Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Reading

I once ordered a half pan
of Sennelier ultramarine blue,
now twice a year a catalog
of artistic materials arrives.
Do I want the natural sea sponges
baptized as  Elephant Ears,
Sea Wool, and Sea Silk?
Or do I desire a plein air landscape set?
I'll set up my easel on a granite rock
and paint headstrong ocean waves. 
My brush—sable hair
from the tail of a Siberian marten.
Do I smudge my artwork?
Does my hand temper
the wave into a ripple?
A mahlstick will steady my hand—
but what paper will hold my waves?
Thai lace paper of hemp and mulberry?
Lama Li from Nepal
made with bark from the Lokta bush
or dead white paper impressed with a watermark
like the water mark
my waves leave on granite rocks? 

Linda Watskin ©2010


  1. Aren't artist's materials words scrumptious! As is this poem. I wrote a similar one a while back which you will find at…land-prompt-10/

  2. I have often ordered colored pens simply because of the names that define them. And have spent hours browsing through Art Departments and supply stores for the exact same reason. And I feel you, embracing these words, loving the taste of them on your tongue, as I embrace them within the shell of my ear. Thank you,


  3. Mine were herb catalogs giving me imaginary gardens.

  4. Oh, what a wonderful list poem, full of magical words. Love what came from that one beautiful word.

  5. Delightful the way this builds on recurring catalog receipts after once making a purchase. Love the listing of artistic supplies contemplated. I enjoyed this!

  6. This was mesmerizing....I always wanted to be an artist, but zero talent there! Your piece allowed me to tag along into that world, thanks!