Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Owl of Minerva Only Flies At Dusk

RK & Juno, pen and watercolour on paper, 30 x 40 cm

I'm afraid i haven't been painting much recently. I haven't even come to my blog. Which makes me feel bad because then i neglect my bloggy friends and miss out on all their fantastic work. My excuse is that i have Ménière's and lately the world has been spinning a bit too much for me to focus.

But i did manage this small painting of Rachel today for Julia Kay's Portrait Party. You can see Rachel's amazing portraits on her blog here. I so very much admire her brush work and her profound understanding of form and light. And did i mention her exciting use of colour? She combines boldness and invention with nuance and control. Her portraits are simultaneously strong yet sensitive. So this is my vision of the noble Rachel and her inspirational helper, Juno. (For some reason i had this image of Athena with her owl in my head, maybe because Hegel once wrote that the owl of Minerva only flies at dusk and i have a bit too much dusk lately).

So sorry everyone if you've felt neglected of late. You are all in my thoughts :-D.


  1. We've missed you--RK and Juno is wonderful. Be well. Spinning and eye-jitters are disconcerting--I lost a bit of hearing several years ago.

  2. Welcome Back Harry,
    I just looked up Meniere's on WebMD and it does not sound like fun. Sadly, all I can offer you is hope for no further attacks, an expression of support which will no doubt be echoed by your countless friends around the world.
    Geez, Harry, I know I'm not alone in telling you how much you've been missed. Your paintings and writings light up many lives-- lives lived in that solitude you wrote so eloquently about in an older post I just finished reading.
    So, let's have no more of this Meniere's nonsense!
    Welcome Back,

  3. i hope you are feeling better Harry... clearly you are with this piece: i love how you have used colour on certain chosen areas accentuating the clean lines of the portrait.

  4. It’s always a pleasure
    to see such a Wonderful Work
    good creations

  5. As you give to us by sharing your works, we can give back to you by sending good, healing thoughts your way. Love the sublety of this piece and hope you are straight with the world and back painting again soon. You are missed!

  6. Dear Harry , don't worry , U have to do what U feel , we are NOT productive machines . I just hope U are ok ( health-wise)
    I was in Italy x a holiday ( love VENICE ), and I did not paint x a month or so (:
    Sometimes we need to recharge "our batteries" (:
    thanks x your latest comment..
    take care , a big hug

  7. Good portrait in a new style, Harry. But, the most important is your health. I hope you will be soon totally restablished.
    I too miss your art and your feelings about this art.

  8. Harry what an honor, to have inspired this work with an image from my life touches me deeply. It's a beautiful portrait of me with my helper, I love the rich deep color, it resonates with where I am currently at with my own work. I hope to make a book of all the paintings done of me and Juno, may I please add this? I hope you are feeling good today. Thank you!!

  9. I really miss you, really, you give me inspiration,

  10. Thanks Hallie. Sorry to hear youre affliced too. I guess the scars of living are what enable us mature ones to speak with some insight in a world obssessed with youth and surface. And our best revenge on the Fate that dished out those scars - turn them into art.

  11. Harry, what a pleasure to see this new post.
    Hope this comment will find you with a lot of energy.
    I miss your sensibility and paintings but can wait patiently.
    Take care,
    Kind regards.

  12. Gary, my friend, what a nice comment. Thanks for your support. And thanks for focusing on my work rather my malady - it's what i try to do and rather regret now even mentioning it for i try to never make it an excuse for not living. Haha, love your homage to Caio.

  13. hi rahina. Yes, thouh i i've never met Rachel in person i somehow wanted to economically represent the sense i get from her work that she is strong yet sensitive woman of great clarity.

  14. hi Skizo, alwas nice to have you drop by.

  15. Thanks for the healing thoughts, Rhonda. And I love those x-rays of posing pin-ups that you posted a link to in your blog - gave me a real lift, lol.

  16. So wise, Marialuisa. We are not machines and shouldn't feel we have to churn out art just to keep our blogs current. Maybe the need to recharge is what my body is trying to tell me.

    So glad you had a great time. And isn't Venice amazing - this seductive blend of beauty, decay and impossible streetscapes. Big hug right back.

  17. Haha, Manel, i don't think i have a style. I don't seem to be able to make the same sort of image twice! Every time i have to re-invent the wheel. I take this as a sign that i don't really know what i'm doing, lol. Great to see your progress in figurative drawing but i'm so glad youre still doing those immaculate still lifes too.

  18. I'm so pleased you like this quick little work, Rachel. I do admire your work tremendously. I'd be honored and delighted to have you include it in your collection :-D . Thanks for the good wishes.

  19. Such a nice comment, Laura. Big Hug.

  20. Olivia, thank you for your patient support and encouragement. I heartily endorse Manel's tribute to your wonderful watercolors - they are a real tonic.

  21. Harry,

    I'm so sorry to hear that you have been ill. I too have just educated myself on Ménière's. I am sending you thought of health and healing.
    I know it's hard to step away from the habit of being online, but do what you need to do to get better so you can get back on track with your creations. I will remain here in wait.

    Take good care,

  22. Hi Harry, I like this beautiful work that transmits serenity.
    Like you, I also love the wonderful paintings of Rachel K Schlueter, than I discovered thanks to your blog.
    Warm regards.

  23. Hello Harry, I do hope you feel better soon, I miss your postings and have just re-read your posting on the solitude of artists. Don't rush anything until you feel like it. Creativity is difficult when your body is weak but the spirit is willing. You will come through this. Look forward to you writing and painting again very soon. Kind Regards.

  24. Harry, So sorry to hear you have Ménière's. Must tell you, I also suffered through the same condition. Be hopeful, it passes. Took about 8 months for me to get back to normal. The uncertainty of the next episode completely sucks. But I have the feeling you will carry on like a trooper. Please keep me posted, maybe I can give you some insights along the way. It's such a poorly understood condition.

    Did you hear about the recent release of "HOWL"? I couldn't help thinking about you as I read the reviews, which are favorable, btw. I'm always so inspired by your pairings of the visual arts with the spoken word. Such a powerful combination. Love your art, Harry. Best, C.

  25. Hi Harry, you always come up with new and interesting ways to portray your subjects. Was it drawn straight on, you have a great eye for shapes, nicely done)

  26. Hi Harry - thanks so much for the follow - here I am following you back, better late than never. Funny that the first post of yours I read should strike a chord with me on the most unlikely of topics - my mother suffered with Meniere's back in the 70s when less was known about the condition and it was often written off as part of a middle aged woman's psychological issues! She became agoraphobic as a result of the anxiety of losing balance (and dignity) while out and about, and while she has never had as bad a bout as she did back then, still has the occasional "spell" and mistrust of being caught in unfamiliar places should one strike.

    Lucky me, I inherited this sensitivity, and spent a month back in the 90s hugging the wall trying to navigate my apartment. Not diagnosed as Meniere's, but the spinning didn't care what it was called and kept on spinning until it simply left as mysteriously as it had arrived. Frightening, frustrating and depressing stuff to go through. You have my sympathies!

    I still get spells of vertigo, but have learned to recognize them, not panic, and override the sensation with various mental and physical tricks. It's still no fun and I wish you all the best at managing this ill!

  27. Harry...
    all the work is outstanding, take some time for yourself, the canvas will be there when you get going.

  28. Lucky Rachel... It's wonderful!..
    Hope you feel better soon.

  29. Harry, take care of yourself. That doesn't sound like much fun.

    I like the simplicity of the lines in this piece and the small amount of paint that adds so much interest.

  30. Thanks for the thoughts, Brian. They must be working because i just primed a large canvas.

    Lozzano, glad you like Rachel's work too. Cheers.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Carolann. It's nice to know so many bloggers are still interested and popping by. Youre right about the spirit willing etc. But maybe its some of the body grumbles the helps fuel the art? It's certainly one reason why i chose aging as a theme. Warm wishes.

  31. I hope you feel better soon were born to paint. This is just an exquisite portrait.

  32. Dear Harry,
    i know what you mean by feeling bad for not blogging and negelecting your blogfriends, because i'm not able to blog as much as i want to also lately. But don't feel bad Harry, because i'm sure all your readers will understand and patiently waiting when the time is right for you.

    This small painting is wonderful Harry. I love the face expression and the bird a lot. And the little use of colour makes it so strong.

    I hope you feel much better (soon) and i'm sending you lots of hugs and xoxo.
    Thanks for the grouphug on FB also, that made me smile and brought sunshine on a grey day.
    Take care dear friend!

  33. Candice, so sorry to hear you know from experience what it’s like. I used to think it passes, but after five years of living on a rolling deck listening to tin whistles i’m resigned to a life sentence. I’ve lived by the rule of never making it an excuse so feel sorry now i mentioned anything here. Most of my friends don’t even know i have it.

    And yes, i did see Howl announced. What a co-incidence, thinks me. Thanks for the nice comment re my art, but it’s just thrashing around compared to your systematic totally disciplined and immaculate work. I’m in awe of your talent. So i’m thrilled to receive your comment.

    Take care.


  34. hi Sam, thanks for the nice comment. But i can't take all the credit. The photo was Rachel's and i gave me the composition, more or less. I see your work is as perfect as ever. "Caramel" is particularly adorable. Beautifully done.

  35. Hi Harry,
    I suffer from the same situation: have not painted much lately :-(.
    But this work of your's is very good.

  36. Gabriella, welcome to my blog. I did so enjoy your blog post on the World Within. And what, you're another sufferer?! I'd like to think it is an affliction the we extra sensitive artistic types are prone to, like royalty and haemophilia.

    But alas, i expect it's simply an under-reported epidemic with millions of agoraphobics not venturing out to make a fuss. I decided at the outset that i would not become acrophobic and so insisted on going anywhere others wanted to go, even if at times it mean walking with a stick or clinging to walls along the pavement.

    My mum had it too, and i never gave her the understanding and support she deserved. Which is another reason i don't whinge (mostly) - a kind of poetic justice, karma. Let's see how YOU like it, Harry. Sorry mum.

    Thanks for the good wishes, Gabriella. And my the labyrinth-pixies keep giving you a wide berth.

  37. Thanks, jb. I'm just doing a little each day, even if only preping a canvas. Cheers, friend.

    Thanks, Marian, for the good wishes and nice comment.

    Hi Nicki. Thanks for sharing that observation about the work.

    Celeste, what a wonderful thing to say!! Born to paint. Warm wishes.

  38. Thanks for the re-assurance, Monica. I know you've been down lately, and that a great sense of weight and lethargy often can accompany that. Others who have never experienced that don't understand the courage it can take to just go and make a cup of tea or open the front door when the door-bell rings.

    So the lovely things you have said to me apply equally well to you "i'm sure all your readers will understand and patiently waiting when the time is right for you". Whic of course we do.

    And as for the group hug, it was our pleasure. You have so many bloggy friends who think the world of you. You are a wonderful, talented, generous, giving, caring soul Monica aka Moma Luna! Warm wishes and big hug.

  39. Hi AC. Not you TOO!!! WTF, this IS an epidemic! Take care. And take less salt. Warm wishes.

  40. Keep walking..., the work will be your login.
    Best regards.