Progress on my painting based on the movement Louang à l’immortalité de Jesus from Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. However, for the purposes of exhibiting the work in a gallery, I’m titling it Flow.


The work is on paper that isn’t absolutely flat, and is consequently almost impossible to photograph well. On Wednesday I’m taking the painting to be scanned, after which I’ll be able to post a full image of it here.










12 thoughts on “Flow

  1. Were you dreaming of garden warblers, as in “La fauvette des jardins”? Birds and color are so Messiaen…

    (I was thinking of your Facebook note, and how we are–in our different modes–trying to utter the transcendental. And how neither knows what is at the fundament-level of the self, or what it is dreaming.)

  2. It’s all been said, really, in the previous replies but may I add my two pennies worth of praise and delight at this beautiful, beautiful piece of work. Thank you so much, Clive xx

  3. Your drawing technique is honed to its highest degree here, the patience it requires must be extraordinary. I love looking into your work, the marks and patterns, the intense light and rich colours. Although It seems I’m missing out on Facebook, I’m still determined not to go there, how do you find the time? Good luck with the exhibition in York, may we see a few of the works here some time ? Much love ,and thanks for sharing xxxxL

    • Hi Liz. Lovely to hear from you.

      I do the Facebook posts in downtime. My pages reach a lot of people and so I feel that the time and effort are well spent. Meet a lot of interesting artists there, too.

      The three paintings for the Messiaen have gone to be scanned. They are A1 in size and made on paper. The surfaces have cockled slightly as a consequence, and while I like the look of them to the naked eye – almost as though they’ve been painted on parchment – they’d be hell to photograph. So scanning is the answer. I’ll put the images up at the Artlog when I have them.

      Love from Aberystwyth. xxx

  4. Clive, I think the fitting response to a painting of such numinous beauty can only be found in the forthcoming performance of Olivier Messiaen’s remarkable ‘Quartet for the End of Time’. I look forward to seeing the painting in its entirety.

    I went off to listen to ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ after your last post on this painting. Much to my delight, I then discovered that Messiaen is synonomous with birdsong and spent years transcribing their song into music. He writes of his evocations of birdsong in the Quartet: ‘The birds are the opposite to Time; they are our desire for light, for stars, for rainbows, and for jubilant songs.’ Given that birds play such an important part in your own personal iconography, I have to once again congratulate Daniel Broncano Aguilera on having the vision to invite you to illuminate Messiaen’s music. As this painting so ably demonstrates, it is an inspired match.

    Phil writes of how moving he finds the simple beauty of the birds set against the visible signs of the agony of the crucifixion. I have to second all that he writes. The last but one image of the bird gazing up at Christ particularly resonates with me. I was with my mother when she died and for me this little bird represents the moment when suffering ends and we take flight. The memory of my mother’s peaceful death – and the solace I found in witnessing that final moment of release – is what remains with me, 20 years after her death. I would never have believed it was possible to feel uplifted, amidst the pain of such a significant loss, before I went through the experience.

    I am going to sign off with the words of Simon Armitage, taken from his afterword to the anthology ‘The Poetry of Birds’. He sums up beautifully all that I have been trying to convey here: ‘Perhaps at some subconscious, secular level [birds] are also our souls. Or more likely, they are our poems. What we find in them we would hope for our work – that sense of soaring otherness.’

    • What a moving message. Thank you, Sarah. I’m glad that this painting touches you. It was made while listening to a recording of Quartet for the End of Time, played over and over.

      And just a coincidence, though a not unremarkable one, that it came in when it did, just as I’d winged an e-mail invitation to the York Private View of The Mind’s Eye at Lotte Inch’s to you. Forgive the late send. I’ve only today got around to making my list. I’ve been crazy busy making some unexpected new work for the exhibition. (I am being mysterious, though if you’ve been looking at my Facebook page you must already know.)

      • Thank you for the invitation Clive. I met both Lotte and Sarah during last year’s York Open Studios. Sarah and I have stayed in touch since then, so she has given me news about the exhibition. We plan to be there on Thursday for the Private View and look forward to seeing you all then.

  5. Clive, yet another set of wonderful drawings! I wish I had a bottomless pit of money and space to hang your beautiful (but painful) work….bittersweet. x

  6. Best wishes for the final sprint to the finish with this project Clive. Extraordinary images you’ve created; the brutality of those wounds with the sweetness of those little birds is heartbreaking.

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