My fishes are so much like people to me. I think about their personalities, which they seem to possess so abundantly. Fish thoughts seem to pass across their eyes, fish thoughts wander into my thoughts too. We converse the fish and I. They are like pets — two dimensional ones of color and built-up lines embodied. And down, down into their flat blue into indigo they dive.
Very resolutely the vivid orange fish dives. I don’t know where exactly he is going. But determined is he to get there. Plumb-line fish thought sure determined ….
It was this week last year that Paul Squires, that great poet from Australia, died at the still young age of 46. It’s hard having to remember this fact, that Paul is no longer in this world. However, his poetry still lives at the site he created Gingatao. And what can be said now in remembrance?
“And feels his forehead touch the emptied sky/Where all antinomies flood into light” — Irving Layton
“About him the air felt sweet with singing/Heard waves beat on the indestructible core” –Vernon Watkins
I had started reading poetry again in the wake of Paul’s appearance in my life. He became my teacher. I am still his student after his passing.
“… And though you may close this book forever and never read another word, wordless the world will come to you and reveal itself to you and there is no other proof that you exist but this, that you are beloved of the earth and the creatures around you, insects and stars are quietly harmonising with your breath and the rhythm of the ocean enlivens us all…. Click on these words and read the whole amazing thing he says.
I am still his student and would that I could make others students also — or readers or friends — in a friendship across time and space. Paul is among the great poets now. Truly he is among them.
The Koi are going modular. The pond is broken into quadrants which can afterwards be rearranged. (There could be a board game hidden in here somewhere …)
I have no idea why I am doing this except for the age-old of excuse, “Just Because.” They can be rearranged all sorts of ways, see–
As soon as I make some more, I can expand the pond. The koi need more room.
I try to be often busy. It’s a way of making many drawings. Yesterday I had plans to draw while sitting in my car as I waited for my kid during her violin lesson. Other conditions were perfect. It was, for instance, brutally hot outdoors — and since I was painting in watercolor I anticipated having the pigments dry rapidly as I applied layer after layer of color.
Unfortunately, the heat seemed to have already affected my thinking for I neglected to bring my reference photo with me. Thus I found myself in the car amid the intense heat having water, colors, paper and fortitude but no motif. Since I had been already drawing the koi all morning long, I decided to make a virtue of necessity and draw one of the earlier images from memory.
It was then I hit that solid wall.
I found that I had already forgotten so many of the details of the picture that I had just drawn only a half hour previous! I wasn’t even sure about the relationship of the two principal actors. I tried everything I could to hammer my brain into recall mode. But it was like trying to remember a dream that unravels before one’s eyes upon waking.
Visual memory in most people is very fugitive. So are dreams. Do you suppose that the same areas of the brain are doing the forgetting? And possibly for the same reasons?
Here they are in all their magnificent splendor. Here are my friends the Koi. Can any artist celebrate them enough? Feast your eyes, feast your hearts!
I drew them together on the page, a picture of the sleeping fellow and later the lady from Delacroix. I was learning to think about faces from Delacroix and decided to challenge life with art. Or as best I can tell, that’s what I did. I drew this so long ago, it’s as though drawn by some other artist. Yet, it was made by me — a me I’m less acquainted with today.
Go back in time, find out who you used to be.
I recently learned that my post “the sky above, the sky below” inspired a poem by blogger/poet friend Gabrielle Bryden. Her poem is called “A dive so deep.” She tells of the role my post played (along with that of another blogger, the poet bluebee) in her post “A quick thougth about blogging.”
It’s enormously gratifying to learn that one’s stuff inspires some neat thoughts in the minds of friends! Her poem begins: “on that unbearably hot day/humid air visibly simmering/dark blue water summoning,…”
Is a very deep blue of both up and down, read the rest of it HERE. In the world of a poem, we can confront any fears and still find safety.
I want to do another dark pond like the Agenor’s Friends painting I did years ago. (I miss Agenor, what a great fish.) So I have begun making a few little “dark pond” drawings.
I began this one in watercolor. I shall have to go forward with it, I suppose, though I hate to lose the white of the paper. But it can hardly be a dark pond if it isn’t dark.
This is an early drawing I did for Agenor. And it became this — eventually.
As I say, I have been missing Agenor. He was Bonnard’s fish, though, not mine. Wish I could find a picture of Bonnard’s painting on the internet, but I am the victim of my own enthusiasm for him. Each search I do on “Agenor” and Bonnard brings up my own stuff.
I have been away from my blog. I have been building a pond. Am going at it, fish by fish. I decided to do a group of small drawings so that I could make a modular pond, could move the fish around. And I’ve been busy with these furnishings. Have laid them out on a table for preliminary decisions.
I am like many another lazy drifter through the summertime. I have gone fishing. Again.
Someday remind me to tell you the story about the one that got away!
The fish in the water — I am doing the koi in watercolor. Is only fitting to have the painted fish swim in real water.