Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Poet Barbara Crooker and artist Claire Giblin's "Graphapoesia"

More from poet Barbara Crooker about her collaboration with artist Claire Giblin: "We began our exploration in graphapoesia, a term I think I coined, which means already-done  poems and paintings that work together as complementary pairs. Our starting pairs were my "Les Effets de Neige: Impressionists in Winter" matched with Claire’s "La Neige and l'Hiver." Crooker's website: www.barbaracrooker.com; Giblin's website: www.giblinart.com.

Exhibit at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

When they tired of painting sun and wind, they turned to fog,
ice, and snow, tried to find some other way to catch the light,
to pin it down, a brooch on a dress or a nail in a barn.
How many different tubes of paint are there for white?

Camille Monet glances at us over her shoulder,
framed by the gauzy curtains, shrouded in snow.
Caillebotte’s chimneys exhale, like glamorous women in a café. 
Pisarro piled snow on his rooftops,  slabs of cake thick with fondant.
Sisley fell in love with shadows, all those cool blue notes,
while Gauguin forsook the hot light of Tahiti for thatched huts
in Brittany, snow slipping from the eaves.

Soon, another cold front will move in from the west,
turning the air crystalline, and they will go at it again:
a flurry of brushstrokes, a snow squall
of new paintings shivering on their easels.
La Neige et l'Hiver, c.2009, three panels, 5.5' x 24',
acrylic, ink, pigment on canvas with encaustic medium


I stretch my canvas tight as a sail,
size it with gesso, sand it down.
Apply layers of oils, wave
after wave of powdered
pigment, beeswax, melt them
with a torch.  I’m trying to fix
the fog’s sfumato as it speaks
in the old mother tongue:
horizon  cloud  sea.

Light, both particle and wave,
is the dark ground I’m working on,
the gouache of my mother’s death.
An empty beach after the tide recedes: 
ribbed sand, striations of clouds.  

painters and poets

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