01 October 2010

"Believeing in Seeing" by Bonnie Young.

Bonnie Young is the poet laureate that "shadowed" me last Monday while I was painting as part of the San Luis Obispo Plein Air 2010 event.
We drove around a bit in her town of Arroyo Grande in the insane heat and picked a spot close to a park where we could get under the shade. But alas, the only scenery was the back shack of Ira's Bike Shop. So that is what I painted.
The car in the painting is Bonnie's. She actually placed it there when the one I was painting left. This is my painting and the poem she read at the Poetry Reading . "Plein Air Poetry". I like that she called me the "Houdini of Color" , wouza.

"Believing is seeing"
"People forget how to paint when they begin learning - they paint what they know, not what they see" -Jose L. De Juan

Ignoring pink berries, reddish fruit
of Strawberry trees and their peeling
red-wine bark, the artist sets
his easel toward Ira's Bike Shop.
A ramshackle one-story structure
backed by tall uneven buildings,
all built in early nineteen-hundred.
Hot sun glazes old brick and block walls,
dark red and watery blue paint curling.
What secrets will he reveal?

With umbrella hoisted, brimmed hat
aslant, he quickly sketches his scene.
He splashes yellow on lower
canvas, orange across the skyline,
nothing I can see before me.
Windows begin to open, browns
and blues entering. Unlike early
builders and masons, he creates
a miniature of today, transporting
us back and forth one-hundred years.

A Houidini of color, he swirls
all that yellow into warm beige
of Ira's walls, vivid blue trash
barrel, sunlight glinting off a parked car
as the persistence of light suffuses.
A bike rides in, but that car's exit
frustrates the painter vision
until a new car arrives to reflect.
Light stroking color becomes the god,
speaking to the artist soul.

Now sky's blue is jazzing with bright
orange ripples inviting the ages
to trade wheels, deliver mail, try
a taco, whistle a tune,
look around and sink into seeing.

-Bonnie Young