Friday, 27 March 2009

Living on the edge for Illustration Friday - Nowhere





It is said that if you’re not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room. I agree, so today I’m going to live on the edge and change the rules for Illustration Friday! Not for all the artists that take part, of course, just for me. The prompt today is ‘poise’. Great topic and I’m absolutely certain there will be some amazingly good interpretations – as there always are from the many talented people who take part in this weekly challenge.

I had a little think about the word ‘poise’ and how I could connect that with one of my paintings. All the women I paint have both POISE and GRACE in abundance. Maybe it doesn’t always shine through in the naive paintings I do of them, but they have all those attributes – and more – in ‘real life’, so it’d be very difficult to choose just one or, indeed, to paint a new one.

Instead, I’m going to be very rebellious today and change the rules. My personal prompt for this particular Illustration Friday is ‘nowhere’.

We’ve all been to nowhere. It might have been in the middle of Borneo or Beijing. It might have been in Timbuktu, or along a time-worn trail in Tuscany. Was it on an isolated South Pacific island, or under a desert moon in Mali? Perhaps you found nowhere on a dhow off the palm-fringed coast of Zanzibar, or was your nowhere in the middle of Manhattan? Nowhere is a setting, a situation and a state of mind. It’s not on any map, but you know it when you’re there.

Where is your nowhere?


40 comments:

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

My nowhere was in a suburb of Orange County, California, the loneliest place on earth if you have a workaholic husband and two little children and a depression. That was really and truly Nowhere!

Tomás Serrano said...

It´s a wonderful and paceful painting.

jinksy said...

Mybe my mind is nowhere, when it is anywhere but concentrating on the job in hand?!

Linda Sue said...

I KNOW where nowhere is! It's in the Atlas- Rawlins Wyoming and is in the middle of a larger nowhere- wind and dirt, antelope, jack rabbits, prairie dogs, coyotes, bob cats and space- lots and lots of space- nothing as beautiful as the tree you have painted that's for sure!

Lola said...

The amiable acacia tree, beautiful. Nowhere is where the heart is empty, a place where one can't feel emotions.

Lori ann said...

Nowhere to me is a place of humble beauty, your tree painting takes me there. I have been to so many "nowheres" I can't choose just one, but I know I like it when I'm there. And Tess, your ladies shine like the southern star,with every bit of beauty,grace,poise,dignity and humility that a person can have. And if you want to say they are naive paintings then I will think that means with all the wonder of a child, the most beautiful of all possiblities!
xoxoxoxo and ♥♥♥♥

Teri C said...

It is a beautiful and poised painting in the middle of nowhere! Now you have both words. lol

Mick said...

All this rule breaking will certainly put you on the road to nowhere.

Connie said...

Beautiful and trees are difficult subjects!

Elizabeth said...

Nowhere to me would be a suburban subdivision where all the houses had vinyl siding thin wall board interior walls and the contents were similar.
I'm sure I'm being judgmental and horrid......

You painting is lovely.

Alina Chau said...

Lovely!

lakeviewer said...

Nowhere: unfocused place that disappears from our memory before it even gets noticed.

A feeling of strangeness, away from home-heart-family.

Carol said...

Beautiful as always and the perfect nowhere to be in.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Being rebellious is a great thing, as is your new painting of "nowhere" Tess.

My nowhere is my peace of mind. When I'd rather be nowhere than where I am, both physically, emotionally, and mentally. It's a great place to be when I can find it:)

P.S. noreply = emails to nowhere

Beth Kephart said...

Where is our nowhere?

I am stopped by this question.

I believe it is me out with a camera and nothing to shoot, my eyes temporarily blinded to outcroppings and possibilities.

Polly said...

I'm not sure if I'm getting this right - is nowhere a state of loss, physical or emotional? Or is it state of seclusion? Is it positive or negative? If positive, then my nowhere is in the north of Scotland: I have never felt so far from the world as I did there. Very interesting post. Polly x

adrienne trafford said...

ok, my nowhere was on a backroad at night in a swamp in Georgia - i was never so scared in my life...

this is a beautiful painting of a tree that i'm inlove with..

A Cuban In London said...

Interesting post as usual. My 'nowhere' occurred in the first few weeks after I arrived in London in '97. One evening I was sat on the upper deck of a bus heading home when out of the blue a tear streaked donw my left cheek. This was followed by another tear travelling the opposite path. I thought then and still think now that the mini-breakdown was brought on by my inability to understand the natives here despite me having spent five years in uni studying the English language. I wondered that night in that 'nowhere' situation: what good were the years and years of toiling incessantly through endless books on English grammar, phonetics, phonology and stylistics? Where was my pay-off? When I came to live in London I had a heavy American accent, mainly Northeast coast, on account of me having postgraduate teachers who lived in Boston and New York mainly. Thrown into the melee of this metropolis with its Cockney-rhyming slang denizens and musical Jamaican patois, I was a wreck the first few months. So, that was my 'nowhere'. As usual, I said to myself (a la Kate Winslet, by the way she copied me): Gather. Gather.

And I won. When I was recently interviewed for the BBC's World Have Your Say, one of my acquaintances told me that I sounded just like an East End 'boy done good'.

I loved the image that fronts your post today, by the way. I believe it is an acacia tree, one of my favourite trees ever, because talking of poise, to me this tree symbolises balance. Just like the baobab symbolises wisdom. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

skywind said...

Solitary desert tree, is an oasis.
Health information
Humor & Fun World

Mama Shujaa said...

What peace that painting evokes - it moves me into a realm of feelings so deep, rarely expressed in this time-worn journey, my life in the Diaspora - my nowhere.

Mama S.

Richie's 2ts Inspires said...

So calm...in nowhere land.

Happy Sunday.

Woman in a Window said...

That's a tricky question 'cause nowhere, when I think of it, is stripped of the chaos and confusion of daily life. It's standing on this island nearby that I know well and feeling well. But then that is really Somewhere afterall.

Thanks for this.

Indigene said...

The colors are so beautiful and peaceful!

Big Green Serpent said...

This painting is amazing! I have always belived that one would never know the real value of great art until its creator is gone. Then the kids will be the ones to reap the benefit. But you are going nowhere. We love you.

Nowhere to me is everywhere and I believe that you, just like your paintings have both POISE and GRACE in abundance.

Reya Mellicker said...

What does "vladivostock" mean?

My middle of nowhere would probably be someplace like the halfway across the state of Kansas on I-70, where every exit looks exactly like the one before it, and the one after it.

Or halfway across the state of Nevada. Driving across Nevada is like driving across the moon.

What a cool post. Thank you!

Val said...

some times anothers 'nowhere' is my 'somewhere' - 'going nowhere' is like going round in circles and achieving nothing, or running hard but not moving forwards...

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Val said...
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pRiyA said...

I am trying to get a new water meter installed. I am getting NOWHERE with water meter man!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

My nowhere is usually in the middle of the Karoo! Or on a dusty farm road in the middle of the Western Cape - you know, in the middle of well, nowhere :-)
Funny, poise always makes me think of porpoise...

The W.O.W. factor! said...

Oh Tessa...I love this painting! My Nowhere could very easily be perched on one of those high limbs overlooking the beauty and peace of Nowhere Land!
But...since I can't go there, I'd choose a rock cliff to sit on overlooking the vast Pacific...
hmmm...can't go there either!
I love people who 'break rules' and I love how you broke them for this!
XoXo
Barb

karen said...

What a stunning image of an African acacia! My middle of nowhere would be in the middle of the Makgadikgadi salt pans in Botswana... flat, whiteness in all directions, the curvature of the earth showing itself.. awesome!

Tessa said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. Each and every one carries such resonance. It has been absolutely fascinating to read about all the variations of 'nowhere'. It's so interesting that some of you find nowhere to be a time for reflection and solace, while others imagine it to be a place of lonliness and desolation.

Professor Mick, you suspender-wearing curmudgeon, you! The road to nowhere always leads somewhere, y'know. BTW, loving the poised moustache...

Reya, 'vladivostock' is my new expletive!

pRiyA said...

Hi again Tessa,
thank you for your lovely comment on my last post. Were you brought up in India? I just wondered because you mentioned an 'Ayah' telling you stories...

Renee said...

Tessa thank you for your birthday wishes.

How was your visit with your sister. I hope you had a wonderful time.

And I know you did. There is no other kind of time with some sisters.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Renee said...

Tessa Bloomsbury has nothing on us.

xoxo

david mcmahon said...

Brilliant post, brilliant question.

kj said...

hello, where am i coming from? renee's probably.

nowhere. never been there. maybe if i could stop my mind from imagining, i might fall upon it yet.

ps. your painting is wonderful!

studio lolo said...

My nowhere is limbo, one foot on the west coast, one on the east coast. Living with a person that is never happy with his current situation and thinking the change he seeks will be the answer.
We'll only find the answer when we change.

Lovely painting Tessa, and a good pondering.
XX

Cheffie-Mom said...

Lovely painting. My nowhere is somewhere in East Texas! I came over from David's blog. Congrats on the Post of the Day mention!