At the junction of the main road leading to the town where I lived for a year, was a flourishing marsh. A broad flood plain, knee deep in lush grasses, lichen and willow rushes, it was a sanctuary for wildlife. Here and there, emerging from the spongy green tangle, was a scattered rash of whitewashed cottages inhabited by folk from a bygone age and at the centre, on a hard ridge, was a tumbledown farmhouse where I lived with five girls. We were all students at the art school.
We lived on cloud number nine.
Most evenings, in the summer, we sat in the garden drinking wine, sketching foxes. In the autumn whilst having dinner at the kitchen table, we watched, through the huge mullioned windows, herons and egrets feeding amongst the reeds. Herons were the natural stars of the show, swooping to earth out of golden skies, gliding unsteadily then crash landing as if controlled by a drunken puppet master. For all their ungainly appearance, there was a certain spiritual grace about our herons that enriched the passions fermenting in our youthful minds.
Years later, I escaped the city, exchanging the exhausting merry-go-round of work, ducking and diving, for the peace and tranquility of a countryside I could barely remember. On a whim I returned to that old town and found someone had built office blocks, hotels and a petrol station where the marsh had once been. They had built a fitness centre with treadmills and running machines because there was no more country to run in. There was a super market with a fish counter because the river was hidden behind a wall and couldn’t be fished. Our tumbledown farmhouse now offered a “fine dining experience in the heart of rural England”.
The main road had become a motorway and at its end was a round-about and at the centre was a slender pole and at the very top of the pole was a brass sculpture of a heron. The real herons of course had gone.
© Rivenrod 2015
Swell will be published on or around 8th June and here’s a sneaky preview of the first couple of ideas for the cover.
I’m not sure about either of them so I would very much like to hear what you think.
. . . and here’s some promotional blurb which describes a little of what the book is about.
“Relationships can be complicated, and none more so than the relationship between a son and a mother, particularly when she feels compelled by circumstance to take care of his every need herself.
She will do whatever it takes to protect him from the Outside, to keep him all to herself.
They live in the world but are never a part of it. She teaches him to speak in a voice no-one else can hear. She teaches him the art of hiding and plays games to test when something that seems fixed and inevitable becomes uncertain and unpreditable, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.
Our story begins on the morning of one of the hottest days on record.
It is eight in the morning and he already knows the chances are he will kill himself at some time during the day.
The truth about someone’s life can often be too difficult and too shocking to understand. In Swell, only one thing is certain, by the time you reach the end you will know more than you did at the beginning.”
© Rivenrod 2015
Another gallery of a few paintings and images called Postcards: Sometimes, whilst scampering hither and thither my trains of thought collide with objects or impressions. Words and images, often contradictory, come together creating the impression of a greater whole. Often it’s a mish-mash remarkable for it’s incongruity, other times a joke or an enigma, a problem or something else, whatever it might be it is usually too curious to let pass without committing the thoughts and images to paper.
While you’re wandering about in here or visiting my on-line gallery at Seat214, you might like to listen to this track from The Cure called Pictures of you.
Precious by J D McPherson
“Twilight fades, it’s a precious thing
Eventide under lock and key
It’s so heavenly right now
“A Letter to Elise” played on repeat
Playing songs of the minor key was my policy, but now…
What does it mean when your heart vibrates?”
Here comes the Tulsa Bomber, J D McPherson, evoking the shabby rock ‘n’ roll spontaneity that came out of Sun Studios in the 1950s.
He’s no slavishly follower of those rock-a-billy thigh slappers – Elvis, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard and Big Joe Turner – Oh no! Although he addresses the eternal themes of desire, emotional uncertainty and the need to bust out, Let The Good Times Roll is more than just a reconstruction.
Love it like a trollop!
Learn about J D McPherson here.
Buy Let the good times roll here.
“Who is it owns the right to make meaningful icons in our city spaces? Is it the citizens themselves or global corporations?” ~ Dr Richard Clay: Tearing Up History
This painting is by two artists called Pichi and Avo. Since 2007 they have been producing stunning street art, infusing classical figurative detail with surrealistic spray-can talent. Their work adorns the streets of Valencia in Spain. Pichi & Avo website
The Authorities call this vandalism and is therefore illegal.
Whereas the Authorities call this (“Hello Boys” billboard poster campaign for Wonderbra) corporate advertising and is therefore legal.
But what do you think?
Living, or successfully surviving for the span of a lifetime, however long or short that might be, is a process. During the course of that process, at various stages, we are handed a number of instruments. We know each instrument has its purpose and we know that if we apply the correct instrument to it’s corresponding application it will make a positive, and potentially glorious, contribution to the life we lead. All we must do is identify the purpose. Simple?
Being human: A new gallery of paintings and drawings which have very little to do with enhancing the experience of life. They’re just pictures . . . about being human, make of them what you will.
And here’s a track from Howlin’ Wolf called Look what you get.