Thursday, May 20, 2010


Dylan, creator/editor of the brilliant tinywords, has chosen one of my poempictures as the cover of the latest issue of this international daily magazine of haiku and micropoetry. I am lost for words to say how delighted I am, so a simple thank you will have to do. 

Another reason to celebrate is that I've finally reached what seems to me to be a happy ending for a portrait I've been working on lately of Jehane Markham, a neighbour and fine poet/playwright. As The Jehane Markham Trio  she reads her work with a backing of two musicians - a subtle, original and hugely enjoyable blend of jazz and poetry. Rough Winds Productions was created with her partner, the actor Roger Lloyd Pack, "to support the search for pleasure and understanding in the poetic realm". You may remember I did a sketch of Roger reading The Wasteland  four years ago (scroll to April 13, 2006 ). He's performing it again on June 3rd at the Free Word Centre and Jehane will be presentingThe London Series with her trio. I'll be there for sure. 

Jehane sat for me for two hours and I made a good start then proceeded to wreck the painting slowly and surely in the next few weeks. There's no explanation for BUAPGSS (Buggering-Up-A-Perfectly-Good-Start Syndrome) but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I gradually dragged the portrait out of the limbo it was threatening to remain in and did something I haven't done before: I painted words as a background to the face: her words, a poem that I like so much: Fear of Falling. Somehow it all came together then. What do you think? 

The poem is in her collection THIRTY POEMS  published by Rough Winds. The last five lines, hard to read in this photo, are:

if I'm not careful,
I'll fall right through,
knocked out by emerald knuckledusters,
the weight of water,
electric blue. 

Portrait of Jehane Markham with her poem 'Fear of Falling'. Acrylic on canvas. 50 cm x 40.5 cm. NdA  May 2010


Ivy said...

Wow, Natalie! Electric. I love the balance and composition, and how her words are perched on shoulder. :-D

Natalie said...

Ivy, thank you. Those last lines grew smaller and came to rest on her shoulder serendipitously, I didn't know they would do that.

Pica said...

Love this Natalie, especially how "rocky ledge" is out on its own, as it ought to be. Gorgeous portrait. Great recovery from limbo!!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Pica, thank you! I almost didn't find your comment as this post was from 6 months ago and I never expect that people might look back in my archives. Really nice to know you did.