Art Quote du Jour

A poet must work on the material which makes most demands on him, or he will arrive at a false position.  One is always learning, and it probably takes a lifetime to know what one is born to write, but at least its characteristics recur, and one recognizes what belongs to one’s own ground. — Vernon Watkins (1906-1967)



I remember painting this picture of clover in a cheap factory-made blue and white bowl.  It’s oil on canvas glued to a masonite panel.  I had gathered some clover flowers and set them on some concrete steps maybe twenty years ago …?  The light cast strong shadows that changed quickly and I painted this sketchy image very rapidly.  It has hung around in my thoughts over the years as a particular (peculiar) favorite and I don’t know why.

It’s not an obviously pretty image.  In fact, it’s the kind of picture that seems to require an explanation.  It is not finished, and yet I can think of absolutely nothing I would do to change it.  The white streak on the left, otherwise incomprehensible, is a patch of light that reflected off the back of the step above where the flowers were sitting.

If any picture I painted were a self-portrait, I think it is this one.  If anyone wished to understand me, well here I am.

Ever water and light, ever green and pink

You probably never would have guessed, but even I cannot paint night and day.  No! It’s true.  (Well, I can understand you’re incredulous.)

Anyway, sometimes I must resort to raiding my storage boxes for old works so that I can keep writing a painting blog.  Thank goodness, I squirreled away lots of pictures for a rainy day.  Well, not that it’s raining.  Actually we’re having perfect pre-autumn weather in the Washington, DC, region.  I digress.

As I was saying, this is an old painting.  Don’t know when I painted it.  It’s that old.  (Not me, it.)  I set some green stuff into a jar, set the jar on a yellow pot holder and the pot holder was already setting on a pink cloth.  I started painting.  Painted this. 

Afterwards it seemed to me like a metaphor for creating a whole little world in a jar.  Water, held in glass, green things growing, light and air, and more light.  My little jar of the microcosmos.  And here’s a virtue of painting.  The thought is still there.