Posts Tagged ‘words’

My bones no longer carry me well

Posted on: February 7th, 2013 by jmbroekman 2 Comments

A longer poem from Janet Loflin Lee

My bones no longer carry me well

My bones no longer carry me well,
my body a bag of fog, bogwater and bits of string.
It is a winter heaviness,
like all northern people I look for the returning light.

I am compelled to sleep in the day,
more than a nap, more than a cessation of movement –
a hardening of body, soul and thought.

I have always entered into winter with a hunger
for that china plate blue sky,
the gentled muffled sound of snow –
cotton falling on cotton.

But now I yearn for an early mardi gras of color
an infusion of warmth,
a sense of movement that precedes dancing,
a slower sun, an elongated day
An afternoon that is not evening too.

I park myself by the window
following the arc of the sun.
Work undone, projects abandoned,
I have become a hoarder of light,
storing up against the dark folds
of the January nights.


01.20.13 – More Drawings

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by jmbroekman 2 Comments

01.19.13 – Day 20



01.15.13 – Day 16

This drawing comes with a poem, written by my friend Janet Lee. It proved to be somewhat challenging – finding celadon green, and somehow making it work with tangerine orange!

in a celadon bowl
hot tea, winter morning

– Janet Loflin Lee

Below are two more pieces (days 14 and 15) inspired by Janet’s words. On the left:

Seeing the lake
through the thicket of winter
basket of blue

and on the right:

Ground lit from below; first snow.



Posted on: April 16th, 2011 by jmbroekman 4 Comments

I’ve been painting purple tulips

for my once-older sister Kukla, who died 6 years ago today. I am older now than she was then, and I am still at a loss for words, while I continue trying to figure out how to move through life carrying this giant hole that she left behind. You wouldn’t think a hole could weigh so much.

Purple was her favorite color. She collected pitchers. And she loved flowers, especially tulips. One of my favorite memories of time spent with her was when we took my mother back to Holland, just the three of us. On a cold rainy day – almost exactly 12 years ago today – we went to visit the Keukenhof gardens. They were in full bloom and my sister was a pig in you-know-what. She was completely delighted by every single glorious bed of color.

Snapshots below are of shopping on the streets in Amsterdam; and my mom’s elementary school – directly across from the little hotel where we stayed.


Letterpress 101

Posted on: February 13th, 2011 by jmbroekman No Comments

Letterpress and the art of persistence

I attended a great Letterpress workshop yesterday taught by David Wolfe. David is a terrific artist and printer, and his studio is full of extraordinary energy – maybe it’s all those really cool and diverse printing presses.

Letterpress printing is a type of printmaking that I have been interested in learning, and incorporating into my work for a long time. I had a blast yesterday and my head is spinning with ideas. For those of you unfamiliar with the process or term “letterpress” see the link above for a decent wikipedia explanation. The image at left is a detail of what I worked on in the workshop; the background print is a mat-board etching/collograph that I worked on a few days ago.

Not knowing when…

Posted on: August 31st, 2010 by jmbroekman 2 Comments

the dawn will come

It all started with a few lines from an Emily Dickinson poem:

NOT knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door;
Or has it feathers like a bird,
Or billows like a shore?

Well, actually, it all started with an invitation to participate in an upcoming show at the George Marshall Store Gallery, in York Maine. A number of artists were asked to respond to the Bulman Bedhangings, one of the most important objects in the Museums of Old York’s collection. I didn’t even know what a Bedhanging was before the invitation. But these are evidently the only complete set of American crewelwork to have survived from the 18th century, and quite an amazing set to see. By clicking the link above (on the Bulman Bedhangings text) you can see a small photo of them and read more about them.

I had long considered adding stitches to some of my collages, and this proved the perfect opportunity to start experimenting with yet another way to add color: embroidery thread. At left is a detail of the first piece I worked on. It evolved, as most of my work does, over a span of time. In the beginning there were just the words; then I printed a monotype on top of the words; next were some collage elements – the lace on top and bottom were stitched on; and finally stitches, and after hanging on the wall for a few weeks, more stitches (to try and tone down the heavy handedness of Emily’s quiet words).

Stay tuned for more details about the show itself – which happens in October! If you’d like to get a sneak preview of more of this new work, click here.