Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Art (Washington, District of Columbia, United States)

This was the first Winslow Homer painting that caught my attention,
as I clicked through his portfolio inside the museum at the Art Renewal Center.
I thought of using his painting in a poem later this autumn, but she carries an aura,
of an aerial firework competition that I can’t ignore.
Autumn’s red palette of spectacular oranges, scarlets, and reds are juxtaposed,
with picture the earth green, and even her flesh tones create a nano explosion.
Those brilliant red leaves were squirted straight out of the tube,
and hang in the upper hand corners, numbers one and two.
Everywhere else on the canvas the colors are grayed,
except for the floating leaves at her knee, brushed out from her golden skirt like a Fourth of July parade.
However, the message of this summer writing is about contrast – found on her upper torso, and around her hat and gloves that are located on the front plane,
and a tad less about color – tapping her on the shoulders, saying, “Excuse me dear woman, step forward, and I will help you hold your shoulders back for the camera, and stand still, please”
And the stretching limbs to her left motion, “Now, tilt your head a little to your right side.”
And the slender, Etch A Sketch stem to her right says, “Hold your chin up to the sunshine.”
And with additional contrast of sparklers in her collar, buttons, and bows,
she sounds like crackles, and looks like a celebration show.
And lastly, she would proudly reply to my highly informed poem, “§amarican Woman,” to be published on July 4th, with a democratic,
♪My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty♪
~ §tacy §weeney

rich increased of goods

Rain came so heavy, every day this week,that the miserable ducks were swimming in the muddy road like a creek. As I drove Keller up to the hoop house at six each morning to let the chickens outside, I watched them race out of the tunnel structure like there was a fire inside. And two of the poor baby chicks were picked off, maybe by a hound. The young campers’ and farmers’ wet swim clothes and towels, would vacillate between almost dry to drenched and dragging our clothes line to the ground. So one morning, Wednesday it was, I looked out the window and laughed with the wind from the kitchen, then I thought for a moment – of my true condition.

Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
Uncle Ned at Home
Oil on canvas
35.6 x 55.9 cm
(14.02″ x 22.01″)
Private collection








“rich increased of goods”
rich increased of goods
pull out a facade to please
nothingness of me
~ §tacy §weeney

Arms So Wide

Zay Freeman was staying with us the week of severe weather over Georgia earlier this year. During the floods, Zay and Caiden played in our front yard, having a good time jumping in the puddles with our water loving Labradoodle, Lincoln. Brighton had his camera out and ready to gain sight of a tornado watch, but captured Zay and Lincoln mid air, with their paws on each other. Keller was inside packing a survival backpack, because a tornado warning meant something to him. I like our kind of meteorology.

I asked Brighton if I could use his photograph to fit the image with another medium. I chose pen & India ink to accentuate that this profile shot is about shape.

At my initial study of the photograph, I hand inked 10 thank you notes on 3.5″x5″ watercolor paper addressed to Urban Community Life’s 2017 financial benefactors, with 18 beneficiary signatures on the back. Then more donations came in, and I hand inked another 15 more thank you notes on a larger piece (5″x6.5″) of watercolor paper. Finally, our biggest donations came in, and I hand inked 5 more thank you notes on 6″x9″ watercolor paper.

woman’s retro t-shirt on ash gray

The message reads, “Friends, your arms are so wide – with gifts so generous – thank you so much – for the summer camp wishes.”

I hand inked the last image on 11″x15″ watercolor paper, to use as a t-shirt design, and I recognized another theme, which means, I want to change the perspective and fit the image in charcoal or graphite.

~ §tacy §weeney

We’re Gonna Go to the Zoo

This was a fun write. I visited the Chattanooga Zoo with my family on Memorial Day, and don’t think my writing this zoo post as my recommendation to visit this 13 acre, bare minimum field. I was not compelled to take one picture. I did like their logo, a monkey in a swirl of leaves in the shape of a capital C, found on just about everything in the gift shop. Not until the Chattanooga Zoo meets wild animals, mostly lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! will the zoo reach favorite attraction.

Which reminds me of the time Caiden said I looked like a “shoe” girl. I asked, “A shoe girl?” He pointed to his shoe and said, “Not a shoe girl. The girl who takes care of the animals. You look like a ZOO girl.”

We then left the zoo and drove over to the Chattanooga Choo Choo courtyard for a picnic. I walked the boys into the arcade to get away from the heat. We stayed in there for almost an hour. I then gave them some cash to exchange into coins, and told them, “Don’t put any more quarters in that ‘claw’ machine. I’ve been trying to win that colorful ball, and all I’ve done is lost my money.” I sat outside glum, and within five minutes, here they come, Keller and Caiden, skipping out of the arcade laughing, each bouncing a ball from playing the “claw” game.

Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
Dressing for the Carnival
Oil on canvas
50.8 x 76.2 cm
(20″ x 30″)
Private collection

“We’re Gonna Go to the Zoo”

I’m gonna go to the zoo
I wanna see you, you, and you
strange animal art forms I never knew
I’ll write a few haikus in July and June
while I view from the roof and fall asleep under moon
sing a new song over me soon

We’re gonna go to the zoo
we wanna see you, you, and you
there’s nothing good here that we should lose
who would like to wear a shoe or two?
we walk around machines in the cool arcade
each bouncing beach balls from playing “the claw” game

My future lies inside a zoo
I should take care of the animals too
I’ll never understand the truth until I do
birds kept as companions but the bird seldom seen
almost to the point of becoming extinct
and then I hear the Chickadee call, “yoo-hoo”

I’m gonna go to the zoo
I wanna see you, you, and you
first verse of myself, but the last can’t produce
Lord, bring it to life in us by noon
sing a new song over us soon
rehearsed like nature’s array of tunes

~ §tacy §weeney