painting – ‘the voyage” final version…

the voyage

the voyage

So here is the finished painting! (although next week when I see it, I may want to make some small touch ups…) In any case, I am quite pleased at this point.
It has been an interesting process from developing the idea and thumbnail vignettes, to refining the painting – more patiently than I usually do! – under the guidance of the teacher. I am hoping I can take the many pointers and see my work better as I go along on my own.

UPDATE: New sonnet from Tom written to accompany this painting!

A labyrinth of waterways awaits
beyond the narrow passage to the sound:
islands, bays and harbours, open straits
that lead without a clew to truths profound.
She lets the painter go and takes an oar
pulling with the river’s ebbing tide
toward the dawn’s bright welcome, leaving shore
where her past will ever-more abide.
Her future beckons over wine-dark seas,
reflecting skies so full of cloud and light,
where she’ll drink her life down to the lees
embracing every moment, dull or bright.
Clotho’s thread is cut, her fate’s her own,
though she be tempest-tost or typhoon-blown.

poem (c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe
painting (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer

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4 Responses to “painting – ‘the voyage” final version…”

  1. A labyrinth of waterways awaits
    beyond the narrow passage to the sound:
    islands, bays and harbours, open straits
    that lead without a clew to truths profound.
    She lets the painter go and takes an oar
    pulling with the river’s ebbing tide
    toward the dawn’s bright welcome, leaving shore
    where her past will ever-more abide.
    Her future beckons over wine-dark seas,
    reflecting skies so full of cloud and light,
    where she’ll drink her life down to the lees
    embracing every moment, dull or bright.
    Clotho’s thread is cut, her fate’s her own,
    though she be tempest-tost or typhoon-blown.

    What a beautiful painting! I think the time and thought you’ve put into it have really paid off!

    “Painter” is a now somewhat archaic term for the line used to tie up a boat (from the Old French “pentoir”, meaning “strong rope”, via Middle English). It also may have some useful ambiguity in this context.

    “Clew” is a thread, usually used in the context of Theseus’ journey into the Labyrinth.

    I’ve also stolen from Homer (“wine-dark seas”), Tennyson (“I cannot rest from travel: I will drink/Life to the lees…”) and of course Shakespeare (“Though his bark cannot be lost/Yet it shall be tempest-tost”).

    I wanted to reference the infinite possibilities of the open sea, but the water lillies in the foreground imply fresh water, so a tidal estuary is the obvious setting, which is also in keeping with the somewhat medieval clothing. Big on estuarine ports, were the medievals! :-)

  2. Awesome, Tom. You really captured the mood.
    I actually knew what a painter was… Likely from reading English novels… But I hadn’t a clue about a clew ;-)

    • I thought “painter” was obscure (my father used it, but I’ve almost never heard it since) but wondered if “clew” was maybe too obvious to mention!

      Glad you like it! I hope I can get down your way on the 21st or 22nd and see this painting and the others you’ve done this year!

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