You died in my hand
Once you sang for spring
And flew on those dun wings under the sun
Today you trembled at the roadside
And lay your last heartbeat in my palm
Your graphite claws clasped in prayer as you left.
Here is my pencil prayer to you.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
GREETINGS from amid the paintbrushes! I grow industiouser and industriouser this month, with many lovely commissions to complete and work to prepare for exhibitions hither and thither. There doesn't seem to be quite enough time to get it all done, but deadlines always add the extra nudge of fear necessary for this particular last minute artist to complete her work on time.
There's something about April it seems which makes us get out our dusting cloths and our mouldering motivations and fling all that thought it could still crouch by the winter fire out onto the sunny doorstep and into spring busyness.
March madness and the whiff of Wonderland about has meant that many Alice-themed things have been going on of late. I am delighted to announce that I will be contributing this just-completed Mad Hatter Clock to an Alice In Wonderland exhibition beginning on April the 18th at the wonder-ful Imagine Gallery in Suffolk where I exhibited work last year. My clock will be in excellent company indeed, as it is to be sharing wall space with my friend the immensely talented artist/paper automata maker Lindsey Carr, and the writer/illustrator extraordinaire Jackie Morris who also happens to own one of my early Once Upon O'Clocks. There will be ceramics, masks, paintings, photography, Arthur Rackham and Mabel Lucie Attwell prints and goodness-know-what-else. But I am most excited of all that John Foley the gallery owner has managed to procure for our delight the actual original seven-years-in-the-making Alice In Wonderland painting by Bulgarian illustrator Iassen Ghiuselev, whose book I wrote about some time ago. I can't wait to peer at the brush strokes and marvel up close at his Bruegel/Escher-like gouache-on-wood Wonderland.