Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lemons, a painting and a poem

Here is my most recent watercolor. It was a challenge for the Everyday Matters group, though the project turned out to be more than a quick sketch. I don't want to do anything much small for a while because I need some larger paintings for my June show at our library. A few days ago my husband brought home two lemons, and I photographed them in a Talavera bowl we bought last winter from Mexico. I like the cobalt blue of the potteryl with the bright yellow lemon peel. When I took the photo of the half sheet painting I hadn't yet added a cast shadow, and that turned out to be a blessing and a curse. The shadow added some necessary depth, but I accidentally lifted some of the dark background, making an uneven spot. Well, there you go. I'm hoping people look at the fruit and the pottery and ignore the splotch in the shadow.

A Lemon

Pablo Neruda

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.


E-J said...

Your lemons are beautifully rendered. At first I assumed this was painted in acrylic, because you've used the watercolour in such a strong, substantial way - very impressive!

I don't think any more texture is needed in the table - it looks good to me.

Teri C said...

The lemons are great but that dish knocked my socks off!! Just gorgeously done!!!

Felicity said...

I love paintings of lemons but this is one of the best I've seen - just beautiful!

K.R. said...

Wow. Your colors are so richly saturated....what a lovely rendering of the mundane. The poem is spot on. Stunning!