never worry about paintings painted over for the third time

“a painting’s universe reveals
mostly in the margins” i say to my daughter

on the canvas’ flanks
little rivulets of paints, smeared fingerprints

“here was a collage– ” i point out
“it’s no longer visible
if you just focus on the front face

the exhibit is in an ancient building,
wood floor, steep sloped ceiling,
insect-bitten beams, 15th century i guess

“if you observe a painting closely
you will get a 3 centimeter history on every side of it,
written in the hours of deep intimacy
bringing paint to canvas,

here’s a thick black layer underneath– &not a trace left
in the painting–”

life read, untouched from the image
that a person displays//smiling
on the front screen

earlier i baked bread,
grinding spelt & rye between the grey stones
of my wayworn wooden mill,
2 spoons of salt, dash of sugar, yeast,
400 ml water

layer after layer on the sideline peels back
til i’m feeling strangely naked, bathed
in just the scent of fresh baked bread,
blurred fingerprints,
blue&yellow runnels from an earlier decade

“that’s why i never paint them over” i say
some will not take notice, some think goodness,
they should clean that up–

for some though
it’s an only marginal encoded map
to get
the process in the making of
what we call art

or life// or such


over at dVerse we’re writing about the everyday…


37 responses to “never worry about paintings painted over for the third time

  1. Oh yes. Much of life is lived in the margins, the process is as valuable as the product. I like how you so artfully speak to this while incorporating glimpses of your life. I admire that you make time to bake bread, break bread – such a symbolic process too.

  2. Such life! I can hear the mill stone grinding the grains, smell the yeast as it rises… such beautiful life lessons! I too bake bread. It offers both nourishment and catharsis. You have painted a beautiful portrait with your words.

  3. Much like our lives, there is so much going on just beneath the surface. So many stories waiting to be found that add to the surface story, you only need to scratch a bit deeper. Love me some fresh baked bread as well.

  4. How moving to me to explain the unfinished edge and what it reveals in paintings, bread baking, a flour mill and a self . . . in a setting with a daughter and a narrator/teacher/mother whose face/poem also reveals much at the margins.

  5. As Lea said, you provide us with “nourishment & catharsis” with each poem you share; always providing insights into your soul songs, always putting a fresh coat of brilliance on what for others could just be leaden-eyed mundane daily grind. I love your lines /written in the hours of deep intimacy/bringing paint to canvas/.

  6. I love how this poem opens, and the explanation of the layers in a painting, which then goes on to discuss baking bread and the story in the worn wooden mill. Very cool, the making of art and life!

  7. Ah, there seems to be so much below the surface or in its margins, whether it is a painting or a loaf of bread! So much, sometimes, to struggle to understand.

  8. It’s so interesting to discover something about the artist behind the margin line or layers…also baking has the secrets of its own….not talking about a life and love….

  9. “some though
    it’s an only marginal encoded map
    to get
    the process in the making of
    what we call art

    or life// or such”

    Art life such….all kind of mix together like colors on the palate. Lovin the art C!

  10. I like this very much Claudia. It is one of the things I like about collages–there is always some new way to explore them as eash part takes on new meanings and effects the whole. >KB

  11. Under the surface, in the margins…the layers to a painting like the layers of our lives. How wonderfully you have penned this…and the bread…another layer, another smell added to this richness of a day in the life.

  12. I like the different layers in this poem – and many of yours in fact. I so much like what you make us see and how you make us ponder on broader subjects. I have not painted much lately for a variety of reason and I miss it. I have not made bread either. Sigh. Two inspiring activities that make us touch the concrete in our lives.

  13. Ummm….I just love this……… layer after layer on the sideline peels back
    til i’m feeling strangely naked, bathed
    in just the scent of fresh baked bread,
    blurred fingerprints,
    blue&yellow runnels from an earlier decade…………….Love!

  14. I truly enjoyed reading this poem. The simple act of looking at a painting but diving deeper, looking beyond or maybe through the flash and show to see the invisible threads that breathed soul and life into a painting. I will start paying more attention to traces in the margins.

  15. This reminded me of peeling the wallpaper in our 1941 bathroom. I think every layer of paint and wallpaper that had ever been put up was still there, including a deep down layer that was black with white flowers. It’s a single layer of nice pale yellow now. 🙂 Peace, Linda

  16. The ingredients are there for a tasty loaf of bread or a great piece of art..sometimes it is about the process not the end result. Nice to see you again Claudia.

  17. I found this a wonderful reminder to look at art from many angles and layers. There’s so much that is not what it appears, and I find the forgotten, overlooked imperfections to hold incredible amounts of meaning.

  18. Ah.. yes.. when we see the painted layers of life.. on human form.. a jagged edge of colors lorn.. tale me.. my mind is deeper ..not torn.. as lorn makes sense.. and i know not why.. before Google tells me so…

    Ah the irony of reality..

    the layers of what is now..
    is so much more than
    born that’s now..
    a synergy of canvas
    tapestry.. is where we live

  19. so much goes into making either a painting or a loaf of bread or a life…i like this process of building up and at the same time looking into through so many layers…

  20. That probably explains why artists have no erasers with them and pencil lines are painted over. More often these lines are still very visible if not painted over! Truly said Claudia!


  21. Wow, what a fantastic metaphor. The art of looking at the edges (not the intended presentation) to see the depth and history of a person — their thoughts, their feelings, their experiences — messy but true.