Monday, November 9, 2009

Pigment of Imagination

Painting at work today, mixing colors in the red tones:
pink, purple, garnet. Each just a short step from the other,
sister-colors, linked by a common heart. The reds always
make my heart glad, especially this time of year, this
bundling-in time, this season of hibernation & burrowing:
perylene maroon, iridescent garnet, quinacridone magenta.

And then I switched to blues/greens, and I could feel these
in another part of the body, up around the neck,
the back of the scalp. A tickle and a tease: Indianthrope blue,
duochrome lapis sunrise, duochrome blue-silver.

And iridescent antique copper over a mix of purples.
A depth of tones, one over another, a foreshadowing
of what we perhaps would rather not anticipate.

I have come to this love of colors-by-the-tube
late in life, compared to others who get out the brushes
early and get on with the business of painting. I have no
desire or illusions of becoming a painter. Heavens no!
One useless/idealistic art (poetry) is one too many, often.
And then again, there are uses for poetry, as there are
uses for painting. (If you know what they are, please
leave a comment.)

It's safe to say that the writing of poetry is as essential
to me as the act of breathing. It's my daily bread,
a communion between the soul and the word,
organic, intrinsic to the self, an idiomatic prayer.

And now, this sacrament with liquid color.
Lucky I am. Grateful.


  1. ".... an idiomatic prayer.

    And now, this sacrament with liquid color.
    Lucky I am. Grateful. "

    And eloquent. You forgot eloquent.

  2. I think you came up with the use of poetry in the next to last paragraph. Because if it isn't that essential it is, in my experience, simply more trouble than it's worth. When it has that essential quality, then there's no question of not doing it. I'm fortunate indeed to have had two arts that have fulfilled this for me, since music really serves that "idiomatic prayer" function too--& especially fortunate because I've had times in my life like now when poetry seems to be a completely foreign language.

    Wonderful post.

  3. Sandra, you are, as always, too kind!

    John, yes, poetry often does seem to be a completely foreign language. I'm lost when this happens. I've turned to music at times (piano) but then again, sometimes it too becomes foreign. The pursuit of art is a plague and a blessing!

  4. uses? well, color therapy for one.

    there is a song, Kate Bush I think, called "eat the music".

    eat the color! the scents! the music! (just not the paint...)

  5. SO beautiful your words of color.........
    and, painting is as essential to me as the act of breathing, as well....seeing the play of colors on my palette, then on my canvas allows everything to be all right in my world.