Psalm 65

Oh this one was a joy to do! (They all have been, in fact, but here I was getting into my stride). It was during Hockney-fever you see, earlier in 2012, and I suddenly became aware, as I produced pink furrowed fields, that I was chiming in with the joyful paintings of E Yorks that exploded onto the artistic scene in  David Hockney's 'Bigger Picture' exhibition at the RA. I'd already consciously decided to pay homage to another artist in this one, Paul Klee, and I was lucky in having a reproduction of 'Il Giardino del Tempio' over the mantelpiece; see Klee's temple garden. I actually bought a dress very cheaply (less than £10) in an end-of-line place because it was made of a beautiful silk velvet in the richest turquoise, and you can see how I have started to cut it up and use it here, in the roaring of the seas. That very 3-D technique is called 'furrowing' by the way, and you can see a little of it in Psalm 45 also, where the pearly embryos nestle in some furrowed silk. The lovely description of the 'gateways of the morning and the evening' were an opportunity to use some of the fabric I'd dyed which had an unevenness about them not available in factory-dyed cloth. I loved sewing the 'tumult of the peoples', which is represented by the square panel at the very bottom in the middle, and the horizontal lines on that are an attempt to represent their being calmed as in v 7.
East Yorks, now 'Hockney Country'

But everything I have read about life in ancient Israel and Judah tells me that the picture of abundance in this psalm was not an everyday occurrence to be taken for granted, and in this instance was experienced as God bringing them back into the fold after a time in the wilderness (see v 2). So I have used very vivid colours in this pocket to evoke the way that memory can make past experiences seem bigger and brighter than they actually were.

Robert Alter argues that 'To you silence is praise' is how we should translate the first line, instead of 'Praise is due to you'; I had a small piece of an even-weave whisper-grey cloth which just begged (very quietly) to be allowed to occupy the top left hand corner, and so it did.

Hockney-esque furrows
I love the hymn based on this psalm, 'To thee O Lord our hearts we raise', which sadly isn't sung at harvest as often as other harvest hymns, but who can resist 'The valleys are so thick with corn that even they are singing'; and Samuel Palmer obviously found this psalm inspiring too; see Palmer's valley thick with corn .

I'm thinking that these blogs aren't turning out as serious as they were meant to be, and this one is rapidly going downhill, but downhill in East Yorkshire at least.

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