Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Be Still

Be Still and Know

This pastel of two poppies was used  on the other blog today because, as those of you who follow my blogs will know, it is one of my favourite flowers. It blooms in the most unexpected of places and seems to be able to survive in soil that very little else would ever manage to survive on. Its flower head is a very transient thing so frail and fragile and yet so glorious. It has so many connections with remembered moments, as I have mentioned before in both of my blogs. They just hold a very special place in my life.

When I am feeling that my art has hit a block or a wall I so often return to the painting of poppies. I have shown some of those painting on this blog in the recent past but I have painted so many. Most of them are no longer in my possession, having been sold, or in one case claimed by my son. This one is still with me, still unsold.  I feel this is one of the better paintings I have done of poppies but it seems on this I am a lone figure. The one saving grace is that I do like it and because it is a pastel it will not be painted over and so will probably be kicking around in my possession for the long term.

The poppy as I have said, rescues me in my art, it also rescues me at other times and in other ways. This painting, and other poppy paintings, find their way onto the desktop of my computer frequently. Here I can sit and look at it and consider my actions and my thoughts. I can consider my frailty and my desire to spread some beauty. I  remember those who have helped in the past, and the friends who fill my life with cheer.

The other thing about a poppy is, as we all know, it is best left where it is because the moment it is plucked it drops its leaves and is no more. There are some things that like the poppy that are best left as they are. There are words that are also often best left where they are in the brain and mind unspoken.

So much of life is frail and transitory but the artist can capture those glorious moments, the poet in a few words can hold forever that fleeting thought. This makes us among the  privileged.

Oh dear now I am beginning to understand why this painting is still mine and has never sold. Maybe it is too melancholy?

This blog is linked to my other blog where the artwork is used:- Engaging the Brain


  1. It's pure FLOWER-POWER to me, Ralph!

  2. What is it about today the blogs I read and the images sent to me are all about flowers and now you Rudhi you talk about flower power and I have just been signing Flowers in the Rain after reading Kims blog looks like today I am going to be thinking flowers all day beware tomorrows blog.

  3. I don't find this a me it speaks of energy and life. It is so vibrant and alive. Love it

  4. I agree with the other comments, Ralph. In fact, I was surprised by the title of the painting of the post. The work is so alive and passionate and throbbing with life. There's not much stillness there! I can't get anything melancholy about it! It's a really strong and lovely piece that seems to celebrate life. That's just my pennies worth. xx

  5. No, I don't find it melancholy, in fact it seems joyful to me. The rush of bright colors in the palette that seem to burst forth from the poppy make it quite dramatic against the darker background. I also must say, that I LOVE your thought process and how your approach artist block. What a fantastic idea to retreat back into something inspiring and refreshing to the soul. I need to find that particular subject/muse and try it out. Thank you for sharing, I have enjoyed viewing your work.

  6. Gosh, Ralph. Melancholy is not a word I'd use to describe you, my friend. You spread such positivity everywhere you go. These poppies are delightful! I don't think I've ever seen them growing anywhere so I wasn't aware of just how fragile they are. Seems to me that all flowers when plucked tend to die pretty quickly though. I think this is an exquisite painting myself!

  7. Great reds on these. I, too, love painting poppies. They don't come out in Colorado until late May, so I look forward to that time. I think spring is a time when we all paint flowers.

  8. Hi Ralph,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for introducing me to your work. I do not find this piece melancholy at all. It does have a quiet still beauty to it though.

  9. I think that poppies are unlikely. They grown and look like a weed until that big green bud-holder pod forms. Then, it looks like an alien! Weird, ungainly, and ugly! But, when the bloom opens and spreads its papery petals out and the flower is mature, it is miraculous! Beautiful! Incredible. I learn that all of my early judgments are WRONG and I'd best wait and see before jumping to a conclusion about where things are headed.

    This may not be the Way of Tao, but it helps me get through the "ugly stage" of a painting without giving up and starting fresh!

    I'm glad you still have this painting. It belongs to you.

  10. Lieber Ralph,

    ich liebe SIE Auch, sterben Mohnblumen ... Muss man SIE Unbedingt Stehen Lassen, Einmal abgebrochen Halten SIE GAR Nicht lang ..

    Herzlichst, Rachel

  11. Le thème des coquelicots,tâches rouges sur un lit de vert aux mille nuances. Vous n'êtes pas le seul Ralph à tomber sous son charme... Je savoure sa force, son intensité et sa fragilité d'être et de perdurer...

  12. Lieber Ralph, ich liebe auch die Mohnblüten - dein Bild ist wunderbar kraftvoll, ein schönes Farbspiel !!!