Friday, June 17, 2011

Hot Liquid Savage And A Cup Of Paintbrushes

A paint brush for years lost at sea
has been rescued and brought back home.
Brushes have nightmares of being
lost where there’s no one to hold them.
I may have imagined it but
I think my brushes read this news
last night and danced in their glass cup.

Ever wondered about how long your Series 7 brush might last? Well back in 1994, Emma Pearce, then Technical Adviser at Winsor & Newton, found out in a most unusual way.

"Like so many people, I've always had a real fascination about the Titanic, fuelled at art school by those wonderful black and white photos of the grand staircase, staterooms, 1st Class promenades and reading rooms, the construction photographs and the passengers boarding in Southampton.

The 1994 exhibition at Greenwich Maritime Museum was the first following the locating and salvaging of the great ship, the prospect of seeing actual items retrieved from those rooms and decks was really exciting, certainly one of those landmark exhibitions in one's lifetime.

So I queued and travelled round with the hoards, amazed at each exhibit; the ship's compass, a chandelier from the 1st Class public room, a printed luggage tag, a suitcase still locked, pieces of coal, a steward's jacket with his name written on, even a bottle of champagne still corked. It was fantastic.

Then I turned a corner to pore over another cabinet and saw a paintbrush, fascinating I thought. Naturally, as a painter and Technical Adviser I leaned close to have a better look. My gasp at seeing it was a black lacquered Series 7 was clearly audible to those nearby. It truely looked exactly the same as those in my paint pot! How could this have been 2 ½ miles down for more than 75 years?

Now many of us who lovingly care for our best Series 7 brushes can be using them for many years but the ability to survive in those conditions and remain usable is surely the ultimate endorsement of quality!"

“A Titanic Discovery by Emma Pearce!”

originally from Winsor and Newton
now retrieved from a Google cache
May 29, 2011 02:30:37 GMT

I wonder: Does that paintbrush want to go back?
I mean the watercolor paintbrush rescued
from the deep Titanic, a ghost ship, ghost-crewed,
where only a ghost artist down in the black

cold deep might paint in a ghost counterattack
on the black cold deep, moving in a ghost mood
to paint a ghost image never to be viewed,
endlessly drowned in the black cold deep attack.

My paintbrushes, there, on my desk in a cup
watch me record music, compose photographs,
film videos with thousands of images

on land, here, where the Sun goes down and comes up
on me arranging words into paragraphs.
Cold ghost artists haunt hot liquid savages.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


This Airship, This Woman, This Dream

Pretty Crates Above Train Tracks

Thinking About Watercolors, Drawings And Photos

The Lost World Of Stacy And The Llama

That image is from my little film
“Creatures of Darkness and Light.”
It took
hundreds of images to make
that brief animation, none of them
painted with watercolors or
with a brush of any kind.

I am
haunted by this.

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