creative ramblings & reverie

Friday, December 11, 2009

January Journal (2002)

Released from the office long enough to pick up a check across campus, I make my way among the art students sitting crosslegged on the cold pavement outside the studios, with watercolor sheets or small square canvases, jars, brushes, and palettes mottled with pigments. They're trying—absorbed—to match the color of the winter earth: muddy loam, bark mulch, confettied leaves; rich and elemental.

In a jar, water the au lait color of the Mississippi before it rolls on finally into the Gulf—beyond the convent, the perfume and voodoo shops, the French Market, beyond Burgundy, Dauphine, Basin and Rampart, Bourbon and Royal and Chartres, the streets of saints, defense, remembrance, streets of sin and riffs, the black hands opening oysters and pouring rum, and opening more gently come morning the gospels and Revelations, there beyond Decatur and Tchoupitoulas, at the end of Iberville, north of Algiers.

Not drab at all, the winter browns they alchemize deftly in that squeeze of pigments, the oily globs of color, viscous and velvety as mud itself.


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