Is Abstract Art Dead?

…and other casual ponders this week.

Is Abstract Art Dead?

Garden Leaves, 1955 | Patrick Heron

I’ve been recommended a Youtube channel of art tutorial videos. It’s one of my interests. The first one I saw was on composition and I inferred from what the tutor said offhand that “representational” art is the thing now – in opposition to “abstract” art.

Abstract art has had a good innings though, hasn’t it? A bit like rock music.

I once worked with a guy who said he had an art exhibition coming up. I was more than intrigued as we were all professional engineers. Keen to see his paintings, he showed me a picture of a painting another colleague had bought from him. It was an abstract; swirls of rainbow colours melding into one another. The colleague who bought it had actually commissioned it specifically for his living room; he didn’t say it went with the colour scheme and soft furnishings but you couldn’t help reading between those lines.

Though there’s not a lot wrong in abstract painting, I thought engineers lent more towards draughtsmanship in their art appreciation.

Centre aligned verse

‘O, ragged ‘edges…’

What is that about? Before blogging poetry, the only centre aligned verse I saw, or expected to see, was the doggerel or sentimental rhyme inside a greetings card. Imagine, a person possessing some poetical bent is actually employed to compose such things. Can there be a less esteemed occupation? Are there school leavers who, when interviewed by a careers tutor, express a desire to follow a path in birthday card verse writing?

I’m reminded of the scene in Cemetery Junction, when Ricky Gervais’ character tells his MIL he’s is in work: as a window cleaner!

“That’s not work,” she says, “that’s begging!”

Sorry, I digress. What is centre alignment supposed to communicate to the reader, that the poet needs them to know?

Ragged Margins

On each side we see
the ragged margins
the hedge cutter has left
this way, this morning;
his mind on higher things.

Mobile Block Editor = Better Sanity

Many WP bloggers still don’t like the New Block Editor. I didn’t get this – other than the general conservative view that the “old, tried and trusted” is like a comfort pillow. Or an opiate.

Then I looked at it on the laptop and found out the problem: it’s way over-egged for a blogger’s use.

I was in ignorance of all this having used a tablet all this time. The mobile app is a pared down version and I suspect specifically designed for the blogger.

It still needs a few workarounds but I found even the “Classic” editor needed some of those too; nothing’s perfect and there is no one-size-fits-all. What you don’t see won’t worry you. Make it easy on yourself and do it on a mobile app.

Is it Saturday?

I keep thinking it’s Saturday. My daemon-angel, who sits on either shoulder quite randomly, constantly berates me on it being Friday! I apologise but it just feels like a Saturday.

A Saturday. Like days not only possess an identity but share it with every previous and successive seventh day. Can this be true? Surely it’s an artifice. I remember when castaway, Robinson Crusoe, fell too ill to mark off the diurnal notches on his timber, he wasn’t certain how many days had passed. So he had a stab at it being Sunday, so when he found Friday, it might have only been Thursday.

Man Thursday. I don’t know about you but that conjures up an entirely different kind of guy. Not a wiley servant but an erudite, scholarly type;

I say, Crusoe, that’s not how one should build a fire. My good fellow, see, it’s far too big for roasting a goat and far too small for a rescue beacon. And the calorific property of coconut palm wood is so unsuitable…

But Man Monday! What a shifty, miserable pessimistic bugger he would have been.

Do you know on which day of the week you were born? If not, you can google it.

There is that old nursery rhyme I had in a book of children’s rhymes which my mum or gran would recite from,

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.

Luckily, I am Tuesday’s child and get off quite lightly, not too badly and none of the other terrible impositions. I can live with that. The earliest evidence of this rhyme isn’t that far back in history, just around 1835. It probably had a literary provenance rather than folklore, possibly the associations between character and birth day were made simply for the best rhymes.

image: “football outside Jakarta” by Robert Collins via

Google the day of your birth

Weekend Word Prompt: Twaddle


The portmanteau for two in a canoe,
each with an oar apiece, whether fighting
hardy against the flow or simply
assisting a downstream ride with free,
languorous, harmonious locomotion,
to and fro, to and fro: is to twaddle.

Don’t addle: twaddle isn’t as waddle
as ducks do when away from the water,
walking; but in paddle, as they would on it.
A pair and their paddling; you get the drift?

And so, on the Mississippi, Isis or Orinoco
Irrawaddy, the Niger or Limpopo
whether it’s Xingu, Zambezi or the Kwango,
if two go, by canoe, they may twaddle.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist it. A nonsense poem prompted by the word, Twaddle.

The prompt is kindly provided by
sammiscribbles weekend writing prompt 55: twaddle

Please follow the link to find lots of lovely submissions.