Harmony is a collaborative endeavor by five creatives. It is the celebration of harmony among artists and poets inspired by time and place. The featured collaborators make use of a wide variety of styles and artistic expressions to explore the concept of time through poetry and paintographs.
Take in the juxtapositions of texture and form by creatives taking inspiration from their own interactions with the everyday. The past, time in its entirety weaves into nature and space leaving its mark on lives.
Ségolène Léchot, KB Ballentine, Paige McBride, and Thomas Piekarski
The view by Carl Scharwath
Interview with Carl Scharwath
by Jaime Grookett for Valiant Scribe
"I use photography as a means of self-expression. The most important quality of a photograph, as in all of art, is to evoke an emotional response. I prefer to capture surrealistic moments when I can, the play of light and colors and unusual situations as they unfold. As a passionate runner, being aware of my surroundings tends to produce some surprise scenes instead of forcing an image of time with my camera. Currently, I have been concentrating on collaborations with other international poets who interpret my photos with their powerful words creating an art form that compliments each other. I am also exploring and creating works that combine my painting and photography." ~ Carl Scharwath
I had the pleasure of interviewing Carl Scharwath. His writing and art permeate the global literary landscape, aided by his collaboration with poets who interpret his visual art in words.
What inspires you to create your art? Do you find different inspiration depending on the medium in which you are working?
“I truly believe art is everywhere. My painting and photography are inspired by my surroundings. I love abandoned buildings with their unknown histories and mysteries. I find them to be a good base to build a surrealistic image. When I paint, these are geared towards knowing I will overlay photography so it’s all about the abstracts and the colors which will complement the photo.”
Your artwork crosses multiple media. How do you determine which medium is appropriate for which project?
“I love having my toolbox on the ready. Sometimes it’s a poem, a short story (when I have the idea), or a photography trip planned into nature. Painting is all about creativity and I enjoy sitting down with a paintbrush and all the colors that greet me. I do not think about a specific project, so I am all over the place and blessed for each art form available to me.”
What is your process for creating work combining painting and photography?
“This is my newest creative interest, which is called Paintography. I did a search on this word, thinking I invented something (smile) but yes, it is an art form. Researching further, I saw that most artists combine photography with a digital image so not many are using painting and photography.
I first paint on a small canvas and mostly do an abstract with some realism, then I either do a pour painting or an acrylic palette knife creation. I never think beforehand of which photo I will use for combining photography and prefer when done to scroll through my many images to find one to overlay. My paintography is gaining attention with multiple publications, book covers, and showcases.”
When did you first realize you wanted to collaborate with other artists to create complimentary art and the written word?
“I am most happy that others came to me first. I am active on Facebook with only the artist side of my life. I would post once in a while a photograph or paintography piece either in my feed or on a Facebook writers group. A writer would either private message me their poem or say ‘I am inspired by your art, can I write a poem?’ It’s very gratifying that a writer would be inspired enough to create a poem based on my art. I just had my 7th international writer request my art for their book cover and this inspires me to continue on and build great new friendships around the world.”
What challenges does this collaboration create? What benefits does this have on the final products?
“I never feel there is a challenge but lots of creative fun. I am the blessed one who is graced with another’s words... Share with others, inspire others, and champion others. Art is more exciting when you collaborate with a new friend and ultimately this is the greatest final product for you both.”
State of Art
by Thomas Piekarski
In their song "Lather" the Jefferson Airplane tell a tale
of the laughable man-child who in his mind didn't age.
He played with toys as if but a boy while minding his
business until they took them away. In similar fashion
art movements fade out, become eclipsed, toys taken
by others riding waves of joy, discovery, and disaster.
The artists come and go, make their marks, then exit
with the turn of a dial, clang of a bell, or drop of a hat.
The artist starts with nothing and creates alive images
that will last in our minds because though ephemeral
stand the ravages of time. The Impressionists gave us
the world as seen, Dada the idea of a world. Which is
preferable depends on one's taste: Cezanne introduced
nicely colorized geometric formulas, then along came
Tanguy with his amorphous architecture who appeals
by means of integrating otherwise dissonant concepts.
From cave walls where sacred animals were depicted
to scenes from ancient mythology and Christian man
art has segued through the ages: nothing static in this
evolving world, not the position of stars, not glaciers.
Art is the mirror of our minds, the inner teachings we
draw from imaginations drunk with inspiration borne
on intuitive wings of enlightenment, thence conveyed
into the tactile world, put on display for all to observe.
Peer up, out into space and consider what significance
distant creatures may assign to our art. Would it seem
juvenile, irrelevant, meaningful, or ersatz hocus pocus,
play things like Lather's sand pail and shovel? If we've
learned anything at all by virtue of Warhol's soup cans
it's that his canvases will inevitably disappear one day.
We'll never catch time in a bottle, so unable to foresee
art's future, yet have its present and past to illuminate.
Pier by Carl Scharwath
by Ségolène Léchot
when will you get
some time to breathe
When will the waves
a minute stop
to let you ease
a minute long
Will you, one day
ever feel it
of an undeviating horizon
Or would this be
for a tiny boat
One hour till midnight by Carl Scharwath
by Thomas Piekarski
When the order comes down to surrender weapons and give inner peace the opportunity to flourish
the angry anarchist will ignore such doctrines
that make him compromise his deep enmity.
When empty space seems seamless as midnight
loose ends get tied while light seeps through
and precepts we thought suppressed shall
bubble to the surface of mystic worlds.
While inside the Earth resounding thunder builds
we remain unaware of all the power it carries
and people's world views become distorted
even though they don't see anything new.
When solutions come and go and then around again
they become concrete in our aggregate mind that
will be studied by future scholars digging deep
to ascertain why certain events transpired.
When thieves are free to rob and batter innocents
the effect is to deplete hapless folk of all hope
and dupe them into surrendering freedoms
they have long felt essential for survival.
Should the magnetic pole shift suddenly no doubt
the masses will be frozen in a state of confusion
as to what this marathon called life is worth
regardless of any former conceptions.
If woeful politicians continue devising schemes
to benefit those corrupt empowered autocrats
who control mass media some day we may
be begging for a merciful square deal.
In these turbulent times may we encourage rhyme
to sing on blithely despite desperate conditions.
so that steadfast patriots rise to the surface
defending what is theirs by rite of birth.
Living in an upside-down world by Carl Scharwath
Avenue des Noyers 2
by Ségolène Léchot
As I step toward the door, a tear is
rolling down my face.
The house where everything started
so long ago in 1960,
won’t be mine anymore.
As I step out of the door, I remember
the first time we entered it.
The family picture hung on
the front door, changing every time
our family grew.
As I step out of the door, I remember
the first time we invited friends over.
The wild laughter, the smell of the barbecue,
the huge smiles on our faces
and the great feeling of achievement.
As I step out of the door, I realize
how hard it is to leave this place.
But life gave me no choice
as kids went away, followed by my wife Amelia.
Alone, I can’t make it !
As I step out of the door, I smell
one last time the perfume of lilacs.
As I step out of the door, I wave goodbye
to the wild laughter of our friends
to the ever-changing family picture
and to my lifelong neighbor
who promised he would visit me
in my nursing home.
Forsaken I by Carl Scharwath
by Carl Scharwath
Two children plaster forms
A decorum of the 1950’s
Embellishment, quietly grace
The family road trip.
Baseball cards on the floor
Gum under the seat
A façade of happiness
As billboards swoop by.
Telephone wires, a dizzying array of surrealistic lines crossing the clouds and pointing the way. Last-chance gas stations, diners with dead-end jobs, the radio static filled with a revival preacher, admonishing the listeners to repent. Everything turns to Utopia.
Mom in the front seat
Dreams of a new washing machine
Perhaps a new house coat
And a husband who would love her again.
Father, eyes straightforward
Thinks of the next two martini-lunch and
An evening rendezvous with his young secretary
In a secret hotel close to home.
Like a thick novel with empty pages-four lives down the highway in a metal casket with tail fins. Route 66 attractions beckon for attention and a sparked conversation. This nuclear family just one of the forgotten many in the proto-industrialization of a historical timeline-a contaminated generation.
Adrift by Carl Scharwath
by Carl Scharwath
Phantom eyes seduced
in the condensation
of a dreamscape
fluorescent and luminous.
Adrift in the duskiness
of lustful fears and
forgetting to go home.
glow shadowed and awake
in arid graves
beyond the gods.
Forsaken II by Carl Scharwath
by KB Ballentine
A choir of snow sings
twilight’s silence, feathered flakes
hushed as they caress then hug
the cradles of trees, leaf heaps,
fields furrowed and splotched.
Monochrome of crow and rock
outlined against the white sky:
my eye a bright coin,
my breath twisting from vapor
A world blank, ready to re-shape.
This time, let’s use cobwebs
and honeybee pollen
instead of concrete and drills –
the only gouging done
by the woodpeckers’ beak,
the beavers’ grooved teeth.
Let’s start again
with this blue-green bead polished
and pulsing on a sable cape
nodding to the Pleiades,
sipping from the Dipper –
a harmony, a rhapsody
like angels humming
something almost remembered.
Sentinels I by Carl Scharwath
by Carl Scharwath
As the morning
erases the stars
Upon ghost landscapes
bleak, standing sentinel
The blind glass
Opens discontinuous perceptions
and discreet sensations
Of your life
From the outside
like a poem
Drowning itself in
forgotten past inspirations.
Disorder of lunacy?
Or anxious normalcy?
As time lapses
of being forgotten
When in the
beginning you’re remembered.
Sentinels II by Carl Scharwath
Beamscage A Garden
by Paige McBride
heavens shines light feelers
a visionary glass sees
clear angel visions in her eyes
her strength becomes stronger
faith shake sword
tolerance is a star
friend beamscage a garden
aim sweet mutual
for your words to reach her heart
three seven four
there is resilient blood in warm valleys
Thank you for visiting the "Harmony" showcase. We deeply appreciate your support. We encourage you to share broadly and reach out to the artist and poets to learn more about their past and future endeavors (Valiant Scribe would be happy to facilitate an introduction). You might be surprised to learn that most are mixed media artists in their own right. We hope you take a second to read the short bios of the collaborators below before you exist the page.
KB Ballentine’s seventh collection, Edge of the Echo, was released May 2021 with Iris Press; her work also appears in anthologies including I Heard a Cardinal Sing (2022), The Strategic Poet (2021), and Pandemic Evolution (2021). KB loves to travel and practice sword fighting and Irish step dancing: those Scottish and Irish roots run deep! When not tucked in a corner reading or writing, she makes daily classroom appearances to her students. Learn more at www.kbballentine.com.
Carl Scharwath, has appeared globally with 175+ journals selecting his writing or art. Carl has published three poetry books and his latest book “Playground of Destiny” features poetry, short stories and photography (Impspired Press) His two photography books were published by Praxis in Africa. His photography was also exhibited in the Mount Dora Center for The Arts gallery and The Leesburg Center for The Arts. Seven global poets have also selected his photography to grace the covers of their published books. Carl was the art editor for Minute Magazine (4 years). Learn more at www.facebook.com/carl.scharwath
Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Poetry Quarterly, Literature Today, The Journal, Poetry Salzburg, Modern Literature, South African Literary Journal, Home Planet News, and others. His books of poetry are Ballad of Billy the Kid, Monterey Bay Adventures, Mercurial World, and Aurora California.
Ségolène Léchot was born and raised in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In 2015, she went to Iowa as an exchange student and fell in love with English. She then completed a Bachelor in French and English Literature and Languages at the University of Neuchâtel in 2021 and started writing in both languages. Her work has appeared twice in Open-Borders magazine. She is currently working as a teacher in a school in Madrid, Spain. She is inspired by the painful and the beautiful: stories of love, of discomfort, personal experiences and deep conversations with complete strangers.
Paige McBride is a poet and artist who lives in Dunedin, Florida. She earned a BA in English -Creative Writing – Poetry, a Masters in Library and Information Science, and a Masters in Creative Writing – Poetry at Saint Leo University. Her poems have appeared in Sandhill Review, Calla Press, Straylight Literary Magazine, Saint Katherine Review, West Trade Review, Tulane Review, Heartwood Literary Magazine, American Chordata, Sunset Liminal Press, aaduna, Literary Juice, Burningword Literary Journal, and The Wayfarer among others.