Here is a trip down memory lane from the splendiferous artist and poet tipota of spaces between trees blog.
worth the price of the ticket
i used to make jokes of the sharply observant kind. i grew up doing it. it came, i think, from having noticed my mother’s fierce intolerance of bacteria on tiled surfaces and all that lysol scent had an effect on me.
i would probably call them “bummer jokes” – tipping toward some unspeakable something, maybe foundational from every place of quiet or place of fear, which responds in some way to the need of the now moment. something you would never think fast enough to hold back before it got out. a way to gain an edge and facilitate structure-comprehension, a subject i think should be an educational requirement. not sociology, psychology, political science alone, but something bigger that teaches about structuring in general. “the mathematics of structure” so a person can begin to develop rational discern with all the crossweaving that goes on. continuously. one needs to work up a sweat doing daily structure-leaping exercises and construction chores and get them all done. because you never know where the dragnet falls next.
it wasnt kosher to joke about having creative block in the sculpture class, i was just doing my thing, but sheesh, they gave me such dirty looks! ok, admittedly, i hunched over like quasimodo and flapped bat wings when i said it, it’s possible the largest share of communique’ resulted from that
i stormed a dylan concert once, walked right in w/o a ticket because i had an american flag wrapped around me like a sari and so they must have thought i was in the show. if anybody had tried to stop me or especially put a hand on me including gate police, i would have screamed “hands off the flag you treasonous
fool!” and if that didnt work “rape of freedom!” even tho wearing the flag is actually illegal, not one cop even reached for me.
i know i know but cmon my act was worth the price of the ticket.
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.
To begin my citrus extravaganza I am posting a poem I wrote and picture I drew from 2010 🙂
for the love of a lemon tree
in her house
tipota grew a lemon tree
from seed that begged plant me
the tree grew
to a sumptuous lemonesque grandeur
to pot to pot to pot a
las none were big enough
for the lemon’s great ambitions
and spaces between the tree shrank
until tipota could hardly move
but she minded not
for she loved that lemon tree.
I’ve written this poem and drawn the picture just for a bit of fun. Tipota is a very creative lady with a blog called spaces between trees
She is a musician, artist, poet and all round genius as far as I’m concerned. Tipota commented recently on my poem Twisted Lemon. Here is her comment:
‘i grew a lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet ha ha, i grew it from a seed that popped out of a sliced lemon – begging to be planted, it already had a thin green sprout. it grew into a tree, in successively larger pots until there weren’t any more bigger that i could find. i had it for fifteen years and it had wonderful blossoms and the last few seasons it made a handful or two of lemons, tiny ones. alas, it died a few years ago for the very reasons you describe, there was no pot big enough to handle it and it couldn’t go outside. it was huge and took up all the window space in the living room and got so wide i had to move the furniture to make more room for it, i still miss it’
‘SHARE Australian poetry day – share the joy of Australian poetry in all its forms: at work, at home, at play, with friends, lovers, strangers, on a stage, in a library, on a train…..’ (Australian Poetry)
I haven’t been following the instructions very well (there is a different activity evey day of National Poetry Week) and I have mainly been doing the SHARE part of it (though yesterday I did buy a number of poetry books for the BUY day).
Today I am sharing my friend tipota’s magical poem (cinderella eclipse) and image of the famous fairy tale shoe (isn’t it gorgeous 🙂 ).
oh no moma i let go my shoe
i left it near the etherbody lying stillpink
outside the secret passage
the pumkin carriage was speeding off the exit
animmit sparkles unpredictable wandwaves
and magic dust but
if i didnt catch the carriage it
would not fetch me home
i saw the horses morph to mice
powering down dust trails
and i jumped!
do not despair my dear stepdaughter
itsa C010r glass slipper it cant be soiled
at least not much
we will look for it tomorrow
when the day breaks
i promise you
now go to sleep
she heard a firewisp windy
ringaroundthemoon unfinished symphony
promising in whatever way
Today I have great pleasure in introducing you to the uniquely talented and wonderful blogger tipota – proprietor of spaces between trees. Her real identity will remain a secret but I can tell you that she is an innovative and experimental artist (visual, sound), writer and genius to boot! Her blog contains poetry, story fragments, ideas and her distinctive audio/visual podcasts (all composed and produced by tipota). She loves cats and has been known to look after the lost and found felines of her neighbourhood in Cape Cod, USA.
I can also reveal an ‘exclusive’ photo of tipota (above) – haha – one of only 2 in existence on the net, I am told (we are used to her cartoon gravatar, below). This is all very exciting, so let’s get to the questions and answers. Over to the inimitable tipota.
Why do you blog?
it’s always somehow magical to see the pieces ‘publish’. (when placement doesn’t match preview and if something is really way off, i have to figure out the html or rather unlock the secrets of WYSIWYG the automatic thing and try to fix it. or see how it works with a different editor. with options of which editor to use, new or old one – the actions work differently from one to the other. so it’s kind of like stardust collects into a solid image and view when it comes up. even if it comes up wrong) (and then it also can look different with different browsers, or color settings, or resolutions but that doesn’t bother me – i think that may be a bothersome thing for picky upscale brand names with cross-marketing on commercial websites). I’m not able to be quite picky enough with the basic template, and then as things go forward, the new editor will become the old one and a newer new one will take its place, etc. better if they kept them all and just numbered them because each upgrade both wins some and lose some.
and also the message. i had an idea for that when i first started. i started because a friend of mine was entertaining the public with her blog for the newspaper, she was an art teacher who left the trade to ‘pursue her own art’ – the blog was about all sorts of things but always had this sharp witty perspective. it was good too, because as a local teacher in the public schools many people knew her and followed her postings. she wrote outside the box about politics, animals, art, the vision in everyday experience. but the format only allowed text, no images. i got to reading and commenting and it was so much fun i thought about doing one in the wider world.
when i decided to start spaces between trees (sbt), i only knew about the text. honestly. i was way behind the average person in exposure to online cultures. i was only using the computer for design when friends were getting into chat rooms. and people were chatting about chat rooms and i was clueless ha ha. one friend had become an administrator on this math and science message board. she got so addicted that it was painful when her computer went out for over a week. blogs also were starting to circulate among people i knew.
it was when changes to copyright law were sneaking through our systems and controversies over that were forming coalitions that i started the blog. i was doing my bit. senator kennedy was alive then, and being that i was a ‘constituent’ who had been a delegate once, he answered my letters personally, thanked me for material to argue the point. he wrote that he hadn’t known the practices around selling original artwork to companies who would then use it in manufacturing of housewares, giftwares, paper products, textiles, furnishings, ceramics you name it including book and media jacket covers. and if it was successful, every other company in the world doing the same product would do a knock-off, the offshore reduced price/quality. the industries would squeeze every drop out of a winning pattern. it would trickle from the designer upscale down to walmart, and get clunkier along the way. it would take a long time to die. you’d be buying ivy patterned curtains with matching napkins for the next 4 years until it finally went away. the artists were tearing their hair out wondering when the public wold ever get sick of buying this crap trying to create new things, and the salesmen were trying to revamp whatever sold most or predict a blockbuster while the manufacturers were scrambling to put together mass production and there were always limitations. the law allowed already that a small 10% difference was within the realm of acceptable, enough to bypass copyright infringement, wink wink. this, i had written him, even without these proposed changes.
they give any manufacturer who licenses art and pays royalties a ripe chance to opt for the ‘orphan-trade’ instead. easy to do since the network of freelancers are clamoring for work. everything and anything could be claimed ‘orphaned’ if it is sold for reproduction rights under a company’s label, or by a ‘work-for-hire’ contract, and it could be converted to a dozen different things, produced and sold by truckloads before whomever owns the copyright ever finds out. alas, he informed me that much of the push for change had to do with the internet, and not so much with the use of art in and on products. but that he could see how a new ruling would affect these areas. there are thousands of artists who do this kind of work. because they cant find a living wage with their own. and the pay is good. anyway, because of this, and because of my friend’s newspaper blog, i decided i needed to see what it was about. i really didnt have much intro to begin with. and then i found out how wonderful it was to experiment and have this new fascination. i have to admit it was a whole other ballgame when i first started. learning a new field really, and that is inspiring. gingatao left the first ever comment on my blog. i’d had it there for several months and just kept exploring with it, had not either commented anywhere or received any comment, had taken a few months off and gone away, and when i came back, there it was. great surprise! it was really great!
in the time between clicking the “Publish” button and when the “Post is Published” sign comes up, there’s a part of me that is aware of related things like printing presses, grinding out everything from fliers to fine art reproductions. the ‘analog’ camera and complex chemical processing, etc. and earlier ‘posting’ communication practices were in deep contrast to the internet where there is no limited edition concept, as well as multiple formats and the ability to do several tasks at once so a post can include diverse elements. and you dont need to sort out fonts or make color separations. you dont ink anything or press the plates. all in all i think i do sbt because it’s really fun. but if i just said that, the answer would be really too short
What do you like best about blogging?
it has worldwide connectivity, and people do have the right and do pay to keep upgraded etc and contract the server/connection, it is a powerful tool, and collectively it is more informative than any other kind of medium imo, in a way that is direct and multifaceted.
important for me is the flexibility, that i can use different forms, writing, video, photos, art, music, etc. it’s really a wonderful environment – the enrichment it offers on so many levels.
communication, basically. and because of it, i come to know creatively talented people like you! i enjoy comments that spur me on to think differently about something. that is very rewarding. and i enjoy reading and commenting other blogs, keeps it moving. i see it as an important medium not yet fully defined and so has more unknown possibilities. which is a great place to be.