This is the second stage of painting for the 2 big ones. It is still a landmass with horizon, recognisable as a landscape. I have started to add shapes within the mass and layers of colour. The black lines represent a map I have found through my research on Dylife lead mine, its a linear map showing where the all the cuttings and mine shafts were and the tracks used. The idea of duality is appearing, the bigger landmass and the microcosm within, the mapping also representing lines within rock and layers within the earth. A rock representing the landscape.
A close up shot showing how I have used the printed paper, it has produced a very satisfying effect. As well as the representational aspect it also adds contrast to the composition and a feeling of solidity.
Over the past few weeks I have been reading some nature poets, including Mary Oliver, Ralph Emerson, John Clare and Gary Snyder. I love the buddist and environmental approach of Gary Snyder, the affinity with solitude that Mary Oliver has and Emerson's meditive influence talking about understanding 'the truth'. I've been thinking about how words and painting can work together, the idea of understanding 'the truth' Emerson talks about links to impressionist paintings and the search for painting 'the truth'. I guess it means peeling back layers and getting to the heart and feeling of a place.
I love this poem by Ellen P. Allerton, its called The Old Stone Quarry and speaks to my area of focus.
Grown with grass and with tangled weeds,
Where the blind mole hides and the rabbit feeds,
And, unmolested, the serpent breeds.
Edged with underwood, newly grown,
Draped with the cloak that the years have thrown
Round the broken gaps in the jagged stone.
It was opened—I know not how long ago--
Opened, and left half-worked, and so
In this ragged hollow the rank weeds grow.
Why lies it idle, this beautiful stone?
Ho, for the pickaxe! One by one
Hew out these blocks—here is work undone.
There are possible towers in this serpent's den--
Possible homes for homeless men.
Who shall build them? and where? and when?
Must they lie here still, unmarked, unsought--
Turrets and temples, uncarved, unwrought,
Till the end of time? 'Tis a sorrowful thought!
All through the heats of the summer hours,
The wild bee hums in the unplucked flowers
That creep and bloom over unbuilt towers.
As I sit here, perched on the grass-grown wall,
Down to the hollow the brown leaves fall,
Little by little covering all.
So month after month, and year after year,
The rank weeds creep and the leaves turn sere.
And a thicker mantle is weaving here.
And a day may come when the passer-by,
Threading the underwood, then grown high,
Shall see but a hollow, where dead leaves lie.
There are human souls that seem to me
Like this unwrought stone—for all you see--
Is a shapeless quarry of what might be,
Lying idle, and overgrown
With tangled weeds, like this beautiful stone--
Possible work left undone,
Possible victories left unwon.
And that is a waste that is worse than this;
Sharper the edge of the hidden abyss,
Deadlier serpents crawl and hiss.
And a day shall come when the desolate scene,
Though scanned by eyes that are close and keen,
Shall show no trace of its "might have been."