Thursday, August 20, 2009
Ekphrastic Painting #2: Caesura
Here's another ekphrastic painting of a poem in Passenger Flight. An earlier version was published here. Some commentary on the process of creating that poem is to be found here. The text of the current version -- only slightly altered from that version -- you can read by clicking on the image above (or by buying my book!).
I was rather surprised to come up with a kind of native "spirit painting" for this one. I spent quite a lot of time -- a couple of hours of paint mixing and spreading with a kife-- on the graduated sky blue background, and I liked it so much that spare outlines seemed the only choice. Elements in the poem I chose to illustrate are "the landscape of a horse's back and haunches", "the dandelion gone to seed, seeds leaping from the porous sphere", "the contour of round sound", "moon setting over dunes", and the feather. Other elements are only implied.
The yellow circle was made with a bowl whose edges were dabbed in yellow paint. The use of a real feather was a last minute improvisation -- little inclined (and technically little able) I was to hand-paint or draw one. Luckily, Sekai, our teacher, had one on hand. Two days ago I varnished the painting to give it a lustrous finish -- and was able to fix the feather into place.