Thursday, April 20, 2006

Today I've primed a wood panel for my first painting on wood, perhaps my first serious painting altogether (I'll deny this if it goes badly, either way I consider myself a student at least for another six or eighteen months having first taken up a brush less than two years ago). Van Gogh took five years to produce The Potato Eaters, his first serious attempt, but he was younger than me when he started and drew and painted profusely up to that point. Anyway, my new painting is provisionally called The Art of Painting and includes many difficult parts. The composition has been a wrestling match that has taken a month and many redrafts and studies to get this far, and at least a colour study is due before I commit to the underpainting. A poem about this subject appeared last night while I was awake with the usual upsets. Perhaps I'll write it on the back like I did with Coma. Here it is:

The Art Of Painting

Listen,
dear hunter,
to the sound of your heart.
Feel the rush of the soil,
and the breath of the trees.

Start,
the dance.

Mix your oil,
and your earth.

Come,
young deer,
at the speed of the lance.
Fly like fire with the saints.
Hear your heart in your paint.

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