Wednesday, March 09, 2011


                                           Cosmic Frisson Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm 2010 SOLD

I have been thinking more about my last post 'Beauty As A Portal' especially with regards to hope. Hope, axiomatically, is about the future, even if it is only a second away. We hope for all sorts of things from the material, to the spiritual, to emotional...for ourselves and others. We talk about things, events and people giving hope, as well as taking it away. Yet, we can choose to be positive or not, and how we choose to react will influence how we perceive hope. I believe beauty scaffolds positivity because as a portal  it provides the door, and the path, for hope to 'travel' into the future, with imagination as its propulsion. Ugliness, debauchery, regurgitated scenes of mayhem and disaster slam the door shut, concealing the path as the imagination descends into despair.

I have just read Cormac McCarthy's novel 'The Road'. It is beautifully written. Despite the story being abjectly awful, the beauty of the prose keeps hope alive. Not only does the reader feel hope for the young boy in the story, but somewhere deep within, there's hope for our planet, even though the book is set in a post apocalyptic world. The beauty of, and with, McCarthy's prose is that it does not neuter the reader. A more pedestrian writer would not have achieved the subtle, yet powerful, juxtapositioning of apocalyptic story and prose-poetry. In a way, the reader of 'The Road' feels more compelled and inspired to ensure our planet is loved.

COSMIC FRISSON oil on linen
The painting above could be our planet...or the edge of it. I could be the edge of a continent or even the Universe...or maybe some subatomic particle viewed through a powerful microscope. I have written about this painting previously
Whatever viewpoint you take, I wanted a sense of something about to happen, something exciting like a first kiss. The frisson is the nanosecond before the kiss when anticipatory distance is both close and far. I suggest that the stirrings of hope, are akin to a frisson. Why? Hope is anticipatory, exciting, dreamy, motivating, stimulating! Beauty gives hope a chance!
Update 6th April 2013- This painting sold last year to teh new Gold Coast Hospital, Queensland, Australia.


Maleny artist, Elsie Brimblecombe exhibed paintings from three of her series of works based on text. These are Italo Calvino’s novel 'Invisible Cities', Brisbane poet Ynes Sanz’s anthology 'Fanny The Flying Housewife And Other Stories', plus French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s prose-poems in 'Les Illuminations'.

The exhibition opened Thursday 10 March and continued until end of April 2011

On Saturday 26 March 12 noon Elsie Brimblecombe accompanied by poet Ynes Sanz, gave a presentation at the Brisbane Square Library Theatrette on the ground floor.

                                          Meals ON Wheels: Doris Taylor Acrylic on canvas 46 x 46 cm 2010
                                          Inspired by Ynes Sanz poem of the same name

By Elsie M Brimblecombe


The paintings hanging on these Library walls are based on text and were painted during the last two years.

There are three series represented here, none of them complete. Some paintings are from the 2009 series
which was generated by Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”. Some are from the 2010 series based on “Fanny the Flying Housewife and other stories”, a book of poems about some extraordinary women of the twentieth century, by well-known Brisbane poet, Ynes Sanz. I have also included work-in-progress from the 2011 series. These paintings are inspired by “Les Illuminations”, prose-poems written by the young nineteenth century French poet, Arthur Rimbaud.

I do not consider my paintings to be illustrations created to explain or describe the words of the author. Rather their words act as a springboard and an anchor for my imagination. My approach is to find out by some research what drives and what influences the author and then I immerse myself in the chosen text and meditate on it as well.

It is not only the imagery I am attracted to in these texts. It is a certain quixotic playfulness, an element of surprise, an ambiguity, a quirkiness of approach and style which attracts me. Whether I have done these things justice, I am not sure, but Calvino, Sanz and Rimbaud have given me in the last couple of years a focus which I have not found before in more than fifty years of painting. I am grateful to them all as I have had a lot of fun.

Sometimes I think I may be like one of Ynes Sanz’s extraordinary women, Flora Foster Jenkins. She was a singer who could not sing, but she ended up in her seventies singing (still out of tune) to a packed audience in Carnegie Hall! And here am I, perhaps an artist who cannot paint, displaying my work in the city at the Brisbane Square Library! I leave it to you to judge, but hope you receive as much enjoyment from looking at these works as I did in painting them.

Until next time!


moneythoughts said...

I like Cosmic Dust. It caught my eye. I like it. Don't need to explain, I just like it.

Audubon Ron said...

In the words of St. Paul: “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame,…”