Daisy repeating itself (haiku by Alexis Rotella)

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Daisy

repeating

itself

  • #haiku by Alexis Rotella (Between Waves), turned into a cartoon by Old Pond Comics.
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HNA 2017: a Review of Trifolds… in transit

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You just came back from a haiku conference and now there’s a pile of haiku on your desk.

It’s a good problem to have, but still a problem. I learned from previous experience that if I don’t read the trifolds I picked up at a conference right away, I never will.

In the past, I’d treat my freebies like collector’s items: I’d store them and never touch them again.  But this year, after coming back from HNA2017, I decided I would read them.  So one morning I took a pile of freebies and read them while in transit.

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I decided to start with the Sante Fe themed trifolds.  It seems a few people attending the HNA 2017 conference had already been to Santa Fe and shared their experience of New Mexico in their trifolds.

First on my list was a trifold by Kath Abela Wilson recalling her experience moving to Santa Fe with her young family, and becoming the apprentice of jewellery maker Ross LewAllen.

 

meeting in Santa Fe

I wear earrings I made here

forty years ago

— Kath Abela Wilson

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In Keeping Time: haibun, Penny Harter shares memories of fishing in the canyon:

from abandoned cliff

dwellings ravens call into

the past

— Penny Harter (from “Fishing in the Canyon”, first published in Exit 13)

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In Santa Fe Summer of 2011, Charles Trumbull shares one-line haiku with New Mexico season words.

solstice heat a lizard scuttles through acequia sand

up the Rio Grande ill winds from Arizona

moon blazes red over the Sangre de Christos

— Charles Trumbull

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This trifold by Carole MacRury features a photo of Bandelier Park and a selection of her best haiku such as:

well-worn path –

I take my memories

for a walk

–Carole MacRury

 

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In a colourful trifolds featuring Mount Fuji on one side and a zen garden on the other side, Susan Diridoni laid out her gendai haiku on strips of paper:

kimono backwards her bunraku dream

– Susan Diridoni

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In Ghost Notes, Beverly Acuff Momoi caught my attention with a very original kigo:

my biggest fears

are nameless

moons of Jupiter

— Beverly Acuff Momoi

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In low doorways, paul m. shares haiku inspired by his visit to the Ephrata Cloisters, a semi-monastic community:

dawn chorus

a brother’s snore

part of it

— paul m.

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To celebrate its 25 years, the Haiku Poets’ Society of Western Massachusetts shared a selection of members’ haiku in a beautiful handmade card:

all these years

at the same table

salt and pepper

— Denise Fontaine-Pincine (Haiku Poets’ Society of Western Massachusetts)

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In Night Mist, Jennifer Sutherland  presents a series of haiku about horses:

fading daylight

horse and hill

become one

— Jennifer Sutherland (previously published in A Hundred Gourds, June 2014)

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In Explorations 1, lynnej finds haiku in her surroundings:

after the storm

haiku strewn

along the shore

— lynnej

 

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In Shawls of Rain, Marietta McGregor takes a humorous look at family:

petting zoo…

newlyweds stroke

each other

— Marietta McGregor

 

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In A Few Gourds, Angela Terry reminds us:

taking the shortcut

and missing the journey –

a map of clouds

— Angela Terry (previously published in A Hundred Gourds)

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In VanKuver, Jacquie Pearce offers a mini chapbook filled with haiku inspired by her city:

wet neon city

the young girl’s colourful

splash!

— Jacquie Pearce

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In What’s Left Unsaid: 125 haiku (limited edition), Maxianne Berger allows us to play and form our own haiku with her interactive flagbook:

fireflies adrift

near her husband’s grave

we both smile

— Maxianne Berger

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In On the Bridge (Japan 2014), you’ll find beautiful haiga by Lidia Rozmus, and a selection of haiku by  Lidia, Cynthia A. Henderson, and Charles Trumbull:

one breath

one brush stroke

one

— Lidia Rozmus

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In by the way (limited edition, 35 copies), Don Wentworth takes us on a journey:

translating

a poem differently each time—

the autumn sky

-Don Wentworth

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In Breakfast Alone, Michael Dylan Welch offers us a series of haiku about taste:

breakfast alone

slowly I eat

my melancholy

— Michael DylanWelch

hna2017 trifolds pile IMG_3126Whether you take the trifolds on transit, read them while curled up in your favourite chair, or enjoy them while having breakfast, my advice is to read them right away while the memory of the conference, and the people you met, are still fresh.

 

 

HNA 2017: cartoonist-in-residence video

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In case you missed my cartoonist-in-residence presentation at Haiku North America 2017 (September 17, 2017), here’s a short edited version featuring comics only.

It includes:

0’00 A short introduction to Old Pond Comics

3’31 HNA 2017 conference comics

6’15: Kaleidoscope haiku-cartoons featuring haiku by Jim Kacian, Alexis Rotella, Tanya McDonald, Terry Ann Carter, Kala Ramesh, Brad Bennett.

Thanks to the wonderful audience at Haiku North America.

It’s chile! (An overview of food in Santa Fe)

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I had a fabulous time at the Haiku North America conference in Santa Fe.

One thing I noticed is that chile peppers are everywhere in Santa Fe. You can’t escape them.  They are basically hanging off the walls (to dry). And they are in almost every dishes.

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In restaurant, they often ask you the National State Question of New Mexico:

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When someone in a restaurant asks you, “Red or Green?”, they want to know if you want  red or green chile in your food. And if you want both, you answer, “Christmas.”

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The Frommers Easy guide to Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque mentions, “The basic ingredients of New Mexico cooking are three ingredients locally grown: chile, beans, corn.”

You’d often see bunches of chile peppers hanging to dry in the city. You can buy some.

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They even have chile peppers decorating the courtyard of the New Mexico Museum of Art:

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My breakfast burrito (by the way, it seems breakfast burritos were invented in Santa Fe) was filled with chile peppers. It was really delicious.

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Breakfast burrito at Burito Co.

One of the must-try food in Santa Fe was the green chile burger. I had to try it.

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Green chile cheeseburger at Shake Foundation

 

If the chile is too hot for you, it’s recommended you eat some sopaipilla, a puff pastry served with honey. It will absorb the oil of the peppers and provide some relief. Do not drink water! It will make it worse. I’m really sad I didn’t get to try a sopaipilla during my trip to Santa Fe.

However, at the conference lunch buffet, I got to try bizcochito, which is the National State Cookie of New Mexico. It’s made of lard with anis, topped with cinnamon and sugar.

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Bizcochito, which is the National State Cookie of New Mexico.

We ate really well during out stay in Santa Fe.  I’m really glad I got to try chile peppers, and really enjoyed them.  What was your favorite food at the conference?

 

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Amaya restaurant at Hotel Santa Fe.

 

 

 

HNA2017: the Art of Haiku in High Altitude

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The Haiku North America conference took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from September 13-17, 2018.

Before the trip, I read a lot of guidebooks and they all mentioned you should drink a lot of water to avoid altitude sickness, so I did.

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(If you’re reading this post via e-mail and you’re not seeing the animated frog, click on the image to see the animated gif on the original blog post.)

 

Luckily, the Hotel Santa Fe provided free bottles of water for guests at the front desk. When I brought a bottle of water to my roommate, she exclaimed, “Aw, it’s nice!” I replied, “‘No problem.” She said, “No, the water… it’s nice!”  She showed me the label and it turns out Nice was the brand name.

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Drinking lots of water can cause some inconvenience, such as a full bladder. Is it why they have a bodily fluid clean-up kit on board the Santa Fe free pick up shuttle? I wonder.

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In Santa Fe, you’re surrounded by mountains. When you look up at mountains, it’s easy to forget you’re already standing at a high altitude of 7,000 feet.

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View from the Santa Fe Hotel Hacienda (I sneaked in to take a picture).

I made a rookie mistake: on my first day in Santa Fe, instead of taking it easy to acclimatize to the high altitude, I went straight to Museum Hill which is, you guessed it, on a hill and even higher than Santa Fe.

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View from the Santa Fe Botanical Garden on Museum Hill.

There’s less oxygen at high altitude, so you have to take it easy.  When I walked at my regular pace, which is fast, I quickly became out of breath. I learned I had to slow down, and walk at a slower pace.

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View from the Museum Hill Cafe.

So, yeah, this rookie mistake is probably the reason I had to spend a few hours in bed with strong headaches and flu-like body pain.

 

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Despite high altitude sickness, I had lots of fun exploring Santa Fe and attending  the HNA conference. It was an amazing destination and an unforgettable conference.

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View from Pizza on the Roof.

Have a look! You can browse through my HNAA 2017 conference photos and comics.

 

The RoadRunner

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The Haiku North America conference took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from September 13-17 2017.  It was an amazing conference. I was the cartoonist-in-residence during the event and captured the conference in cartoons.

Before heading to HNA, I read a lot of Santa Fe and New Mexico. One of the subjects that fascinated me was the roadrunner.

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The roadrunner is the official bird of New Mexico. It can run up to 20mph and sometimes eats rattlesnakes.

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When I arrived in Albuquerque airport, I took a hotel shuttle to Santa Fe. A few minutes after we left the airport, someone pointed the side of the road and said: “Hey, a roadrunner!” I turned my head, but it was too late. I had missed it.

I made it my objective to see a roadrunner during my trip.  During excursions, I would scrutinize the side of the road, but it was not meant to be.

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In Santa Fe, the only roadrunner I saw was the one on the RailRunner commuter train at the station.

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I imagined Master Kawazu would hop on a real roadrunner to go to the conference. That would be a lot of fun.

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So I didn’t see a roadrunner during my trip, but I did enjoy all the haiku talks at the conference.hna17_roadrunner_senryu

View all HNA 2017 conference photos and comics.

Live Drawing with Dancers

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IMG_2843Did you do something scary today? I did. I went to Live Drawing with Dancers.

I’ve always wanted to go, but the thought that there would be artists — real artists who can draw — there, and that they might make fun of me, always stopped me.

But today, I decided on three things:

1- I would go.

2- Instead of trying to sketch like everyone else, I would draw stick figures to explore movement.

3- I was going to have fun.

When I  arrived at the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth theatre at 2pm, I saw two dancers – one male and one female – dressed in beautiful costumes, moving in a very graceful choreography. I quietly took a seat and immediately started to draw small kinetic figures.

My first figures were stiff and looked like Chinese characters.  As I loosened up, I drew curved arms, and added little feet.

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As my confidence grew,  I added a head to the figures.

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I drew the dancer’s tutu as two curved lines on each side of her body.

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I started to really enjoy the process.

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The dancers changed and came back with black shorts.

As the last hour began, Arts Umbrella instructor Jason Wright said, “Let’s try something loose and goofy.” The session that followed was amazing, as the dancers contorted their body in ways I’ve never seen before, inspiring some of my favorite drawings.

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By the end of the session, I had truly found my style and was able to enjoy the process of creating as many stick figures as possible.

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So, will I go to the next Live Drawing session? Absolutely. And I will leave my fears at home.

 

live drawing

the dancer’s shadow

on my page

— Jessica Tremblay

 

What about you? Is there a thing that scares you that you’ve always wanted to try? What stops you?