Insta Art Series – Painting 7

This was a fun painting process for me. I really liked the simplicity that I started with – the almost black and white photos of misty, bare forests. The rich brown and turquoise. But to fit in with my series, I needed something more to add. I spent a lot of time looking through my materials for something to add, other than the brown leaf.

INST series 7a

INST series 7 b
In a magazine, I found this endearing old couple, working away at their orchard. Once cut out, the man was looking up in wonder, and he was unfurling a long net. I thought it would be neat if he could be reeling out words, or lines of poetry. I remembered recently I had been flipping through my Grandma Jean’s old reader, from 1922. I opened it up to this page with the poem, “The Solitary Reaper,” by Wordsworth. The words had an enchanting effect when I read the entire thing with this couple in mind. I think the people in the poem would have been younger, but somehow it still suited my couple and the barren looking wood.Solitary reaper

The lines I chose to use were from the final stanza, which is not pictured above. I’ll paste the entire text below the last image. At the lady’s feet in the collage, I used a piece of the cloth from the binding of the school book. I like how the man is looking up, like he’s hearing those last notes of the song on the breeze.

INST series 7 f

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?–
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;–
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.