An Ongoing Gallery


                                       Recent Acquisitions 

      

    

I'm a visual-input addict, always in need of bright color and brilliant contrast, the play of light and shadow. I go looking every day for my hit, in nature, architecture, in art galleries online, and in the real world, to nourish that inner eye. I'm pretty greedy: often I have to snag an image for myself, to horde and contemplate, thus this gallery. Almost all the images here are related to The Lost Art of Blue, the manuscript I'm finishing now, however mysterious that connection is sometimes (and I mean mysterious to me).


The image to the left brings to mind an old photograph in The Lost Art of Blue: a woman on a beach, with a young child.


I take to heart these lines from the poet Anne Carson:


My advice,

Hold.

Hold beauty.



Mother and Child

Charles Webster Hawthorne

oil on canvas, 1917-20

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

What I love about this shot by Freya Winkler is that it shocks me every time I look at it. First, I see disturbing things, legs and bones, and I need to look away--but I can't look away; and then the actual components snap together in my mind: a peaceful view of a beach on a sunny day. In a blink, I see bones again. It's unnerving, this continual shift from ominous to beautiful, beautiful to ominous. 


It draws me especially because in The Lost Art of Blue, one of Ginnie's critical memories is of her mother, now long gone, on a beach.


Henry Moore would like this shot. 


Untitled

Freya Winkler

Digital photograph, 2013


With thanks to Freya Winkler for permission to post this photograph.



This is my own photo, taken on a street in Stockholm during the time I lived in Scandinavia. The bulletin board looked stripped bare, kind of brutally, and poor Lars, torn away to almost nothing. 


At the time, I was writing about Nace, Ginnie's brother in Blue. He's just disappeared into the Middle East on a dangerous assignment as a photographer for a news service. And Ginnie, being a fretful older sis, fears the worst.







Lars in past tense

Anastasia Hobbet

Digital photograph, 2011



This dark, solemnly gorgeous photo by Michael de Guzman reflects for me a flashback in Blue when Ginnie as a teenager visits a World War II cemetery in France with her father, step-mom, and half-brother Nace, who's just seven. Every generation of Ginnie's family has been damaged by war, and now Nace is at the front too, leaving Ginnie at home to fight her battles alone. 









Untitled

Michael de Guzman

Digital photograph, 2013






With thanks to Michael de Guzman for permission to post this photograph.

Mick Worthington took this shot in Australia, but the landscape is powerfully similar to northern California, the setting of Blue, right down to the wine and the drifting fog.





Swan Valley Wine Area, Western Australia

Mick Worthington

Digital photograph, 2013






With thanks to Mick Worthington for permission to post this photograph.






Though I took this photo in Georgia, it calls to mind Ginnie's first tour of her grandparent's house in California after they are gone. With the dark palette of her grandmother's cluttered decor stripped away, Ginnie sees the place with new eyes.














Staircase

Magnolia Plantation, Savannah Georgia

Anastasia Hobbet

Digital photograph, 2010






I first saw this photograph at an exhibition more than a decade ago, and though I failed to note the name of the photographer at the time, the image stuck with me like a memory of my own. Thanks to a little internet sleuthing, I've now recovered Robert Cumming's name. 


I love the eloquent absurdity of this shot. How ephemeral childhood is: eight years goes like six months, and suddenly that tender young seed, sprung from your loins, is budding with flowers--and thorns. This kid looks a little challenging, almost as spiky as the weed. I don't have kids of my own, sorry to say, but there are beloved little children in my life, and my novels.












8 year old girl, 6 month old weed

Robert Cumming, 1974

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles










So many of Lucien Freud's paintings grab me, often against my inclination. This is a self-portrait, although he didn't call it that. It relates to the new piece I'm fooling around with as I finish Blue. I can't say much more than that at the moment, except that it's the sort of face that makes me want to say more.





A Young Artist

Lucien Freud (1922-2011)

oil on canvas, 1957-58







This cathedral of pines is straight out of a scene from Blue. It hits me like a revelation.





Untitled

Peter Burm

Digital photograph, 2013






With thanks to Peter Burm for permission to post this photograph.

                                                                           

This is why Ginnie says she likes to look out over a distance, because the world seems simple that way, understandable. Survivable. 










                                   The Green Sea

                            Milton Avery (1885-1965)

                            oil on canvas, 1954

                            Metropolitan Museum of Art



You don't see watercolor used with more glowing force than in this painting. It reminds me of a silk scarf, a stained glass window, and the earth from far above. It also ties in intimately with The Lost Art of Blue. Ginnie cherishes a chunk of shattered blue stained glass from a medieval chapel, a memento picked up by her grandfather as a young soldier fighting in the French countryside during World War II.






Untitled

Frank Blecher

aquarelle, 2013



With thanks to Frank Blecher for permission to post a photograph of this painting.