Rusalka Photo Set

Rusalka’s Song to the Moon

Rusalka, a Slavic folk tale set to music by Dvořák

Vulci, Rusalka shoot

Vulci Gorge – on the way to the location of Rusalka

Rusalka was suggested  to me by a professional opera singer who had herself performed the role in Dvořák’s eponymous opera. A folk tale found in the slavic world akin to Andersen’s Little Mermaid and equally tragic. Rusalka is a beautiful water sprite living in a lake who falls in love with a handsome prince, they kiss even though she knows this will result in his death, he dies and she is damned for ever as a deathly demon.

Vulci, Rusalka, Fiora

A hike up the gorge of the river Fiora is easy in August when the river is low

We went to one of my favourite locations, Vulci, but it was at the height of the August holiday season in 2016 and though usually deserted, this time there were several people around. We had to wait till the sun began to go down before we were on our own, by which we were closer to moonlight than I would have liked.

Rusalka Shoot

However, with a tripod I achieved the effect I was after – that the water should look like a dress or even a bridal train.

Rusalka, Song of the Moon by Patrick Richmond Nicholas,art photographer; inspired by Dvorak's opera and Beardsley's Peacock Skirt

Rusalka

Beardsley's Peacock Skirt

Aubrey Beardsley with his attention for balancing white and black was, as it were, by my side when I was composing the relationship of the rushing water to the reclining figure of Rusalka on the basalt rocks.
She has her feet in the stream, she has to, because should Rusalka leave the water entirely she will become mortal.

Beardsley’s ‘Peacock Skirt’ from the Salome illustrations of Wilde’s play, is in what he called his Japonesque manner, a hymn to the importance of line.

A huge poster hung in a friend’s room when I was at school and made a big impression on me as a teenager. The original is a minuscule  22.8×16.3cm, line block print on Japanese vellum.

Rusalka’s Song to the Moon on Youtube:

The post Rusalka’s Song to the Moon appeared first on Patrick Richmond Nicholas Art Photography  in Art Photography Inspiration

Art Photography Inspiration – Luxe, Calme et … Choco Pie.

Nadia with “Luxe.calme et volupte”

Unusual connections sometimes can spark art photography inspiration and creativity. Baudelaire’s poem “Invitation du Voyage” and a news item about Choco Pie are behind the making of this image.

Luxe, Calme et Volupté comes from a line taken from Baudelaire’s poem Invitation du Voyage, but it was a news item about a chocolate confection popular in communist North Korea that inspired this image, the coveted Choco Pie.

Matisse painted “Luxe, calme et volupté” during his Fauve period near Saint Tropez. It is a line from Baudelaire’s “Invitation du Voyage”. Matisse throughout his life concerned himself with beauty and did his best to avoid politics and conflict. The poem is an invitation to leave the troubles of the humdrum and the violent, to an imaginary place of luxury, peace and pleasure, very much akin to Matisse’s desire: “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter.”

Franco-Charon

Franco – Charon

I met my model Nadia via Facebook. She had come across my website and FB fan page whilst still in Singapore; when she met her fiancee and moved to Rome she contacted me. I had  been mulling over the Choco Pie idea for over year since I had read an article about how a simple confection was subverting the regime in North Korea, so when I had the opportunity of using an oriental model the idea was all ready to go.

We went  the three of us, her fiancé came too and proved a very able assistant, to Montalto di Castro to a stretch of beach I call the Skeleton Coast. It is privately owned and is only accessible via boat. Franco the fisherman, looking more like Charon every year, ferried us over.

Art Photography Photo shooting preparation on an isolated beach

The driftwood can be extraordinarily picturesque and even sculptural, but you never know what you will find from one month to the next.

Nadia tests the log

Nadia tests the log

We tried out two logs, in the event we used the one in the background. Sadly the log I had wanted to use was no longer there, washed away in a storm.

Patrick Nicholas art photographer tries ballooni on a log

Patrick tries ballooning on the first log

web landscapes

the first log wasn’t skeletal enough – we try another log

 

Nadia on the log during the photo shooting

Nadia on the log – it looks like she is being grabbed by a giant hand

I placed a pack of coffee where I intended to insert the pack of Choco Pies and she held a biscuit in her hand without the packaging which was added later. I played around with the colours no end. At first I went for a sort of socialist drab before choosing the regime’s own colours, orange and red, also used on the poster of the film “The Interview”.

"The Interview "poster

“The Interview “poster

 

Choco Pie early version

the socialist drab version

Nadia in my picture is in a golden world of her own, yet to complete that feeling of peace and calm with an element of voluptuousness, she has in her hand a Choco Pie.

The coveted Choco Pie

The coveted Choco Pie

Choco Pie Korea

Individual Choco Pie

Could a humble marshmallow overturn the cruellest of communist dictatorships?

The Choco Pie has become something of a symbol of unattainable luxury in North Korea. The simple marshmallow confection in a gaudy red wrapper was imported into North Korea from the South and for a while was condoned by the Communist regime – indeed it was often used as a perk for workers who excelled themselves or exceeded production targets. Things turned sour however when Choco Pies began to be used as an alternative currency and dictator Kim Jong Un’s regime banned them.
South Koreans are a canny lot and they started to send over helium balloons carrying the outlawed confection, on one mass airlift 50 balloons carried 10,000 pies. North Korean soldiers have fired on the balloons and Kim Jong Un says he will shell the launching pad which is close to the border.
There is a precedent for ballooning consumer goods over the border: West Germany sent “mauerseglers” (wall sailors) over to the East – and maybe these ‘wall sailors’ along with Western TV did more to bring down Communism than military threats.
In North Korea where the skeletal hand of the totalitarian regime embraces  everyone, the humble Choco Pie is a taste from another world: luxe, calme et volupté.

Unusual connections sometime can spark art photography inspiration and creativity. Baudelaire’s poem “Invitation du Voyage” and a news item about Choco Pie are behind the making of this image.

 

See Luxe, Calme et Volupté on Patrick Richmond Nicholas – Art Photography Portfolio.

 

I asked the model Nadia to add a few words.

Nadia unwraps...Nadia

Nadia unwraps…Nadia

“Pleasure is made of simple things. What could perhaps illustrate this best? Inspired by a feud between North and South Korea, we kept this question in mind till the afternoon when we found ourselves on a tiny fisherman’s boat, bound for a strip of beach called Skeleton Shore. Washed up tree trunks bore eerie resemblances to bones of mythic or prehistoric animals. It was with this kind of curiosity that I first contacted Patrick.

Nadia with "Luxe.calme et volupte"

At home with her picture

I was fascinated by the way he spun his stories, melding Greek myths into his compositions and even a mention of Walt Whitman or two. I thought about what it meant to feel “illumed by a golden fire” of being part of a world sinking to rest, even if only for a while. With the sun on my body and the sound of the waves, ebbing and flowing as I lay in repose I felt all the pieces of me drift away, and just for a moment, I felt truly closer to bliss.”

 

 

The post Art Photography Inspiration – Luxe, Calme et Volupté. appeared first on Patrick Ricmond Nicholas Art Photography Blog

The inspiration behind art photography. Le Spectre de la Rose.

Art photography inspiration

Spectre De La Rose. By Patrick Richmond Nicholas

Poetry,  music and painting,  all converge in this photo-shoot, setting the mood for the final image.

This picture had its origins in the sight of a freshly painted blue boat on the shores of Lake Bolsena which reminded me of a painting by Carl Moll, a mysterious, unsettling picture of a blue boat in a flooded wood.
I had to ‘borrow’ the boat for the shoot, towing it into position between the trees. I needed a full moon between the trees and it had to be tethered between them. Luckily I did not have to wait long for the moon, but one vital ingredient was missing: the model. However, one day in mid-August Linda from Hungary walked into my gallery. She looked attentively at all my pictures on the wall so I asked if she would like to take part. She said she would be delighted and two days later we were waiting for moon rise over Bolsena.
The first shoot however was a failure. We made the mistake of having an Aperol-spritzer in a café beforehand so we got to the lake later than intended and it took me far longer than I had anticipated to manoeuvre the boat into position. By the time we started shooting it was almost dark. We returned the following night, this time with two assistants, my wife and a friend.

blue boat

blue boat first evening – way too dark

The following evening was the night before full moon and all went perfectly. I used a longish exposure of 1 second to blur the water and a gradual filter over the sky. I placed my Icelight near the stern to illuminate the boat from within. The gauzy veil is in fact the lace train from my grandmother’s wedding dress from 1924, the bridal knot is just visible. I have used it in other pictures.

Helvoetsluys; J.W.M.Turner

Helvoetsluys – the City of Utrecht Going to Sea exhibited 1832 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Tokyo Fuji Art Museum http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/TW0948

Later on  when I was working on the picture in Photoshop  I realised I had a number of bluish pictures and  wondered what I could do to add a bit of colour that would not seem out of place. The famous incident of Turner’s red buoy came to mind. The story goes that Turner’s rival Constable was exhibiting his painting fifteen years in the making of the opening of Westminster Bridge at The Royal Academy. Turner, who was notorious for his last minute touching up during the varnishing days, thought his painting, that had taken him just a few months, looked rather monochromatic alongside Constable’s colourful scene; he added a red buoy, transforming his picture at a stroke. The upstaged Constable remarked despondently that Turner ” had been here and fired a gun.”

floating rose

the rose

I was at a loss however to find an equivalent to Turner’s buoy, until I realised that the music I was listening to was Berlioz’s “Le spectre de la rose”. I bought a fine red rose worthy of a summer ball and cast it into the water of Lake Bolsena.
The title “Spectre de la rose” comes from a poem by Théophil Gautier, Berlioz’s friend and neighbour. It is one of a cycle of six called “Les nuits d’été”. The poem is unusual in that it is written from the rose’s point of view, and the ghost of a rose at that.

O you, who caused my death:
Without the power to chase it away,
You will be visited every night by my ghost,
Which will dance at your bedside.

Set to music by Berlioz, it is beautifully languorous, the quintessence of Mid-Nineteenth Century Romanticism. Four of the songs in “Les nuits d’été” including “Spectre de la rose” are sombre and tell of romantic longing whilst the first and last quite up-lifting.
The image of Linda, arms outstretched, looking across the lake, is oneiric, dreamlike. Water in dreams is a female element and represents birth while the boat usually suggests the resolution of seemingly intractable problems, as well as the more obvious journeying.
Linda the twenty-one year old student had been doing an unpaid board and lodging summer job in Italy, the way I too had started out in Italy 35 years ago. She was uncertain about her future and what path to follow. Dissatisfied with landlocked Hungary, she has taken the boat and set off on her voyage, she is now in Paris; I suppose I am the ghost of the rose.

Here lies a rose,
Of which all kings may be jealous.”

Dämmerung

Carl Moll "Götterdämerung"

Carl Moll “Dämmerung”  Twilight 1900

Carl Moll was friend and colleague of Klimt as well as a founder member of the Secession. He was Alma Schindler’s stepfather, she later married Gustav Mahler and notwithstanding two Jewish husbands and a half-jewish daughter, manifested an unrepentant anti-semitism typical of the time. The Vienna of those days was a maelstrom of psychological, artistic, cultural and political currents unique in world history, but the tragedy of 1914 was to destroy the fin de siècle euphoria along with millions of lives; after the war Moll became an enthusiastic Nazi and committed suicide with his daughter, Alma’s half-sister Maria, when the Russians entered Vienna in 1945. His blue boat had drifted from twilight into the heart of darkness.

 

 

Open your closed eyelid
Which is gently brushed by a virginal dream!
I am the ghost of the rose
That you wore last night at the ball.
You took me when I was still sprinkled with pearls
Of silvery tears from the watering-can,
And, among the sparkling festivities,
You carried me the entire night.

O you, who caused my death:
Without the power to chase it away,
You will be visited every night by my ghost,
Which will dance at your bedside.
But fear nothing; I demand
Neither Mass nor De Profundis;
This mild perfume is my soul,
And I’ve come from Paradise.

My destiny is worthy of envy;
And to have a fate so fine,
More than one would give his life
For on your breast I have my tomb,
And on the alabaster where I rest,
A poet with a kiss
Wrote: “Here lies a rose,
Of which all kings may be jealous.

“Le spectre de la rose”  The Ghost of the Rose
Théophile Gautier

The post The inspiration behind art photography. Le Spectre de la Rose. appeared first on Patrick Ricmond Nicholas Art Photography Blog

On The Beach

on_the_beach.PatrickNicholasWe set off to take a photo on the beach in mid October despite the awful weather because this was the last opportunity of the year. We had planned to take the picture back in 2007 when I met her shortly after opening my gallery in Orvieto, though something had always conspired to postpone time after time. She loved the sea and would be photographed nowhere else, so notwithstanding the wind and rain we decided to chance it.

When we arrived at Montalto di Castro my chosen location on the Tyrrhenian coast, the fisherman would not take us across the river Fiora to the other side, it was too fast, too much in flood and loaded with tree trunks and flotsam. So we went for a drive further up the coast, lightning storms on our right, storm clouds blowing in from the sea on our left.

An old concrete construction, possibly an uncompleted marina, a common enough site on the Italian coast, seemed to offer a possibility for a seascape.
Several things came to mind in this bleak and stormy place. I grew up by the sea, my father was in the navy, he used the expression ‘on the beach’ meaning never to go to sea again, career’s end. The desolate concrete pontoon reminded me of the cover of Nevil Shute’s book On the Beach about a group of individuals waiting for a spreading nuclear cloud from the Northern Hemisphere to overcome the last surviving humans in Australia.

On_the_beach.Nevil_Shute

On The Beach

I thought of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the heroine standing forlorn on the Cobb at Lyme Regis.

I took a shot with a neutral density filter and showed the result to he; she was impressed.

The wind was howling, the breakers crashing, the spray blowing, “what about it?” For a moment she thought I was joking, but then she realised that this was the moment.

She stood almost as still as a figure-head for several minutes, waves breaking over her, soaked with spray, covered from head to foot in seaweed! I was completely unable to make myself heard. I took eight shots in just a few minutes and beckoned her back. We had done it.

The weather worsened. As we sat in the car looking at the shots on the computer, the sky darkened, the storm surged in on us.

This is the time of year when the ancient Greek poet Hesiod warned seafarers to haul in their boats as the Pleiades appeared in the autumn sky, the stars known in mythology as The Seven Sisters.

The Lost Pleiad, Bouguereau

The Lost Pleiad, Bouguereau

And if longing seizes you for sailing the stormy sees,
when the Pleiades flee mighty Orion
and plunge into the misty deep
and all the gusty winds are raging,
then do not keep your ship on the wine-dark sea
but, as I bid you, remember to work on the land.

Hesiod, Works and Days 700 BC

We drove past the ruins of the Etruscan city of Vulci and the more recent mediaeval castle. I stopped to take a photo of the lightning storm behind the castle. The Etruscans of two and a half thousand years ago identified twelve different kinds lightning to divine the will of the Gods. The essentially primitive Etruscans differed from the later more sophisticated Romans with a system of belief that involved understanding and living in harmony with nature.

Vulci_lightning-flash

Vulci thunderstorm. The castle was a customs post between Tuscany and The Papal States

Storms have worsened of late and this summer in Italy was the wettest on record. Now autumn was bringing flooding and chaos. We headed home through the lightning storm, streams broke their banks, torrents appeared from nowhere, trees had fallen across roads, roads were blocked, it took hours to get home.

A woman stands alone on the beach, but in actual fact she is not alone. She remembers when she was little, standing weeping on the beach holding her father’s hand as the autumns storm rolled in obscuring The Pleiades. The stars will emerge again he reassures her.
In Whitman’s poem On the Beach at Night a father and little daughter are staring up at the autumn sky. She weeps in fear of the gathering storm, he comforts her, removes her tears, reassures her that the stars will not be long gone; more than this he assures her of something older than the stars.

On the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.

Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.

From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.

Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears,
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.

Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?

Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades.

On the Beach at Night  by Walt Whitman

I would like to reassure my eleven year old daughter that I will always be with her, standing beside her for the rest of her life; as long as she remembers me I shall be there in spirit. Love the great survivor, spreading like a radio wave out through the universe beyond Jupiter and the Pleiades for ever and ever, a father and daughter holding hands till kingdom come.

Whiter Shade of Pale

WhiterShadeOfPaleA Whiter Shade of Pale, one of the all time great song titles, and in effect a one line poem.

The Procol Harum song, came into my mind as I arranged this picture on the basalt rocks in the gorge near the ruins of the Etruscan city of Vulci on the Tuscan-Latium border.

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale
Krotala-aulos

Attic Kylix portraying dancer and musician

Pale beyond pale, and by modern standards unfashionable, with very long legs, she reminded me of a figure on Attic pottery a lot of which has been unearthed in Vulci. The Etruscans imported Attic wear in huge quantities – Etruscan taste running especially to the racier sort that was produced by the Greeks exclusively for the Etruscan market.
sex and violence was common

sex and violence was common

In ancient Etruria semi-naked women (they nearly always kept their shoes on) were always portrayed light skinned whereas men were red-ochre dark.
Etruscan dancers

Etruscan dancers

Until comparatively recently women had sheltered themselves from the sun, to be pale was to be porcelain perfect. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries women even used leeches, or worse still poisonous lead make-up to increase their pallor.
When Whistler painted his most famous portrait of the delicate Anglo-Greek beauty Christine Spartali (1863-5) her complexion mirrored the Japanese porcelain that was all the rage at the time. The painting is known as The Princess from the Land of Porcelain and hangs in Whistler’s celebrated Peacock Room in The Freer Gallery, Washington.
James Whistler, La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine

James Whistler, La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine 1864

Christine later married Italo-Belgian Count Edouard Cahen and came to live in out of the way Orvieto whilst her husband renovated the nearby castle of Alfina. The porcelain princess pined for the glittering world of Pre-Raphaelites in London and Impressionists in Paris and took to taking chloral, the marriage foundered and she died of an overdose aged only 38.
Pallor seems to have become associated with female delicacy and weakness in the 20th century. Coco Chanel promoted a sun-tanned look in the 1920s and paleness has long since gone the way of all flesh.

Dio stramaledica gli Inglesi!

Dio_stramaledica_inglesi.PatrickNicholas

Dio Stramaledica gli Inglesi

Sometimes I come back to a picture with a new idea, usually to add something – such are the wonders of Photoshop – despised I know by many purists but manna from heaven to someone like me who never knows when to stop.

In this case I have tinkered with a 2006 picture called Correspondent inspired by the 19thC French Painter Roussell. In the past I had already added the bombed out ruin as the background (actually a roofless Roman bath near Viterbo) and later on a copy of Picture Post from the war years that I picked up from a used bookseller in Charing Cross Road. Then I came across a picture in an Italian magazine of a theatre in wartime Milan with the inscription ‘Dio stramaledica gli Inglesi’  (God curse the English) suspended above the actors’ heads.

dio stramaledica gli inglesi

over their heads

The slogan was coined by enthusiastic fascist and anti-semitic journalist Mario Appelius.

fascist_badge_dio stramaledica gli inglesi

fascist badge

In fact it was the catch phrase with which he signed off his radio broadcasts. On one such programme he harangued the British, Churchill and the RAF for bombing soft, easy to hit targets, “Why don’t you try and bomb somewhere really difficult’, he ranted, “like the port of La Spezia!”

This unwise utterance did not improve his popularity with wavering supporters of the regime or the inhabitants of La Spezia, the harbour was bombed shortly after and struck repeatedly till the end of the war.

Mussolini’s regime was fond of plastering slogans such as this one everywhere, at the entrance to towns, on farm buildings, stations and air raid shelters.

fascist_slogan_Vincere.PatrickNicholas-4190

Vincere! In Volterra

An ubiquitous one was: Credere Obbedire Combattere – VINCERE! (Believe Obey Fight – WIN!). Many though faded, some almost beyond recognition still survive.
Appelius was tried and convicted after the war as an apologist for fascism, but  avoided incarceration under the terms of an amnesty.

bar_quisibeve

Futurist bar

Aside from sloganising and cursing the English, Mussolini, who was usually referred to as Duce, purged Italian of English. The Futurist artist Marinetti and the poet d’Annunzio were among those who volunteered to dream up alternatives: sandwich became traidue; Bridge became Ponte;  club, consociazione; cocktail, arlecchino;  even bar yielded to the tortuous qui si beve. The term chiave inglese (lit. English key) for spanner was substitued with chiave morsa.

Some Italianised words  such as calcio (football) have survived but on the whole this has been another battle lost.

 

Weeping Willow Woman

Willow,Lake Bolsena,Italy

weeping willow, Lake Bolsena, March 2009

In early spring 2009 I took the picture above of a weeping willow on Lake Bolsena. A fortnight later a high wind ripped off  the upper bough and for at least a couple of years it lay semi-submerged, rotting in the shallow water below.

I grew up with Willow Pattern. As a child I was fascinated by the seemingly endless sherds of blue and white china that I could excavate from the bottom of Granny’s garden in Oxford, nigh on a hundred years of broken crockery. Willow pattern is Chinese in style but actually English in origin as is the romantic, but tragic tale that is supposed to be behind the illustration. The fable has been the source of a comic opera and also an early film and a more recent animation by Barry Purves called ‘Screen Play’.

weeping willow bolsena

disconcerted amateur photographer surveys the willowy wreckage, April ’09

I said to myself that when it was finally swept away I would set one of my Belle pictures under this beautiful maimed tree. I thought a refrain from a very short Tyrannosaurus Rex song of 1969 called The Misty Coast of Albany would make suitably moody title, weeping willow woman.

So I searched for a woman of willowy build with suitably long hair and found Kerstin, one of the many northerners who like myself  has chosen to live in the magical part of the world that is  Central Italy.

Patrick_Nicholas.Art_photographer.9172-

Patrick Nicholas, Lake Bolsena 6.45 A.M.

We met at 6.30 on a warm morning in mid May. I was ever so slightly preoccupied that she might not be able to hold the pose I hoped would mirror the bend of the tree. I need not have worried, she practices yoga. She was so proficient and subtle that we would have finished in a quarter of an hour had I not realised that there were so many fronds behind her that they spoiled her silhouette.

weeping willow woman out-take

before the act of vandalism

 

I love trees and hated committing an act of vandalism, but the picture I felt looked the better for it.

A mere ten minutes later we were sitting having breakfast of rum babas from the Bolsena pasticherie.
I used two neutral density filters and a polariser to get the shutter speed sufficiently low to smooth out the water and render it a mess of abstract shapes. All this extra glass in front of the lens rendered the image a horrid purply colour in which it was hard to see on the camera display what was going on.

weeping willow woman

purple haze

Back  at base in front of the computer the picture gradually begins to take form. Firstly the vertical shots were stitched together to make a panoramic image. Then what was to be done about that awful purple haze?

WWW.kerstin-9160.Patrick_Nicholas

rum babas for breakfast at 7.15

In fact with a bit of tweaking the original colours could in fact be resurrected, yet that left a very literal looking image; what I was after was a certain….. melancholic, mood.

I wanted to render something of the essential poetry of Japanese screen painting as in this picture Heron and Willow by Kiitsu .

Heron Willow Tree  Kiitsu

Heron and Willow Tree by Kiitsu

After a saving a few different versions I felt I was getting there but that it was still too…literal.

WeepingWillowWoman.9247.56Mb.Patrick_Nicholas

………getting there

By now it was late and I was heading for bed so I picked up the book I was reading, a biography of the painter James Whistler, looked at the man himself and asked him straight out, ‘what would you do?’ He told me to make it more mysterious, more hazy.

I chose a photo I had taken of a yellow wall in our house, added that as a layer, took the opacity down to 30% and there it was, another ingredient in the stew.

WeepingWillowWoman

Weeping Willow Woman (with Whistler’s help)

Weeping willow woman
Ladled on the arm
Of the misty coast of Albany
With its charm
Pining pillar of the wild willows end
Womanly waiting
For your manly friend.

Misty Coast of Albany by Marc Bolan 1969