Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Williamsburgs, oil on canvas panel, approx. 5x7 in. SOLD

8/21. This one could have been done in one session, considering the total time put into it. They may not be the best paint tubes, but they feel Williamsburg-y enough for me. I think I got the oily, peeling labels all right, and I felt good for a while as I thought that a part of the label on the leftmost tube achieved something close to the quality that I love in Bonington - the light along the bottom edge of the oil-stained paper made me think of some of his pictures of boats where the light just sings perfectly in the sails. Then I ruined it. But I think that part still looks ok. And if my rendition of the Williamsburg employees' chicken scratches aren't legible, the tubes are Mars Violet, Prussian Blue, and Egyptian Violet. I must have gotten them on sale because I hardly ever need these colors. The Egyptian Violet is one awesomely BEAUTIFUL color, though, like wow....

I am a dork. I have been slowly learning Old English the last couple of years, and I had never knowingly come across the word for "to paint." The thought occurred to me again as I finished this painting. Surely they had such a word, for things got painted, and there were people who painted those things. Was it Latin-based (like much of their vocabulary), from "pict-" or something like it? It shouldn't be, as the idea of paint didn't start with the Romans, and this would just get me mixed up - as I knew the "Picts" in Britain were so called by the Romans because they painted their bodies, and that the Anglo-Saxon name for them was Peohtas - my mind then would get stuck in the p's. Finally I went to this wonderful site, an electronic, searchable(!) version of the meaty Bosworth and Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary from 1898. If I had a wishlist on here, a copy of this book would be at the top. Turns out the word I was looking for is one I had seen a lot, the same as "to meet."

Old English word of the day:
métan [mā'-tän]: to paint, depict, adorn, draw.
(métere: painter. méting, métering: painting.)
Related to metan [mĕt'-än]: to mete, measure, compare.
Ic eom métere.

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