One of my favourite authors! His views on Modern Art are at last translated by Brendan King (Dedalus, 2020).
Tim Keane has an excellent article about this in Hyperallergic – a very good art site. And I also review Brendan King’s book in my essay in the Fortnightly Review Meandering through La Belle Epoch.
Petition to make a Cloud Garden in Luke Howard’s House – The ‘Namer of Clouds’ resided in Bruce Grove, off Tottenham High Street. Here is a poem Goethe wrote to him.
When, from the water’s quiet mirror,
A mist floats off like a carpet
And the moon, wrapped in its undulations,
Revels in their haunted, haunting play,
Then we are pleased as children;
Watching it lift up the mountain,
Deepen and then spread,
Bar after bar, to become the sort
Of lowering sky that can go either way:
Soak us or pass on, overhead.
And if from there it should be raised
Up to a thinner atmosphere
How firmly based, how crisp it seems,
Towering, gathering all its splendour
For a proclamation on the plenitude of power
(Since what we fear may well be our fate).
We tremble in the shadow of its threatening.
Say it climbs higher still;
The threat now utterly removed
Into a heavenly lightness,
A mere something there that dissolves
Ever so softly; less than a patter of fleeces
Moving, deliciously combed,
Upwards from below, towards
Their Shepherd, into his lap and hand.
Yet all must be brought down
By the weight of our world.
Pierced, when dense and very large,
The stack must thunderously
Discharge, as armies do that roll out
In splendid array only to disintegrate;
The earth then receiving their remains.
But keep the eye on where it frays,
Describing what comes down while feeling
That it’s upwards we should always gaze.
After Goethe – stratus, cumulus, cirrus, nimbus
Continuation of my painted pallets – the sheets of cartridge paper I use to test brush loads and marks when I paint figurative watercolours. From limiting myself to adding one colour only per pallet, I have moved on to occasional use of white as well, and, in the latest ones, to adding no colour whatsoever, just adding water, using the pigment already on the paper.
Viewers are welcome to rotate the images.
Click the links below for earlier watercolours in the series:
Painted pallets 21-40 (April 2020)
Painted pallets 1-20 (March 2020)
Click here for my essay on Fawzi Karim together with a selection of his verse in The latest issue of The High Window.
The two books of my versions of his poetry are Plague Lands and Incomprehensible Lesson – both published by Carcanet.
Pleased to see two more poems of mine in Write where we are Now
Carol Ann Duffy’s initiative with Manchester University, during lock-down. They have used four. I must say, I am encouraged! My thanks to all involved.
Scroll down for more, and you’ll find them.
Click for other Links to Poems of mine or browse down my “Poetry” category on here.
But the fact of the matter is I find it practically impossible to write or to read during the lock-down so I am doing watercolours instead, going for walks and dancing isolation tango.
Click here for Painted Pallets 1- 20
When I paint figurative watercolours, I always have a piece of paper of the same size next to my painting, where I can test my brush mark. I call it my pallet, and I have kept each of these over the years, and mid march I decided to paint each one, using only one colour per pallet.
This is the second batch of twenty, I’m still applying the rule of adding one colour per pallet, but decided to break a “watercolour rule” of only getting white by leaving the paper unpainted, this allowed the work to evolve, so that white is sometimes added.
As with the previous 20, it’s unclear to me whether there is or is not a “way up”. So feel free to flip.
Project started mid-March 2020. I took the sheets used as pallets for my figurative water-colours and decided to paint them, while being limited to using only one colour when painting on top of any one pallet. I deliberately don’t use the word palette. Conjures up French wooden plates with a hole for the thumb. My smallish side-sheets of cardboard are too humble for that. Call it poetic licence.
Is there a way up? Sometimes maybe. Sometimes not. I may have arbitrarily chosen a “way up” – but perhaps there is no one way up. If I ever frame them, I will need to devise a way they can be hung horizontally or vertically from any side. Visitors are welcome to save any of these and see whether they prefer it flipped another way.