Friday, September 4, 2009

The Swimmers~Ode to the Wind by Percy Shelley

This couple seeming to have slightly more fun than the last one I painted. They are swimming under a waterfall created by a small dam in Texas somewhere. that is all I know of the photo I used to paint it from. Again it has been painted with gouache and was a big challenge as my mediums have always been acrylic and watercolor. This paint is rich in opacity but difficult in layering. Nevertheless a challenge is always good for an artist. This one was no exception as I spent 2 nights on it and now am happy with the results.

I have had a week filled with both excitement and work, lots of it. I am selling the vintage photos on Etsy almost daily and to get to my Ebay customers is difficult sometimes as so much is ending without sales but really I love both venues so will continue to work on them both.

I realized that its important to meet strangers. I have met a few this week, one on the internet which I am happy to say has become a friend somewhat as we have so much in common that I like being able to converse about our past, our children and our families. Another was a woman with two children I met this morning when her tea cup chihuahua got loose and chased after Blue barking and I thought he might go to the street so walked back to meet her. After talking to the owner a nice woman named Alicia and her two daughters I found out the dog's name was Mayan and he thought he was a pitbull although can fit in your hand. Her oldest daughter is obsessed with the Titanic and is 9 years old. She loves history and cannot understand why people are not more fascinated by it. I think I like this kid already. So the bad news is that after a year of living there they are moving across town and I will not see them again. Now I wish I had met them sooner. Oh well. I guess I am mentioning this as its always a good thing to meet a neighbor or stranger you see alot of. You never know who they are and they could be a friend all along and then they will move and you will never know that they could be so. My advice, don't wait, say hello to people as you walk or pass them.
I also would like to recommend a poet, someone that I discovered never too late and his name is Percy Shelley. His wife wrote Frankenstein and he was probably the most famous of all the English poets and I am going to leave you with the only poem I have read of his so far. Its really worth the read. The last stanza or section seemed to resonate with me so much. Enjoy it. And enjoy the coming weekend!

Percy Bysshe Shelley. 1792–1822
Ode to the West Wind

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being

Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead

Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,

Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,

Each like a corpse within its grave, until

Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill

(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)

With living hues and odours plain and hill;

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;

Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!


Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,

Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning! there are spread

On the blue surface of thine airy surge,

Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Mænad, even from the dim verge

Of the horizon to the zenith's height,

The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night

Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere

Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: O hear!


Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams

The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull'd by the coil of his crystàlline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiæ's bay,

And saw in sleep old palaces and towers

Quivering within the wave's intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou

For whose path the Atlantic's level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below

The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear

The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,

And tremble and despoil themselves: O hear!


If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;

If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;

A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free

Than thou, O uncontrollable! if even

I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,

As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem'd a vision—I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.

O! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!

I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd
One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud.


Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:

What if my leaves are falling like its own?

The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,

My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,

Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth;

And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth

Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!

Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?


WolfeWoman said...

I know what you mean about crossing paths with people and feeling that a connection is being made.. or perhaps we are just recognizing at a conscious level something that has been there all along. Relatedness is such a mystery!!! And friends one of the greatest joys. Love your painting- you are bringing something to life with it!

Jo Bradford said...

Aah, can't beat a bit of my old fave shelley!! Great post Ms Clancy!! Glad to know I am amongst such esteemed company in my misery of the poalroid situation..... i just wrote a reply to your comment over at my blog, below your comment, then wasn't sure if you would know I had replied.... good to hear from you xx

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I am a mother of 2 wonderful girls, grandmother of 4, don't worry you will see photos of them one day! I live in Sedona Arizona, a beautiful place, lots of sun and blue blue skies! I listen to politics and my favorite radio channel is Cinemix. I am the oldest of 11 , I love my kids, my parents and my siblings and my friends!!