Sunday, September 20, 2009

Painting is Silent Poetry

Painting is silent poetry. ~Plutarch, Moralia: How to Study Poetry

There are times I envy the painter and the poet. What beauty they express through strokes of hushed color or lines of soft cadence, brilliantly arranged.

Vermont's Dale Blodget set up an easel in the sand at Oregon's Arch Cape one day in October, opening her box of enchanting colors and selecting her magic wand. I set a chair nearby and opened a notebook, intending to write, but soon became enthralled with the painting process. I expected clear, crisp lines to color in later, as with coloring books. Instead an undercoat of color in vague shapes splotched onto the canvas. Slowly, like building tension within a scene, small amounts of detail appeared. Colors began to take shape and make sense. Trees emerged. Rocks formed. White foam rode colorful water. Several hours passed and my page remained empty as I watched the canvas become full, pulsing, vibrant.

A woman stopped by, "G'day. Is that available for purchase?"

Dale, engrossed in the creation, looked up. "Yes."

The woman stepped back and watched for a few minutes. "How much?" she finally asked.

Dale glanced back at the woman. "I don't know yet."

Very few artists are known for their marketing. They are known for the silent poetry they commit to canvas. She could have sold that painting, right there on the beach, but it wasn't complete. How can one price it until it is complete?

But she did sell it on that cloudy, chilly day, with the wind whipping softly and cold sand crunching under bare feet as we packed our possessions and padded back to our car.

I own it. This photo of the painting does not do it justice. Looking at the original you feel the mist, smell the salt, hear the harsh cry of the pelicans and pray the tiny opening in the clouds widens until the rays of sunshine warm the sand.

Artwork copyrighted and used by permission from the artist. Dale's paintings can be viewed at various galleries or by visiting her blog


  1. A beautiful painting and a wonderful article. This makes me miss Yachats.

    Tech note: You should be able to embed html for links in your articles. For Dale's blog, that would be like this.

    The html tag looks like this:
    <a href="">This is the text that will be seen as a link</a>

  2. Dear Chaos

    I have updated my blog to show the "techie" hyperlink. Thank you so much for your comment and your free tech advice. I love having smart relatives. :)

  3. You have a gift. I love having such talented relatives.

  4. Well, what nice people. Thank you for the compliments. (pink face) I think Dale sold the painting at the top of this blog entry in her last show.

  5. Omigosh. I know that exact spot. My family has vacationed at Arch Cape many times. That's a great story, Melanie--and a beautiful painting. You are so lucky to own it!

  6. Thank you Jane. It is a great place. Dale did other paintings of Arch Cape. Perhaps, when your book is published, and the movie rights sold, you'd like to look them over?

  7. Sure. Or when I win the lottery--whichever comes first. :-)

  8. Chances of publishing are greater than winning lotto (if you don't play lotto).


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