Artist, writer find inspiration in natural world
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third and final story in a series about “Merging Visions: A Collaborative Exhibit in Art and Poetry.” For previous stories, visit http://bit.ly/1oXqhxp and http://bit.ly/1hcdTH8.
Denton poet Cindy Wood Guthrie said she was struck by Denton artist Mindy Faubion’s piece “Two Pomegranates” during a lunch at the Chestnut Street on the downtown Denton Square.
“It was a huge painting,” Guthrie said. “It made me remember the story behind the poem.”
Guthrie and Wood are among a number of artists and poets who joined poetry and art in the seventh annual “Merging Visions: A Collaborative Exhibit of Art and Poetry.”
The exhibit brings members of Denton Poets Assembly and the locally based Visual Arts Society of North Texas together in a show that pairs the literary and the visual.
Guthrie was inspired to write a poem based on a real-life experience.
“I had the story because it happened in 1957,” Guthrie said. “When I was a kid, we lived for a bit in Fullerton, Calif. My dad was transferred out there for one year. We could see the fireworks from Disneyland from the back porch of that house. Life was a lot different back then. It was so slow and so sweet.”
The poem is a humorous recollection of a shortcut Guthrie took with her brother. They two were walking home from school and the route took them through an orange grove.
On the day recalled in the poem, Guthrie and her brother saw a pomegranate on the ground, then they found another. They tasted their first pomegranates.
“The pomegranates were like nothing you’d ever had,” Guthrie said. “I think we ate them and then played on this ride, and it just made me feel kind of queasy.”
Now in her 60s, Guthrie said she’s been writing poetry for years.
“When I first started writing after I graduated from high school, the boy [who lived] across the street committed suicide, and I wondered, ‘How do you deal with that?’”
She wrote the poem, titled it with the neighbor boy’s name and gave it to his parents.
Poetry became a spiritual discipline for her. Guthrie said she shares her Christian faith through her poetry, and through a clown ministry.
“I don’t have a whole lot of uncertainty because I’m in the word of God. I’m sure there is a heaven and I’m sure I’m going to go,” Guthrie said. “I’ve got to share, so I do that through my poetry. And when I’m doing clowning, I have the words ‘Jesus Loves You’ on the back of my costumes.”
Faubion’s art is a monotype print, and the artist described a process that could be described as meditative.
A monotype print is a single piece that, when in color, can call for the artist to crank the paper through the printing press as many times as the piece needs for completion.
“There’s nothing digital about it,” Faubion said. “You ink the board with, say, yellow ink and run the paper through the rollers. Then you wipe that ink off and put another color on it and run it through again. In the end, you have just one print.”
Faubion, 55, earned a degree in studio art with an emphasis in watercolor painting from the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts & Design. She said when Guthrie called her and asked to pair up for “Merging Visions,” she accepted.
“I thought it was a wonderful idea,” Faubion said. “I liked the idea of the local poets and local artists working together.”
She said “Two Pomegranates” is part of a series she did during a printmaking course at UNT.
“I’d just done a series on seashells, and I was looking for something I could paint that would have a lot of variety,” she said. “I use macro images when I paint because I like the details, and with these images, you see the details within the details, you know?”
Faubion began studying fruits and vegetables because of the variety of shapes, sizes and textures. She painted several still-life pieces depicting pomegranates.
“I was studying the color, in particular,” Faubion said. “I was really exploring the red in contrast to the black, and I thought the oil-based ink was a good medium to explore that.”
Guthrie has something in common with Faubio. She said she “dabbles” in watercolor.
“I’ve taken classes,” Guthrie said. “When I paint, I look at what I’ve done, and I’m thinking it needs some words with it.”
Both artist and painter said they’d take part in another “Merging Visions.”
“I think it was really fun,” Faubion said.
LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877.
POMEGRANATES TWO BY TWO,
ONE FOR ME, ONE FOR YOU
During the spring of ’57
life appeared a lot like heaven,
in our suburb of L.A.,
where my big brother and I would play.
The way we would walk home from school,
which still applied the “Golden Rule,”
was through a fragrant orange grove
ever-so-quiet, where no one drove.
And one bright day when we walked right through,
we found a red pomegranate, then two.
Never having seen one before,
began to eat and wanted more.
Yet spied a small ride that went round and round,
we got right on and it did wound
our heads and tummies, so I turned green —
then woozy, which was unforeseen.
I’ve never eaten another one ...
learned my lesson from what I’d done.
In the spring of ’57,
life became not quite like heaven.
— Copyright 2013 Cindy Guthrie Wood.
All rights reserved.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNERS
Visitors to the exhibit were invited to vote on the piece they liked best in the seventh annual “Merging Visions: A Collaborative Exhibit of Art and Poetry.”
Three pairings were selected:
“Grandparents are ...” by poet Lloyd “Sandy” Sanborn, with artist Lin Hampton’s painting Blue Britches;
“Peace Passing Understanding” by poet Lydia Alexander, with artist Tesa Morin’s painting Prayer Flags: Portrait of Jackie Gibbons; and
“Come to Life” by poet Christina Smith, with artist Texa Morin’s painting sserd-dress.
What: The Visual Arts Society of Texas and the Denton Poets’ Assembly present a collaborative exhibit of art and poetry.
When: The free exhibit runs through Friday. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Where: Meadows Gallery at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E. Hickory St.