acts of art 7 ~ Happy Little Clouds

“I believe, I believe everyday is a good day when you paint.

I believe, I believe It’ll bring a lot of good thoughts to your heart.”


This Remix honours Robert Norman Ross (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995.) R.I.P.

We made fun of you Bob but with love in our hearts. Your T.V. presentations were always so delightfully weird and I confess I can’t stand your painting style. But I also have to accept that you charmed thousands into picking up a brush to try their hand at painting and who can say how far those ripples spread? Who can say how many you inspired to discover paint, explore and expand their creative limitations.

You mostly taught process through  your own inimitable technique, how to re-present one particular version of the real. However, at the same time, you also brought a philosophy of joy into the act of art that spoke to so many who needed to hear what you had to offer.

Thank you Bob.

P.S. ~ I invite you to visit my latest art at my portfolio site:




Blog Tour!



I have been greatly honoured by a nomination from Ina ( ) to participate in the Blog Tour. This is a journey through the blogs of poets in which each writer shares his or her insights into the hows and whys of their work.

I admire and have been deeply inspired by Ina’s poetry so for me this nomination is akin to being invited to leave the sand box and go skinny-dipping with the big kids.

The process of participation is to answer four questions and to nominate other poets.

 1. Why do I write what I write?

I am a visual artist as well as a poet but wrote ‘poetry’ long before I made art. I still have poems I wrote as a teenager in England, endearing and precious to me but too embarrassing to share. I wanted then to be a writer but was discouraged. In the 1970s, after coming to live in Canada, I lived communally with visual and performing artists and writers. Their energy and work inspired me again to create. I began to tentatively write again and, for the first time make art. Many years later I studied visual art seriously, taking my BFA and teaching degree at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Throughout this time I continued to write, most often inspired by the intense emotions of relationships, the challenges of poverty and hard times and occasionally by my art. I discovered that the poetic form of expression came more easily to me than prose and danced well with my painting. A 25-year career teaching art and raising a family took a toll on personal creative work and it wasn’t until I retired that I once more had the luxury of time to write and paint with any viable focus. Deep relationships, love and the loss of love through divorce and other agonies, existential questions and the paradox of spirit continue to inspire my writing. However, it wasn’t until I began blogging on Word Press that my art and poetry began to fuse. I now consider them to be almost a single entity.

2. What is my writing process?

Sometimes my art evokes the poem, sometimes the other way around. I work hard at both as I wasn’t born with inherent talent for either. On rare occasions an artwork or poem seems to slide effortlessly into existence but mostly I struggle/dance to reach an expression that resonates with integrity in head and heart.

For many years I needed the tangible reassurance of pen and paper to write. I still need to get my hands dirty making art, however, I now mostly compose poems directly onto my laptop. I enjoy the ease of editing on screen rather than scratching out and rewriting on paper. The work I publish in my posts I then save in the blog page I have created for this. But I write much that I don’t publish on the blog, very personal poems to people who are close to me.

I am an owl by nature and the moon is my mistress. My time is my own now and I like the silence and mood of deep night. This is my creative time.

3. How does my work differ from other genres?

I never consciously follow any form, classical or otherwise. I write as I paint, intuitively and open to the whisperings of the muse. However, having said that I admit that after the first draft given by the gods I read my words over and over, usually out loud, because I honour the tradition of poetry as spoken word. If it doesn’t sound right to me I rewrite and rewrite until it does. I have no formal background in poetry as I do in visual art. I confess that I often feel I am forever a beginner when I read the accomplished poems of writers I admire. But a beginner’s mind is not such a bad thing and I continue to grow. I do what I do because I must, as I must breathe and love and feel.

A dear poet friend recently wrote this about my writing:

“I admire that you so unabashedly put yourself out there. ….. It’s like it pours from the well of whatever is going on in your life and this is your language…rough, refined, complicated, colourful, lyrical, chaotic, luminous, dark…”

It is words like this that inspire and balance me and remind me that I am heard and do touch others. This is my genre and my passion.

 4. What am I working on at the moment?

I have exhibited and sold my art but have never published. I have long contemplated putting together a book of my art and poems, hard copy or eBook. I slowly play around with the idea of this. I wander out there on the web looking for a shining portal but always get lost in the jungle. I understand that I need to work towards this on my own in a real way before I can submit to anywhere. I have developed enough confidence in my work through feedback from blogging and other friends to consider this as a possibility, now I just need to do the legwork. Meanwhile I paint and write with my next shared post in mind. My art and poems are born from love, a belief that magic is real and that anything is possible.

I initially hesitated at paying this forward as it reminded me of the blog award system that I abandoned some time ago. However, this is not an award, subtly different yes, but different enough for me to feel okay about the following nominations. In fact I am proud to share these poets who have filled my heart and head with sensuality, deep feeling, fascination, wonder and inspiration.

My nominees for this Blog Tour are five poets I admire very much. They are all very different in their approach to poetry. They may or may not choose to continue the Tour. I hope they do accept but in the end I understand that this is not what it is all about.

 Carl, brilliant writer and poet sharing his dark challenges with words that pierce to the bone.

Ese, Empress of haiku, Priestess of sensual writing, Queen of the camera.

Jana, gentle explorer of who we are and why. Sensitive poetic and philosophical wanderings through deepest essence.

 Mari, voice of profound and masterful poetic expression. Metaphorical searchings into the very heart of what it is to be human, in words and art.

Steven, amazing poet, artist, film maker…unique approach to combining words and images within the limitations of a blog…dream weaver.



My friends and community…I need to take a break from blogging for a short while so please understand my silence until I return…

As you all know, sometimes a quiet hiatus from the familiar is necessary. It is very necessary for me right now.

Chapeau! to you all, for your thoughts, your inspiring creativity, your constant support…you are so much a respected and cherished part of my life. It is wonderful and almost magical, this electronic connection to you all in so many parts of the world. I easily remember a time when sharing minds and hearts as we do through technology was only a sci-fi dream.

I realize that our own small village of communication is only one of many interconnected villages, circles linking with circles. You all have your own circles and I know I am a very small part of this pattern. However, I am a part and happy to be, so, Chapeau! mes amis…

JC web image

I also want to tip my hat and say a warm Hello to all of you who have chosen to follow my blog but with whom I have never personally connected. There was a time when I replied to everyone when they subscribed to Art Rat Cafe but I have not been able to do this for quite awhile. So please accept this as a collective and sincere THANK YOU…never doubt how much I am honoured by your follow. I wish so much that I was able to visit each of you personally, read and comment on your blogs and get to know you…

Chapeau! Chapeau! Chapeau!

3 hats

Until next time,

A la prochaine,

Hasta Luego,

Art Rat ❤

art rat image with pa#10EDE

Musa Inesperada 3

Musa Inesperada 3

Mi musa,

you dance magic alive

in the misty distances

of head and heart.

Electric body sparking illusions,

you conjure mirage upon mirage,

thirsty hungry ghosts and

hauntings beyond imagining.


Mi musa,

Limbs distorted by deep waters

of hurt and ecstasy,

you dance the dreaming,

conjuring shadow plays, mischievous

spirits and bright sprites

who weave light into visions

of the sighting of land.


Mi musa,

dancing magic alive

you translate winter

into southern skin, heavy with heat,

and with an easy glance

conjure hammocks,

chilled wine and the impossible intimacy

of the chance of touch.


Poem and drawing by clinock.   Drawing:  Conte on paper. 18″  x 24″. 2013. (Click on image for enlarged detail).

Musa Inesperada 2

Southern Muse Speaks to Northern Man.

Hear me and hear me closely,

for I speak in riddles.

My burning words melt meaning,

the freeze of my silence undoes the heart,

and both dance together

in the air between.


Hear me and hear me openly,

for I speak in paradox

and nothing in your reason can understand.

I am sun in the night, bones in the clouds,

the singing of rocks, beckoning farewells

and the sharpest tooth

of the scarlet rose.


Hear me and hear me wisely,

for I speak in truth.

You are not who you think you are,

but what you think, you are –

and this is the time to listen

and understand.


Hear me and hear me in love,

for I speak surrender.

There is no other path for you to walk

yet my compass and smudged maps

are only smoke and mirrors

on your journey.


Hear me and hear me in friendship.

For I speak of trust.

Welcome me to your winter with

true companions, sweet song and wine,

beauty, and bright magic.

Invite me in.


Poem and painting by clinock.  Painting:  Diptych, each panel 12″ x 24″. Acrylic on canvas. 2013. (Click on image for enlarged detail).

The poet waits as the surfer waits

The poet waits as the surfer waits,
Open, alert and drifting
On the scintillating surface
Of the deep,
Floating between the double mysteries:
The dreaming depths of lunar sleep
And the burning eye of god.
Poet and surfer, twin magicians
Conjuring the Mother Wave,
(The birthing surge of inspiration
And the promised ecstasy of flight),
From the sunken shadows
Of moon -mind night
Into the dazzling day
They rise with the rising,
Merging with ancient lines
Of singing surf and
The rhythm of the timeless sea,
On crests of liquid light
They skim the churning fingers,
The white and curving filaments
of Hokusai foam,
Feathers in the ocean wind
Dancing the sacred dance
Of breath and word and fire
Onto sands of spent desire
And fallen stars.

(poem by Clinock)