There is a place where, no matter how thirsty, it is better not to eat of the puthyrme fruit.  In that place, the deceased are cremated, no matter what the mode of death.

This picture began as a random doodle using acrylic ink into pools of water on the paper, forced to dry fast under a closely directed lamp and then worked into with chalks and ink.  As it evolved, it took shapes drawn from Christopher Priest’s imagined archipelago in which space-time is drawn into an vortex overlying equatorial islands such that flight is possible but traveling unpredictable.  In The Islanders (2011), he writes a travelogue, a kind of guidebook, and only as you read about first one then the next of these various islands does it become apparent that this is in fact a narrative of tragedy and love.  However, I think I first read the chilling story of the puthryme in an anthology, long before I had heard of the author or knew his books.  That story is called The Cremation and I found it again recently in The Dream Archipelago.  As I came close to finishing this drawing, its links to that story became clear in my mind.

6 responses to “Thryme

  1. This is lovely. You seem so at home when you start experimenting with water, inks etc. You’ve created another world with lots of possibilities. I see flags, worms, spoons, pumpkins, milk loaf, birds, mosaic pieces – I could wander around the picture all day. Great colours

    • Thanks. It is true, this is how i feel most comfortable, just drawing. But it feels too easy. I respond to the start i have made on the page and build layer on layer. What frustrates me is an inability to perceive the world and translate this onto paper. Frustrating day in the woods today, unable to create anything of worth despite sunlight and strong shadows.

      • you sound like you are being a bit hard on yourself. Why isn’t this a translation of your perception of the world? In contrast, I can’t do anything without it’s original stuck right in front of my face. I recognise your frustration. Some precious time to draw/paint only to feel you might as well have not bothered. We should always bother, we can’t hit a boundary every ball.

      • I was feeling particularly frustrated yesterday about my skill or lack of it to capture the essence of a scene in plein air. But you are right and I appreciate your comment. Perhaps this is my style and I need to build on this. I certainly feel good working this way. Best wishes. Neil

  2. Pingback: Biting the paper | kestrelart

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