Looking north to Valla from South West Rocks

for Kit and Carol

My hand itches to move, probably to depict the landscape
of receding Sung mountains, flowing through Claude’s opaque blue.
It’s not as if I have much to say, but if I did and wrote it down,
the words would not correlate but generate their own form, style
and vocabulary which I’d tinker with like a weekend mechanic
fixing up his old beloved Kingswood, straight six cylinders
much easier to handle, the grease and dirt all part of the fun.

The hand wants work in its grasp, but this is ink, not wood, not stone.
The Chinese word for ink refers to process and application (the texture,
brushwork and line), I just scribble symbols on pulped timber, a powerful
irresistible phenomena, but one without movement, bold colour,
improvised wash or technical brilliance to overcome technique
and push one’s art towards t’ien-chen (‘naturalness’), sounding simple
words sponging a vast residue of cloud and scudding black cockatoos.

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