Vietnam Jungle IV – XIII

DSC_5043This is getting really fun, playing with first layers of delicate, almost transparent, lyrical, watery shapes. Ahhhh. Fortunately the two blue-green mixes are still workable, and I made a new one as well, just for the watery layer base.

I thought about this for some time. See, there is a watery sketch there that I didn’t want to lose, but how was I going to achieve the enormous and luscious depth of the mysterious moving water there in the original foto, plus the interaction of the light on the water, and the branches and new ripples the branches caused in the water?

oh, what a delightful challenge.

First I wanted to paint the whole thing black and layer up from there, ignoring my sketch and studying the layers in the foto, that I had sketched from. Hmmm. Rather DARK, don’t you know.

Then I thought, Sap Green, and I realized that I could go totally lyrical.


Then I thought why not try the darker of the blue-green mixes but it is too sheer even for this. So I mixed a deeper blue-green with about half Chromium Green and half Sap Green, then another (half/third) of the blue-green mix. Done — beauty. Oh. Yes. My yes.

So I tried to think in snakey watery smokey and codey like swirls and that worked well for an initial layer for all of those colors, the new blue-green, the darker blue-green, and then highlighting with the lightest one, which I had to break the skin of and add acrylic glaze to, to SAVE the darling beastie. But she is workable still, and I made more than I need, and only need a bit. Cool deh.

It’s been an off-radio day. Some days I’m totally listening to Radio Paradise via the internet, and some days I mix that up with my music collection to paint to.

Today has been totally about Iron and Wine. So chill and intelligent and well, lyrical.

I have rested twice for considerable periods of time. Painted in two sessions and done two flash yoga sessions for my back and neck and overall good spirits, with some additional poses from my teacher’s list.

Yay. I’m still a bit restless inside, but I’m getting much calmer, largely, honestly, by thinking about the imagery and concepts behind that Stone Psalm Poem. I typed it up because I am going to include it in The Front Porch, am still typing up the Spanish translation, but include it here, in the case that you hadn’t had the chance, random that it is, to look it up:

Stone Psalm

Alberto Blanco


With all our hearts we beseech

The gods of heaven and earth

To turn stone into seeds

So that fields may sprout

Tall crystallized trees

To build our second house with:

A new name in this life,

A new home in another cosmos.


So we’d be safe from hostile winds

And everybody else’s cranky notions

And – most important –

So we’d be safe from ourselves:

From our craving for recognition,

Our thirst for something to save us.


We’d learn to listen with our hands

To the hushed purl of dreaming stones

That – without meaning to –

Could teach us the essence

Of stillness and inner-presence.


Because each stone is a syllable

In the enormous name we all spell out

And creation is just a lovesong

Spouting from its steady heart


We want to be like stones

No better or worse, forever waiting

Without anticipating our own place

Or how long we may last.


Talking for hours with night,

We don’t invoke in vain

The absolute silence of stones:

Matter and electrons zing by

At such supersonic frequencies

That only the speed of poetry

Can interpret this sister tongue.


Yet it’s worth the struggle

To reach such spinning stillness:

The wind’s fossils are no more fleshy,

Cataclysm’s footprints

Signed by the gods

With red-hot charcoals

Are no clearer,

And the earth’s first stammered words

Are no older.


And just as no two stones share

The same color, texture or weight,

No two stones speak in the same voice.

Each must be beckoned by its own

Private, secret, unique name . . .

One so apart

From people’s hearts

You could almost say it doesn’t exist.


But it does: enough to touch a stone

To feel how everything inside it

Comes alive to warmth’s familiar call

And blood’s ancestral sway.

It’s love is of this world – and it isn’t.

Its grand works collapse

Of their own weight.

The miracle is in its poverty.


The fire breathing within each stone

Is an ashen sun

Asleep for millions of years.

Wherever the stone would go

There goes its house, body,

Shadow – and moon inside.


With stones, it’s all so easy . . .

We don’t have to waste any energy

Trying to explain ourselves . . .

They understand us tacitly.


Because there’s no better company

During a long sleepless night

Than a gentle stone napping in your palm.


There’s no better cure

For suicidal depression

Than a precious stone tied around your neck.


There’s no better ally

In a life-or-death battle

Than a ready and willing stone.


And for us, humans gone astray,

There’s no better resting place

Than a stone to lead us home.



El Salmo de la Piedra


A los Dioses del cielo ye de la tierra

Pedimos con toda el alma

Que las piedras se conviertan en semillas

Para que puedan dar a luz los campos

now that has lots of spaces and is unedited. I could spend a lot LOT lot of time here with my back at the computer making that pretty, but maybe the space is helpful in the long run? Heh. Let’s think so for now.


so those lovely stone rocks and crystals — quite powerful are they not? quiet and quite eternal —


it’s been helpful to be that still, or try to be … lately — maybe that will help you, too?

there is still so very much snow on the ground that it is somewhat surprising to go out and find it there — it is warmer today so Chipper didn’t need his jacket, nor me my hat and gloves — like SPRING!

it’s days like these that I have the hope that Spring will come. I know it will, but having the hope in your bones on a Winter day is something altogether different, studying the buds on the tips of the trees with longing …

I digress, and should not dare rush the season, for all things come in their time, do they not? I must have the patience …

So the prints are at the framers and they said a week to ten days — eep! I said they must be done quickly — so hopefully they will call soon and tell me they are ready for me to sign the mats — eight prints and frames are a lot though — they are super careful, too, super professional — so this will take some time to process — again, I must be patient

It feels so good to be pushing myself a bit more to do more yoga poses, and to not feel the repercussions immediately in my neck and back, as I did two weeks ago. So, if all goes well, I will continue to add poses.

I can do child’s pose and forward bend almost as well now as I did before the surgery — which is great progress — if you understand I could not bend at all post-surgery — woo!

I am a limber person by nature, but I need to work on my strength and core, and I feel like because of the weakness in my back structure, or the newness of that structure, how it dimples on me at the slightest use now, that the New Year’s resolution of keeping those back screws and working on my core is spot on.

Heh, but that means core work. I have already been on losing the midsection cookie weight from the holidays, which is helpful, but the structure itself needs lots of work. I can do it. It’s much less painful than it was to do the exercises two weeks ago.

Now, my next task is to redeem my free Aetna Medicare membership at Gold’s Gym nearby so I can swim there, to further tone everything. I think that will augment the work that I’m doing with yoga so well.

That could be this week, weather permitting.

So cool. Being active with goals.

Still having flashbacks. One of a particular incident where I almost was bumped out of a dune buggy but was caught by the driver. Encouraged to ride again but insisted on a seat belt. There never was a seat belt in that dune buggy. Learning at a very early age about severe, heart thumping, life threatening risk, and fun, and people not caring enough to protect you. That girl is still scared and asking me questions about that. She’ll flash on the part where she is almost out of the orange and silver dune buggy at like four years old and suddenly is okay and terrified still and logic says seatbelt yet the adults still require no seatbelt. It just defies all sense of …

Okay. Time to do some more yoga and meditate. This is my life. Hope your day is going well.


About amyjacksoncc

I am a professional artist, writer and musician creating from my home studio. To view my artwork, visit
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