Aromas of drifting days shimmered among the sun’s early shifting shadows warming a garden’s languid floral arms. The blooms’ shallow sculptures carved sunlight into valleys, brushing eyebrows on ridges – I reached out.
Stop – soft shocked.
How did nature decide touching such delicate beauty would disturb the very pigments that drew butterflies and bees and me?
Only by reaching the tendrils of my thoughts a hair beyond my nose was I delicate enough alive enough to safely reach the flower’s soft arms and listen —
Was scent, then, the first outreach, first tool of touch?
The languid flower beyond me winks and waves its arms like fresh sheets singing lullabies with a windy day —
I smile. Touched —
- sense the warming morning sun blink a fragrance from my flower -
Thanks so much! And for more of my photo-poems, dating back to 2011 on this site 😊 – please enter “photopoems” or “photo-poems” in the search box below my social media links & comments section – quote marks not needed, lol!
In “Abstract Aliases” – a mystery art thriller by Ritter Ames – Laurel Beacham, the art recovery expert protagonist has returned to London office and is quickly engulfed in strong whiffs of danger, intrigue, and – as always, in a good way – an ongoing yes/no maybe/could-be romantic involvement with a fellow art sleuth based, he says, with the British secret service 🙂
No wonder she’s glad for the distraction of work details; and it was the mention of the value of details PLUS the author’s wonderfully easy inclusion of first person POV (point of view) details that encouraged me to appreciate my own desire to nit-pick my own then work-in-progress pictured below.
Here’s the trigger passage, reprinted with permission of the author –
Quickening my steps, I detoured for a necessary stop on the way back to the office. The errand was to check on a restoration promised for an exhibit starting the next day. The address was nearby, and in less than ten minutes I was talking to the usually perky brunette who always made me think of a pixie.
”Another hour or so, Laurel,” the restorer, Nelly, promised. She worked from her second floor flat.
London’s second floor, so it was third floor for me. All those stairs.
I wished her a happy new year, and she responded in kind, though a bit distractedly — not at all the upbeat personality I usually encountered. She showed me the tapestry, pulling at her corkscrew curls, while pointing out the final section she wanted to spend more time on. “A tiny bit more refining is all, I promise. I want to do it right.”
The work already looked brilliant, but I didn’t argue. Her perfectionist tendencies were why I hired her. “Okay, great. Shall I come by on my way home?”
”I have an appointment later tonight, and I need to leave before five. Can you come back about four?” she asked. She continued running a hand nervously through her hair.
I’ve read the first book in Ritter’s series, so I can tell by the attention to suspense raising details, this is gonna be another hum-dinger, with moments of intense action, sudden tensions, and (of course) romance – laced with wonderfully evocative moments of art appreciation.
The frame-work of Ritter’s style and narrative is obviously all there, even stronger, in this newer work, yet it’s again the details giving me grounded pause, stopping me in my reading-tracks, often with a smile, and then driving me forward into the narrative again, that keep me reading and wanting more….
I think that’s my take-away for my own art.
Now it’s about my details, my creative work, added within an unusual (for me) abstract that had already pushed me to see a winged horse in the sky of colors in the first place.
But this still all begs the question – so what am “I” restoring?
I can only answer – my internal vision of the image as I’m discovering it, as I’m painting it….
And what better inspiration than an engulfing art mystery novel, where most – if not all, I don’t know yet – will come out right 🙂
Below are both an earlier version of “Winged Horse in the Sky” and the finished version – the earlier version notated where tiny changes were made.
Not all my art progresses this way, in fact each has it’s distinct path within my mind and heart, but finding those little details, and enhancing their suggestive effect, does seem to be one of my favorite things to do (smiles).
PhotoPoems are a fun thing for me, something I’ve enjoyed creating – joining word & image – since about 2010.
Others I’ve written on my blog are still available, though through the years links have changed, disappeared, or are no longer relevant 🙂 As I can, when I reference an old post, I’ll try and “clean” the post up, lol!
Most of my self portraits show me taking pictures or playing with one of my grandkids, or at a gallery show or enjoying a vista in Vermont and elsewhere.
This image – taken on a walk through the neighborhood – caught my attention as I was crossing the street. The deep shadow, outlined yet moving atop the asphalt, alone was not what struck me as unusual and worth stopping to shoot.
The juxtaposition of my leg and foot provided not only further contrast, but created the impression in my mind that maybe the shadow was rising from the ground, or actually above me, and I – my walking self – was surreally balanced, as in another dimension, on my own shadow!
It was only later I noticed the pale soft edged power line shadows splitting the scene (smiles).
All in all this is one of my fav self portraits, a shadow-selfie, lol! 😊
My reblogs via other writers/artists are more rare these days but this sounds absolutely fascinating! Even the “about” info on the author being reviewed by Christoph Fischer is compelling. With the news of the day often filled with revelations of sexual abuse across so many levels of society, it’s comforting to see a portrait of obvious true affection and love, and the conflicts that can create. The human heart is a mysterious surprising self indeed! 🙂
“Ike and Kay” by James MacManus is the fictionalised account of the war time affair between married General Dwight Eisenhower and his assistant-turned-driver Kay Summersby; an affair which started in 1942 and came to a final end after the war.
I didn’t know this detail about Eisenhower until I read the blurb for this book and found the story particularly interesting and well-told. The background story is immaculately researched and fascinating, too: from Eisenhower’s first arrival in Britain, his rise in rank to his war involvement in North Africa and Berlin, I learned a lot of minor and major detail about the military operation and about the person Eisenhower. Like other readers, I didn’t feel the love between the main characters, though, maybe because I didn’t feel it myself; this as a caution to those reading it for the romance aspect. That caveat aside, it is worth reading as work…
A small 8×8 inch oil completed late last year but only now been able to capture in a way I felt did it justice. The colors are laid in via glazed layers and the essence of the image changes as the light on it shifts.
Mount Mansfield and Malletts Bay combined one brisk early 2017 fall morning in Vermont with photos and an experience that gave rise to this painting late 2018.
The painting took awhile to evolve from the photos, and the poem – written late one February night, 2019 – took even longer. That’s the way it works sometimes (smiles).
Slowly, like the sunrise itself, I realized, the poem in my tweet not only fit my feeling of standing in the early morning cold – cold for me, a Texas boy, lol! – but also fit the process I experienced deciding how to let the painting, the image – flow inside the paint across the canvas!
I experimented placing more detail both into the shadows on the water and within the silhouette of Mount Mansfield, but opted for the flow of light itself to be the greater draw, on the water and on and within the solitary boat. And this short poem, in the tweet above, I believe, turns out to reflect this – literally – back to me, my feelings in the gnarly dark dusk.
Creative work it seems, is as much what it creates in awareness within myself as what finally appears in print and paint (smiles).
This new painting started with a basic layin I took to a the Old Bakery & Emporium, a historical non-profit gallery gift shop here in Austin, to work on recently. Here’s my tweet from that day –
I worked in a full basic layover that afternoon that felt pretty darn close to what I wanted – colorful, fun, optimistic 🙂 This is what it looked like end of the afternoon on my mini easel I’d taken to the gallery –
Later at home, a day or two later, I worked in more colors and – esp in the flower – lots more texture! That was fun 🙂
From this point, it was so close to what I wanted I let it hang on my wall near my easel at home where I could see it different ways – in passing, pausing going by, standing in front of it, catching sight of it by surprise – giving me feedback on how it made me feel in moments I wasn’t expecting.
I liked it. A lot!
But I felt it still lacked just a little of something I was looking for, and I wasn’t sure what it was yet.
I liked the way the dark space bottom left between the leaf and the flower matched the upper right corner. The dark contrast worked well, but it also left me feeling isolated somehow. So I worked the flower with tiny gradations of yellows and even pale pinks.
Gradually I began to see I needed to choose. Did I want the flower to be almost as if in space? Bright and shiny against the background with some surrounding foliage and color? Or did I want the flower to be more immersed in its surroundings? Part of the garden?
I decided on the latter and began adding touches into some of the negative spaces.
I remember standing in front of my painting as it rested on the wall about eye level with me, and made the conscious decision to make the upper right darkish area, with its wonderful streaks of thin lines and textures, more aligned with the bottom left, with the lush growth of green leaf – keeping the upper right’s original flow of texture – and added the swatches of green and turquoise!
Now it worked more fully for me!
I liked both versions, but I wanted the feel I got with the finished version – more engaged, more optimistic, more of the sense of the flower as part of a plush garden environment 🙂
I hope you enjoyed the development of my work, and will agree that – sometimes – it really just has to be a choice what we want our art work to become, even if much of the development is intuitive and includes letting portions of the painting just “be”!
Let me know what you think, and thanks so much for stopping by 😊