Joan Eardley's Flood Tide
I had half an hour to spare before doing the weekly shop so my daughter and I (OK, she was there because she thought sweets were on cards later) went into the Lilie Art. Gallery in Milngavie to see Joan Eardley: Sketches from a Modern Master
Thanks to the fact Joan Eardley's family gave a sizeable collection of her work to East Dunbartonshire Council, the Lillie is a fantastic place to see the work of Eardley, who is one of my favourite artists.
She moved with her mother and sister to the area in the early 1940s. Joan's sister, Pat Black, died recently but her niece, Anne Morrison, a well known ceramicist, still lives in Bearsden.
This picture shows my spun-gold girl standing in front of one of my all-time favourite Joan Eardley paintings, Flood Tide.
The late Edwin Morgan wrote this poem about Flood Tide
JOAN EARDLEY: FLOOD-TIDE
Lonely people are drawn to the sea.
Not for this artist the surge and glitter of salons,
Clutch of a sherry or making polite conversation.
See her when she is free: –
Striding into the salty bluster of a cliff-top
In her paint-splashed corduroys,
Humming as she recalls the wild shy boys
She sketched in the city, allowing nature’s nations
Of grasses and wild shy flowers to stick
To the canvas they were blown against
By the mighty Catterline wind –
All becomes art, and as if it was incensed
By the painter’s brush the sea growls up
In a white flood.
The artist’s cup
Is overflowing with what she dares
To think is joy, caught unawares
As if on the wing.
A solitary clover,
Unable to read WET PAINT, rolls over
Once, twice, and then it’s fixed,
Part of a field more human than the one
That took the gale and is now
As she is, beyond the sun.