‘The 100’ #43 – Street Art with Text – Morocco…

In Marrakesh, Morocco the street signs for businesses employ rough illustrations of the nature of the business. These are not graffiti or street art as we know it, rather they are echoes of a time long past in north America and Europe when a service offered to the public was advertised with a visual explanation.

The two illustrations in this post are for dentists. No problems understanding the rather macabre pictures of these services.

If your dentist is ‘looking down in the mouth’ show him / her these pictures – it may raise a toothy smile!

‘The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of textual art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.


‘The 100’ #42 – Street Art with Text – Italy…

I have hung a copy of this piece above my work table since finding it on a wall in Siena, Italy. Its simple wording: “Energy plus Time equals Art” has reminded me of  what, until recently, I considered the essentials. Whenever I have been caught in the web of ennui the figure has lifted its megaphone to its lips and loudly declared into my reluctant ear that which I haven’t wanted to hear and I have reacted with renewed energy. But its message is lost on me now and I have put this photo away along with a small mountain of unfinished work – all that seems equally meaningless to me at this time.

This particular posting is timely because, as some of you have gently hinted and others may have noticed, I have not shared my own art for a while. I have been in a debilitating creative slump and nothing I do to alleviate it has worked. My paintings are not speaking to me – every brushstroke feels false, every colour I apply feels alien and amateurish and every shape, form and line I make appears ridiculous. I know we all go through this at times but that knowledge doesn’t help. I have at least a dozen pieces that I have started that scream out to be resolved. I turn my head. I look at this posted photo and its words and understand that I need to put time and energy into my work but also realize that this is no longer enough. There is another element not mentioned by this anonymous street artist – call it X, or magic or inspiration or self confidence – whatever it is, it is missing and I feel alone.

Writing about this helps me to objectify. I am disgusted to hear myself whinge while my life and health are good and I live like an aristocrat compared to millions of my brothers and sisters. But now it is out and now you know why I am not posting my art and maybe now I can open to the words of Vincent and others:

 “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent van Gogh

“There is no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — Lewis Carroll

“So you see, imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”  — Brenda Ueland

I am away for a few days visiting friends on Vancouver Island to moodle and putter. Will post again on my return.

‘The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of textual art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.


‘The 100’ #39 – Vancouver Street Art – ‘Condem’…

Another old Vancouver house condemned and gone and a telling statement left on the soon to vanish plywood / door. Maybe it was placed there by the last resident or a passing street artist. A skull and the word ‘condem’, misspelled, but a powerful word and image none-the-less. It incorporates the state of the house when written (condemned) and also the feelings of the artist – ‘I ‘condem’  what is happening to this home’. And what is to follow? Another house, a highrise of condos? A speculator’s financial dream? The cycle of progress continues and the loss of someone’s home and the history of that home is negated by the pressure of time and the unfeeling marketplace.

Poem by Robert O. Adair.

How lonely
sits this house.
Abandoned,
uncared for,
once so filled
with life and laughter.
Windows broken out
like a blinded
old man,
a refugee
from happier times.

Thank you Robert for your poem and thanks to the unknown artist.

 ‘The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of textual art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.


‘The 100’ #38 – Vancouver Street Art – Can’t Stop…

I photograph graffiti and street art as I cycle around Vancouver. Many of the shots I take have textual content and I will be featuring these in this series of posts of ‘The 100’.

This image is taken from an ivy covered wall in East Vancouver. Amongst the basic tagging on the wall, the words, “Can’t Stop” sing out with unanswered angst. What is it that the person who created these words ‘can’t stop’ is saying? Is it that they can’t stop placing these stickers on walls? Are they repeating the words that we all say to others in our urban rush? (can’t stop now I’m…). Or are they bemoaning the fact itself – that they literally can’t stop Movement, Time, Aging or the Process of Progress? When we ‘can’t stop‘ I wonder how we can ‘start’ to really see the world around us.

“Leisure” is a poem by Welsh poet William Henry Davies – 1871 – 1940.

W. H. Davies was a Welsh poet and writer. Davies spent a significant part of his life as a tramp or hobo, in the United Kingdom and United States, but became known as one of the most popular poets of his time.

“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare”.

The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of textual art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.