FOR SALE (yes, this occasionally happens)
“East Bank of the Loire; Autumn Mist”
Pencil, pastel, and drybrush
2023  (please email or private message for purchase)
I painted a much-larger version of this scene for a show in 2015 or so, but I like this more. Don’t ask me why I so prefer smaller pieces these days……I just do.
Despite our owning Grandmere’s large, beaux-arts apartment in Paris, we spent only two nights in it over the years. Both of us preferred to immediately get out in the country and Southwards.
Of course, history goes back further than one (me, at least) can know…..but, in places like this, on the banks of the Loire (within walking distance of renaissance chateaus, medieval fortresses, and even-earlier Menhirs?…..I find it impossible to sit and not feel the presence of the many pasts. A formerly powerful (in 1200) Cistercian monastery sits about 800 yards from this view.
We simply don’t have that in the USA. We destroyed the native Americans and lost the land’s history prior to….what?……the 18th century?
For me, this is a very romantic picture. I can sit (and have sat) there and think about who/what I would have seen passing by on that opposite-bank 200, 400, 800 years ago.
This is why, when I’m able to travel again, i want to go out west and get to know (whatever that would comprise or entail) some Native Americans,
Here’s a mooningly-romantic, suitable song for this painting/drawing (like most of my stuff, it’s both one and the other):
“On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye
That clothe the wold and meet the sky
And thro’ the field the road run by
To many-towered Camelot
And up and down the people go
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below
The island of Shalott
A bow shot from her bower-eaves
He rode between the barley sheaves
The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot
A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d
To a lady in his shield
That sparkled on the yellow field
Beside remote Shalott
She left the web, she left the loom
She made three paces through the room
She saw the waterlily bloom
She saw the helmet and the plume
She looked down to Camelot
Out flew the web and floated wide
The mirror cracked from side to side
“The curse is come upon me, ” cried
The Lady of Shalott
In the stormy east wind straining
The pale yellow woods were waning
The broad stream in his banks complaining
Heavily the low sky raining
Over towered Camelot
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott
Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer
And they crossed themselves for fear
The Knights at Camelot
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, “She has a lovely face
God in his mercy lend her grace
The Lady of Shalott”