Bell Poem No. 11
October 2020. Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 10 in.
I haven’t posted about the Bell Poems in a while, but I haven’t stopped creating them. I wasn’t sure when I began just where they were going, and if they were ultimately going to comprise a true body of work. By early last fall I’d decided they were indeed all part of a collection that held together – if, through nothing else, that they all began with a large calligraphic gesture in black on white, on a canvas of 20 x 10 inches (or 10 x 20 – orientation is not a fixed attribute of this group). Nonetheless, they’ve proved to be of flexible character beyond that common beginning. Some, in truth, I did not designate as a bell poem at all at first, they just seemed too different. But I’ve given up on that. I think their origin dictates the class.
No. 11 above is a bit of a throwback in style to an early example, Bell Poem No. 2. In this case, though, I pushed further in not stopping with a single layer of colored stain, but rather went over the first layer of quinacridone rose with another layer of a medium green, which gives the surface vibrancy.
But things are not stopping there. A snapshot of the three latest on the studio wall:
More detail on these to come, once I’m sure they’re finished and they’re properly photographed. But, briefly, the furthest left followed an early course much like No. 11 above; the middle piece will probably remain black and white like several other of the poems; and the painting on the right goes off the regular course completely, about which more later. But I think it belongs anyway. And that feels right.
I’m beginning to believe that this will go on for a while. The elongated format and the large black brush work on white inspires me. That just seems to be the fact.