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© Bev Byrnes

“As each pot is trimmed on the wheel, as I place the chattering tool to its surface, as I listen to the sound of its rhythm, I am in the moment. An adjustment of speed, a change of angle, a touch more pressure, and magically the rhythm becomes a clear hum, and for these few seconds I hold to this course, from the centre to the edge, striving not to break that rhythm. When the wheel stops, when the silence falls, then I find the evidence of those moments, the accumulation of a life time of moments, a gift of beauty.”   — Euan Craig

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painting oils aging in the sun

painting oils aging in the sun

The Creation of the Inaudible
(by Pattiann Rogers)

Maybe no one can distinguish which voice
Is god’s voice sounding in a summer dusk
Because he calls with the same rising frequency,
The same rasp and rattling rustle the cicadas use
As they cling to the high leaves in the glowing
Dust of the oaks.

His exclamations might blend so precisely with the final
Cries of the swallows settling before dark
That no one will ever be able to say with certainty,
“That last long cry winging over the rooftop
Came from god.”

Breathy and low, the vibrations of his nightly
Incantations could easily be masked by the scarely
Audible hush of the lakeline dealing with the rocky shore,
And when a thousand dry sheaths of rushes and thistles
Stiffen and shiver in an autumn wind, anyone can imagine
How quickly and irretrievably his whisper might be lost.

Someone faraway must be saying right now:
The only unique sound of his being
Is the spoken postulation of his unheard presence.

For even if he found the perfect chant this morning
And even if he played the perfect strings to accompany it,
Still, no one could be expected to know,
Because the blind click beetle flipping in midair,
And the slider turtle easing through the black iris bog,
And two savannah pines shedding dawn in staccato pieces
Of falling sun are already engaged in performing
The very same arrangement themselves.

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Bowl with mandarins

Bowl with mandarins, 2015

Bev Byrnes — Bowl with mandarins, oil on linen, 2015

Finished this one a couple weeks back. Getting the shadows of the mandarins was a learning process. Going in with brown umbers just didn’t look right, like the fruit was badly bruised. I needed to keep more of the local color in the shadows, keeping it solidly in the orange/red family while also darkening enough to denote shadow. The green of the leaves was a challenge, too. Eventually found a Kremer pigment that worked perfectly as the base, then added yellows and blues as needed. Painting the bowl was fun. It had a subtle sienna-tinged glaze around the underside that played beautifully against the soft blue of the body.

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