Leitmotif by Terry Cox-Joseph

Photo by Geordanna Cordero on Unsplash



You would think that as an artist,
I would not struggle to describe
the leitmotif of my paintings,        yet
I find myself searching
for identifiable techniques,
common hue or echoing tableau.
How to connect      lost           edges
of watercolor to hard edge of acrylic?
Or should those edges connect
to the cosmos? How to lift lines,
meld secondary and tertiary hues?
Or should the lines lift off
from NASA, taking with them
my paper, brush,                   arm?
Shall I cut in with angular brush?
Better yet, cut in with
a knife?
Yes, that would lend interest—
slashes of primary color and
blood, hues that dry
in silence. Absorption soundless.
Whose face appears and reappears
in the hazy background, which landscape
revisits? The one from Mars
(that I never told anyone about),
or my grandmother’s manicured lawn?

On alternating Tuesdays
I trip over adjectives: representational,
figurative, impressionistic. I study
laugh lines, curious if my theme
summons brush strokes that echo the      refrain
of our lives or whether,
au plein air
with an oval mop blender,
I blur the edges, squint, stand at a         distance,
tip backward over the slippery cliff.

Terry Cox-Joseph
Terry Cox-Joseph divides her time between writing and painting, but more often, the division is an inspiring overlap. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, President of the Poetry Society of Virginia, and a former newspaper reporter.

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