Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: In the Losses

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

In the Losses

In the turquoise shade of the alley
two houses face each other
across a crumbling strip of asphalt.
Resigned to the long falling-off
they no longer see each otherโ€™s
peeling paint
sagging balconies,
chimney bricks chipped and mortar missing.

It is quiet this afternoon.
Cracked concrete sidewalks
undulate themselves past the cars
sitting heavy in the driveway.
Metal clangs clatter out from the garage
in one burst
and then

The houses regard each other
fixed expressions
conveying the same boredom as ever.
The turquoise shadows
begin to fade to purple.

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 20

9 thoughts on “Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: In the Losses

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I love the sense that these buildings, forced into camaraderie through proximity, have become old friends. I love the artwork. The use of colour is wonderful. I love that streak of turquoise. It has that vibe to me of a hot muggy day that gets freshened up by a sudden downpour and this is the aftermath when the rain has stopped.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I feel the same way about old buildings – they are like trees, they merge into a community after years together. I painted the background first and did not know what to do with it but eventually this idea ofr a drawing came up and was perfect, I thought.

  2. brendamill

    Very nice image. Ink and watercolor? I like how you use personification to give character to the two old houses. The streak of turquoise draws the viewer’s eye into the painting.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I used India ink and a dip pen and the paints are acrylics, a bit watered down. I love buildings and I could draw or paint them day after day – I think each one has a personality, and I like trying to capture that.

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