Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.
(from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner.)
It began with my being drawn to a longish shaped blue book. Then came the bleach; accidental stains made from a wilful carelessness. Da Vinci’s advice “ to look into the stains of walls, or the ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which, if you consider them well, you may find really marvellous ideas.” Bleach and then glue and blue pigment. There’s hardly anything there at all. It is gossamer thin, slight art made from almost nothing, a breath on the bus window. Think of me as withdrawn into this dimness I saw it carved on a Victorian grave stone in Hawick years ago. I wrote it down and squirrelled it away to use at some point. The trope of window sill…painting as window framing the world…still life and landscape…things close up and far away… Yachts on a book. Painted ships on a painted sea.