Project – visions of Venus

24 08 2006

I inherited some blocks of wood 20×20″x1.5″ and am thinking of doing a combination of woodwork and painting, meaning the frame is an integral part of the work itself. Last night I got started painting in watercolour as a base to work from. I thought the dyes would penetrate a few layers of the wood, so when shaping it is still visible enough to work as a guide. I have always had a fascination for women “floating”, probably left over from the feelings of achieving flight when I was in the ballet. Carefree, joyful. If anyone else has done work throwing an extra half dimension into a painting and has some tips? My rotary tool sits poised.


I have ten of these block, enough to put together an entire exhibit on floating women or round happy womenfolk, or whatever direction unfolds to me.


Carousel Dirge

29 07 2006

Inspired By True Events and  Our Journey to: The Carousel  

All photos are from the Looff Carousel once located in Seattle, Wa


When I was a kid my Aunt Sharon and I were down in Seattle by the Water Front when she told me about a fire that destroyed what was left of the Luna Amusement Park. 

During it’s day the Luna had rides and games and places to eat and listen to music and I guess the most well stocked bar on Elliot Bay. So really, in the strict form it was really about family fun. In the end I think people went from fun to some serious indulgence because the Park was shut down to (ahem) uphold, “ Family Values”.

I don’t remember my Aunt’s or Grandfather’s stories in detail but I was sure of one thing…something about the Luna made them afraid. I mean, when we told ghost stories their stories involved that Pier and that fire even the Park. But things have a way of working into our subconscious and they live their quietly until, well for me it was about two years ago I started to write my Duwamish Bay stories and one of the characters that turned up all by itself was a Carousel.  

Just before I wrote two of my Duwamish Bay stories I had a vivid nightmare that involved a Carousel catching on fire.

The creatures were turning around and around and I remember the music got higher the faster Carousel turned. After a few minutes the  music stopped sounding like music and all I could hear was screaming.

Then all of the Carousel Animals burst into flames.

The Animals  broke away from the carousel and dove into the black waters  below the pier and the things that couldn’t break away on their own shot off the platform like rockets.

In my dream I woke up on a beach and I was surrounded by all of these Carousel Animal like horses and tigers, mermaids, elephants, I think there were even mermaids and fish. I could smell the charred wood and my mouth was full of soot but the Carousel Animals looked brand new.

And then their eyes started to open.

Okay, I’ll admit it…I woke up screaming like a baby.


Today, inspired by this excercise ( ) I went to the Lord Of Search (Google) and discovered…or re-discovered something very interesting about a certain Carousel that once called Luna Park it’s home.

First of all my Carousel had a name…it was called the Looff Carousel and before she made her debut her new home in San Francisco was destroyed by the Great Earthquake of 1906 and the Park she was intended for burned to the ground.

The Looff was re-routed to Seattle where she avoided a fiery death (yet again) when the Luna burned down…well, it wasn’t spontaneous combustion it was arson.

Anyhow, some stories I’ve heard claim the Looff Carousel was the only thing left standing. I’ve also heard she had been taken apart and sold off before the Luna perished but the result is the same.

She escaped.

Here’s the best part…the chilling part, the part that Haunts me for no real reason.

The Looff Carousel is HOME she’s back in San Francisco. You can see her for yourself at:

It’s been a hundred years but she did it…didn’t she? She made it home.




Rondel for Margarita – Gail Kavanagh

20 07 2006

I wrote this rondel many years ago for my daughter Margarita – she is now grown up with children of her own, but this still reminds me of the beautiful day she rode the merry-go-round.

On the merry-go-round, on a summer’s day,
As the rest of the fairground goes gliding by,
We coast together, now low, now high,
But how quickly the moment slips away.

She laughs at the music, so elfin and fey,
She laughs for joy at the sapphire sky,
On the carousel, on a summer’s day,
As the rest of the fairground goes gliding by.

How sweet her delight in simple play,
But someday, without me, she’ll take to the sky,
Brave little fledgling, ready to fly.
We must hold these moments while we may,
On the carousel, on a summer’s day,
While the rest of the fairground goes gliding by.

Stop to ride the Carousel

20 07 2006

Stop to visit the Marina and ride the carousel of life.

Round and round and round we go.