Monday, August 11, 2014

project 52:45

ink, acrylic, paper collage on paper

More studies, more experiments, more practice, more discoveries - all for a future painting that I haven't even begun to sketch yet.  This time, I'm testing ideas for a background, with Wallace Stevens on the brain. Specifically, Sunday Morning, a poem with special resonance for both me and the subject of my painting. In the fourth section of the poem, Stevens writes:

But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”
There is not any haunt of prophecy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm
Remote on heaven’s hill, that has endured
As April’s green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow’s wings.

It's that last bit, the idea of "June and evening, tipped/ By the consummation of the swallow's wings," that I have on the brain. The water's a reference to another repeating phrase in the poem. I think I've discovered (or re-discovered, or remembered) during the course of Project 52 how very much I like illustrating, creating images to pair with words - by which I mean words that have already been written, not the words on the back of the cards, of course. It's a good thing to know about myself. And besides that bit of self-knowledge, these studies are particularly useful. I definitely figured a few bits of the final painting out in the course of making this card!


Abigail said...

This one is absolutely stunning-- not that they aren't all, but this one really hits a nerve in me :).

fleur_delicious said...

Thanks, Abigail. This poem is ... so powerful. Have you read it? Stevens reminds us to find our heaven, our divine, our moral center, our religion - in ourselves. This image - June and evening, tipped by the consummation of swallow's wings - always catches in my throat like a sob.

It was Herb's favorite Stevens poem. He loved the final image in the last stanza. I don't remember the sound of his voice as he read it, just his hands, the fluttering-down gesture he always made at the final image, his characteristic injection - "y'see?" he'd ask, meeting your eyes - and reading the last lines of the last stanza, again.