so much potential
curled into such a small space
your rich colours compressed
waiting to reveal themselves
to unfold and face the sun
Following on from my previous post – here are the next nine portraits:
Learning so much about colour, and the use of light and shadow.
ready to release and renew
there is beauty in the most humble
even the dandelion longs to sing
This time of year is full of spirit, talk of the thin veil, acknowledging ancestors.
Here in the Southern Hemisphere, we are well into spring, and I’m focusing on renewal and finding beauty.
Blossoms are everywhere, scenting the air, delicate pale pink petals on my small apple tree. The weeds are doing their best to compete, bright yellow dandelion flowers shouting from the emerald grass.
This is such an intense time, saturated colour, and the startling speed of new growth.
The flax flowers are almost opening, and when they do, tui will circle the house, then land and feed.
And I’ve been reflecting on how I can release my work into the world. This year has had such a focus on the visual. I’ve been gifting paintings to my friends. My own little efforts to bring beauty into the world. My little blossoms in the wind …
a year ago today I said farewell
to my street child, my gypsy girl
my wild, fierce heart, my black queen
but in fact – she was never mine
she was always her own true self
a role model of feisty independence
she chose the best of times to cross over
and three weeks later she returned
to briefly burn
she stained my hands
indigo, alizarin, umber
she pushed my heart past fear and into passion
took me to the edge of obscured potential
of an essential choice
I felt the surge and flux
the rising breath
My first attempt at an “Inspiration Map”.
I first saw one of these created by @shewhois on instagram and thought it was a great idea 🙂
From top left:
And just today I learned of the sad loss of Marion Woodman – she belongs in more than one of my nine squares.
So this is why I’m not getting much writing done at the moment. My attention has shifted towards the visual and I’m working on painterly things. Learning materials and techniques and experimenting.
I remember someone telling me years ago that the first thing you create should be given away. I released this little beauty into the world last night. A golden gift for a golden anniversary.
thoughts on the colour blue
I think of water
salt and fresh
rain and wave
spring and snow
I think of tears
the sea is blue
the sky is blue
lakes and rivers and
your eyes are blue
on my windowsill
my tea caddy, my teapot, a vase
and nestled deep in memory
your willow pattern plates
your cornishware jars
and my eyes and Billy’s eyes
and your eyes
in a small dark wooden house
blue is the colour of love
and I lose myself
in its deep waters
now, in my garden
there grows borage and thyme
lavender, sage and rosemary
ajuga, hydrangea, lobelia
for years now
I have been cultivating
food for the belly and the eye
for the heart and the soul
it all comes back
to our eyes
the windows to our souls
and all the earth’s water
the eyes of this land
and our blue planet
seen from space
as if the universe was watching
holding one eye closed
So far I’ve chosen a singer/songwriter, and a poet, and I wanted to round out the set with a visual artist, and another male. (I’m thinking of exploring this challenge again, drawing from female sources of inspiration.)
I’ve chosen a quote from Marc Chagall (1887-1985).
(Chagall, quoted in M. Chagall, My Life, London, 2003)
And I wondered – who is “her”? His muse, his imagination, inspiration? His wife died in 1944 – perhaps he refers to his memory of her, her spirit?
I loved the imagery of his words – how they formed a poem in their own right, and how they seemed as much a work of art as his paintings.
I had only to open
my bedroom window
and blue air,
entered with her.
I can’t remember when I first discovered the work of Chagall. I don’t know how old I was, or what I was doing at the time, or how I first saw his work – book, postcard, gallery? … no idea. But I do remember being equally enraptured by the dream-like quality of his work, and then confronted by his used of colour. There are only a few pieces of his work that I could probably live with on a daily basis – but then – that’s not the point of art. The fact that I find much of his work unsettling and confronting is what draws me back to it.
And then to look for quotes by this artist, whose work I’ve found so powerful, was another discovery. I love the way he talked about colour and its importance to him.
When searching for the source of this quote, the following link was suggested by the mysteries of Google:
The Christies sale catalogue situates the quote with a brush and ink a from 1954, “Grande nu à la fenêtre”, showing a naked woman standing in front of a window, and in front of a man sketched into the background. However, I felt a closer connection to another work pictured in the catalogue, “L’inspiration de l’artiste” (circa 1980). For me, although there is no window evident, this work contains both literal references to the quote – someone flying into his space, flowers and the blue air/sky, and the sense of movement, energy and anticipation in his words. And love – well – the more I read, for Chagall, love was in everything he did.
Today, the sky was a clear vivid blue, the colour so bright it was almost tangible. The air was crisp and cold at the start of winter, here in the southern hemisphere. If I could paint, perhaps I would try to capture the icy chill, maybe using the cleanest, clearest white I could find.
If I were Chagall, perhaps I would use a colour that represented the feeling of cold – maybe a bright orange, or magenta – to show how fingers, toes and nose, once exposed to the cold, actually start to feel as though they are burning.
tight green bodies cluster
before the awkward change
buds begin to colour
red spreads and deepens
as they swell and ripen
black and bursting sweet