Monday, October 15, 2012

paying homage

Whatever they Sing, gouache on paper 5.5 x 9 inches
I don't know if this little painting is finished yet... there are a few little things that are bothering me.  I quite like leaving a piece with a certain amount of awkwardness, but the tree behind the sky?  I'm not too sure.  And four trees, four birds... seems like I've broken the golden rule of odd numbers being better in design...
Anyway, I didn't have any kind of plan or sketch for this one.  It started with a thought that these latest small paintings are like children's book illustrations, and I wondered what I would paint if I was illustrating a book for my inner child.  That part of me that finds magic in picture books, sorts her coloured pencils in rainbow order, and learns poems off by heart. 
So there it is,
and thank you to
Paul Klee
Castle and Sun
How long have I loved this painting?  I can't remember.

Roy de Maistre
Rhythmic composition in yellow green minor, one of my favourite paintings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection. 
de Maistre explored the relationship between colour and music, and often when I am playing with colour while listening to music I think how wonderful it would have been to talk to him.  You can read more about his theory here and here.
This illustration from Brian Wildsmith's Birds.  What can I say about Brian Wildsmith?  Just that he is one of my favourite illustrators, and his work has influenced me immensely.
Saul Bellow's Henderson the Rain King.  I'm reading it at the moment, and when I got to this line I immediately wanted to paint it:
"... the sun moving up and down daily like a musical note..."
and finally, this poem by ee cummings
may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rett, I LOVE these birdies! I don't think you should worry about the even numbers - they obviously wanted to be there.
The poem is a real treat too.
Thanks for sharing!