Poem a Day

As a start to the day, I love to receive these poems, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation, and this one, along with so many others I have received, is beautiful:


This led me to prompt the ever-so-popular AI bot (see below dotted line at the end of this post) which always gives me a satisfying, easy read, telling me everything that it already knows about the topic. In my artistic endeavours, I am thinking through my senses, feeling towards that which is not yet known or hidden, invisible, trying to render that feeling in a painting as something palpably real – something that obviously involves factors that AI development (and its potential evolution) might aspire to but be unable to achieve. This brings me back to the consideration of the physicality of the original artwork, as being its essential logic, inherent to it, there at the very beginning. The painting shown here, Out of the Huge First Nothing (title based on a line by Whitman) has that in mind – that material came/comes first, and always – and to tie things up in completing this short paragraph, I note that there is a strong sense of the primal importance of material nature, as a governing factor of all matters, coming through in the poem, Christos (see link given at the beginning of this paragraph)

Out of the First Huge Nothing (oil on aluminium)

Logic is a very interesting field, as it involves reasoning that rests on what came first, and hence a sense of origin dwells in logic, making it a beautiful realm of exploration – leading me to remember an article recently in Aeon (I regularly receive their email newsletters)



write an essay comparing and contrasting painting and poetry.ChatGPT


Title: The Interplay of Expression: A Comparative Analysis of Painting and Poetry


Painting and poetry, two distinct forms of artistic expression, share the common goal of conveying emotions, thoughts, and ideas. Despite their differences in medium, both painting and poetry serve as powerful vehicles for communication and self-expression. This essay will explore the unique characteristics of each art form while also examining the ways in which they converge in their ability to evoke profound emotional responses.


  1. Medium and Form:
    • Painting:
      • Medium: Paintings utilize visual elements such as color, texture, and composition to convey meaning. Artists employ a variety of techniques, including brushstrokes and the choice of materials, to create a visual language.
      • Form: The canvas becomes a space for the artist to manifest their ideas, feelings, or interpretations of the world. The form is often static, captured in a single moment frozen in time.
    • Poetry:
      • Medium: Poetry, on the other hand, relies on the written word as its medium. The poet employs linguistic devices, such as rhyme, meter, and metaphor, to craft a verbal tapestry that resonates with the reader.
      • Form: Poetry can take various forms, including sonnets, free verse, or haikus. The arrangement of words and the rhythm contribute to the overall aesthetic and emotional impact of the poem.
  2. Imagery and Symbolism:
    • Painting:
      • Imagery: Paintings often convey meaning through visual imagery. Artists use symbols, colors, and shapes to evoke specific emotions or to convey complex ideas without relying on words.
      • Symbolism: Symbolism in painting can be both explicit and subtle, inviting viewers to interpret the work in their own way. The artist may use familiar symbols or create new ones to enrich the layers of meaning within the artwork.
    • Poetry:
      • Imagery: Poets paint with words, creating vivid mental images that appeal to the reader’s senses. Descriptive language and metaphorical expressions enhance the emotional impact of the poem.
      • Symbolism: Like painting, poetry often employs symbolism to convey abstract concepts. Metaphors and allegories provide a depth of meaning that extends beyond the literal interpretation of the words.
  3. Temporal Dimension:
    • Painting:
      • Temporal Limitations: A painting captures a single moment frozen in time. The viewer experiences the artwork as a whole, without a sequential order, allowing for immediate emotional impact.
      • Timelessness: Despite its temporal limitations, a well-executed painting possesses a timeless quality that transcends the specific moment it depicts.
    • Poetry:
      • Temporal Flow: Poetry unfolds over time as the reader progresses through lines and stanzas. The temporal aspect allows for a gradual immersion into the emotions and ideas expressed by the poet.
      • Dynamic Impact: The dynamic nature of poetry allows for the manipulation of time, enabling poets to create suspense, build tension, or evoke nostalgia through the careful arrangement of words.


In conclusion, while painting and poetry differ in their mediums and forms, they converge in their ability to convey profound emotional and intellectual experiences. Both art forms utilize imagery, symbolism, and a nuanced understanding of time to communicate with their respective audiences. Whether through the strokes of a brush or the arrangement of words on a page, painting and poetry stand as testament to the boundless possibilities of human expression. The interplay between these two forms enriches the cultural tapestry, inviting individuals to explore the depth of their emotions and the vastness of their imagination.

Titles for paintings

I have added dimensions and current titles to the images in the previous post.

This naming of work is something I have talked about in a previous post. It is possible that the works will acquire additional titles in the future as they may reidentify themselves once they are fully in the world – much the same as a person may do. The paintings are entities which I have been in conversation with and I can find myself addressing the painting as a You, as if a person. In this conversation the painting and I move forward together. Sometimes it is necessary to walk away, make some distance at least for a while.  Sometimes the way forward persists in being elusive. Once I have found titles I feel the works are resolved. There comes a point when I see that there is nothing more I can do for now. Some of the paintings shown had been suspended for as much as three years, waiting for this further work.

Founding, Refinding and Unfolding



I did not imagine it

I made it

to disclose the instant

through the instance

of its making

Painting series above by JWR: each oil on aluminium, different scales (largest approx 125 x 125cm)

Notes to self: founding and unfolding pictopiesis//qualities: corporeality, thingliness, dinglichung//https://phenomenology//architectural – line, point, weave, fabric, loom,

also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology



My paintings in the case of the above series are colourful, Guston’s work (below) instead, is a suspension of colour. But there is a structural/painterly correspondence between mine and this particular work at The Tate, by Philip Guston; the elements of painting are in fact few, such that there will always be correspondences to be found, even between radically differently-tempered interpreters of the material:


Unfolding Pictopoiesis

I have taken the leporello (concertina) format and developed it by a double folding into a map-like foldable/unfoldable. I would call it a double leporello map. It has the feel of being both a map and a book. This is very pleasing to me. More than this, it offers a grid-like structure of cells which I can annotate. By making many more leporellos I shall systematically unfold the many elements of pictopoiesis. The eventual sum total of all these elements deployed in interaction with each other is what makes up my larger paintings. In each case, the elements in themselves are fundamental units within my methodology which in themselves hold together inseparably the material, technical and conceptual components.

The first leporellos, oil on paper, titled Solutions and Dissolutions, are shown below. Also the latest large painting, oil on aluminium, in progress in its early stages showing solutions and dissolutions in action. The paint has plasticity, the brain has neuroplasticity. There is correspondence with practopoiesis.





Pictopoiesis and Practopoiesis

I much appreciated Danko Nikolic’s comment on the latest pictopoiesis video and have selected for this post a short animation which I found in my library – it comes across to me as being how the invisible activity of a (living) thought might look like, reminding me again of practopoiesis, and Danko Nikolic’s paper, How Life Fosters a Mind. This all feeds into the project I am wanting to develop, and pilot Summer 2019, which has as its working title, Acts of Poiesis, and involves, amongst other things, setting up a mixed reality installation by means of the Microsoft HoloLens.

Pictopoiesis – Your Own Meaning (Mind Mirror) was included in the recent MA Interim Show at Camberwell UAL. It is shown again below. These simple, short videos attempt a synthesis, narrated through painting, of influences both historical and contemporary, from different fields of thought; including poetry – a collaboration with Nicholas Gulig and reference (traversing) to neuroscience – Danko Nikolic’s theory of practopoiesis:



Painting into words

Above, the painting as it is now. I have to take a step back to decide whether it is completed or not. The following free verse, arises out of re-reading the painting, working through the layers of thought that are embodied in its poiesis:


YOUR OWN MEANING (annotated for my own reference with spoken narration of eventual animation/film in mind):


what if you could begin again – organelle organelles originating originated – then increasing  by means of the silent and cellular nature of the situation and traversing all the planes of your own presence – encompass yourself across dimensions palpably invisible that have no bounds – culturing cultivating – cycle encircling circle encycling unfolding horizons of nothing absolute — of absolution — unknowing the who how or whence in wanderings not so random – I ask you where do you want to go over again – you ought to know your way by now –  these are the lineaments of your own face – step back – and breathe in the atmosphere of your own meaning –