Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shaver hill

 soft pastel 11"x14" on illustration board with acrylic pumice ground 
June - 2008
“Rosie dips her brush into the dark-green paint and makes a careful little curve with it on the wall. She does it again, and then she does it again. Jamie was right—a monkey could do this.”  This is the first paragraph from a short story by Deborah Eisenberg  - Rosie Gets a Soul.

I am not Rosie but to some degree I identify with her leap of faith. I am rooting for her. I am on her side. 
The beginning of the second paragraph: “When the green dries, Jamie will show her how to add another color, and, when that dries, another. “
In my case I  pick up all manner of shades of green pastel to shove around on the toothy acrylic pumice ground to indicate fields in diminishing summer light. The light in itself is hypnotic and all the pastels have exotic names.
Unlike Rosie I don’t need to wait for anything to dry. I can add and subtract and smear and wipe and smudge all within seconds – the fresh evening air is subtle and caressing. This plein air experience is addictive – I begin to think I have a soul!


  1. What a wonderful dreamscape this is. A nocturne. You make pastels ethereal.

    Even monkeys have souls; of course they can paint.

  2. Thank you. What a brilliant and surprising observation. Of course, monkeys have souls, the dears, of course they can paint! Why didn’t I think of that? It's so obvious now that you point it out. Thank you again!
    PS Eisenberg is a terrific writer, has a painter's eye, check her out if you have a moment.

  3. Thanks for reminding me about what a great writer Eisenberg is. Did what I meant to before, and ordered the whole collection of her stories. Heads up to anyone who hasn't read her any of her short stories -- you have a treat to look forward to!

  4. I see sculptural elements here as well as luscious lines demarcating an ethereal, surreal landscape. Very nice work.

    Yes, on the side of Rosie, too.

  5. Hi Marcia,

    You begin to think you have a soul? You do!

    What lush, gorgeous colour. Your vibrant soul is in this one for sure, and in all you do. Miss
    you more than I can say.

    Big Love from Nova Scotia, the soul center
    of the universe,


  6. Well there you go SamArtdog – coincidence – we just acquired Eisenberg’s collected stories a week and a half ago.

    Then apropos of monkeys – Emily Carr – one of Canada’s most fascinating, eccentric and greatest of painters, had among her household of pets, cats, dogs, a parrot, rats, squirrels – a Javanese girl monkey, Woo who was her dearest companion for almost fifteen years. When it was cold, Woo wore a dress and Emily taught her to sew but Woo grew impatient with sewing and gave it up. Among her misadventures was swallowing an entire tube of Aurelian yellow, was horribly sick for an entire night. Emily didn’t think she’d survive but the following morning Woo was back to normal and well enough to eat some grapes. Emily writes about her in Heart of a Peacock, one of the books in her collected, autobiographical writings.

  7. Hi Melinda,

    Thank you for saying you see sculptural elements in this because that makes me want to get into my studio and sculpt which I am except for dragging my heels on especially sluggish, hot days. But then I take a book into my studio and sit and read!

    The story about Rosie is a fantastic read.


  8. Barbara, I miss you too – a lot!

    I am so glad you and Steven are able to spend time in NS this summer at your school house retreat and the ocean. Are there big, huge, enormous waves? I can almost hear the whoosh of waves as I think of you there.

    But is NS really the sole centre of the universe? I know that you are a soul centre, I’ve always known that!
    Btw I got your lovely handwritten letter in the mail today! What a Treat!

    See you in August,

  9. your works has a especial atmosphere, I like it

  10. Thank you nouvelles couleurs, for commenting!
    I just visited your blog and I am inspired by your stunning, beautiful work!

  11. Very beautiful!
    Of course, you have soul.
    Soul of an artist!
    I liked everything I saw here.
    Nice to meet you,
    Greetings from Brasil,

  12. what a wonderful painting, out of this world !!!

  13. Li - I am so delighted by your generous. warm comments all the way from beautiful Brasil! Also your blog is wow, terrific!!

  14. Edward, thank you for your comment, I am elated - doubly so coming from you, who I consider to be in a class by yourself - a modern master!!!

  15. This is amazing! The sky really glows and I love the little pink touch in the dark greens.