17. Nature Vivante:

Botellas, Drink and Refracted Light

Joe Thomson, Artist, 03.29.2013, p1 of 3


This art folio "Nature Vivante" is an introduction to the idea of the living "Still Life" or "Life Alive", as opposed to the historical "Still Life", or Nature Morte, familiar in Dutch art of the 17th and 18th centuries. The exquisite delicacy of the art of such painting techniques is unequalled in the visual capture of inanimate artefacts to reveal meaningful intentions with symbolic artistry.


A dog was the symbol of faithfulness, the skull, of transience and the fruit, of plenty, etc.


The theme of "Botellas (bottles), Drink and Refracted Light", is the artistic inversion, Vivante instead of Morte, of this symbolic theme, and connects the interplay of three imaging ideas:


The Goya-esque, photographic personifications of (2) tall bottles (Botellas) of Spanish, hand-blown glassware that refract the light between the gray and the green glassThe allusion to "Drink" is suggested by the presence of the bottles, thus recalling the brief meeting with the "Samaritan woman at the Well" in St. John's Gospel, verses 4.4The interleaved, abstract drawings of the conversation of the (2) people at the well.


The art forms of these refractions, namely the photographic translucence of the "botellas" interplaying with the poetic refraction of the word "drink" throughout the re-composed stanzas of St John's Gospel and the abstract drawings interleaving the conversation of Jesus with the Woman at the well, are shown interacting in the slideshow of the photo gallery of this art folio.


Spanish Bottles (Botellas)


In the photographs of the (2) examples of Spanish glassware with sunlight refracting through the bottles in different positions to create multiple, shadow effects on a white wall. The bottles appear as personifications of Spanish characters conversing and becoming transformed by an internal luminance into illuminated shadows from the sunlight as they converse.


The sombre, Spanish shading of the bottles with their cork stoppers resembling headgear, recall also the fashion style of the dark, Goya-esque, full length cloaks and slouch hats worn by young men in the backstreets of Madrid in the early 19th century.



17. Nature Vivante:

Botellas, Drink and Refracted Light

Joe Thomson, Artist, 03.29.2013, p2 of 3


The Woman who Drinks


The second interplay involves the bottles (botellas) to be seen as bottles and not as personifications. They are, of course, containers and receptacles for liquids that are drunk.


The parallel theme of drinking, asking for a drink, drawing forth a bottle or receptacle to offer a drink, resonates in the same refractory sense in the metaphysical conversation Christ has with the Samaritan woman at the Well in Sichar, as told in St. John's gospel, verse 4.4.


This is a re-composition, as the poem "Drink", to recall the transformative offer that is made in this most mundane of social interactions, asking for a drink of water when you are tired.


The eloquent beauty of the spoken interchange between Christ, the stranger, tired from his journey, and the Samaritan woman, begins with the simple request for a drink of water.


Her presence inspirationally activates Christ's interest in his own mission. The "living" water, that you drink, will well up within you, to eternal life, he promises the woman. The gift of God is the "living" water. A metaphysical reality!


The Samaritan woman treats the offer of living water merely as a physical reality instead and misses the point of Christ's poetic promise.


The alluring prospect of never having to draw water from the well and never having to slake one's thirst again are really the most sublime of liberations that enter into the mind of the Samaritan woman.


Jesus, however, is now really tired, in his humanity, and the brief conversation ends on a distracted note about her husband.


Note: the 18 lines of the poem Drink (part 1) and 15 lines of the poem Drink (part 2) are also displayed as (2) QR codes in the photo gallery for easy reading on a smart, digital device.



17. Nature Vivante:

Botellas, Drink and Refracted Light

Joe Thomson, Artist, 03.29.2013, p3 of 3



The poem "Drink"


The poetic images in the poem "Drink" then point to the visual illuminations that are seen inside the personification of the bottles. This is the poetic equivalence of the refraction of the sunlight through the glass bottles, one clear and the other green, with traces of uranium that creates the electric blitz of hidden energy and lightning flash of re-awakening transcendence within the hearts of these, now super-charged, living receptacles, "las botellas".




The once stiff, sullen, personified bottles are sparked alive and are suffused with a light beaming Spiritual presence. The previously benign images of bottles now look surrealistic. A Magritte canvas, defying realism, showing a puffy cloud inside an umbrella or an apple discharging a lightning bolt into a bowler hat could also admit to the Magritte genre the two stationary bottles bathed in lightning bolts.


Interleaving the Drawings, Refracted Bottle Photos and (2) QR codes of the Poetic text.


The abstract line drawings and the photographs of the Botellas are interleaved successively in the Photo Gallery and are the visualization of the incidents in the poem "Drink". The drawings show the conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at the rim of a well that is very deep. The title of the drawings takes its cue from throughout the poem "Drink" itself.


The spiritual essence of Christ's offering of "living" water is metaphysically indicated by the refractive, visual effects, both in the reflections of the sunlight on the bottles and the disjunctive logic in the poem about the nature of the water. The interleaving of the abstraction of the drawings in the photo gallery of this art folio #17 complements this metaphysical reality.


The artistic conclusion would be that they are spiritually alive with a life force akin to the Heraclitan fire of Ancient Greek philosophy and the Christian invocation: "God is Spirit"


Joe Thomson, Artist and Poet, 08.12.2013


Drink, p1 of 2

Re-composed as poetic stanzas from the Gospel of St. John, verses 4.4,


Tired from his journey into Galilee,
He sat down by Jacob's well,
To drink some water.

A Samaritan woman came
To draw water to drink.
"Will you give me a drink?"

How can you ask me,
A Samaritan woman,
For a drink of water?

"If you knew the gift of God,
And who it is that asks
You for a drink,

You would have asked him,
And he would have given you
Living water to drink."

Sir, you have nothing to draw with,
And the well is deep.
How can you drink this living water?

DRINK, p2 of 2

Are you greater than our father Jacob,
Who gave us this well and drank from it?
His sons and livestock too!

"Everyone who drinks
From this acquifer
Will thirst again.

But whoever drinks
Of the living water I give her,
Will never thirst again.

In truth, the living water I give her to drink,
Will become a spring, welling
Within her, to eternal life."

Sir, let me drink this living water,
So that I may never thirst again,
Nor come to draw upon it anymore.


Re-composed from the Gospel of St John,
Verses 4.4, as poetic stanzas.

Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman
At Jacob's well, in Sichar, Samaria.

Joe Thomson, Artist and Poet, 08.12.2013