May 2012

- Poppy at the roadside -


It all started with my wanting to paint a poppy. In the spring, I travelled to Portugal and had imagined meadows and roadsides illuminated in bright red. However, when I arrived in Faro and was driving north west, this illusion was shattered. While there was green everywhere, there were no poppies. Was I too early or too late? I did not know, nor did I ask.

The following morning I walked the three kilometres to the sea. One can either take the road or a path through the farm fields. It was a lovely morning, balmy and fragrant, birds twittered and there was a light breeze. There was a bend in my path and suddenly I discovered a red speck in the distance. Was it a plastic bag, or was it a poppy? A glimmer of hope filled me, but at the same time I slowed my pace for fear of disappointment. I kept stopping where I was and looking back at the village, watching the cows doing nothing. I ate another apple and finally decided to proceed at a rapid pace. Bring it on, all or nothing! Finally I would know for certain. It was indeed a poppy, and it shone a bold red at the edge of the field.

The flowers were beautiful and their colour so intense, they melted my heart. I unpacked my paints from my backpack, sat down in front of the flowers full of devotion quietly painted this picture. The bright grass and beautiful surroundings were insignificant to me at that moment. The only thing that mattered was the poppy, my desire to paint it and the fact that it was possible.


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