Vincent in Progress

This is a painting I’m currently working on, to be titled “Vincent and the Chocolate Brownie,” after Edna St. Vincent Millay — she went by Vincent, for short. Of all love poets, she is the one who resonates most with me because of her gallant and self-mocking spirit. The following sonnet well illustrates her pluck:

Let you not say of me when I am old,
In pretty worship of my withered hands
Forgetting who I am, and how the sands
Of such a life as mine run red and gold
Even to the ultimate sifting dust, “Behold,
Here walketh passionless age!” — for there expands
A curious superstition in these lands,
And by its leave some weightless tales are told.
In me no lenten wicks watch out the night;
I am the booth where Folly holds her fair;
Impious no less in ruin than in strength,
When I lie crumbled to the earth at length,
Let you not say, “Upon this reverend site
The righteous groaned and beat their breasts in prayer.”

I decided to post this painting at this point to show how I am employing Sgraffito (from Italian “graffiare”, to scratch) in order inscribe a sonnet on the cover of the journal lying beneath the biography, and the gold filigree design on the blue book to the right of the plate. I over-painted a pale pink ground on the journal, then scratched the lines of a sonnet into it. The yellow on the cover of the blue book will be over-painted with blue, then scratched through to the gold. At this point I have not done much work on the porcelain plate or the table cloth beneath the books. When I post the completed painting, I will also post the sonnet that is inscribed on the journal.

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