Launching into a tumult in the clouds

It is Equancourt, 22 September, 1916.  A party of men are launching an observation balloon.  With one exception, each man is holding a tether, like a child who has just been handed a balloon at a party.  The exception is the man clambering into the gondola, who is about to float up into the clouds.  When he gets there he will face other men who will want to send him flailing to earth.  This painting is based on a photo of this extraordinary yet commonplace event.

Balloon

An absence of absinthe

I would like to say I painted this distorted shadow of an absinthe glass in Montmarte.  I really would.  Alas, it would not be true.  It is washing up detergent (Fairy Liquid to be precise) in a shot glass from Daiso.  And it is on our kitchen table.

There is a prominent Royal Warrant on the Fairy Liquid bottle that proclaims “By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, Manufacturers of Soap and Detergents”.  I am nothing but questions.  Does the Queen do her own washing up?  If she Appoints the makers of Fairy Liquid to supply Soap and Detergents, does this mean she does not have to pay for these?  If I Appoint suppliers, can I get things for free, too?

I hope you enjoy this picture of the Green Fairy (Liquid).

Absinthe

Silver wine goblet

Samuel Johnson tells me that ‘gobble’ means ‘to swallow hastily with tumult and noise.’  This is a silver wine goblet I saw at the National Gallery of Victoria.  I like to think that many a beaded bubble winked at its brim, to be swallowed hastily and with much tumult and noise.  Elegant things are often put to inelegant purposes.

Goblet