Wet Canvas Dreams

Visit Art.com

Friday, March 04, 2005

This Land Belongs To You And Me

Fouqueiria Splendens and Yucca Elata. Ocotillos and Soaptree Yuccas. Swimming around my brain. Shadows and forms. Their patterns of growth and foliage. Maybe a brilliant splash of a flower spike. Or two. Thing is, I wanted to paint grass. And grasses. Okay, and possibly some milo. But the desert never lets go.

Figures in the Grass

In among my grasses I had figures planned. Vague figures. The paintings of Rabindranath Tagore were in my head - which seems so unfair for I doubt my poems are in his head. True he's now dead, and I don't write poetry - but that's not the point. If Tagore were alive, and I were to punish the world with poetry, his head would be free, and I would be here looking at grass and imagining figures he painted.


The native grasses define so much of the land. And they do it so quietly. A dignified presence that in places has the power of an ocean. I belong to this grass. I am inspired by it. I will paint this movement. I will paint every blessed blade.

Forgetting the Desert

So I walk into the back yard to clear my head of desert vegetation. It is the heart of the nation I am painting, and the heart of the nation needs me. There is a broken piece of packing styrofoam on the path to the shed. It is from my computer purchased over a year ago. I do need to get a grip on which day the trash man comes. I think it's a Tuesday. The trash man could be a woman.

Effects of the Sun

The styrofoam packing is upside down, in so much as packing material can be upside down. The sun of course is its brilliant self. In the overpowering sunshine there are stark shadows on the styrofoam. The protective ridge sticks out and forms a perfect Latin cross. It is as if painted by Georgia O’Keefe. Which of course takes me back to the land of the desert. And she is dead so painting the styrofoam is now also my job.


Look at the grass Verne, look at the grass. There isn't any. The landlord doused the yard with weedkiller last summer and what little grass survived was eaten by the neighbor's dog. He vomits in my yard also. Yellow. Makes up for the lack of flowers. There is one weed that survived the big weed kill. It rises up five feet and branches out unmistakeably like an Ocotillo.

Paul Dorrell advises:

Don't rely too much on inspiration


Post a Comment

<< Home