Grazing Fields – Ekphrastic Reversed

Ekphrastic Reversed 2023

I was part of an eclectic group of artists who participated in the Cowichan Valley Arts Council’s Ekphrastic Reversed Show.

The concept behind this show was for artists to pick one of the poems (12 different choices from 12 different local poets) and make a work of art inspired by it.

Each poem was able to be selected by a maximum of four artists. My piece was one of 3 paintings inspired by the same poem (picture above)

I selected the poem Portrait of a Lady, Sonnet 892 by John Edwards.

Sonnet 892

Portrait Of A Lady

Would I could paint the lady who dyes her hair

So it falls as purple rain upon her shoulders and down her chest

And sometimes there’s a touch of crimson

Or vermilion red depending on the light

But even if I get that likeness right

When she wears a paisley blouse

I get lost in her Pre-Raphaelite

And then she smiles and all my little skill


does faint

And then there’s the problem of her eyes:

How to copy the beauty of their depths

When she at her painter stares?

And after the sitting her heels seem to kiss the air

Like a goddess who habitation’s another sphere

But in case my stolen soul by her sweet voice will next lament

With just this sketch of words I shall have to be content


-John Edwards

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