Thursday, August 14, 2008

Second thoughts on those elusive landscapes

When I now think of the sea off Kilkee House on Paradise Island I imagine it as a sort of Prospero's Island with our petite hostess as Ariel . And at last I can see who could paint it----Howard Hodgkin . He paints as Nigella cooks, succulently , deliciously, reaching into his palette with forkfuls of thick colour If I had a Hodgkin on the wall I would remember not only the Bahamas but all the fine,fat places in which I have luxuriated. So I don't have to do it [I am gloomy puritan after all] but I can access the delight he provokes whenever I want to. Memo to myself---get a Hodgkin print. Likewise Paul Stopforth creates not just the wind and the light, but the very smell of kelp and cheap soap in the cells of Robbin Island. For a moment the viewer becomes Nelson Mandela.

As for the Himalaya , I'll have to listen to Sibelius and study Buddhist images and read Hopkins until one day I work out how to get that terrible splendour onto canvas. Or not. The good thing about being as artist is that you are never going to get it right. You are, however, going to die trying and I really cannot conceive of a happier fate.

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