Tuesday, September 1, 2009

my nature's basic love

i really loved the space we went to yesterday
with mary webb's writing
and the artwork of
john neubauer.

i'm indulging the need
(because that's what it is)

to be in a gentle place.

today, a different author,
different artists.

see if this looks and feels familiar.


when young, i'd not enjoyed the common pleasures,
my nature's basic love was for the hills.

mistakenly i fell into the worldly net,
and thus remained for thirteen years.

gustave caillebotte

a bird once caged must yearn for its old forest,
a fish in a pond will long to return to the lake.
so now i want to head to southern lands,
returning to my fields and orchards there.

about ten acres of land is all i have,
just eight or nine rooms there in my thatched hut.

there's shade from elms and willows behind the eaves,
before the hall are gathered peaches and plums.
beyond the dark and distance lies a village,
the smoke above reluctant to depart.

a dog is barking somewhere down the lane,
and chickens sit atop the mulberry tree.

the mundane world has no place in my home,
my modest rooms are for the most part vacant.
at last i feel released from my confinement,
i set myself to rights again.

all words tao qian


Alaine said...

So beautiful and thank you for the intro to tao qian!

Rachel Fenton said...

I adore the quality of light in these paintings and the words capture a whole lifetime so succinctly, really lovely. I can almost feel the breeze.........and the sky in the last painting..I would loved to have painted that sky. Thank you for your kind words, Steven. :)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Words and images - breathtaking, Steven.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Steven, I so admire your ability to find and share these words of serenity & gentleness. This morning I awoke earlier than usual with anxious feelings and this is the tonic I need. I hope your day is serene. Thank you, Lizzy

Linda said...

I love the art selections with the dark, almost black rivers. I tried painting a canvas once, where black is used for the undercoat and you add the light colours on top. I think the result looks amazing. My art teacher likes bright colours underneath that shine through and light up the canvas from underneath. I am going to have to explore working with the dark background more. Tao qian's words were perfect for this post. Louis Aston Knight's pictures remind me of the picture that used to be on the front of the Flowerdale Tea box. Grandma would stare at that picture for hours and tell us stories of the old country.

steven said...

hello alaine, i am so glad that you followed up on tao qian. his writing is really beautiful and insightful. it's late in australia so have a lovely day when you read this. steven

steven said...

hi rachel, i cut and paste the words from several of his poems to match the paintings and to create the textual / textural narrative i had in mind. my favourite image of the selection is the one of the thatched roof cottage by the river. i'd live there. happily!!! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - yes, it's amazing how much depth there is to these words and the paintings - well i'd love to see them in real life and as i mentioned in my comment to rachel - i'd live in that cottage by the river! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hello lizzy - well i am glad that we both found a place of peace in these words and in the paintings. in much the same way as when i am hungry i create nice food for myself, i create these little islands of goodness when i need peace. thanks for your thoughtful comment. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

linda - thanks for this beautiful comment. i have always painted from a white base. i stopped painting and drawing just about a decade ago. no particular reason but it just stopped. i'm patient though because i know that it's still there - waiting for me. i love the image of grandma staring at a beautiful picture and telling stories of the old country linda. that stirs emotions in me. have a peaceful day. steven

ellen abbott said...

Love the Percy, Knight, and Breanski paintings.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the way your are linking paintings and words, steven. Sisley is one of my favourite painters - that sky is wonderful.

willow said...

I've seen the Sargent several times in Chicago. It's wonderful in person and one of my faves. Peaceful post, Steven. I thoroughly enjoyed this harmonious spot in my morning!

Liza said...

"a bird once caged must yearn for its old forest,
a fish in a pond will long to return to the lake.
so now i want to head to southern lands,
returning to my fields and orchards there"
How I love that. Thank you for another AMAZING post.

steven said...

hi ellen, yes they hover right in that romantic muzzy place that i love!!!! thanks for visiting. steven

steven said...

hello weaver - i find it hard to say when that sisley painting is in terms of seasons because it's such a clear blue sky with clouds it could be spring, autumn who knows. but it is beautiful!!!! thanks for dropping by. have a peaceful day in the dale. steven

steven said...

hi willow - it stands out in this post for me because it captures people - in a city - with the body language and facial expressions to match that environment - i love the sense of "almost real" that it has. i loved creating this post and i'm glad that you enjoyed it. have a lovely day at the manor. steven

steven said...

hi liza, thanks for that! i connected so much to those very words when i thought about that period of my life where i did have to live in a big city, work in a factory, live in an apartment in a big building where no one knew anyone and i felt those words in my whole being every day. have a peaceful day. steven

hope said...

I love the Sisley because I have always been drawn to tree lined secluded roads. My husband's grandmother did such a painting, with the road winding toward the left. Not an overly demonstrative woman, she stood next to me and demanded to know what I was looking at in her painting.

I told her it made me want to get on the path and walk to see what was around the corner.

She hugged me. The rest of the family almost fainted. She said it was the nicest compliment she ever received as an artist and when she died, the painting went to me.

Thanks for a spot of calm and quiet in this too busy day.

Reya Mellicker said...

All I have to do is take off my glasses in order to see the world like the Impressionists. I've always loved that street scene with the serious three point perspective.

Very nice, Steven! Happy September!

steven said...

hi hope, what a gorgeous heartfelt comment! you reached her!!! what an amazing story to carry with you!!!! what a gift to have her recognize your place in her life by giving the gift of the painting to you. that's a really powerful comment!! phew!!! steven

steven said...

well hey reya!!! woohaa i read your posting moments ago and had to step back and let all the blue blue light ricochet around for a while and then here you've landed in the blurry muzz of the golden fish. mmm hmmm!!! i'm really loving the blurry muzz as a place to hide away from the big work that is already happening and that gets bigger and bigger - ask linda or dan!!! but today i'm home, i had the best bike ride of the summer last night. through the countryside with a group of peple from all over anf going to places all over. it was electric pure joy!!! happy september for you as well!!!! steven

Golden West said...

Hi Steven,

Lovely paintings and words to match. I thought you'd want to know that the painting you attribute to John Singer Sargent is by French Impressisonist Gustave Caillebotte, painted in 1877, titled "Paris Street, Rainy Day". He was a remarkable man - although so obviously gifted as an artist, he chose to promote the work of others. He was as passionate about boat building and gardening as he was painting.

steven said...

hello golden west, thanks for that!! the lovely comments as well as the correction (which i've taken care of thanks to your keen eye!). i know what happened - i had something else intended for that part of the piece and i changed my mind, but not the identification of the artists. duuuuuh!!! thanks for the additional info about caillebotte as well. have a peaceful evening. steven

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Steven, I adored the last journey, it was an enjoyable trip. This journey is just as delicious.

I would love to step into each painting and live a life in each of these places, all of them. Several of the paintings offer a quiet and simple life; while one will be busy and social but exciting; and then there is grandeur, offering romance and power. Yes, I would love to step back...and create wonderful stories at each of these places.


Dan Gurney said...

Beautiful!!! I'm really impressed. How do you do it with school going? I can manage to post only on weekends.

My hat's off to you, Steven!

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

why is that you seem to post twice as often as any other blogger... I'm always catching up...but wonders to catch up on...I want to walk up that pathway in the Alfred Sisley painting and discover what lies beyond...

a great selection today Steven...thank you once again...my friend...

Happy days

Kay said...

Totally timeless..i am aiming for
'my modest rooms are for the most part vacant'
i love the idea of less but meaningful at the moment... and the top picture of the sheep on the hill is from another time another place...beautiful. thank you.

steven said...

hello delwyn! i post once a day but i think it's because i post just after midnight our time which is in the afternoon your time. i think my posts show up when you're out on your walks. the sisley painting has that quality about it of compelling you to walk into it. i noticed that when i chose it and thought about the number of places i've been that are somewhat similar to it. you can really feel the place can't you. thanks for your kind comments delwyn. have a lovely evening by the river. steven

steven said...

hello kay, yes. less but meaningful. i've passed the point where i need more. i'm well past that. i'd rather have a very little each of which is significant or magical or simply good. there are lessons to be learned about this from times past - but not too long ago. have a lovely day. steven

Margaret Pangert said...

Beautiful art accompanying a journey we all follow in some shape or form. I have a yoga teacher who has just one thing in each room of her house. After that, it's cluttered for her.

steven said...

hello margaret, thankyou for this comment. each year we remove more and more from this house. each year it becomes more essential and feels better. it's a long old journey!!!! steven

BT said...

Wow, such wonderful paintings, Steven and matching words too. You must work hard at your posts. What a sky that is in the last one.

steven said...

hello bt - this was a ton of fun to create - the paintings were amazing to me and of course matching the text was so cool!!!! it's too much fun to call work but i know what you mean!!! thanks fort this. steven