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Beyond the Visible

At the start of a my walk…

I was grateful to spend the last week housesitting near Face Rock Beach in Bandon, Oregon. I walked the long beaches usually twice a day, in between overlong work sessions.

One afternoon, as I headed north, I noticed that Face Rock was baredy visible in the fog. In fact, if I hadn’t seen her before, I wouldn’t have even known she was there.

On my return, the fog had cleared, and the namesake rock was in her usual pose of looking up at the sky from the waters. I couldn’t help but wonder: how many things do we walk past in the fog of our limited perception, not knowing the presence of beauty just beyond the visible conditions of our lives?

…and on my return.

I spent a good chunk of the week’s work on a new possible adventure–one that would require new ways of seeing, thinking, and dreaming.

We shall see (and I do hope with more than my natural eyes).

With love from the fog & the sun,

Anna

What will we send out?

When I created the Word-Painting Project, the idea was to do something that could encourage others…and cover my grocery bill while chalet-sitting for friends in Switzerland (I’m a practical poet!). 

Though I thought I was making time for the project, the project made time for me. It gave me time to watch the light on the Alps and the clouds catch on their peaks. It gave me time to listen to the symphony of cowbells on the Holsteins munching wildflowers on the slope of the next-door chalet. And it was a joy to share that time in words and images by creating a word-painting every day for ten days. 

Back home, the prints of those originals already arrived, and I’ve hand-addressed the first of ten batches to go out over the summer. This week, a stack of Word-Painting No. 1 prints began their stamped way through the postal system to their recipients, and I blessed them as I dropped them into the post-office slot.  

This was the last image I created for the Word-Painting Project. It seemed appropriate to end with a question: What will we send out into the bright world beyond us? Some days, the world is bright, as in sunny and good—like this summer solstice day. And some days, the world is bright, as in the harsh glare of a world in need. Regardless of the natural or emotional weather, I choose to send out something encouraging. And with it, a big dose of gratitude. 

So, in each of Switzerland’s three, official languages, thank you for being part of the Word-Painting journey: danke, merci, grazie.

The Poet & the Bloodstone

Detail of Bloodstone Pillars, Catedral de Ávila, Spain
I am happy that this poem will be  published in the forthcoming Deep Travel anthology.  A bit of backstory:
Saint Teresa of Ávila and Charles-Axel Guillaumot never met. She was a Spanish nun who lived from 1515-1582; he was a French architect who lived from 1730-1807. Each of them built and left a largely invisible legacy. Hers was a vision of the interior castle of the spirit within us. His was to save Paris from collapsing back into the quarries beneath it by building a support city belowground. Today, you can read what Teresa built with her words, and you can visit a fraction of Paris’ abandoned quarries open to the public. In the poetry collection, Hope of Stones, you are invited to enter a cross-century conversation among The Nun, The Architect, & The Poet. This poem is from that collection, which was a finalist for the Tupelo Press 2019 Dorset Prize.

     The Poet & The Bloodstone 
     Ávila, Spain

Today is research day. First, The Nun’s museum. 
It brims with depictions of heaven speaking 
to the saint. In paintings, doves & rays of light 
descend & suspend above her upturned face. 
Speech ribbons unfurl toward her from angels. 
The saint was known to levitate, so I half expect
the painted words to lift from their composition 
& twirl about. They stay put. 
                                                   Next, the Catedral 
de Ávila. Here, I see the grandeur The Nun left 
behind. This church was built with bloodstone—
granite shot through with iron. It looks like 
history has bled across the walls. The stone came
from a nearby quarry, & I think of The Architect. 
What we pull from the earth & what we do with it. 
I sit a long while on a hard pew, but my most 
profound thought is how best to get to the train 
station tomorrow. 
                                 Time to search for gazpacho 
Rioja—things that don’t last for centuries. I keep 
forgetting that in this country, I’m an outsider 
trying to dine before nine. 
                                               The Nun founded 
her simple convent outside the city walls. 
Paris thought The Architect an outsider 
for not being born in France. I am always looking
for what lies outside—even dining hours. 
                                                                         I find
an open café & order wine the color of bloodstone.


Poetry in Five Minutes or Less

For this year’s National Poetry Month, I shared lickety-split bits of micropoetry each day on Instagram. My rules: use photos I took each day and write the poetry in five minutes or less. (This was a fun break from my norm of a bazillion revisions!) Here are six of my favs….

1.
Orange marries mint
where the berries lie
on tile blue as night sky
before dreaming begins.



4.
If perfection exists,
might she don the disguise
of wild flowers in a little 
glass on a rainy day?




8.
We know every exit
is an entrance elsewhere,
but we don’t know the where—
else how would mystery visit?



10.
We dwell all the way
to the horizon of our lives. 
May the view from the sill
of our hearts be vast.




25.
Everywhere, beauty
shines her light—
unfurling petals,
greening leaves.
Even the shadows smile 
at her bright excess.



28.
The constant fight with self—
who thinks she’s beyond 
rest—is gladly lost 
each time my soul
insists on a Sabbath, 
& my body’s eyes
watch leaves grow
on page or tree,
& my spirit eyes
see all as new enough again 
to return to—with 
better work & world.

The Word-Painting Project

Many moons ago, in a land far, far away, my life completely changed. I had been working for two years in Germany, living an art-filled but spirit-empty life. On a whim, I took the train to Switzerland to a theological commune my parents had told me about. 

You could say I had my mountain-top experience on a literal mountain top. There in the Alps, my life did a complete reset, and I started on what would become my journey of art + word + spirit.

At the time, I didn’t know how much I needed to be encouraged that there was something beyond my current circumstances—something more. (In fact, I wrote & illustrated a children’s book inspired by that journey.) 

In late May and early June, I’ll be back in Switzerland to teach poetry. Afterward, I’m returning to that alpine village and taking a 10-day creativity retreat—my own personal pilgrimage. But this time around, I’d like to invite you to share the journey. Specifically, I’d like to share a little project of encouragement….

The Word-Painting Project

Do you ever wish a bit of encouragement would just arrive on your doorstep? Consider this an invitation to receive some!

During 10 days in June, I’ll create 10 little word-paintings. Though I don’t yet know exactly what they’ll be, I know that they’ll be inspired by taking heart. (You can see a similar idea by checking out the watercolor/micropoetry pieces I created while at a writing residency last fall.) And I’ll share the word-paintings each day on Instagram, Wi-Fi permitting!

Once I’m back home, I’ll make archival, matte, 5″ x 5″ postcard prints of the originals. 

Sign up for the project, and I’ll sign, hand-address, & mail the postcards to you—one per week, for 10 weeks. You’ll get a tangible word of encouragement in your mailbox—your actual snail-mail-box!

Cost: $25 to addresses within the US ($30 outside the US)

You can also order the project as a gift for someone else—just send me their mailing address. 

And as a fun finale: the project will conclude with a poetry reading & art reception to display the originals in San Francisco on August 17 (more details on that event to come). 

Sign up online: 

~ Visit the payment page at annaelkins.com.
~ In the “amount” field, enter the total for your desired batch of word-painting projects.
~ In the “description” field, write your mailing address and/or the recipient’s address.

Or sign up with snail mail:

~ Send a check—along with your mailing address/es—to: 

   Anna Elkins | PO Box 509 | Jacksonville, OR 97530

Questions? Email me: [email protected]

It’s encouraging to know that something good is on its way to us. Here’s to anticipating summer goodness! 


Tibetan Temple #6

I build Shrines to the Divine entirely for my own enjoyment. There is no goal, no show in mind, no beginning, middle or end of the project. I am just creating temples, exploring the skills learned, both as an artist as well as a human.

And what amazing discoveries I make along the way. So far with the Tibetan construction, I have learned how to: make a tiny tile floor out of polymer clay, a

Give Love… Give Art! Art Deadlines List

Art Deadlines List – February 2019 Edition
Give Love… Give Art!

Public art commissions, art competitions, art jobs and internships, art scholarships and grants and fellowships, residencies, art festivals, call for entries/proposals/projects, and other opportunities, in all disciplines, for art students, art teachers, and artists of all ages, all skill levels, in all disciplines, everywhere. A subscription to the Premium list guarantees you will be the first to view announcements and have access to ALL announcements.


April 02, 2019
ARTISTS MAGAZINE ANNUAL ART COMPETITION Artists Magazine’s Annual Art Competition wants to honor your most outstanding work. If your art is deserving of being celebrated in the pages of Artists Magazine, this competition is for you! $24,000 in cash prizes plus publication in Artists Magazine. Entry Fee. Details:http://bitly.com/2nnyvmA




April 30, 2019 SLOWART PRODUCTIONS | GLOBAL MELTDOWN
 This call is for a thematic exhibition based on the Global Meltdown Crisis, all aspects of the crisis, be it global, local, personal, environmental, financial, psychological, scientific and/or spiritual. The exhibition will be held at the Limner Gallery, June 14 – July 13, 2019 . Entry is open to all artists working in any media. Entry Fee. Details: http://bitly.com/2VrYF6l

March 04, 2019 CAMERA USA® 2019: NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT $5,000 PRIZE Now in its 9th year, Camera USA® 2019 is a national competition created by the Naples Art Association to inspire and encourage photographers of all skill levels and from all regions of the USA. The exhibit program features 3 professional jurors, one prize of $5,000, five $100 honorable mention awards, and culminates with a photography exhibit in Naples, Florida from June 3 through July 5, 2019. Entry Fee. Details: 239-262-6517 OR https://bit.ly/2Pw7Y1L OR [email protected]

 

March 06, 2019ANNMARIE’S SALON DES REFUSES: LAST CHANCE SHOW & SALE Modeled after the Parisian Salon of 1862, Annmarie’s Salon des Refuses, or ’exhibition of rejects’, will include works that have previously been turned down by a gallery or show, or just haven’t sold. Let’s give these rejects, underappreciated, and misunderstood works another chance! Entry Fee. Details: 410-326-4640 OR http://bitly.com/2HIDzyu

 

March 08, 2019TIME JURIED CALL FOR ARTISTS NATIONAL Mills Pond Gallery invites artists to submit works for a juried exhibition May 4 – June 1, 2019. Juried by James H. Rubin, Time seeks visual works that engage the notion of time on some level, whether relating to the concept, the experience, or the evocation of time. The exhibition will accept all visual art mediums except sound and video. Awards: $800 Best in Show, $500 Second Place, $250 Third Place Entry Fee. Details: 631-862-6575 ORhttps://www.millspondgallery.org/calls-for-entry#/new-page-1 OR [email protected]

 

March 08, 2019THE BIENNIAL OF POSTER BOLIVIA BICEBé® 2019 The Biennial of the Poster Bolivia BICeBé® is the most important international event of design and visual arts in Bolivia and the Southern Cone. More than 15,000 student and professional designers have participated of the activities and from more than 76 countries around the world has been part of the exhibitions, making the BICeBé a true global celebration of design. No Entry Fee. Details: http://bitly.com/2OOrzux

 

March 08, 2019INSIGHT INVESTMENT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2019 The competition is organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, London. There are two competitions: Adult Competition and Young Competition. • The Adult competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over • The Young competition is open to anyone under 16. Entrants may submit up to ten photos. Entries may feature any astronomical subject. No Entry Fee. Details: http://bitly.com/2BfdChn

 

March 11, 20192019 KREFT JURIED NATIONAL EXHIBITION ‘Permanence and Change’ – To be human is to change. We can explore these themes with depictions in the contrast of the spiritual—one’s relationship to the body or to the phenomena of the physical world. With themes ranging from the decay of atoms to the constancy of love, how can we find ways to recognize and reconcile these two elements of human existence and desire within the visual arts? Entry Fee. Details: 734-995-4610 OR https://www.cuaa.edu/life/kreft-arts-program/gallery.html OR [email protected]

 

March 13, 2019 ARCXA: THEME OF ARCHITECTURE IN ART Gallery Ten Seven welcomes two-dimensional submissions that feature architecture (built environment) as a subject matter or theme in a variety of forms including painting, digital imagery and collage. Submissions may feature a variety of architecture elements beyond building as object – built, unbuilt or conceptual. Exhibit runs from March 18 through April 15, 2019. Entry Fee. Details: http://bit.ly/gly107c OR [email protected]

 

March 15, 2019 BOLDPAS: A DAY OF ART & PLAY IN OLD PASADENA Call for Artist Submissions for one-day community art event in Pasadena, CA. Temporary, site-specific installations that utilize upcycled materials and encourage public engagement. Six $750 stipends awarded. Open to LA-area artists, emerging/student artists encouraged to apply. Full Call available on Old Pasadena website. No Entry Fee. Details: 626-356-9725 OR https://www.oldpasadena.org/boldpas OR [email protected]

 

March 15, 2019 2019 CALL FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS Davis Editions is a contemporary print publisher and online sales platform. We collaborate with today’s leading artists to publish and sell unique limited edition prints. We are currently accepting submissions for our annual call for contemporary artists. The selected artist will be invited to publish a print with Davis Editions. Entry Fee. Details: http://bitly.com/2V0xwHb OR [email protected]

 

March 15, 2019 ART OF ENGRAVING SCHOLARSHIP Course explores traditional methods used in making medals & coins. All disciplines encouraged to apply; no prior experience in sculptural engraving required. Chosen applicants receive full scholarships for 2 consecutive Seminars. June 15-20, 2019 / June TBD, 2020 Course underwritten by Gilroy and Lillian P. Roberts Foundation, in honor of Gilroy Roberts, 9th Chief Engraver of the US Mint. No Entry Fee. Details: 719-482-9810 OR http://bitly.com/2t6hIH4 OR[email protected]

 

March 17, 2019 CALL OUT TO ARTISTS FOR FRINGE ARTS BATH FESTIVAL 2019 Inviting Artists & Creatives from across the globe to respond to 18 exhibition & event proposals for FaB19, a 17 day free festival of contemporary visual arts. Free submission. FaB aims to raise the profile of contemporary visual arts in Bath, providing opportunities for early career/emerging Artists, putting art in unusual places in unexpected ways for people to happen across & interact with. No Entry Fee. Details: https://www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/

 

March 17, 2019 NYC4PA CALL FOR ENTRY MOMENTRUM Though a photograph is a snapshot in time, the world around us is in constant motion. This call is about how you capture the idea of motion/momentum in a single frame; photographs that clearly send a message to the viewer that the subject or the camera/lens is moving. Is the position of the subject the indication – a wave arched to crash, or a ballerina in mid air? See website for complete call Entry Fee. Details: 917-359-2642 OR http://www.nyc4pa.com OR[email protected]

 

March 20, 2019 DRAGONS MAIL ART EXHIBIT CALL FOR ART Send art for exhibit at ETG Book Cafe, 208 Bay St, Staten Island April 6–27, 2019 (Part of the St George Day Festival) Mail to: Day de Dada, 123 Scribner Ave, Staten Island, NY 10301 provide your name & email. optional submission: email jpg at 100% scale 1650 x 1275_150 dpi daydedada at yahoo.com ALL work received will be sold with sales going to support the St George Day Festival NO RETURNS No Entry Fee. Details: http://daydedada.com OR[email protected]

 

March 22, 2019 2019 BIENNALE NATIONAL JURIED EXHIBITION Art League of Hilton Head invites you to send your best work. $5,000 in cash prizes. All artwork selected by jurors will be exhibited May 7-June 1, 2019 in Art League Gallery, a state of the art gallery with high tourist and community visibility. Judge is artist Alan Flattmann of New Orleans. Notification April 5. Entry Fee. Details: http://bit.ly/Biennale2019 OR [email protected]

 

March 22, 2019 XVIII VIDEOMINUTE INTERNATIONAL CONTEST The competition is organized by the University of Zaragoza, Spain. Each participant may submit up to 5 videos (fiction or animation). The video must be no longer than 1 minute (60 seconds). Video can be on any subject. Film must be subtitled in Spanish or in English. No Entry Fee. Details: http://bitly.com/2Bh5xc2

 

March 25, 2019 DE/COMPOSITION: A NATIONAL JURIED EXHIBITION Awards $1,000 in cash awards. Best in Show receives $500. A national juried exhibition with a focus on things decomposing, being in a state of decay, deconstructed, or paired down. Both the conceptual side as well as technical/ compositional side of the theme will be encouraged. Open to artists working in all media. This exhibition is open to all U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. Application Fee. Details: 315-462-0210 ORhttp://www.mainstreetartsgallery.com/submissions.html OR [email protected]

 

March 25, 2019 INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR ONLINE ART COMPETITION, ALL CITYSCAPE Contemporary Art Gallery Online announces their 6th Annual International 2019 “ALL Cityscape” Competition. Competition opens February 25, 2019 and closes March 24, 2019. Contemporary Art Gallery Online encourages entries from all 2D and 3D regardless of their experience or education in the art field. A group exhibition will be held. Awards will be given. Winners announced 4/10/19. Entry Fee. Details: 844-210-7722 OR https://tinyurl.com/2019-cityscape OR [email protected]

 

March 31, 2019 CALL FOR ARTISTS FOR ARTSFEST ’19 FINE ARTS FESTIVAL Join us for our 26th Anniversary – Sept 21 & 22, 10am-5pm both days! Artsfest is an annual juried arts festival held at beautiful Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, in Solomons, Maryland, where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay. Application Fee. Details: 410-326-4640 OR https://annmariegarden.wufoo.com/forms/26th-annual-artsfest-2019-artist-application OR [email protected]

 

April 01, 2019 2019 WERGLE FLOMP HUMOR POETRY CONTEST The contest is organized by Winning Writers. You may submit one humor poem, in English. Your poem should not exceed 250 lines in length. You may submit published or unpublished work. No Entry Fee. Details: http://bitly.com/2l8f0zu

 

April 02, 2019 CALL FOR ENTRIES EBB & FLOW: THE POWER OF WATER Vital to Earth and all known forms of life, water holds awesome powers of creation, destruction, and transformation. This exhibit invites artists to submit works that explore the power, meaning, and majesty of water, from its chemical composition to its economic importance, to its terror and allure. All media welcome; small to large-scale works; indoor and outdoor works to be included in the show. Application Fee. Details: 410-326-4640 ORhttp://bitly.com/2VgaGvA OR [email protected]

 

April 02, 2019 ARTISTS MAGAZINE ANNUAL ART COMPETITION Artists Magazine’s Annual Art Competition wants to honor your most outstanding work. If your art is deserving of being celebrated in the pages of Artists Magazine, this competition is for you! $24,000 in cash prizes plus publication in Artists Magazine. Entry Fee. Details:http://bitly.com/2nnyvmA

 

April 05, 2019 LGBTQ REGIONAL JURIED ART EXHIBIT Exhibit runs June 1-30 at Erie Art Gallery. Jurors are Sharon Louden, Artistic Director of Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution and Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. LGBTQ artists 18+ years old who reside within 150 miles of Erie, PA are eligible to submit work. CASH AWARDS. Sponsored by Greater Erie Alliance for Equality. DETAILS: ErieArtGallery.com or GreaterErieAlliance.com. Entry Fee. Details: http://www.ErieArtGallery.com ORhttp://www.GreaterErieAlliance.com

 

April 30, 2019 SLOWART PRODUCTIONS | GLOBAL MELTDOWN This call is for a thematic exhibition based on the Global Meltdown Crisis, all aspects of the crisis, be it global, local, personal, environmental, financial, psychological, scientific and/or spiritual. The exhibition will be held at the Limner Gallery, June 14 – July 13, 2019 . Entry is open to all artists working in any media. Entry Fee. Details: http://bitly.com/2VrYF6l


Like my art deadlines list 

Lucky Valley Press author/friend, Sharon Mehdi

 When I first met Sharon Mehdi, I thought she was a stand-up comic. She made me laugh until  my jeans burst at the seams.

Then I discovered all kinds of interesting things about Sharon: labyrinth walker, healer, teacher, writer, public speaker.

She told me she wrote a book, so I ordered it and, after I read A Curious Quest for Absolute Truth, my respect for this woman grew. Not only was she

Lucky Valley Pres author, Charles Osborne

Charles Osborne’s Boss is just in time for the Pebble Beach Centennial

 “Without Sam Morse, Pebble Beach    would be a West Coast Coney Island.”                  – Bing Crosby
“A newspaper dubbed my grandfather “The Duke of Del Monte” and although he pretended to be embarrassed by the title, I believe he liked it. Del Monte was more than a chunk of some of the most beautiful land on the planet

Entering the “roaming stillness”

The book stacks were winning. Not the ones in the library—the ones by my bed: neat-but-towering stacks waiting to find room on shelves filled with the kindred books I love returning to.
By the end of 2018, I had three stacks. Something had to be done: more reading! So For 2019, I’ve committed to reading more books—the tangible ones with spines and flyleaves and the scent of possibility in their binding. More reading: even when life and to-do lists brim.
A dozen books into this year, and I’m back to my bookworm self. Happy reunion! I thought I’d share some favorite lines from my favorite five reads so far. Happy reading!
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice, Terry Tempest Williams: “Silence introduced in a society that worships noise is like the Moon exposing the night. Behind darkness is our fear. Within silence our voice dwells. What is required from us…is that we be still. We focus. We listen. We see and we hear. The unexpected emerges.”
The Long Home, Christian Wiman, from his poem “Elsewhere”:
            He longs
to find some calm within
what he’s become, inside
the sound, a roaming
stillness.
Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, Dr. Caroline Leaf: “[W]hen our brain enters the rest circuit, we don’t actually rest; we move into a highly intelligent, self-reflective, directed state. And the more often we go there, the more we get in touch with the deep, spiritual part of who we are.”
H is for Hawk, Helen McDonald: “When you are learning how to do something, you do not have to worry about whether or not you are good at it. But when you have done something, have learned how to do it, you are not safe any more. Being an expert opens you up to judgment.” 

We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress, Craig Morgan Teicher: “Wisdom is born where observation and imagination meet, where the real and ideal touch….”