A couple of years ago, I asked a boy in the neighbourhood to make a few cardboard frames for me. It was, in part, an excuse to help him earn some money. He made five then quit. Maybe because he found his lack of manual dexterity frustrating. Since then the frames have been quietly sitting on a shelf waiting for some attention. Today they got it.
The frames are small. No larger than c. 20 x 22 cm. The older I get, the more I prefer to work on a small scale. I covered the frames with papier-mâché to give them a more uniformed surface then gave them a coat of gesso.
The frames are wide. I thought it would be lovely to write something around the borders. Something I use to do 40 years ago. Then my paintings were rather large but on unstretched canvas so the wrapped around inscriptions acted somewhat as a frame. Maybe I’d gotten the idea from Edward Hick’s and his inscribed borders. Like the one in “A Peaceable Kingdom.”
I like the idea of A Peaceable Kingdom. Maybe it will be the theme I’ll use for these little paintings. And the kingdom I’ll refer to will be mine—that of my home where I am the queen.
Right now in my kingdom I can hear one of my neighbours playing rebetiko music. Rebetiko originated in Smyrna, a Greek city on the Anatolian coast. But with the Greco-Turkish war of 1922, the Greeks were forced to flee. Many wound up in Piraeus and went to tavernas were they sang rebetican songs about the tragedy of their displacement. The songs are very sad. I don’t want the sadness of the music to influence my little paintings so I will wait until tomorrow to continue working on them.