Saturday, May 02, 2020

Artnotes: Visibility, Good becoming Moderate

Le Havre  Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas  9 x 13"  21 x 33cm   225.00
I have been reading about the “shipping forecast”, broadcast by the BBC four times daily.  It is a weather report, remarkably accurate, for the seas surrounding the UK.   Locations are read out:  Tyne, Dogger, Fisher, through Shannon, Rockall, Malin all the way to south-east Iceland.  People speak of it fondly, almost as if  it were poetry in their lives.  It’s been on schedule, pretty much (excepting WWII) since 1924; prior to radio, it was delivered via telegraph (since 1867).  I used to hear the Canadian shipping forecast when I lived in Seattle, but  am not sure it is still maintained.
On the Detroit River  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/wood   6 x 20"  15 x 50 cm   175.00
It makes me think about the Islamic call to prayer, broadcast similar times (5) each day.  When I was in Istanbul, I watched and listened to the muezzin intone the Salat (call to prayer).  Between times, he read from the Qran, over a loudspeaker.  I found it calming, perhaps because I didn’t understand it.  An American friend loved to go to China on business because he said there was constant “chirping around him, like birds” .
Laurie Pessemier    Acrylic/ships log paper   8 x 12"  20 x 30cm  90.00
Englishmen who have spent time at sea and depended on those shipping forecasts still listen to them devotedly, long after losing their sealegs.  I am trying to find something to listen to that would have that calming regular feeling.   I like the idea of the forecast, because it is factual, scientific.  My father listened to the news, which maybe in his day was objective, but now smacks of falsity and propaganda, and does anything but provide comfort.   Music infiltrates my head and I sing silly songs all day (you couldn’t believe how long it took me to extinguish Volare). 
Seattle Harbor   Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/wood   16x 16"  40 x 40cm  575.00
I love to hear the sound of the donkey here in Stimigliano; when we return to Rocca Malatina on Monday, we will hear the chickens, not necessarily comforting, but at least authentic.  In the early mornings, when birdsong wakes me, it is the sign of a good day.
Fishing Boat, Trouville  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas   14 x 9.5"  35 x 25cm   225.00
I am desperately seeking a touchstone in my life, so discombobulated by current events.  Years ago, I would read from the Diary of Samuel Pepys, a couple of days at a time, before going to bed.  It was sufficiently stable to put me to sleep while being interesting enough.  But the sound of something calm and regular, yet outside of what I control, would be heavenly. ...  “Visibility, good becoming moderate.”
Lighthouse, France  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 12  30 x 30cm  225.00
PS.  I have found the most interesting app, Radio Garden – it will play any radio station in the world.  And I found one in London that just plays birdsong.

Would you like a special picture painted by one of us?  send me an email at,
Was this email forwarded to you?  Sign up for your own subscription to Artnotes.

No comments: