The river has a silver string that runs its length,
holds it to a source in the mountains.
The river cradles its corded muscles of water
between high banks, giving the banks no thought
as it bites them with eddies,
eroding their lower flanks.
River thinks it is only water and the gristle
of currents, hay stacking surfaces
and deep, bellowing falls
running for the sea, though
it does not know it is there.
River should take more care of its banks.
Banks are what hold it a river, give
direction, keep it mitering downward.
Without banks, river loses its way,
becomes a swamp and stills.
All my life I have chafed at river banks,
fighting to spread my currents
in whatever turn needed exploring.
The high song of freedom seemed
to be a music of ‘no banks’,
and yet the whole joy of rivers is pushing,
etching the banks to join the flow,
but having them hold.
My childhood was spend in Altrincham, greater Manchester, towards the end of hundreds of years of history lived within the Industrial age. I can just about remember the look of the towns industry parks like broadheath near the bridgewater canal, that passed through our town on its way into the city of Manchester.
I have been working on a personal art project for about the last twelve months, working mainly with charcoal on paper, I felt that charcoal was the perfect medium to work with as I can remember just how black these places looked as a result of the smoke created from the burning of coal used to create the energy needed to drive the factory machine.
This week I have moved onto creating a series of images painted onto timber boards, using black Acrylic ink. The boards I am using have a great pink and red feel to them and they also have a fantastic horizontal grain that adds a very likeable texture to the finished work! At first I was considering painting the board with a white under painted ground, In the end I made a great choice (I feel) in just painting directly onto the timber.
I intend now to work on a good collection of these boards, working with many different compositions, talking of which I feel this subject is all about composition and I am learning a lot in this area by doing this work, treating the factory buildings as shapes to be visually moved around in my mind, overlapping them and working them into a valuable depth from background to foreground, never letting any object rest and stand by itself until the ones that are the closest to the viewer…..
Following on from my last post, I have now completed a finished A2 sized Charcoal drawing based on the sketch work I posted two days ago.
I have very much enjoyed this process of working from sketchbook into a full sized drawing and I intend to use this method from now on …….
For sometime I have wanted to start sharing my charcoal and pencil figure drawings here on my blog, first however I wanted to get my drawing skills up-to a level I was truly happy with, I feel that I still have a lot of work to do in order to be consistent from drawing to drawing.
I am happy however to start sharing with people some of the drawings and painting I have been creating, this drawing was produced today , drawing as freely as possible and doing my best to make the minimum of marks needed to produce the finish work ……
I spent the early years of my life growing up in Altrincham in the greater Manchester area of northwest England. It was in these years, between the 1970’s and the late 1980’s that marked the end of the industrial age for the town.
This period left much of our local area with factories that became redundant and closed, some locations included empty land where factories once stood, a lot of these locations existed beside the Bridgewater canal.
I am currently working on a visual art project that is calling on my memories of these locations, working both digitally and with charcoal on paper, creating some compositions that reflect on this period of my life, places from my childhood. I am in my 50’s so this is not easy at times but I feel its a great exercise in visual storytelling…
I march this year I treated myself to a new Panasonic gx80, micro four thirds camera with an Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens. This kit is my first M/43 kit and so far I have been very pleased with the results produced by this little gem of a camera.
I have a long history of working with black and white photography going way back to using Ilford XP2 and HP5 film, loaded into a Nikon FM2. This medium sized sensor camera is the first digital compact camera I have owned that can and does reproduce the look and feel of these black and white films with its MONO-L shooting profiles.
This image of a barn on the land owned by some friends of ours, during a stay at the start of April, was taken in the early morning sunlight and is taken using a Cokin-P ND4 gradient filter to darken the sky so that the foreground of the image could be exposed as I wanted it to be. I also used this filter system to help me make as few adjustments as possible in post processing.
By what rude waves hast thou been tossed,
To gain this quiet beach?
What wide-spread waters hast thou crossed,
This peaceful shore to reach?
An awful secret dost thou tell
About the yawning deep,
That, while her billows war and swell,
They most profoundly keep.
Thou speakest of one whose weary frame
Has sought repose on thee;
But not of kindred, home, or name,
Sad outcast of the sea!
Thou giv’st no record of his birth,
No token of the clime,
Where he was last a child of earth,
Or when he passed from time.
And who must now, on some far shore,
Await the coming sail
Of him, they will behold no more
Till mortal sight shall fail?
For fearful things dost thou present
Before the spirit’s view;
The parting bark! the canvass rent!
The helpless, dying crew!
Of one dread scene the fatal whole,
In thought, I hear and see.
It chills my blood—it makes my soul
Grow sick to look at thee.
‘The seas must render up their dead!’
Is all thou dost reply;
While o’er thee, cold and restless bed,
The tide rolls proud and high!
The guilty deep is taking back
The witness of her wrath,
To bury it with every track
That marks its troubled path!
The midday sun glistened in the sea,
who would stand in the scorching sand,
Or get burned by the salty waves,
But there he was, a man
Frolicking, unafraid of the heat,
of the midday sun and it’s brilliant blaze,
He didn’t care for the sweet serenity,
of the dawn past, or the dusk to come
It was a dance, of a moth drawn to fire,
In solitude, for it was one’s goal alone,
A dark speck, that shined in the splendor,
It dashed towards a destiny, carved for those,
who dared to dance, where no one stood.
Carnivan beach, Fethard on sea, is on of my most loved beaches along the Irish coast line, located in county Wexford, it is simply stunning and offers a view along the coast towards hook head lighthouse.
A winter time art project, Digital painting created using a Wacom art tablet and taken from a photographic study of our local landscape and the Crows that have made it their winter home.
I feel today’s painting is a big step closer to the final paintings I am hoping to create, I like this composition much more than my last painting and I feel that I am now starting to represent the crows and the movement they create in our winter fields much better….
Coming through the dreaming and the real years
I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore
I shall roll on and on, and break upon your lap with laughter
And no one in the world will know where we both are.
I will be like the breeze on the ocean waves
Drinking from the breasts of the ocean deep
Dew from the glistening morning weep
And each of its longing that daybreak craves.
From side to side grows each tubular wave
Each thinking that they catch me in its worth
They allow me to completely forget
What hour comes after this instant in time.
For painful is the oceans every wave
As it doesn’t let me to sit in peace
For the days which I have taken as lease
Are passing by and leaving me alone.
Weeping clouds drifting its moments in tears
I turn to face the dark black sea to mourn
From where I find no water to save
My soul from the sound of crashing waves.
Only in my illusory freedom amidst the universal chorus
The sun shining moods that flows around its spell
Why do human souls not sing as does the sea
Why does the east wind sigh?
From the earth up to the highest stars
Unanswered is my question to this very day
A voice lamenting in the wilderness
Leaves my soul protesting despairingly.
Images from a great walk this morning on the banks of the river Suir, county Tipperary some 30km from home ……
I sense suspense and peacefulness
where light and shadows loll,
it’s there my mindful heedlessness
now frees my soul to stroll.
A forest path empowers strength
that worldly cares conceal —
then demonstrates, beyond arm’s length,
a living scene surreal.
The way the arms of trees reach out
to all that share its space;
the way they wave their leaves about
and breathe wood scents I trace.
The little birds slip ‘tween the leaves
of understories, green —
where tiny fruits and bloomers tease
with scents that go unseen.
A red-tailed hawk, perched high in pine,
alerts with high-pitched call,
while restless ravens realign
in rowdy free-for-all!
There’s more that linger here unheard
that know I’m passing through;
their many eyes watch undeterred
‘til I am out of view —
I feel their spirit walk with me
and feel a sense I’m blessed;
all offer sense of reverie
and nature at her best.
If solitude shares strength renewed
and natural for free,
I’m sure to find that interlude
There is no question of just when
I’ll go again to find,
that perfect place that pulls me in
so, I can lose my mind —
The woodland song, like silent friend,
knows all I can’t resist,
and there’s no need to comprehend
its soulful kiss, when missed!
2020 Joy A Burki-Watson
Nick Drake Lyrics
Betty came by on her way
Said she had a word to say
About things today
And fallen leaves.
Said she hadn’t heard the news
Hadn’t had the time to choose
A way to lose
But she believes.
Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the plan
For lilac time.
If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
And all night shows
Betty said she prayed today
For the sky to blow away
Or maybe stay
She wasn’t sure.
For when she thought of summer rain
Calling for her mind again
She lost the pain
And stayed for more.
Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the ban
On feeling free.
If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
I don’t suppose
It’s meant for me.
Oh, how they come and go
Oh, how they come and go.
I dream of you, to wake’ by Christina Rossetti
I dream of you, to wake: would that I might
Dream of you and not wake but slumber on;
Nor find with dreams the dear companion gone,
As, Summer ended, Summer birds take flight.
In happy dreams I hold you full in night.
I blush again who waking look so wan;
Brighter than sunniest day that ever shone,
In happy dreams your smile makes day of night.
Thus only in a dream we are at one,
Thus only in a dream we give and take
The faith that maketh rich who take or give;
If thus to sleep is sweeter than to wake,
To die were surely sweeter than to live,
Though there be nothing new beneath the sun.