, the clouds rain it, the ground is saturated with it, the most intoxicating scent a child could hope to imagine, so it was like a magic world of oranges, a place where the sun was a giant lemon, a place where the sidewalks are paved with orange rinds, offered along the way on gingham checked tablecloths blowing in the tangerine breeze were baskets of oranges, clementines, limes, orange popsicles, orange juice, orange soda not to mention lemon and lime aid and grapefruit, sugared. lazy lagoons with waters of citrus nectar, tangelo juice let’s say. i walked along the rows of trees amazed at how splendid the ripe oranges were and how plentiful. delighted in being able to reach and pick one and immediately press it to my nose. but that’s just the beginning, because when i peel the orange, the scent becomes bubblescent, it’s alive, it’s jumping, it stings my eyes, it seeps into my fingers, the juice is hard to keep from dripping when i take that first bite of a freshpicked orange, and we are all in the car and the car smells so sweet of citrus it puts me to sleep like dorothy in the poppy fields. and i dont wash my hands and they get sticky with orange sugars and finally someone hands me a napkin but its too late, the orange perfume is sealed into my hands. so i fold them and put my head over them and lean toward the window and when i wake up, we are pulling into grandmother’s driveway. the joys of citrus.

and even that is still the beginning because citrus as design motif and as art has also crossed my path many times. and gabrielle told you the story about my lemon tree. my grandmother often told me about the lemon groves on her home island of Kos. she described these lemons as being three times bigger than the lemons around here and sweet-tasting. it made me think, gabe, after i learned about your lemonade tree, that her childhood memories of sweet lemons may have actually been lemonade tree lemons, or a similar, related lemon tree.

my screen print “orange peels” was one of many citrus-based art things i have done. but it kind of tells the story, the peels left after the orange is eaten, still have the same fresh bright scent. later, they make the compost smell nicer. the day i did this piece, i was sitting after breakfast wondering what i’d do with this silkscreen project i had and looked over across the table and saw the orange peels designing themselves into a cool almost abstract image, so voila’, i did this print. you will notice, that yes, there is the color pink haha in there. i couldnt resist. selma knows what i mean.

and that’s it, over and out.


tipota is a professional artist from Cape Code, Massachusetts, USA, who blogs her very own unique style of poetry, art and original music at spaces between trees.

thanks tipota 🙂


It’s a family thing!

It’s a family thing!

It’s not just Michael and I that love all things volcano – Tessa is well and truly in on the act.

Here is a painting of a volcano she did for school recently:

Volcano (Tessama) by Tessa Bryden

Here is a monster sand volcano she has been working on. She is very persistent – it partially got washed away and she rebuilt it 🙂

Photo by Michael Bryden
Photo by Michael Bryden (volcano by Tessa Bryden)

I’ve never seen a real volcano (though I have seen remnants of extinct volcanoes – crater lakes, calderas, plugs and that sort of thing). Have any of you seen an active volcano – perhaps in Hawaii, Japan, Italy or New Zealand?

Make me jealous and tell us me all about your experiences with volcanoes 😉

Guest Blogger – Mark William Jackson

Guest Blogger – Mark William Jackson

Mark William Jackson

Today I would like to introduce you to fellow blogger Mark William Jackson from Sydney, Australia. Mark’s blog showcases his unique style of poetry, but also short stories, reviews, art, and photography. Some of his posts can also be found lurking at the Overland literary journal.

He has publicly struggled with the addictive nature of blogging, but is currently off the wagon and well into imbibing of the blog juice 🙂 so I thought it was as good a moment as any to ask him a couple of questions.

Why do you blog?

I’ve been scribbling sporadically for 20 years. Throughout this time I’d write some poems, send one to an editor, receive a rejection and give up for a few years. I started my blog in 2009, firstly on blogger (now I think it’s called blogspot), then I migrated to wordpress. Initially it was just another phase in the sporadic writing cycle, but then I started receiving comments – for the first time people outside of my immediate family were reading my poetry. It was exhilarating (and addictive). It was this encouragement that gave me the drive to keep going, helped me to handle the rejections and work on my development.

What do you like best about blogging?

I have a relatively well documented love/hate relationship with my blog. I have built it up and broken it down three or four times now. Once it starts ‘rolling’ I find myself drawn into it too much, I become blinkered to all else and the tool becomes the product. And yet, when I’m not actively blogging I feel a lack of connection.

I like the interaction with other writers, the back and forth feedback, suggestions and interpretations of my work that I had never considered.

I like the blog to serve as a central online repository, a place where, if people are interested in my work, they can look through previously published poems, links to where I am currently being published and works created exclusively for the blog.


Thanks Mark 🙂

The Artist (a poem with fishy fish)

The Artist (a poem with fishy fish)


Koi painting by Aletha Kuschan


The Artist (a poem with fishy fish)

What marvellous fishy fish you capture,
he said to the artist, quick tip of the hat

and nod to her grasp of the slippery power
held within the Koi, of paint and pond.

If I could divine the secret of supple
shape and muscle, colour and movement

that you magically display, in the loose
flamboyance of these wild but captive

creatures, mouth open, wanting more
than can ever be obtained in this stale life,

outside the rippled blue of paint reflected,
I would hide it in a locked box,

to keep the magic from evaporating.


Koi by Aletha Kuschan


Dedicated to the artist and blogger Aletha Kuschan (who is slightly obsessed with painting Koi) and the late and great poet gingatao (author of The Puzzle Box) who was a great admirer of Aletha’s work, particularly her ‘fishy fish’.