Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Coast and a Tree and an Excerpt from Wallace Stevens

The 9x12 oil painting on mdf panel is part of a continuing series of seacoast images.  This one depicts a spot on Monhegan Island, where I was five years ago.  The pencil drawing of a tree on the Delaware and Raritan Canal located two minutes from my home was done this afternoon.

As I try to lower the pile of NY Review of Books, I came across an article by Dan Chiasson on the John Serio edition of Wallace Stevens Selected Poems.  He quotes the following from "Description Without Place":

Description is revelation.  It is not
The thing described, nor false

It is an artificial thing that exists,
In its own seeming, plainly

Yet not too closely the double of
  our lives,
Intenser than any actual life could

It struck me that these words might describe a landscape painting.  A painting is not what it depicts, but it is not false for that, but, though a painting allows one to reflect and imagine, could it be more intense than what it depicts?  Maybe in the sense that it might be easier to revisit the image than the actual place.  The image can also have more emotional meaning captured by the artist.

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