Matrix in yellow and umber

matrix2
Matrix, John Lyons (20 x 20 oil on canvas)

Matrix in yellow and umber

The past is another country
           the under-painting obliterated
for better or worse
           I have moved on
and with the application
           of simple colours
I have created a matrix
           of sorts
large patches of cadmium yellow
           smaller patches of raw umber
on a background of thinly applied
           cadmium red diluted with liquin

I love the haphazard nature
           of moving paint
with a palette knife
           so capturing the moment
life as it is breathed
           and the motions quick
and almost automatic
           so that the hand obeys
the eye
           rather than the brain
these paintings may
           mean nothing
to the spectator
           but to me they are
distillations of my life
           and represent
at the same time
           fragments of discovery
of who I am
           of what my purpose is
and what constitutes love
           and very much more

John Lyons

Advertisements

The mess of love

daub
Daub on yellow cadmium, John Lyons (30 x 30 oil on canvas)

The mess of love

The under-painting
           was more complex
more contrived
           had more definable colours
occupied the whole
           of the canvas

What’s presented here
           is a stripped back version
paint removed
           by the application of turpentine
and a rub with a rag
           so that the initial gestures
of the first intentions
           are not shrouded by excess

Here the daub
           is actually a disapplication
to leave virtually nothing
           but the bare bones
It’s a messy canvas
           because life is messy
Cadmium yellow
           is the colour of love
and love as we all know
           is messy too

John Lyons

Autumnal ode

palette portrait 2
Portrait, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Autumnal ode

September rain
           the pavements
strewn with leaves
           a dampness
that reeks of decay
           the dwindling light
of a year winding down
           after a long hot summer

And yet there is a comfort
           in these relentless cycles
all life and death
           in a nutshell
the lush green fields
           the swollen rivers
the long trails of birds
           flying south
while the rest of us
           batten down the hatches

And she is constantly
           in my mind
her hair the rich colour
           of autumn
her eyes too
           the beauty that lies
beneath the pale skin
           the love
that makes life
           worth living

John Lyons

Love tokens

Louise_portrait
Portrait, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Love tokens

All from atoms
           the roses I brought her
the champagne—
           she trimmed the stems
of the flowers
           and placed them in a vase
I opened the champagne
           and poured it into glasses

We toasted
           and we kissed
two bodies touching
           and in this way
peace was made
           sadness was banished
and for a while longer
           she loved me

John Lyons

The lover’s complainte

germination
Germination, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

The lover’s complainte

My heart has no complaint :
for the better part of love

I loved and was requited
Now autumn’s dust envelops

all the world along with seeds
amid the flaking debris planted

that will in time bring forth
new life new growth new love

fresh petals to adorn the bed
where every wanton kiss is granted

John Lyons

Lights camera action

world view.jpg
Brave new world, John Lyons (20 x 20 oil on canvas)

Lights camera action

Abstract they say
           suggesting devoid
of form or rhyme
           or reason
as though geometry
           were the only truth

Time is occasions
           and they occur spatially
there is no such thing
           as empty space
no such thing as frontier
           we’re all in this together
the welter of events
           energy and mass
and the stillness
           of the contemplative mind

This then is my geography
           a battlefield
an urban woodland
           back and forth
across the ocean
           highs and lows
a little love
           here and there
my DNA written
           in the stars
skin and bone
           of the sun

And as the wind rises
           I lean into the future
it may be a long hard winter
           but I will not be cowed
I carry Hector and Achilles
           in my blood
and to date
           not a drop has been spilt

I was once so young
           I had no memories
the slate was clean
           and there was everything
to play for
           lights
camera
           action

John Lyons


With corrections

My daughter Divina

Divina_portrait
Daughter, John Lyons (pen and charcoal)

My daughter Divina

Sometimes a daughter
           may be thirty years old
but not always
           as in this portrait
based on a photo
           taken when she was eleven
and even today
           she is no longer thirty
the clock having moved
           but she retains
that innocent gaze
           and she is gentle
and kindness itself
           and she speaks her mind
because she minds
           her truth and loves
to sit at a table
           and share a meal
with those she loves
           who love her back

John Lyons