State of Peter’s Crazy Aunt as of 5 Jan 2012


Edward G. Nilges, “State of ‘Peter’s Crazy Nuts Knucklehead Flibbertigibbet Aunt Dances on the Strand to the Music of Bach, and the Sweet Old Zydeco Sound of Clifton Chenier (le Roi du Bayoo)’ as of 5 January 2012”, acrylic grisaille on canvas, 60*80 cm.

Oops, the Dark Land between her legs is now the sea, for I live in a drowned world: Lamma Island and Hong Kong were mysterious, and perhaps accurst, or sacred, or both, mountain peaks at the end of the last Ice Age, when the seas had receded into frozen glaciers and the lands between China and East Timor were grasslands.

Which means she’s on the edge of a cataract of recent rain falling into the sea behind her and needs to mind the music and the step.

The tree’s giving way before her elbow is a disaster and it’s going to take more than a delicate spray of flowers against the sky to correct this; it makes it seem that the trees and the elbow are in the same plane and they aren’t.

But after my experience, a couple of years ago, with pentimenti on the portrait of Aung San Syu Kyi, I no longer fear making corrections: I’d tossed it aside because the eyes were out of joint, but started on it again a few months later, doing major eye surgery and the result was my best work so far.

My source technique (based on egg tempera painting as taught in Daniel V Thompson’s book) forbids correction and is unforgiving, but this is nonsense. “Shoots (zuschammen) into the mirror writing of its opposite”.

Grandiosity and its inverse depression are going to have to fight it out between themselves in the corner, since creating something new while listening to the strains of Bach, or Scott Joplin’s “Genuine Negro Ragtime”, is the most fun I can have with my clothes on.


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