Orpheus Photoshoot

This past training season at Lands’ End, I serendiptiously ended up training a small group of artists. We thought it was great fun that we were all involved in one aspect or other of the Arts. We had a graphic artist, Gina, who has subsequently done work for me, creating my ads of the Mineral Point Visitors Guide and the Uplands Magazine; Marcus, who is an actor with American Players Theatre and just this past season played Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Larry, who plays with a classic rock band named Reboot, and (I just learned) played trumpet with the Madison Symphony Orchestra for several years.


We’ve just purchased a new computer, which was preventing me from blogging until my daughter figured out why. At last the problem is resolved, so now I can post a few pictures from our photoshoot last Friday for the Orpheus-inspired painting I’m currently working on.

I asked Larry to pose as “Orpheus the Rocker.” My daughter, Iphigeneia, posed as his spelunking girlfriend, Euridice.

See next blog for the painting in progress. Here’s a poem about Orpheus by Sir Robert Sitwell:


WHEN Orpheus with his wind-swift fingers

Ripples the strings that gleam like rain,

The wheeling birds fly up and sing,

Hither, thither echoing;

There is a crackling of dry twigs,

A sweeping of leaves along the ground,

Fawny faces and dumb eyes

Peer through the fluttering screens

That mask ferocious teeth and claws

Now tranquil.

As the music sighs up the hill-side,

The young ones hear,

Come skipping, ambling, rolling down,

Their soft ears flapping as they run,

Their fleecy coats catching in the thickets,

Till they lie, listening, round his feet.

Unseen for centuries,

Fabulous creatures creep out of their caves,

The unicorn prances down from his bed of leaves,

His milk-white muzzle still stained green

With the munching, crunching of mountain-herbs.

The griffin, usually so fierce,

Now tame and amiable again,

Has covered the white bones in his secret cavern

With a rustling pall of dank dead leaves,

While the salamander, true lover of art,

Flickers, and creeps out of the flame;

Gently now, and away he goes,

Kindles his proud and blazing track Across the forest,

Lies listening,

Cools his fever in the flowing waters of the lute.

But when the housewife returns,

Carrying her basket,

She will not understand.

She misses nothing,

Hears nothing.

She will only see

That the fire is dead,

The grate cold.

But the child upstairs,

Alone, in the empty cottage,

Heard a strange wind, like music,

In the forest,

Saw something creep out of the fire.


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