Sunday, March 17, 2013

...for those wings to mean everything

The greatest challenge I have when I am working on a new painting seems to be finishing it.  I set myself the unattainable task of creating an image that will somehow, magically, say exactly what I am imagining... and of course that's impossible.

Thank goodness for deadlines... without them, my desk would be littered with unfinished pieces waiting for those perfect last touches.  Right now I'm getting ready for the Toowoomba Grammar Art Show next weekend.  Titles and prices were sent away while the work was still imaginary.  I have a wonderful framer, but I don't want to be always expecting them to do my jobs at the last minute, so the half-finished paintings were taken to the shop for a day visit, to be measured for their frame fitting, then collected again so I could keep working on them.

While I've been procrastinating over paintings, I've been reading of course... and it was wonderful to find comfort in the fact that great writers and poets sometimes struggle to find just the right combinations of words, just as I struggle with colours, lines and shapes.

"I want to think to make real this that I know and can't hold."
William Wharton, Birdy
(this quote is the first thing I have written in several art journals since I was about 18!)

"Words are cold, muddy toads trying to understand sprites dancing in a field - but they're all we have."
- Yann Martel, Beatrice and Virgil

"Writers end up writing stories - or rather, stories shadows - and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough.  Nothing the writer can do is ever enough."
- Joy Williams

...and my favourite - this beautiful poem by Anis Mojgani.  I kept going back and reading this...

his coat o how it does shine

he doesn't always know where to go
or what to do

there are fishhooks in his skin
and an accordion from somewhere
that he swears could be moonlight in a white mustache

sometimes he feels like a phony
that he laughs out of clumsiness
that his skeleton doesn't like the sound his heart makes at night
and wishes

to run away

out over the ridges
falling into place amongst the silhouetted woods

the trees all know to grow in the same direction
the rivers
they know these same things

he wants to write something soft and meaningful
he wants to make birds that like the feel of their feathers in the wind
for those wings to mean everything
and to give them to you

from Over the Anvil we Stretch, published by Write Bloody Publishing. Copyright 2008 by Anis Mojgani.

Anyway, for better or worse here they are, finished (I think).

Flight Path II, gouache on Arches 100% cotton rag paper, 200mm x 300mm

Flight Path II (detail)

Festival, gouache on Arches 100% cotton rag paper, 200mm x 300mm

Festival (detail)


Marina said...

Ideas always seem better than their execution, don't they? So hard for reality to match the vision.

I agree about the motivating power of deadlines -- I doubt I'd ever get anything finished without them!

Alison said...

Oh just beautiful - both your images and the poetry - very dreamlike! If it wasn't such a struggle, then perhaps we wouldn't aspire to achieve it, or have such high goals?

Procrastination is the worst enemy of all though - we have to force ourselves to jump in and push to the end. I think it must be the same for everyone with artistic visions ... otherwise it would all be too easy and not worth aspiring to!

Best wishes for the show.

Kokobee Faulkner said...

Considering the artworks showing above I might say that the one who made it has a great hands to make things like that so beautiful-unique individual artwork online-

Beth Whiting said...

These paintings are very ethereal and magic. They are very peaceful and flowing and organic. Lovely work.