Azure, cobalt, cerulean. Ochre of the earth and of limestone, a fragment of white marble blinking ferociously into the sunlight. Long shadows, jagged cliffs. Olive green and pale rose. One more week of August, but Summer still reigns in glorious Cyprus colour palettes. There is still time to take off, be a culture vulture or a beach bum. And on every adventure, out of the corner of the eye, an oleander: white, garnet, peach or pink, the quintessential flower of Cyprus. Unwilting in heatwaves, and forgiving of negligence. Anthropomorphised as heroine in distress, and sung of in medieval ballads. Deceivingly fresh looking, and treacherously toxic. Rosebay or Rhododaphne in greek, Arodaphne in the local dialect. Nerium Oleander, the laurel-rose of the ancients.
With a distance of a number of decades, here’s my tribute! One is something I made in kindergarten. The other, considerably more recent…
Blue Pimpernel Lysimachia monelli, known around these parts as forget-me-not, though that’s a myosotis…
A little farther
we will see the almond trees blossoming
the marble gleaming in the sun
the sea breaking into waves
a little farther,
let us rise a little higher.
(translation by E. Keeley & P. Sherrard)
It’s not because Thursdays are for throwbacks! Nor do I subscribe to some kind of Hashtag Nation agenda. Somedays, it’s just nice to find something one made years ago and not entirely hate it!
I’ve done #throwbackthursday before, I won’t deny it, though usually it was of a page in a moleskine, from a trip somewhere. An appropriate hashtag, because nostalgia! (A bit nerdy, but nostalgia nevertheless: “I went on holiday, and all I got to do was draw and paint in my sketchbook”.) This post is different, in that it is not place-specific, and not drawn from observation. It’s from 2-3 years ago, and was just something that came out of my head! So, I can’t really describe it, or say something about the place. Even though it’s more vivid to me than any actual place I’ve been to.
I can say that it is a sketch, that it is pencil and a little bit of coloured pencil on paper. Like a lot of my personal work, it is about memory, with imagined botanical structures and human anatomy used as a framework. It’s one of a series, actually, and someday it will be finalised and all on display. Just like I have it in my head.