japonisme: mood indigo

22 May 2009

mood indigo


From the porch; from the hayrick where her prickled
brothers hid and chortled and slurped into their young pink
lungs the ash-blond dusty air that lay above the bales

like low clouds; and from the squeak and suck
of the well-pump and from the glove of rust it implied
on her hand; from the dress parade of clothes

in her mothproofed closet; from her tiny Philco
with its cracked speaker and Sunday litany
(Nick Carter, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Sky King);

from the loosening bud of her body; from hunger,
as they say, and from reading; from the finger
she used to dial her own number; from the dark

loam of the harrowed fields and from the very sky;
it came from everywhere. Which is to say it was
always there, and that it came from nowhere.

It evaporated with the dew, and at dusk when dark
spread in the sky like water in a blotter, it spread, too,
but it came back and curdled with milk and stung

with nettles. It was in the bleat of the lamb, the way
a clapper is in a bell, and in the raucous, scratchy
gossip of the crows. It walked with her to school and lay

with her to sleep and at last she was pleased.
If she were to sew, she would prick her finger with it.
If she were to bake, it would linger in the kitchen

like an odor snarled in the deepest folds of childhood.
It became her dead pet, her lost love, the baby sister
blue and dead at birth, the chill headwaters of the river

that purled and meandered and ran and ran until
it issued into her, as into a sea, and then she was its
and it was wholly hers. She kept to her room, as we

learned to say, but now and then she'd come down
and pass through the kitchen, and the screen door
would close behind her with no more sound than

an envelope being sealed, and she'd walk for hours
in the fields like a lithe blue rain, and end up
in the barn, and one of us would go and bring her in.

(1970) William Matthews

American illustrator, painter, and printmaker Campbell Grant was born in 1909. After grad- uation from Oakland High School, he entered the California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1930 he received a scholarship to attend the Santa Barbara School of the Arts where he learned the techniques of color woodcut from Frank Morley Fletcher.

Following his studies at Santa Barbara, he spent twelve years in Hollywood at Walt Disney Studios as a story director and animator. Campbell exhibited with the Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles in 1934 and the Public Works of Art Project that same year. 1 Allen W. Seaby was also a student of Frank Morley Fletcher.
blue apple pie

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Blogger belvedere beads said...

this post really resonated with me, i went on an indigo oil paint rampage in my studio. a bit here, a lot there. nearly every painting i am working on has indigo in it now.

24 May, 2009 10:18  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

that is really interesting. color is so important. for me the blue is cobalt, which i had to look up online to confirm my knowledge of their values, cobalt and indigo.

i named my second cat, all white, indigo. i think i had heard of idigo jones at some point and went crazy for the name... or something.

i'll come by, hoping to see indigo.

24 May, 2009 13:02  

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