in muir woods

by susan falk


susan falk in muir woods
:: “In Muir Woods,” oil on canvas, 36″ X 18″, poetry by Christopher Levenson

Text: Strange   how we become   silent / in the presence   of tall trees   almost / as if they were   ancestors   and we / granted an audience:   in their leaves, needles,   in their cool / distances we strain   for messages,  sealed

guardian pine

by susan falk


susan falk guardian pine
:: “Guardian Pine,” oil on canvas, 36″ X 18″, poetry by Pam Galloway

Poem Excerpt: I have listened to the chatter / of souls in the snap-snap of seeds / breaking from its cones in spring. / Now, winter’s deep and silent well / has me submerged and I turn, / entreat that dark-eyed spirit / watch over me.

statement of place: susan falk

I just recently returned from a trip to Japan and, before that, France. A combination of both work and pleasure or, in the case of being the artist that I am, “pleasurable work.” I love the fact that I can work anytime, anywhere. Inspiration comes to me from my surroundings. I don’t sit and wait, though, for it to come; I prefer to chase after it with blinding faith and my box of colours.

I was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city girl with a backyard that hosted beautiful cedar trees. I lived with those cedar trees for twenty-three years before I moved to a new life living on farms with horses and wonderful green fields that went on forever. Growing up, there were always two things that I was very sure about: my passion for art-making and horses. I knew I was very fortunate to know what I wanted to do with my life at a very young age. The voice in my head would always say “paint, just paint.” It still does.

My work has led me in many different directions over the years—from subject matter to painting techniques—always challenging, whether it be landscapes or figurative work. Collaborating with various organizations and having them involved with my art shows is always a welcome experience. Working with “WOLF: Watchers of Langley Forests” and collaborating with twelve poets for my “Written in the Forest” show achieved results that were certainly hoped for: a small group of determined people, a big idea and a box of colours.

“Written in the Forest” came to me when I joined in a call for public support through poet Susan McCaslin inviting artists, poets and musicians to help bring an awareness to save twenty-five acres of mature coniferous and deciduous old trees in Glen Valley just outside Fort Langley, British Columbia. More than two hundred poets contributed to the Han Shan Poetry Initiative to raise awareness about the forest. In December 2012, poems inspired by Han Han, an ancient Chinese poet who suspended his poems from trees, were hung in the trees in Glen Valley for several months. I was so inspired by what I experienced watching and listening to the poets that I approached Susan McCaslin and asked if she could help me select twelve poets and invite them to be part of my next art exhibition. I selected phrases from each poem to express how I felt while painting impressions of McLellan Forest East and West.

egg poems: an english languacultural history of china

by changming yuan


1/ Ancient China

They used to drink tea
Wear silk
Eat from china
Think in terms of zen
And practice Confucianism

Only—is it true?

.

2/ Semi-Colonial China

Wearing cheongsam
These poor coolies arrived here
On sampans
Always ready to kowtow
To a tycoon
Who lived in Shangri-La
Eating dim sum
Drinking oolong
Playing mahjong
Gambling in a casino every day
Though reluctant to give cumshaw

.

3/ Mandarin China

Led by dao
A yin
Running dog
Wearing qipao
Is fighting against a yang
Paper tiger
With wushu
After getting brainwashed
Through maotai
Like a taikongnaut
At a fengshui spot
Dominated by qi

 


A word (or person) with a Chinese origin living in the West is often called an “egg,” which is white-skinned but yellow-hearted.

postcards to cascadia: heidi greco


Through the Shallows: The floppy-eared pachyderm swings / his heavy legs / tossing up the salty spray to / cool his thick skin. / He’s chosen himself a pair / of pale companions, / has trained them to carry / his satchel of peanuts, / even his twelve-pack of beer, / conditioned them / to stroll by his side, / leash-free and smiling. — Heidi Greco

View postcard image: Beautiful Tribune Bay, Hornby Island, B.C.