Sunday, August 22, 2010

Zanzibar had a secret yearning to paint...Part 1

Pic by Gemma Wiseman ~ Picnik fractal of a rain riddled wooden table at a Mornington cafe

Part 1

For so long he had admired
Egyptian murals etching out
Daily life
Royal occasion
Star gazing
And he admired some of the newer expressions
Watery blends of unchartered hues
And even the stark black and whites of old rugged huts

But most of all
Zanzibar admired
The frustrated glimpses of inner minds and characters

Lost in ambling thought
Zanzibar had inadvertently been gazing fixedly
At the sole decoration in his tiny humble room
A sepia-toned print
Symbolising the character figures from Lord of the Rings

With a jolt
His focus captured the gruff bearded face of the central figure

Beneath the tall battered hat
Zanzibar could just make out
A kaleidoscope of well-weathered lines beneath piercing eyes
His right hand grasped a strong taut staff with authority
But his left hand rested protectively on the shoulder of a child
Another misty figure sat to his side at his feet
But before him lay
Sprawled tiny figures
Struck down in various antics of death
The partially shaped form of a scruffy mean crow looked on

The whole seemed to be captured in the framework of a cathedral-arched window
And that framed with a smaller series of fantastical vignettes

Zanzibar's eyes wandered back to the only colour in the print
A white-blue coloured sky
The bare substance of white-blue snowy peaks
And the bare touch of white-green grass in the foreground
The pale watery wash of colour
Framed in
Sepia tones
Leant a disturbing mystical dimension to the print

Zanzibar decided
That's what he would paint
Fantasy figures and faces
So no human might be offended
That Zanzibar had created a secret portrait of him

Zanzibar had much to do in preparation
Drying flowers
Pressing flowers
Soaking flowers in water
Storing a whole range of coloured liquids in separate jars
Easing sap from leaves
Gathering damp bark and twigs

There was just one problem
He had not quite mastered the art of making paper for canvas
So Zanzibar looked around his room for a possible alternative

The walls of his room were rough and textured
Zanzibar knew that he had no particular head for heights
So he did not want to stand for hours on a chair with his arm stretched upwards
He had no wish to claim the fame of Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci
(Who was it that painted the roof of the Sistine chapel anyway)
Zanzibar glanced at his own roof and shuddered
Too many cobwebs

At length
His eyes strayed to his old wooden table
Really it was quite a solid bench
Made a long time ago for him by a tribe of cannibals in the New Guinea highlands
But that's another story

The table would be ideal
A regular surface
And best of all
Zanzibar would need no particular gymnastic skills to complete the task...
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