Monday, June 21, 2010

Facing Autumn

Facing Autumn, oil on board, 51 x 60 cm

Oh it’s a long, long while
from May ‘till December
And the days grow short
When you reach September.

When the Autumn weather
turns the leaves to flame
One hasn’t got time
For the waiting game.
For the days dwindle down
To a precious few...

from September Song composed Kurt Weill, lyrics Maxwell Anderson.

The acrid scents of autumn,
Reminiscent of slinking beasts, make me fear
Everything, tear-trembling stars of autumn
And the snore of the night in my ear.

For suddenly, flush-fallen,
All my life, in a rush
Of shedding away, has left me
Naked, exposed on the bush.

from Dolor of Autumn, D. H. Lawrence


  1. You are facing autumn. I'm facing summer. They say it will be veeeeeeeeeeery hot.
    I like your audacity in combining colors without fear. Strange and fascinating this bolt coming to you and illuminating your face and turning white your glasses. Good work.

  2. i ask the painter who paints himself:
    tell me, what do you see?
    nothing, he replies, and the autumn tree
    nothing and Life’s glorious view
    nothing and Death’s lugubrious due
    nought and the ought of things
    the end and the prospect of beginnings
    i ask the image with white, opaque eyes:
    tell me, how do you see?
    i don’t and i do, the painter replies,
    i face nothing with temerity!

    * Harry, again you make me sing with this forceful work. I hope you will pardon the presumption.

  3. Beautiful work Harry.Know how to use colors with absolut mastery.And the light that hits hard on the face ist wonderfull.
    Very..very beautiful.
    Very Greetings.

  4. The white of your glasses, the glare of the sun, the colours of autumn, a slight contradiction. Great stuff, Harry.

  5. Harry,

    Another magnificant execution! The bolt also reminds me of a road stripe - another sign of passage. Your brush strokes are masterful as well!

    Yes, it's summer here, and I miss the fall. Please say hello to her for me and send her my way.

    A good week to you!


  6. what a great great great painting .
    very good post in general.
    but this painting is really fantasic .

  7. Hi Harry, reading your blog I wonder if you are familiar with Erik Erikson and his 'stages of psycho/social development'. Your paintings speak of our 'autumn' so well. Regards.

  8. I love the color, movement and energy! The glasses add some mystery and the hat is just great. A recipe for an awesome painting. Mix with words and POW! :)

  9. Your portraits take my breath away with their beauty (not a good thing at my age). I saw earlier mentions of Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Kubler Ross--I need to study your blog from the beginning.

  10. This is great Harry, I love the colors and powerful brushstrokes.

  11. It is the most beautiful season Harry. So brilliant colors. Bravo for this evocation of the autumn of the age... I repeat it, a beautiful season!

  12. Fantastic work :) great style

  13. i wake up, open the blog, and wow, 12 posts! thanks so much everybody

    hi Manel, thanks for your observations. I think the clue to my use of color is that at heart it is non-realistic.

    I'm a closet neo-Fauvist, haha.

    Or at least, i take me lead from Vincent Van Gogh's conviction that color was not descriptive but instead, expressive and symbolic.

    Color carries emotional charge. I am exploring the the power of that charge and learning to use it as a language.

    In that sense, the reality of the image i paint bears the same relation to my painting as a metaphoric image does to the meaning of a poem.

    My paintings are my poems.

    As to your hot summer, nearly every year for the past eight years i have visited Europe to escape our Tasmanian winter. But this year i'm stuck here with the penguins. So enjoy the heat.

  14. Lovely to hear to you sing, Regina. The best response to a creative work is a creative work in response.

    I ask the singer who sings her song
    tell me what of what you sing?
    conviction, she replies, and the ageless faith
    conviction and the flush of youth
    conviction, and dread of faithless dread
    ought and the nought of things
    the promise of beginnings in our endings
    i ask the voice behind the looking
    tell me, what do you see?
    i do and i don’t, the voice replies,
    i face nothing with hope of eternity

  15. Thank you Azucena. I love the effects of light. I guess all us painters and photographers do. Warm greetings.

  16. thanks Elizabeth ... glad you sensed the contradiction, Elizabeth. There is an ambiguity here.

    Is it the time of sunset - or sunrise?
    Is time for demise or a dawning?

    Are the glasses opaque and see nothing,
    or are they reflective to see throught the glare that blinds others?

    which makes it interesting to observe the reactions as people as they view this painting

  17. Harry is simply awesome!
    colors and textures are palpable, and background with yellow on the side bringing the light ...
    bravo! is perfect!

  18. Hi Brian. Interesting observation re the road and passage.

    I deliberately made the bar of light very stylized rather than depicitng light falling across a wall or surface. We read it as light because of the coloring on the face, not because we know anything about the source or nature of the yellow-white bar itself.

    We can't even be sure the lighting on the face is caused by this bar. We simply make assumptions. A little like in an optical illusion.

    But then, as Gomrich says, all painting is based on optical illusion.

  19. hi Caio ... what amazing things you've been painting recently ... and the book - wow

    so thanks for coming by and finding something to like in this painting ... warm regards

  20. hi Carolann, yes i used to use 'Childhood and Society' when i taught the effects of cultural difference in child-rearing practices during my incarnation as a teacher of psychology and sociology. Though given the new pathways being blazed in aging by the baby-boomers, and the advances in neuro-psychology (plastic brain) and in modern geriatric medicine, i wonder explanatory earlier theorists of aging remain.

    thanks for finding the painting speaks for some of your autumn experience as well ... for above all, it is an expression of emotion, or mix of emotions

    seems to me, one either recognizes that emotion or at least acknowledges it as a state of being in another person ... or alternatively, some might wish to deny its validity for emotional reasons of their own

  21. hi Tam, glad you like it. The poetry and lyrics aren't essential, but i hope they add something, make the viewing a bit more reflective. Cheers

  22. hi hallie ... yes, this blog is a little like an old junk-yard - dig down far enough and you'll find all sort of odd bits and pieces, lol ... thanks for dropping by for rummage

  23. hi Teri, yep i enjoyed making some of those strokes ... i really get quite excited by the sheer haptic quality of the paint and love to see the tracks of my movement when done with some verve and abandon ... i can a similar delight in your work

  24. merci Olivia ... yes, autumn is a beautiful season

    the urgent wildness of spring is past,
    the exhausting heat of summer left behind,
    and a stillness settles, bringing with it layers of color and ripened fruits

    there is a sadness in the fall of a leaf, but no leaf is wholey wasted

    it makes a pillow for a mushroom, returns to the waiting worms, and feeds roots to sprout again in its season

  25. thanks for the enthusiasm Denise ... always nice to have you come by

  26. Thanks, Marian, glad you like.

    And Laura, thanks for the compliment - Nolde was a bold and colorful painter from a period that interests me greatly

  27. Hello Harry,
    Very good this job, I really enjoyed it!
    This white glasses left figure quite feschion,
    the colors are vibrant.
    And as always the design is impeccable:))

  28. Great


  29. Thanks, Paulo. I know how you love vibrant color.

    Thanks too, Skizo. Always glad to have you come by.