Tag Archives: art

Trick of the Light

in groups of two and three,
they shuffle their feet, clutching
copies of the gallery catalogue. A few
might surreptitiously sneak a glance
at the page about me
to see
what the experts say
then with varying degrees of
pretension and sincerity
they speak of
my smile.
Many agree
that it is reminiscent
of the Mona Lisa’s so called ‘mysterious’
twist of the lips. They search for
meaning in this.

Warming to their game
where words are plastic swords
meant not to wound but entertain
the players babble blunt banalities,
clashing torn and ragged clichés
as they describe disparities
between our portraits;

the way her gaze
is constantly on every face 
– no matter where her viewers stand,
while I am caught in a faraway fantasy,
yet always, as they turn away,  my eyes
seem to swivel in their direction.

It makes them shiver,
but it’s only a trick
of the light.

My creator was
a visionary who believed
that I would evolve into my own unique design.
She drew my lines lightly in warm pastels that reflected
the promise of a Botticelli’s sketch, but
sticky fingers grabbed the canvas,
brushing their hues over me.

Scratch my surface
and you will discover
a dozen semblances of this face,
reflecting every school from cold realism
to the lily-fresh hope of art-nouveau.
Each illusion contains a
modicum of truth;
an inch or so
of me.

When I reached this gallery
I needed to be categorised. I look like
an English dreamer
an ethereal Pre-Raphaelite
yet they placed me amongst the Impressionists
since I was shaped with bright lines
creating a sense of reality
by employing
a trick
of the light.

If you were a painting, what kind of painting would YOU be? Any thoughts on this?

©Jane Paterson Basil

Mellow morning grazers

Today I offer you a quintessential picture of rural North Devon, beautifully painted by my sister, Christine, and borrowed by me. You can find more of her paintings [here].

Today I offer you a quintessential picture of rural North Devon, beautifully painted by my sister, Christine, and borrowed by me. You can find more of her paintings [here].

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Distant grazers

I thought it was time I slapped some real art onto my blog, to show the difference between my image tweaking and genuine talent. This was painted by my sister, Christine Basil, but I wouldn’t have reblogged it if I didn’t find it beautiful



Plein air site study done very early in the  morning looking over the Taw estuary. I could see the cows gradually approaching the front of my vision so just carried on painting the hills behind while I waited for them. It was a serendipitous moment. Such moments only arrive if you have the chance to go and find them. I love the peace at this time of day, I feel a communion with nature.

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Lisa’s One Word Challenge


I found a link to a video about a man who, for 25 years, has been digging beautiful caves in sandstone hills.  Although the creator of these monumental works of art didn’t mention the word ‘love’, I am sure that love is what drives him  – it certainly isn’t money, as he only charges $12 an hour.

The images of these caves filled me with wonder, and with love, and that is why I have chosen it as this months post for Lisa’s One Word Challenge.

It must be an a moving and unforgettable experience to stand in one of his monumental, sculptured constructions.

Nothing more needs to be said, as the caverns and walls speak for themselves.

This is the link.


She gazes down with half closed eyes and a knowing look, suggestive of a secret shared between us alone. Her titian beauty captivates me all over again. Every day I come, and every day I return her hungry look with one of longing. She whispers words of love in the silence between the clicking heels and murmered comments of other visitors.

And now I sense someone beside me. I turn to see a beautiful woman, looking up at the painting.

”It flatters me, don’t you think?” she says.

”It certainly does,” I reply.

I walk away, never to return.

© Jane Paterson Basil