The illusionist

The pull of magic is hard. The other day I asked my 8yr old to interpret his painting. My logic following adult brain just couldn’t understand. Clearly I had lost my way on-route from the splendour of childhood. With a put upon expression only 8yr olds can call upon he told me ‘obviously’ its a plane crashed into a tree, in the Amazon rainforest. Two people could be seen watching their inflight entertainment coolly in the midst of all this. Priorities I tell you!

His illusions are of a higher category that only childhood can access. I keep trying to dig that surface of logic and hone in on their beautiful suspension of disbelief. Every moment tastes like regret. I cant catch them all in my bag of tricks. Ive tried using my phone because well you cant carry your sketchbook everywhere and choosing to pick up a brush in the middle of dinner (even if I want to ) is not always acceptable.

A new place brings with it the gift of brand new looking glasses. And its in the sparkling clarity and euphoria of intense sunshine (in this case in Rhodes where we are currently) that I can see the patterns of the pine needles, the scars that marr the mountain and the intense orange of a rooftop among the green. I try and use some of those at my basic level of illusion making on a piece of paper.

There are others who’ve waxed lyrical about Rhodes too.Lawrence Durrell says of Rhodes:

In Rhodes the days drop as softly as fruit from trees. Some belong to the dazzling ages of Cleobolus and the tyrants, some to the gloomy Tiberius, some to the Crusaders. They follow each other in scales and modes too quickly almost to be captured in the nets of form.

You can only soak in the forms around you. There is no capturing it perfectly in the physical net of paint. After all if you’re a magician you have no interest in reality. I try and remember it in verse; the fantastic shape of the mountains that soar up and then dive into the sea, the crickets, the sparkling sun on the pines and the ochre of the earth around me.

(This was a quick sketch using my sons watercolours of the view from our room. Hope to make a proper one in oils once I get back)


2 thoughts on “The illusionist

  1. Loved the painting; loved your son’s interpretation.

    Liked by 1 person

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