Category: Poetry

A New Year

Broken Pear Shell

Broken Pear Shell

The New Year is here yet again……..

With enthusiasm and hope I turn my sights to this new beginning and all the wonderful opportunities before me.

This is a poem I wrote a few years back on Resolutions. I hope that it resonates with you. Blessings……..

Resolutions

A Christmas come and gone once more…

Another year of one’s own lore,

To contemplate and create anew…

The coming year’s resolves, a few.

To write upon the weary pages,

Of one’s own heart, alive yet faded.


Resolutions made and lost,

Triumphs yes, disappointments, cost.

To look at one’s own life and see

The need to change, to grow to be

A kinder, patient, more loving soul,

Rekindle hope in one’s own role,

As giver to the one’s we love,

A calming presence, a peaceful dove.


So far from this I clearly see,

The many flaws that make up me.

Yet hope I choose to hold on to,

The belief in Change Within, Renew.

For in one’s change within, alone,

Lies the key to the difference shown…

In every smile and happy face,

The difference from despair, to grace.

Jan. 2009

Copyright Margaret Elizabeth Biggs

“A Poem of Hope”

"Light Reflects" 48x60" Oil on Canvas

"Light Reflects" 48x60" Oil on Canvas

My paintings are much more than a stylized rendition of a particular seashell or seascape. I very often strive to communicate to the viewer a state of mind, a stillness of mind, a peace that can be found by the sea.

I wonder why so many people who choose to vacation or live on the shore, do not take advantage of the opportunity to still their mind. Many a great prophet found their solace and peace while alone in a natural setting. That is where they went to meditate and to pray. It is easier there.

Stilling the mind, slowing it down, putting oneself in the complete “here and now.” This is the key to great inner peace. Yet I see people on the beach with their music on or talking on their phones and I wonder why. Do these people smell the salt in the air? Do they see the gulls and the shore birds? How many times have they missed witnessing the joyful leap of a dolphin out of the sea and into the air? Do they see the bull rays as they “fly” by submerged just below the Gulf’s surface? It is all so beautiful and so healing.

When one does find their mind still, it is then that our Creator will speak to us. Call it “intuition” if you will. It is the same thing. It is our inner guide.

I begin to see the “signs” as well. Reminders of who we really are, of what is of great importance, of what really matters. “Light Reflects” is a depiction of more than the sun reflecting off the surface of the Gulf. I am reminded of a poem I wrote last year.

“The Persistence of Light”

The Light of the Heavens break through the storm clouds,

Shining through the dense darkness a white light.

Reflections, an analogy of the Seekers.

Wishing, Manifesting, Willing.

The Light of the Heavens shining down through the darkness of thought

To the body  which so like our seas are many droplets, which make up One.

One ocean

One Body.

The penetration of light through to the depths of thought.

The reflection of light reaching back up to the heavens.

Dissolution of darkness.

The Saving Grace of our world.

copyright 2011 Margaret Elizabeth Biggs

A New Year.

Blessings to you all as we begin a New Year. I am filled with hope and optimism for our world and all who inhabit this beautiful place. Yet, according to the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Mayans, Nostradamus, the Book of Revelations and other sources, 2012 will be the end of time either altogether or at the very least, as we now know it. A polar shift causing numerous catastrophic events including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and frequent category 5 hurricanes will occur.

There are people building underground bunkers and others planning to move north away from the Gulf Coast and what will soon be a second Atlantis, lost forever under the sea.

I think I’ll stay right here, above ground, enjoying the Florida sun for as long as I am allowed.

And as I wait for what will one day be the end of my time on Mother Earth, I’ll just keep trying to be a little kinder, a bit more patient, full of faith and in the Here and Now.

Below is a poem I wrote a few years ago.

“Resolutions”

A Christmas come and gone once more…

Another year of one’s own lore,

To contemplate and create anew…

The coming year’s resolves, a few.

To write upon the weary pages,

Of one’s own heart, alive yet faded.

Resolutions made and lost,

Triumphs yes, disappointments, cost.

To look at one’s own life and see

The need to change, to grow to be

A kinder, patient, more loving soul,

Rekindle hope in one’s own role,

As giver to the one’s we love,

A calming presence, a peaceful dove.

So far from this I clearly see,

The many flaws that make up me.

Yet hope I choose to hold on to,

The belief in Change Within, Renew.

For in one’s change within, alone,

Lies the key to the difference shown…

In every smile and happy face,

The difference from despair, to grace.

Copyright 2010 Margaret Biggs

“A Bliss”

IMG_7855

A Bliss

11/11/11

There is laughter now

In this modest home.

Simple pleasures abound

As they always have

Yet now they are cherished.

There is a hope for the future.

A confidence.

When before the future did not exist

In my mind

There was today and yesterday

Nothing more.

A paralysis. A void.

No concept of tomorrow.

I dared not venture there.

The days I awake with joy

Are multiplied

In this modest home

With no one beside me.

There is contentment

An acceptance.

There is peace

And love.

A longing I did not know I had

Has materialized before me.

My home is now a haven.

Beyond all reasoning of the mind

I have been lifted

Far above earthly pleasures

To an eternal bliss.

Now to sustain.

copyright 2011 Margaret Elizabeth Biggs

“The Persistence of Light”

The Persistence of Light

The Persistence of Light

The Light of the Heavens

Break through the storm clouds

Shining through the dense darkness

A white light.

The reflections, an analogue of the seekers

Wishing, manifesting, willing.

The Light of the Heavens

Shining down through the darkness of thought

To the body which, so like our seas

Are many droplets, which make up One.

One ocean, one Body.

The penetration of Light

Through to the depths of thought.

The reflection of Light

Reaching back up to the Heavens.

A dissolution of darkness

The saving grace of our world.

Copyright Margaret Elizabeth Biggs 2011

Light Reflects


Reflections and Refractions 2

Often a poem will come to me while I am painting. The poem a direct result of the deeper thoughts that I am striving to express through the painting. Other times a poem of mine will be inspired by a painting or a series of paintings, after they are complete.

Such was the case with the poem below, which was inspired by “Reflections and Refractions” above, as well as “Swim with Me” and “Light Refracts” which can be found in the “Art Work” section of my site.

Light Reflects

On the surface of the sea

Light reflects

The blue of the sky

The clouds just below

drifting and dancing

radiating

and blessing.

Upwards and outwards

Sharing with the Universe

The Light that is reflected

On the Surface of the Sea.

Yet on the Sea floor

Light refracts.

Through the body of water

To the sand below

The brilliance of the Heavens

Is minimized to lines.

Distorted, bending

Intersecting

And reaching

In one dimension.

Light meant for Infinity

Is limited and oppressed

Far below, on the Sea floor.

Copyright: July 2011 by Margaret Elizabeth Biggs

New Year “Resolutions”

Resolutions

A Christmas come and gone once more…

Another year of one’s own lore,

To contemplate and create anew…

The coming year’s resolves, a few.

To write upon the weary pages,

Of one’s own heart, alive yet faded.

Resolutions made and lost,

Triumphs yes, disappointments, cost.

To look at one’s own life and see

The need to change, to grow to be

A kinder, patient, more loving soul,

Rekindle hope in one’s own role,

As giver to the one’s we love,

A calming presence, a peaceful dove.

So far from this I clearly see,

The many flaws that make up me.

Yet hope I choose to hold on to,

The belief in Change Within, Renew.

For in one’s change within, alone,

Lies the key to the difference shown…

In every smile and happy face,

The difference from despair, to grace.

copyright 2010 Margaret Biggs


Bridging Emotion and Realism

ChanneledWhelk for C.C. Bridging Realism and Emotion, this is my challenge.

Bridging the realism and the emotion I feel when I hold a shell, this is my challenge.
If it is painted too realistically, it often results in a piece that does not express the magic
that I see. Yet, if a piece is painted with too much emotion, the realism is not sufficient to communicate to the viewer what there is to cherish in so common an object as a simple shell.
The same holds true for all of my work. There is so much natural beauty in so many places,
even still. If only people would slow down enough to really see.Bridging the realism and the emotion I feel when I hold a shell, this is my challenge.

If it is painted too realistically, it often results in a piece that does not express the magic that I see.

Yet, if a piece is painted with too much emotion, the realism is not sufficient to communicate to the viewer what there is to cherish in so common an object as a simple shell.

The same holds true for all of my work. There is so much natural beauty in so many places, even still. If only people would slow down enough to really see.

“Each Shell”

Each shell I found I cherished,

Each shell delights the eye,

The eye that will concern itself with God’s own gifts that lie…

In every darkened corner,

Behind every embittered heart,

Choose only to look past the pain and in God’s great gifts, take part.

copyright 2011 Margaret Biggs

Saturday Morn.

Lori's SchoolhouseDetail

I was inspired to begin another in the “Schoolhouse Beach” series by a friend who suggested I paint this beach more realistically. Though I have been commissioned to do several before Lori’s was started, I have done them all (a total of  7 now) with a lot of color added to the white rocks that make this beach famous. Interestingly enough, on the North Shore of Chicago where a few of these pieces hang, the paintings are  still recognized as the Schoolhouse Beach of which my inspiration comes. This beach is named for an old abandoned schoolhouse which stands at the corner of the turn-off that takes you to this remote cove on Washington Island off the northern tip of Door County, Wisconsin. I am very close to completing another as well. It is a  horizontal with the use of cadmium red, which is new to the colorful palette I normally use. It is turning out beautifully. The deep, rich hues are every bit as fascinating as this new piece with it’s many shades of white.  I must remain inspired to create the emotion I want to communicate. These paintings with all of the detail, take a lot of time and my eyes do tire easily with the tight brush work, hence the necessary breaks I must take between the Schoolhouse paintings as well as during the creation of each. Often I will turn to the painting of water with the loose brush strokes or a shell with it’s single subject. I strive to make each rock as lovely as I can, as I also strive to paint the peace that can be found in the simplest of God’s gifts from the sea. A couple are available as fine art giclee prints on both paper and canvas. Below is a poem I wrote which was inspired by the Schoolhouse paintings. It is an homage to the beauty that can be found in less magnificent  places. Have a nice weekend!

Once Upon a Rocky Shore

When once upon a Rocky Shore, I walked and gazed and sat before…

Near no high mountains or endless sea, just the many rocks and me,

To contemplate and listen to the waves wash up and cleanse anew,

The many rocks upon the shore, a peaceful sound, the lake, no more.

(All contents of this blog copyright 2010 by Margaret Elizabeth Biggs.)

A Wednesday Afternoon

rocks, shell, water piece, mirror Mid week and all is well though it is hard to stay put in the studio when there is much to do to help save our Gulf from future disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion. I joined the Emerald Coastkeepers not long before. This organization works to keep our area waters clean. I am so grateful to Chasidy Fisher Hobbs, Elizabeth McWilliams and Mike Papantonio for all they  do. I am on board and doing my best as well. The art I donated brought in close to $1000 for ECK and I am now in charge of organizing the Hands Across the Sand event to be held on Sat., June 26th. We will gather at the Pensacola Beach Pier at 11:00 and join hands for 15 minutes at 12 Noon. This is not a protest. It is about preserving our Gulf, our beaches and the estuaries where so much of the Gulf’s seafood is spawned. It is about preserving a way of life for millions of people. Please join us here on Pensacola Beach or in a city near you. We started as a statewide event in Florida back in Feb. and have now grown to include 16 other states! Please help us in our efforts to promote clean energy and ban offshore drilling. Our nation can do anything once we put our minds to it! Let us be a leader in preserving our beautiful planet. We can all help in our own small way. Ride bikes more, carpool, use less plastic, recycle, wear sweaters indoors in the winter and turn down the heat…use the AC less and good old fashioned fans more. Let’s simplify and help to preserve our planet for our children and future generations. Please visit these sites, www.emeraldcoastkeeper.org and www.handsacrossthesand.com. Join us in a  Hands Across the Sand event near you. If there is not one yet organized in your city, please consider organizing one yourself. It is not hard as the founder David Rauschkolb of Grayton Beach, FL has made it very easy. The time is now.

Pictured above are portions of two paintings I am currently working on. In the left foreground is the beginning of another in the “Schoolhouse Beach” series. It is a 48×24″ painting. The rocks of this painting take up approximately 70% of the piece. The lake will be in view beyond. The unfinished rocks towards the top are laid out in acrylic after an initial sketch. I then start what I most enjoy, the many layers of oil color that make the rocks come alive. I was lying down when I took the photo which is the inspiration for this particular piece. Most of the others in this series are drawn from vertical photographs I took standing with my toes just slightly out of view. The piece entitled “Rocky Shore” was also painted from this point of view. However I did change one color for “Rocky Shore”. I normally use the same six or seven colors, which is one of the reasons my work has a clear style though my subject matter varies. (within the realm of beach magic, of course) The palette includes a sap green (similar to a forest green) in five out of the six Schoolhouse Beach pieces, with the exception being “Rocky Shore”. In this painting I substituted the Sap Green for a Turquoise Green. My, how the entire palette changed! I find it fascinating how the substitution of one color can change a painting so very much. “Rocky Shore” can be viewed in the Print Section of my site.

In the background is a 48×60″ piece I have started of the surface of the Bay on a calm day. It will be similar in feel to “Water’s Calm” which sold last summer before I even had it displayed at the Pensacola Museum of Art Show. Additionally the collector bought it sight unseen… other than the photo on my site. It takes a lot out of me to compose these pieces. Funny I should say “compose”. Yet that is exactly what I am doing. My photograph is simply a starting point. Even at this early stage it would be hard for most to see which photo this piece is derived from. No matter, I try to paint the calm, the peace, the beauty that can be experienced in as common a gift as the water’s surface. The designs and color are all there. The water is very clean. I just bump up the contrast, add to the color, stylize a little then abstract just a touch and my “voice” is heard. I  listen to classical music when I paint. As I composed this piece I was listening to Handel’s “Water Music”. Fitting, I think and it is one of my favorites. Pachabel’s Canon is another.

On the stand to the right is a broken shell I found many years ago, stuck in some clay. I find broken shells to be just fascinating. The shape, the inside merging with the outside, all the colors that can be found in a white. As I find myself in middle age, I also think of them as analogies to the beauty that is a part of aging. I wonder what this shell once looked like in all her glory? She is faded now, and broken. Yet, she is wiser too. Experience will do that to a person, if that person chooses to learn. So far I love growing older. I am so happy now. I will paint this “Faded Beauty” on a 24×48″ canvas. She is a free spirit. As I often like to do, I will paint her to hang both vertically and horizontally.

For some reason I want to close with a poem I wrote about a month ago. My son says it is sad. I don’t think so. It is just an explanation of how I have learned to live.

My Heart Bleeds

My heart bleeds.
I push away the pain.
Like ghosts lurking,
I live with the darkness.
I force myself to focus on light,
Yet my heart still bleeds.

I pull my mind back to the present.
I hear the birds sing.
I smell the scents of spring.
Yet my heart remains heavy.

Memories creep in of long ago,
the more recent past.
Loneliness and despair,
So little love,
And so my heart still bleeds.

I pull my mind back to the present.
Will it always be so?
A back and forth, I slowly grow.
I pull my mind back to the only reality.

I hear the birds sing.
I smell the scents of spring.
I will walk to the water today
and give my love away.
I will talk to the One.
With patience I will run.

And I will surely grow.

5/2010

Copyright 2010 Margaret Elizabeth Biggs

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