Lana Sutton #6: I Tasted Liquor Never Brewed

Edward G. Nilges, “State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 17 Oct 2010”, acrylic grisaille on canvas, 12×16 in.

I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove’s door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!

Emily Dickinson

The grisaille is complete, since I was able to spend three quiet hours this beautiful morning at Open Space, a place for creativity with the sound of water (water water water). A saturated closeup looks nice but note that the rose of the background is an artifact of photography and computer saturation.

I love grisaille for it is a vision of a philosopher’s Idea of the world’s ontology. Severe: stoic: accepting: calm: serene. Like the guy on the flyover who I give money to.

Before I got my eye put out,
I liked as well to see
As other creatures that have eyes,
And know no other way.

(Emily Dickinson)

Edward G. Nilges, “Detail of the State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 17 Oct 2010”, acrylic grisaille on canvas modified (saturated) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager, 12×16 in.

Arabesques and slabs of black and white, very dilute, tie forms together, most important the arabesque of her dancing/ascending body, which quotes David’s painting of Bonaparte crossing the Alps in his dancing shoes.

Jacques-Louis David, Bonaparte Crossing the Alps at the St Bernard Pass, 1800, Musée National de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France

The lower right foreground shall quote as best I can the flowers that grow in this garden of Flora back in Tennessee.


Nicholas Poussin, The Empire of Flora, 1631.

Mon cher maitre, cygne d’Andelys, be my speed!

Lana Sutton is a writer, artist, activist, gardener, environmentalist, naturist, foodist, dancer, musician and all-round Holy Terror from Chattanooga, Tennessee who doesn’t mow her lawn. This painting is loosely based on photographic work by Native Son also of Chattanooga.

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