Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stones of the Sky

Center of the Stone, 2009, oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches
© 2009 Diane McGregor

This is one of the paintings from the previous post that I've just finished. The three paintings that are shown in the studio shot below are inspired by Pablo Neruda's Stones of the Sky, a suite of 30 poems that are love songs to the earth. "Neruda observes eternal metamorphosis at work in stone," writes translator James Nolan. "The permanence of stone in the ragged Chilean landscape becomes the emblem of spiritual transformation contrasted with temporal humanity." I have wandered the Andes and the regions of Chile of which Neruda writes, and I have always had a profound connection to the spiritual nature of stones. I feel connected to them living here in the high mountain desert of Santa Fe.

Here is one of the poems from Stones of the Sky, number XIX , that inspired this painting:
Silence is intensified
into a stone:
broken circles are closed:
the trembling world,
wars, birds, houses,
cities, trains, woods,
the wave that repeats the sea's questions,
the unending passage of dawn,
all arrive at stone, sky nut:
a substantial witness.

The dusty stone on the road
knows Pedro, and his father before,
knows the water from which he was born:
it is the mute word of earth:
it says nothing because it's the heir
of the silence before, of the motionless ocean,
of the empty land.

The stone was there before the wind,
before the man, before the dawn:
it's first movement
was the first music of the river.

(Pablo Neruda, Stones of the Sky, translated by James Nolan, Copper Canyon Press)


Seth said...

Beautiful piece Diane. It immediately reminded me of the cloud filled skies that I have seen in high mountain altitude.

Diane McGregor said...

Thank you, Seth. Interesting that the stones and the sky can be so allusive.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

This painting is poetic and spacious. The way you find words that mirror your work is elegant. I am so happy to have found your blog and to be able to see your work. Someday, I'll see it in person. I love Santa Fe.