William Blake vs the World, by John Higgs

Just beginning this already intriguing biography of the visionary poet and artist, William Blake (1757-1827) . Higgs wastes little time moving from basic facts about Blake, to adding a unique angle to the story: he brings in neuroscience to help explain Blake’s spectacular visions.

Unlike most artists and poets who depict the otherworldly, William Blake wasn’t necessarily trying to communicate metaphorically. He actually claimed to have seen angels and other aspects of the numinous world, and this started when he was very young. Higgs is understandably fascinated by this and seeks logical, reasonable explanations. He walks us through some of the possibilities, bringing in William James and others for some help.…

A New Year’s Gallery Collection

It’s 2023, and like a few of you, I’ve repeated a rather futile pattern/habit/shot in the dark. Made some resolutions, hoping for the best. Hoping for beautiful discoveries, and if they shock me, so much the better.

Reading more is key. I read quite a few good to excellent books last year, but know that I can do more, choose more wisely, more selectively, connect with more great minds, and be far more productive, etc. So there’s that.

I also hope to improve and expand my own art, my own writing, and do something I haven’t done in a few  moons: seek other publishing venues.…

Fall Additions to Spinozablue, and More Paintings

Fawn at Noon, by Douglas Pinson. Digital painting, 2022.

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry from James Croal Jackson, Mitch Corber, and Howie Good, plus new fiction by David M. Rubin.

If you’d like to submit your own work, please go to the Submissions Page, and fill out the contact form as per instructions. You can bypass that form once we’ve made First Contact . . .

I recently experimented with horizontal usage of the Waterpaint Soft Edges brush from Krita. Had been using it primarily in a vertical way. I like the results. As before, using the brush(es) freehand, trying to incorporate more color selections and different textures to augment the background.…

Irony and Power: Another Angle

One of the biggest differences in worldview among the citizenry concerns the relative power or impotence of systems, and the relative power or powerlessness of individuals in the face of those systems. Of course, few people stand at one end or the other of these polls of difference, as most people tend to mix and match their views, picking and choosing as if from an ideological or evidentiary salad bar. But that’s the basic black and white of it.

Ironically, it can be difficult to persuade others of the immense power and effects of these systems on society, because those who control them have long since become adept at minimizing perceptions of their influence — at times, even their existence as systems.…

New Paintings and the Tao of Chaplin

Tenderness73, by Douglas Pinson. Digital painting, 2022.

 

The Tao of Chaplin

Down at the Metro
I wander underground
For a century before
     I arrived in this one

In Paris you can do that
At least in the 1920s —
Or so I’m told

     Tears on her hair
Prove this theory
Again and again

Tears on her cheek
And wet gray boughs

Anonymous deductions
Lend grace to la nuit
And pave the path
To the Seine for me and mine

Vagabonds stare at me
Because I look like Rimbaud
Would have looked if he
Had dressed like Chaplin

While singing The Doors
     It’s strange to think
Charles outlived Morrison

It’s strange to think he lived
     Bowler hat in hand
          Foot in mouth
               Black and white

There is no rhyme or reason
Just a longing for train stations
          Lanced in the light of
Infinite perspectival translations

 

— by Douglas Pinson

Using the waterpaint soft edges brush from Krita, experimenting, feeling the music of new patterns on digital canvas.…

Daniel Mendelsohn’s Three Rings

Rings. Circles. Endless ripples in time — as metaphor. structure, or ways of life. For those seeking a kind of closure, if not final justice, digression, circumnavigation, and repetition aid and abet our journey. We end up where we started, perhaps. Perhaps not. But these divine ruses can help us remember, and remember to write it all down, and compose it and ourselves in the swirl of life. The swirl that is history — theirs and our own.

Daniel Mendelsohn has written a very short, wonderful essay-memoir about those rings, and practices what he preaches by structuring his book about rings using rings.…

Honor in our dreams

More paintings, more departures. Utilizing a digital knife for blending, and a steel wool effect in some cases. Imagining all of this on massive canvasses, propped up on giant easels, in one of a dozen rooms in my ancient castle by the sea. Thick walls, high ceilings, stone floors — sun and moon seeping in from on high. And mead. Lots of mead.

Castles fill my mind often, but the most recent trigger was seeing two films: The Last Duel, and The Green Knight. I liked them both, but the latter was, well, strange, which is a good bit of the point for A24 movies.…

New poetry, paintings, Coda, and Camus

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry by John Grey, Nanette Avery, and D.R. James.

Rereading some good books about Camus and his times, which strike me as highly relevant again. Robert Zaretsky’s Elements of a Life, and Alice Kaplan’s Looking for the Stranger, with more on my To Be Read shelf, including The Plague. His refusal to follow the prevailing winds, his courage under direct and indirect fire, his impassioned moral compass — we could use all of that right now.

Perhaps it was growing up poor, in Algiers, with a mother who was near-deaf and rarely spoke.…

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