Canvas


I’m “tending bar” today over at dVerse Poet’s Pub where the theme for the prompt is symbolism. I hope you’ll join us! My challenge to you is to share a symbolic poem of your own and leave a comment here, as well, letting me know what the painting and poem symbolizes to you. This is expressionistic art, which, by definition, seeks to express emotion or to elicit an emotional response. Thank you.

Credit: Image from Google, en.arthoffer.com-the Artist’s website and name was not available.

Canvas

A stretch of white.
You scrape a knife
through black, then indigo,
layer darkness,
across the horizon.
Reach for a tube of
chestnut brown,
squeeze the contents
onto the lower half
and smear.
Payne’s grey sky.
A slash of crimson,
a miniscule orb
in orange.

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41 thoughts on “Canvas

  1. I can feel everything emerge just as it does in nature only at with the hand of an artist…beautifully created.

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  2. Jamie Dedes says:

    Poem painted in the artists pallete, rising from imagined space, and stretched across the white page. Enjoyed! 😉

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  3. dragonkatet says:

    I adore that you used the names of the paints! As someone who has tried her hand at painting, I felt like I was there with you, feeling the feel of the palette and the brush, the knife scraping and the daunting challenge of the white canvas. The only thing missing for me was the smell of fresh paint and turpentine. 🙂

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  4. Thank you all for your well thought-through comments and interpretations. It’s so fun to see where symbols take us, based on our own perception. And all of them are on the mark.

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  5. Interesting way to describe the process of painting. It starts with nothing and becomes what it will become–just like life, just like us.

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  6. she writes says:

    I swear I’ve done this with a brush on canvas, and a man has scraped me in color, much the same.

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  7. Sheila says:

    I get a sense of upside-down sadness in both pieces, which illustrates life’s confusion and disharmony. thanks for the great prompt!

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  8. poemsofhateandhope says:

    What a great example, so delicately balanced, but the symbolism of the canvas and the paint….to me- it reflects life, sometimes dark, sometimes light, but instantly evolving and building layers….great, skilled, and emotional work

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  9. Teresa says:

    This was a wonderful challenge! I certainly think you’ve achieved your goal of creating an emotion. Those dark colors deserve to be slashed through twith some brightness as we paint our own existence.

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  10. gardenlilie says:

    So good. So few words and you paint that yes sublime. You hit the right notes/words. Don’t you love it when that happens. Okay, I submitted one, sorry I’m late. It’s more story and hardly rhymes but it does have symbolism.

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  11. hedgewitch says:

    Your poem is like a flag above this painting, and for me it whips in a sea breeze as evening is falling with a storm on the horizon, with seasons and emotions changing, perhaps even in turmoil. Though normally I would associate these browns and umbers with a sense of warmth and earthy peace, not here. Thanks for this great prompt,Victoria, and a great poem from you to illustrate it.

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  12. Victoria, I can’t seem to do more than emote teary-eyed (from joy) praise. The combination of the expressionist art (which I love) and your colorful words (masterfully painted) has created a profound sense of joy. It’s the first poem that I feel completely at home in, that makes sense to me at the cellular level. This is not, for me, about painting though it did make me want to paint so badly I can hardly bear it. It is everything that makes us human, how we chose to live our lives, the grey skies that cloud our judgement, the communion with the divine we so desperately seek through our own creative endeavors, and the interrelationships that define us. One of the things I love about nonrepresentational art is that it can create imaginative space. The viewer participates in the creation of meaning but beyond that can ‘experience’ or ‘feel’ the work. You, in the subtle application of language describing process, and pointing to something beyond it, allow the reader this same imaginative space. This is sublime.

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  13. Emily says:

    Oh I love how you did this, and thank you for the invitation to explore the symbolism here. I sense a dark moodiness, broken by the tiniest whisper of hope in the crimson and the miniscule orange orb.

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  14. ManicDdaily says:

    Lovely poem = the Payne’s grey especially evocative. k .

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  15. wolfsrosebud says:

    crimson is nice after the grey

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  16. David King says:

    Thanks first of all for the prompt. And now for the poem. I can get so many different symbols from this – which is what I most like..

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  17. hobgoblin2011 says:

    Great theme tonight Victoria. Thanks for hosting. I think color symbolism is one of the strongest usage of symbols, as it really depends on context in many situations. Really nice job here, also the actions of squeezing, smearing are strong. Great write. Thanks.
    http://poeticalpsyche.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-stilled-life.html

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  18. janehewey says:

    vivid and scrumptious with color and form. lovely.

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  19. lucychili says:

    what colours would you choose if you started in black as they used to do? i think Leonardo worked out of black.

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  20. sreeja says:

    Rich strokes of life…….loved it…..

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  21. Mohana says:

    i can see the painting…colors of life, even in darkness, there is a dash of orange.

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  22. I try and surround myself with people who use a lot of orange.

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  23. kaykuala says:

    An act of an oil painting sequence. Yes, the squeezing and the final result are all mysteriously blended together before we offer a title to the painting. Nicely, Victoria!

    Hank

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  24. I like that slash of crimson and chestnut brown…beautiful colors on canvas ~

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  25. Well done, Victoria. You gave us a play-by-play of the painter’s work.

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  26. Susan says:

    Ah, a double challenge, with canvass–too small for all the action–and poem insisting upon it. How the sun tries to rise and shine over the morass of our own making. Perhaps we could leave it a little more room?

    Bravo!

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  27. tashtoo says:

    Love! Love! Love! Amazing write, Victoria! This reader is more than happy. I can smell the scent of the paint, feel the weight of the brush, my ears still have that scraping knife slashing thru…totally immersed!

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  28. Textures leap off the page Victoria ~ fabulous

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  29. Painting or poems emotions and world noticed and symbols made that other experience as you did

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  30. brian miller says:

    nice use of Payne’s alluding to some emotions which is added to quite well with the slash of red…even the choice of word there adds to the symbolism….and then the fact that we create it….

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  31. Tino says:

    slash of crimson……….. reminds me of Jack the Ripper [shivers]
    You bring the picture to life with your words.

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  32. […] there was all there is all there will be is The Box the symbol of my nightmares. Over at dVerse, Victoria Slotto is behind the bar. Tonight/today, she is serving up a prompt of symbolism. So if you have time, […]

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  33. This reminds me a little of how some of us see this as God’s paint palette. It is beautiful.
    I love the way you’ve written it so that it seems all so casual and yet, obviously it isn’t casual at all. Beautiful.

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  34. Victoria–fantastic use of color to set mood, and then the rebellion of brightness shining through all the dark colors. Well done.

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  35. Claudia says:

    tagged you in over at dVerse…

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  36. Claudia says:

    love the slash of crimson and miniscule orange in this…we need it so badly to bring a bit of color and joy into the black and grey…

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  37. Yousei Hime says:

    How about this: The painting–how wonderful light and color are in a dim world; the poem–we create our lives, so much of it dull. Yet every once in awhile, there is a small vivid burst of color, moments that shines throughout our life.

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  38. Laurie Kolp says:

    This is beautiful, Victoria. I wish I could just walk into that picture. I especially like:

    A slash of crimson,
    a miniscule orb
    in orange

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  39. Mary says:

    You have written this poem with an artist’s brush, Victoria! Interesting to me that every painting starts with a WHITE canvas, and then layer upon layer of color and meaning are added until the white itself in indiscernible.

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