Objects Observed

Dear K, 


In another letter I wondered if the exercise of drawing what you see were obsolete. Like the subjunctive. 

Here is a bowl of three eggs. They are buttered eggs: the eggs are dipped in melted butter to conserve the freshness of the egg and, I gather, are exclusive to Cork. Perhaps even only the city. 


The objects here are domestic, the vernacular I’ve heard that referred to, though it seems wrongly used. Vulgar. Domestic. 


Everyone should have an M to give her such a wooden bowl.  


It’s not the first time I have painted eggs. Here they are again. Is it a still life? Or the beginning of all life? 



What is there to say about a cup? Only that I was given the cup, and did paint it before. And it’s on a book. That, too, was a gift. A gift from F who knew I would use it. It was bound by hand in Dublin. F knew I would read the page which says that. 


The book is green and the cup is turquoise. I didn’t yet mention that I felt free to make up the colours in these little paintings. ‘Make up’ in the sense that the colour is what I felt. 


Turquoise. What colour is a Heinz baked bean tin? Men say blue.Women say green. Those are my findings. 

I did try and restrict the palette to mud. I mean I had colours in my head and didn’t stick to them. Turned out I felt more than taupe. 



Here are three limes. The magic of prime numbers. Three is the third prime number. Bitter


One lime is buried in the ground. Another is not lime-colour and the third floats. 








Turquoise. Cat. 

Neither a still life nor mud-coloured. PF has been my companion for sixteen years. He sees the same ghosts I do. 

Why am I writing this? I wonder. I mean, I am in awe. At the need to do it. Why? Is it to lend wordy importance to spinach? And the cat. 

‘Artifice is the only way to capture reality, itself inseperable from fiction’. 

Aubergine. Purple. A bit like the cat, I find. More findings: aubergines are cat-shaped; or cats are aubergine-shaped. Black, the total absorbtion of light. There is not an ounce of black in this painting, but purple. The colour of emperors.

A crimson contour. Painters use red like spice, according to Chroma. Odd. Unless he means paprika in goulash. 


God speed you black emperor. A note written to myself in July. God speed you, black aubergine. 






That which cannot be put into words. 

You asked me what I am thinking, K, and above is what I wrote down. 

I read fiction. Stories to help me make sense of the world, to help me feel. Less alone, perhaps. I have no great thoughts. Had I any, I would become a philosopher. 

I wanted these objects to be beautiful. Just that. 

It is popular, these days, to mix science, philosophy etc. with your images. This text is none of those things. It is however Centaur 10pt on 14pt. The empty space, the leading. I always make  the leading more generous. So called because of the rod of lead between lines of letters. 


If these objects are beautiful, then I have done what I set out to do. 


Spinach is beautiful. That is my finding. It is still only a little painting of spinach. And if it has anything else, I cannot put it into words.

A magnifying glass on a book. Both gifts.