Portrait of the artist

Revised face
               Face, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, oil on canvas)

I know this face
        from somewhere
those piercing eyes
        looking out from the canvas

There have been subtle shifts
        since it last appeared
alterations in the tone—
        the cadmium red sharpened
the yellow ochre lightened
        the titanium white
slightly buffed to lower
        the intensity

I think of this study
        as a field or a terrain
out of which an image
        emerges organically
much as though
        it were alive

I like the uneven
        surface of the land
the imperfections
        the different shades
and tones

a face from the earth
        and of the earth
dust of my dust
        which once was

John Lyons


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