Weather Words – Painting

This painting is ‘Flow’ 150 x120 cm Acrylic on Canvas. It was made for the ‘Weather Words’ exhibition and interprets this extract from Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal,

“It was a sweet morning – Every thing green & overflowing with life, & the streams making a perpetual song with the thrushes & all little birds, not forgetting the Stone chats.”
Dorothy Wordsworth

The sound of a song thrush played in the gallery and fresh flowers filled the room with scent. Two of Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals were displayed opposite this painting, (including this extract) arranged with grasses and flower stems to emphasize the rhythm of her words. This is an extract from the exhibition panel beside the painting.

018 Flow Acrylic On Canvas 2017 A Critchlow

‘FLOW’ Acrylic on Canvas by Alison Critchlow

By looking at the speed and flow of the written words, the pauses for thought and sudden rushes of description you step into Dorothy Wordsworth’s world and glimpse through her eyes. It is in noticing the ‘gaps’ that a natural flow emerges. Rhythms appear on the page, an amalgamation of her imagery, deletions and smudges.
The marks and dashes in the painting bounce along on the current and find their own path. Like a dancer moving to music the paint finds the right speed, size and weight of marks to interpret the words. The twists and turns of creative thought go hand in hand with walking, watching, reflecting. An artistic collaboration across time; the merging of senses to form perception.

We are looking at a section of never-ending movement that continues to flow outside of the canvas, just as Dorothy’s words live beyond the page. A shrill exchange between thrushes adds a high level conversation, a reminder of life lived alongside at another pace. There are subtle currents to be tracked through the painting. This is not about depicting a scene it is about feeling the pace of a person’s observations the speed of their thoughts and placing their creative mind under the spotlight. Just whispers floating past, or even echoes of a thought, memories of a line written in a little book 200 years ago…left hanging in the air.