Friday, August 27, 2010


Rajin, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

"The simple aesthetic requirement by which art should picture the inexpressible developed into a highly complex and comprehensive repertory of artistic principles and technical rules. One of the most significant sources for Southern Song poetry criticism, Yan Yu (1180-1235), defined the poetic as follows:
poetry excels by its transparent luminosity.... It is like echo in the air, color in form, the moon reflected in water, or an image in a mirror; words have limits, but the meaning is inexhaustible.
A painting that matches this goal does not simply illustrate poems by means of narrative motifs easy to recognize; rather, by its subject matter, composition, and ink technique, it carries an expressive charge beyond its forms so that one can recognize moods and an emotional atmosphere that are of a sympathetic nature as in a poem."

Above quote taken from Dreaming the Southern Song Landscape by Valerie Malenfer Ortiz, page 65 (Brill, 1999).


Dara Mark said...

I love it - how beautiful! When do I get to see these in person???

Diane McGregor said...

Thanks, Dara. It will have to be after I get back from Florida third week of Sept. But I am really looking forward to sharing these with you! xo

sukipoet said...

your paintings are so restful. i admit i do not understand what you have quoted here. i reread it several times and it isnt entering my brain. but that's ok. i certainly dont need to understand everything or even anything. have a wonderful trip to FLA.

Diane McGregor said...

Suki, my work is very much influenced by Asian art, and this quote is from one of my favorite books about one of the greatest, most inspiring periods of Chinese painting, the Southern Song period (1127-1279). I think the connection to painting and poetry is profound, but practically inexplicable. It is something you feel internally, deeply within one's soul. It is not really something one comprehends consciously or rationally. That you feel tranquility when you look at my paintings is all that matters to me.

Janice Mason Steeves said...

Diane your painting is very much like Yan Yu's definition of the poetic, "like an echo in the air". Very beautiful.