Ars Fabrilis

by Lynne Paris-Purtle

 

Eric Sloane painted

Autumn Colors by Eric Sloane

“Autumn Clouds” by Eric Sloane. Painting. Image courtesy of The Eric Sloane Museum, Kent, Connecticut.

hard blue New Mexico skies

with tatters of dry clouds,

ice blue New England skies

splashed with snow

and wrote,

“I believe that the sky was created for pure beholding.”

 

Eric Sloane painted red

Yankee barns preserved

with cattle blood

or weathered gray and melding with black soil

where he felt

ericsloane_ars_accomp“a powerful sense of another time.”**

 

But he loved the art

of everyday life—

tools shaped by calloused hands

cracked deep by cold and rough soil,

saws with handles worn smooth by the grip

                                                                                                                                               

of woodsmen,

axes forged by blacksmiths

in blue flames,

the pitchfork shaped from

a forked branch,

a burl bowl

carved and burned from

an injured tree.

 

Now his paintings hang

skies over earth, 

the art he made above tools

he saved from tumbling barns,

because when he held them

he felt “near to another human being

 in another life.”***

 

*Look at the Sky and Tell the Weather by Eric Sloane (Dover, 2004)

**An Age of Barns by Eric Sloane (Voyageur Press, 2001)

***A Museum of Early American Tools by Eric Sloane (Dover, 2002)

 

About the Author

Lynne Paris-Purtle is a writing professor whose publications also include two poetry chapbooks: Dragonfly Wings and The Hole in the Sky, both published by Last Automat Press. Her upcoming humor book, Seizure Lady, Psycho Man, and the Jersey Boys, will be published later this year. An essay “Hubby’s Gifts Really Take the Cake” appeared in 2013 on Globejotting.com, the humorist Dave Fox’s website. Paris-Purtle holds an M.F.A in Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University and lives in New Fairfield, Connecticut with her husband, Mark, two dogs, and a chicken.