abstracting pixels for poems

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds

Wallace Stevens ~ The Snow Man

The ‘Favourites’ in my photo archive is a very thin collection and these I print or collate into a photobook for my own purposes. There is lots of advice out there as to keeping old photos for revisiting, keeping track of progress etc but even my better ones are ideal for this. The unremarkable ones I’ve been photoshopping into abstract edits. At first this was just for fun, for learning, for distraction, but recently I have linked them together with some favourite classic poetry- and named the project: ‘PhoArtry

PhoArtry: a composite word which by my definition edits a photo as art in order to illustrate poetry. Since poems are amalgams of imagery, word association, and a musical language, the artwork is only abstractly referential.

Poetry not only offers inventive titles for abstract art but itself become the imaginative and inspirational launch pad. At other times, the two just come together as if made for each other.

“nothing that is” – for Wallace Stevens poem “The Snow Man

Because of this project, I was inspired to break my ‘no more book buying’ rule and purchase Louise Fletcher’s “Life Force” in which she combines her abstract paintings with extracts from the nature poetry of Ted Hughes. Here her painting inspired by “Wind”

“This house has been far out at sea all night /The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills /Winds stampeding the fields under the window / Floundering black astride and blinding wet”

I cannot recommend this book more highly in which she discusses the whole process of her mammoth and beautiful art project from inception to completion.

My PhoArtry has all the connotations of faux art but this is the digital age and the age of recycling and some photos that might be trashed are re-pixelated for lines of poetry. It fits the nature of this PoetryPix blog and a project I shall continue into 2022.

5 thoughts on “abstracting pixels for poems

  1. What a great idea! Looked at the link and like every single one. Like Marina, I’m also looking forward to more of it.

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