Friday, February 19, 2016

Between Green Thread and Broccoli and the Poem That Inspired It

Between Green Thread and Broccoli
mixed media on cradled board
16 x 20 inch

A while back I was visiting Sharmon Davidson's blog where she had posted one of her wonderful collage works, and with it there was a poem by Tony Hoagland called The Word.  I was immediately drawn to the poem and looked up Tony Hoagland to read more of his work.  There is a style to his writing that resonates with me and I found myself returning to read The Word a few more times which led to an idea for a painting.  I jotted down a sketch and some thoughts to go with it then set it aside, not feeling sure if it was something I truly wanted to paint.   But the idea and the poem stayed with me.

Below are some closeups and the words of the entire poem.  You can see bits and pieces in my painting that derived from the poetry, and there were so many other elements I wanted to add.  However, I worried it would be too busy and decided to keep the composition simple.  


The Word
by Tony Hoagland

Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,

between "green thread"

and "broccoli," you find
that you have penciled "sunlight."

Resting on the page, the word

is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present

he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,

among your duties, pleasure
is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.

Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds

of love, and love

is no less practical
than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?

Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,

but today you get a telegram

from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,

the king and queen alive, 
still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them

who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.


I hope you enjoy the painting and especially the beautiful words of Mr. Hoagland.  I don't know about you, but it inspires me to remember not to get so busy that I forget to enjoy all the pleasures that are so easy to take for sunlight.

I want to thank you all for your wonderful comments on Tahmoor's Table in the last post.  I read every word and really appreciate the comments particularly about the changed face.  I am trying to push myself a bit artistically without completely changing the way I normally paint things.  I have had my sleeves rolled up these last two weeks painting in sketchbooks...everything from faces to clothing to table settings...and enjoying the sunshine.  

See you soon.

♥ Lisa


  1. So pretty! The blue is just wonderful somehow and I love the bits of green on her dress that tie in with the broccoli. Very nicely done.

    And what a lovely poem. Too easy to get busy with other things isn't it? A lyrical reminder to appreciate all of the gifts.

    Another thoughtful post-thank you.

  2. Such a beautiful post. I read Sharmon's blog and remember this poem. You have truly done it justice with your painting. Your color palette, the composition, keeping it simple - all work to make this a fabulous piece. I'm going to sit in the sunshine now -)

  3. I enjoy hearing where you get your inspiration from for your paintings. People will be intrigued with that title when they view your painting.

  4. oh, the poem *and* the painting....


  5. I LOVE this painting! Thanks for sharing in your POST!

  6. Excellent painting, those blues....

  7. Lisa, magnificent!! Truly touched my heart! Big hugs and much love!

  8. Lovely words and such a beautiful woman in your painting. She has sunlight in her whole face. xox

  9. What a beautiful poem thank you for introducing me to this poet.. And your painting is delightful.

  10. wow, both the painting and the poem have thoroughly touched me, thank you