Robert L. Peters

17 November 2018

Joni Mitchell at 75… Happy Birthday!

Joni_Mitchell_75

Los Angeles, California

“On an early November day in 1966, a tall, thin, Nordic-Celtic vision in a minidress and clunky heels, hunched over the microphone at the Second Fret coffeehouse in Philadelphia, and against her then-husband’s wishes, she sang the songs she was beginning to write in great creative gusts. It was the moment that Joni Mitchell — a wounded, determined runaway from a complicated childhood in the Canadian prairies and soon enough from an unhappy marriage — became a star.”

The news media (around the world) have been abuzz in the past weeks with praise for and tributes to the one and only Joni Mitchell, who turned 75 last week. The inimitable artist has been mostly “lying low” lately, recovering from a brain aneurysm suffered in 2015, though she has made a few public appearances. In early November, a two-night gala benefit for LA’s flagship performing arts destination, the Music Center, “was crafted by loving hands to make a space for Mitchell to inhabit, likely in silence, and hear her voice come alive through her friends and acolytes.” Read more here, herehere, or here. 

Our design team at Circle was delighted to have the opportunity (in 2007) to design a stamp commemorating the song-writing and musical legacy of Joni Mitchell — one in a set of four stamps also celebrating Canadian musical artists Gordon Lightfoot (who turned 80 today!), Anne Murray, and Paul Anka. For Joni’s stamp, we were able to obtain usage rights for a beautiful photo by New York photographer Gregory Heisler/Cpi.

Joni_Mitchell_stamp

Mitchell_Lightfoot_Murray_Anka


14 November 2018

NO!

Gary_Taxali_NO

In heartening news, this just in…

Friend Gary Taxali shares: “I just got a phonecall and I am very excited to announce my artwork, “NO” won a Gold Medal at the Society of Illustrators in NYC! Thank you to the judges for this very special honour. Especially for recognizing this image because it speaks to the amount of hate that’s growing in the world.”


9 November 2018

A cautionary tale… featuring Jack Frost.

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Somewhere in wintery Russia…

Once upon a time, there was a woman who had both a daughter of her own, whom she loved, as well as a step-daughter, whom she hated. One day, the woman ordered her husband to take her stepdaughter out into the winter fields and leave her there to die, and he obeys her. Morozko (aka Jack Frost) finds her there; she is polite and kind to him, so he gives her a chest full of beautiful things and fine garments. After a while, the stepmother sends her father to bring back the girl’s body to be buried, which he also obeys. After a while, the barking family dog imparts that the girl is coming back, and that she is beautiful and happy.

When the stepmother sees what her stepdaughter has brought back, she orders her husband to take her own daughter out into the fields. Unlike before, this child is rude to Morozko, and he freezes her to death. When the husband goes out to bring her back, the family dog forewarns that the child will be buried. When the father brings back the body, the old woman weeps.

(In the Grimm version of this fairy tale, the girl is coated with gold and sliver coins while the rude child is coated with cement, mud, flour and pitch).

Illustration by Ivan Bilibin


7 November 2018

There is a crack in everything…

leonardcohen

Montreal, Canada

It’s two years ago today since poet/troubadour Leonard Cohen moved on into the next dimension. I came across this insightful tribute by Maria Popova online (with thanks to Brenda Sanderson for the link)…

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There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In: Leonard Cohen on Democracy and Its Redemptions

A generous reminder that we must aim for “a revelation in the heart rather than a confrontation or a call-to-arms or a defense.”

Trained as a poet and ordained as a Buddhist monk, Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934–November 7, 2016) is our patron saint of sorrow and redemption. He wrote songs partway between philosophy and prayer — songs radiating the kind of prayerfulness which Simone Weil celebrated as “the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

One of his most beloved lyric lines, from the song “Anthem” — a song that took Cohen a decade to write — remains what is perhaps the most meaningful message for our troubled and troubling times: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” It springs from a central concern of Cohen’s life and work, one which he revisited in various guises across various songs — including in “Suzanne,” where he writes “look among the garbage and the flowers / there are heroes in the seaweed,” and in the iconic “Hallelujah”: “There’s a blaze of light / In every word / It doesn’t matter which you heard / The holy or the broken Hallelujah”.

Read the whole post on Brain Pickings


26 October 2018

Sculpting, sculpting…

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Believe.-Evelin_Richter

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Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

My partner Evelin recently took a year’s sabbatical from making sculpture, but says “It’s gratifying to know that there’s still ‘an appetite’ for my work.” Four of her figurative pieces have sold in the past few months — some through the Pulse Gallery (at The Forks, Winnipeg), and some directly to collectors who contacted her through her studio. She’s now back in the atelier sculpting away… timely, as the autumn seems to be turning less favourable for “playing outside.”

Sculptures recently sold: ‘Deep Within (which went to Paris); ‘Carrot & Ginger‘; ‘Believe,’ my homage to aviator Amelia Earhart; and ‘Third Time Lucky,’ the metaphoric piece depicting a stressed, myopic lifeguard.


18 October 2018

Rich Sparks… when the world needs a chuckle.

Sparks_engine

Sparks_octopus

Sparks_dino

Sparks_exctinction

Sparks_pike

Sparks_sofist

Sparks_juices

Sparks_unicorn

Sparks_paleoviewmaster

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Out there in cyberspace…

I have recently met an inspiring illustrator/cartoonist on Facebook (yes, it happens). I find his work to be insightful, funny, sardonic, often cheeky — quite brilliant, really — a balm for troubled times. You can see more of Mr. Sparks’ work here.


1 October 2018

Old woman | Young lady

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Most people can see one or the other… and “switch” back and forth.


29 September 2018

“American Justice”

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Source: Bruce MacKinnon | The Chronicle Herald, Halifax


24 September 2018

How can you mend a broken heart?

broken_heart

Thanks to Stefan Serezliev, a professor in Sofia, Bulgaria… (who I got to know in a police station in Istanbul 14 years ago — long story). Original image source unknown.


23 September 2018

Timely, quite deft, often on the nose…

Flock-You

A-Final-Solution

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Digging-in-the-Dirt

End-Game

It’s been a while since I shared the (sometimes acerbic) works of Mr. Fish


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