Monday 6 February 2012

winter's lines

In this now winter, the trees stripped, colours neutralized by white skies and a layer of snow, I am aware of the line of things: the line of branches and bark, and of the whitened roofs of the low buildings, usually brick-red.  All is outline and inner-line.  

A clump of stubborn grasses bristling through snow.

An icicle brought back from a walk with my younger boy and planted in the window-box amidst holly, evergreen boughs, and last Summer's long dead flowers.

The colours of Winter have been showing up in my paintings, as in this detail.  When this layer is dry, I plan to add Winter's lines.  Many, many of them.  I can't wait to see how they manifest themselves.

Another inspiration for line is Egon Schiele.  Last month, I saw an exhibition of selected works on paper.  His use of line is astounding.  It is confident, frenetic, unsettling, and completely unified.  His works are strong, sometimes shocking, disturbing, and touching.  He manages to capture the essence of what it is to be human with his coloured drawings.

To think he only lived to 28.

Nature and great artists like Schiele.  The same power, and struggles, and beauty, and wonder, and absolute knowledge that it can be no other way.


  1. I love the shapes of winter trees against an empty sky or at twilight when everything deepens into sharp relief and then fades back into the dark...
    Looking forward to seeing how your painting develops from these ideas!
    I have had a print on my wall for years of Egon Schiele's 'Four Trees' I love that image of his in particular, and I agree he has an intense use of line in his work...
    I like the way you put it in your last sentance, what a great statement of truth!
    Carrie... :)

  2. Can't wait to see the next layer on that painting! I've been totally transfixed on my evening commutes by the soft orange light behind the winter trees. Been thinking of how that might find a way into my paintings. The light, the lines, sheer obsession!

    Didn't remember that Schiele lived only to 28, yikes! Probably when I learned that I was under 28, so it seemed old enough, now, looking way back at 28 I wonder in awe at that.
    And, yes, that last line of yours is sooo IT!

  3. Lines ... sometimes their rigid intensity is all there is for me ...

    To die at 28 from the Spanish flu ... I wonder if the artist mentioned would have become a pedophile had he lived longer, or perhaps he was one even before he died (?) I am often challenged by the tales of artists' lives.

    You are a great photo-journalist Lynn, I love the t>e.x/t<u)(r:e - texture - of your posts. I, too, am eager to see what you comes forth for you!

  4. Winter's lines.... yes! Stark, simple and yet ever capable of evoking strong emotion ~ just like a perfect poem. And speaking of such *grin* yours today, now that it's live at GF. "The Tale's End" is my favorite of the whole issue! Kudos!

    Looking forward to seeing what emerges next on the canvas you pictured. You definitely have a flair for winter's shapes and colors!

  5. I didn't know his "four trees" piece, Carrie. Just looked it up (gotta love the internet!) it's beautiful. I'd like to look up more of his work. There was an interesting looking catalogue at the exhibit, but they're always so expensive I didn't buy it. I should one day like to go to Vienna to see more of his work.

    More and more I'm having that sensation, Valerianna - an age which I used to think of a so old, now seems so impossibly young! I did that the other day with someone and thinking, but they're only 34...

    Some of his more explicit images are challenging, and certainly were at the time, Jan. I know he used teenaged models and had a long term relationship with one. (There's certainly a difference between 13 and 17 and I think his were more in the older end of this.) I'm certainly not an expert on Schiele, but I don't think that it could rightly be called pedophilia in his case. You're so right about being challenged by the lives of artists - there are many artists and composers whose personal lives or political views might be reprehensible, but how does - or should - that affect how we view their art. Food for thought!

    Thank you for your lovely comment about my poem, Donna! I must confess to having had the jitters yesterday when I heard the issue was live. I'm thrilled to have a piece in Goblin Fruit.

    1. Didn't mean to put a damper on your post. I was just wondering ... and that's where my mind goes.

      Thanks for posting at my work blog. Happy Early [v]day to and yours!

    2. No damper at all, Jan!
      I love it that the blog-sphere encourages talk and debate and exchange of ideas...wouldn't want it any other way.
      Happy V-day to you and Tom as well!