Plein Air

Ruby 2.JPG

Kingsbrae 5.3
5 June 2017

Plein Air
(for Ruby Allan)

Plein air,” she said,
and I imagined her
sitting before the blank
spread of a canvas,
a ship’s sail waiting
for a sea-side breeze
to fill that empty space
with color and mood.

What routes will
her paintbrush take
as it wanders
over the new world
lying before her?

Plein air, al fresco,
in garden and street,
before the shops and then
on headland and shore,
alone or accompanied,

with sea birds wading
and the gull’s cry echoing
its sea of sound as the sun
sets in its bonfire of brightness
and throws light and shadow,
chiaro-oscuro, all around.

Journal:  Above Ruby’s poem, there is a photo of her Kingsbrae  studio with a new painting waiting for her on the easel. To my mind, this particular photo is very reminiscent of Dali’s paintings of paintings within paintings, all seen from different perspectives. Alas, the photo will not sell for as much money as a genuine Dali.

Among other things, we discussed the value, versus the price, of art last night. It seems that some paintings are sold at so many dollars per square inch. I find this very interesting. I told the story of how I give away my books to friends. Occasionally I find those same books, signed with suitable, individual sentiments expressed, on sale in the second-hand book stores I frequent. It is sad, and in a way very funny, to think that something I give away for free ends up earning money (a) for the recipient who received and accepted it as a gift and then sells it to the second-hand bookstore and (b) for the bookstore owner, whom I may or may not know, who buys the book second-hand and sells it on to a customer.

Ruby and Anne both told similar stories with regard to paintings that artistic friends of theirs had painted. It brought us to question the whole nature and value of the art we produce. Value, of course, is not something that has, of necessity, a dollar tag attached to it. Art for art’s sake and therapeutic art, for example, have different values both for the creators and the admirers of such art. As Oscar Wilde once phrased it: “To know the price of everything and the value of nothing” and value, like beauty, is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

8 thoughts on “Plein Air

  1. A wonderful poem and a thought provoking discussion on value. I think about that often. How does one artist become popular and financially successful when another with equal talent or gifts flounder in obscurity? Fate, chance, what have you? At any rate, Tanya is right, it’s in our DNA!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you like it, Miss Meghan. My poems are changing as a result of this residency and I am very pleased with the new style and focus. I just hope to keep on writing while I am here. It’s a great way to exchange ideas and renew one’s old self.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am sure! I hope you can keep writing too, although I really have no doubt based on your output thus far. Really enjoying following along!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the poem and appreciate your perspective on the value of our art. We create because we must. It is in our DNA. I wish there was a market for all of it, our words and art and music. We must create though, or we might burst…Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are write, Tanya, I mean right, Tanya! Writing is a necessity for me. It is a vital part of my existence. I guess it must be in the DNA. And words are such fun, and so are ideas … the idea of play is essential too, we can’t always be serious and that play time is essential. Best wishes, Roger.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful using d words”good tribution for 19th century ‘s painting who is wonderfully impressed from francism.title is so much profounded as open air or as breezey climate is whispering .


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