A love letter to music

Photo: pinterest.com.mx

In an episode about New York culture in the popular Scorcese/Netflix series, Pretend It’s a City,writer and raconteur, Fran Leibovitz declares, “No one is loved like musicians” and “Music is a drug that doesn’t kill you.” Could there be any truer truths? I have been crazy about music ever since I was ten and swooned to trippy Crimson and Clover on my portable AM radio (before much cooler FM: WMMR) that never seemed to be off, even accompanying me to sleep. I can still remember every word. In fact, I am shocked at how I remember the lyrics to songs…

Ode to the 7th day

Sunday hike in Mexico

As I was walking to meet friends for a hike in the small Mexican town where I live this morning, I mindlessly noted less traffic on the streets, many bolted shop doors, and relative tranquility. And then I remembered. It was Sunday! The day of the week in many cultures, traditionally reserved for rest, family and worship. A day set apart from the other six, the rituals of Sunday were based on pleasure.

For many post-war, young families in the U.S., Sundays used to be synonymous with no work or school, sleeping late, coffee and books, or the (much bigger…

A perfect pair.

photo by Linda Laino

Each artist and writer has their own approach to the creative act, and what leads them to arrive at the essence of their particular expression, but regardless of the outcome, and whatever its materials, at its core, every creative form contains structure and beauty. These two attributes meld perfectly to help form meaning in art.

They’re evident in the plastic and functional arts, but also dance, music and all forms of writing. Structure not only provides the foundation as the word suggests, but can contribute to the very beauty that captivates us: the visible vaulted ribs of a 15th century…

Photo: National Geographic

A poem

A poem

Coloured lithograph by W. G. Smith, c. 1863,

I Peel The Garlic

and think of skin
pale and open
and wanting, like yours.
Mine the color of cherries
languid and sea-varnished.
Its thin veneer heals
each night like Prometheus,
his eagle greets me again
at dawn with a talon tear.

I peel the garlic
the static crackle
recalls your savage wail
roaring mythical
like a beast
cut down, chained
and haunted your fire
doused in grief,
even lemons can’t hide
the coppery smell
the cindered flesh.

I peel the garlic
the papery petals scratch,
tear like stridulous insects
cocoon casings upturned
panicked paper boats
uncertain of rescue.


In painting and writing.

“Profound Remembrance”, Linda Laino , 2010 (collection, Buckingham Branch Railroad, Virginia)

“Tell me, doesn’t your painting interfere with your writing?”

“Quite the contrary: they love each other dearly.” ~ e.e.cummings

This response from poet, e.e. cummings resonates deeply since my visual art and my writing often look to and play off each other as he describes. I’ve been grateful for the intersection. Some days, however, I immerse myself in painting in order to avoid writing. And some days I write (mostly in random ways) when I want to avoid painting. This pinging back and forth feels like a game of creative dodge ball that signals my brain to regress into doubt.

Ode to my old studio muse.

Pablo Picasso. Photo: allposters.com

I’m thinking a lot about cigarettes and how nice it would be to have one. As a long time smoker (and long-time quitter) living alone during this quarantine, I’m remembering how they used to be such good company, especially in the studio where cigarettes measured brush strokes and decisions and executions. Also triumphs and failures. While it’s not PC to say, I simply loved smoking. I suppose that’s why vices are vices: what is bad for us sometimes feels so good. There is a payoff somewhere, no matter how sinister that may turn out to be.

If you are a…

It’s more than just tubes of paint.

Painting, six panels, walnut in decay laying of swaths of fabric with marigolds
Painting, six panels, walnut in decay laying of swaths of fabric with marigolds
“Memento Mori: Reliquary”Watercolor and ink on rice paper, by Linda Laino

What is the public perception of artists? I have encountered many. Everything from fascination, to perplexity, to preconceived notions, to disregard, to envy. That last one is the kicker. Many people believe that artists live a “free” life, unhindered by schedules, bosses, cubicles or clock punching.

They spend their time doing what they love and to many, that is an enviable position to be in. Artists do love what they do. Making art brings deep meaning and beauty to its practitioners, and serious artists are compelled to keep making it.

Even though the artist profession like everything else in life…

Linda Laino

Artist/Poet attempting to make sense of the world through words and images. www.lindalaino.com

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