of branches and secret
notations of lichen
I haven’t been running since November. The failing app sapped motivation. It interrupted mid-way run segments with the instruction to cool down. And told me to start jogging again in the middle of the final cool down. A deranged digital coach really doesn’t help. But a shiny new Couch 2 5k app from a different provider (avoid the NHS version) is working fine. So far.
Even stripped down as the woods are now, the moss, the abstract trees and the low light get into my eyes and under my skin. And a red kite flew across the path, sliding unflinching between close growing trees to land just out of sight, matching feathers with the remains of the bracken.
I passed the line of beauty in a branch, that looks like a pen or brush line inscribing itself into three dimensions.
I saw the code-like dots and dashes of lichen again, in rows and grids. The unreadable reads like a wild binary, or primitive accountings for the passage of days, or the number of kisses.
These are some of the components in the ongoing Landscript painting series. They are part of the answer to how abstract paintings come about. Especially when it’s important - to me - that they retain a foothold in the act of looking.
Being out running seeds the impetus to paint. Moving the body moves the mind and quickens the visual senses. Natural forms process themselves internally into formal visual cues for painting and mark-making. Perhaps it’s more like composting. One thing converting into another in some organic way.
It’s a way of seeing. And, as his death is announced, it reminds me of John Berger’s writing. He holds the tiny, but crucial, visual detail together in tension with the wider context and the bigger picture. And allows both to have their say, whether visually or in words.