I loathed to leave the gallery. In the darkening light of dusk its magnificence expanded outwards, casting an enchanted aura over its surroundings. Even the parklands opposite where I walked became magic at its touch. Still I walked, stopping every so often to glance backwards, whereupon I beheld with marvellous longing the architecture to which I could return time and again. The consequence of my backward glances, I am happy to announce, was that I was simply very late for supper. Had I been a hero in a love story and the art gallery my deceased beloved—I am sure you have all heard of the poor chap—it would have been lost to me forever.
A mood board inspired by Shakespeare’s tragic heroine Ophelia (Hamlet). Her madness-led demise by drowning was deemed one of the Bard’s most breathtaking death announcements and, with the aid of this ethereal depiction on canvas by Victorian painter Sir John Everett Millais, her death lives to this day, immortalised by Romantics then and now.
There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
I find Chopin’s music incredibly soothing, gentle, and elegant. And in all that which is the aforementioned, there is Grace and Beauty. Grace and Beauty are capitalised here in allusion to the old poetic tradition, where vital intangible things like Death and Spirt are given the capital treatment.
And speaking of Death, I happen to live for la petit mort, Continue reading
Decided to celebrate my favourite writer’s big day with a hand-drawn portrait. Celebrate with me by reading my love letter to him, or my musings on how John Keats’ Romantic poetry impacted his prose style. And don’t forget to have some gin & tonic!
Coloured pencil on pastel paper. More art can be found on my Instagram @artbybettyboo.
Architects design buildings, which are then built and maintained by builders, plumbers, and electricians. These buildings provide necessary living and working spaces for residents and professionals who, in turn, contribute to their society and economy. Politicians govern, lawyers defend, doctors save lives, businesses of all shapes and sizes provide essential goods and services. Scientists, physicists, engineers, and astronomers brought humanity to the moon. The world as we know it will not cease to exist without art and its practitioners but without moonage daydreamers, boy wizards, star-crossed lovers and those whose passion or profession it is to observe, think, analyse, and create, Earth is merely that which orbits the Sun, a celestial body where the passage of time is marked by births, deaths, and unexamined lives.
So here’s to poems about nature and beauty, songs about love, books that changed the world, and paintings that bewitch with their illusions of light and movement; here’s to films that enchant and inspire, to great teachers and their scholars, to thinkers, poets, writers, artists, composers, musicians, directors—to anyone who immortalised their human experience in art form.