Emily’s Window

Emily's Window, April (2 of 6), Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x12

EMILY’S WINDOW 

Emily's Window, January (1 of 6), Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x12
Emily’s Window, January (1 of 6), oil on canvas, 16×12

In April 2017, poet Jonathan A. Wright and I spent an hour in silence in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom. I drew nothing at the time, but Jonathan scribbled some lines and later worked them into several poems. 

Over the next few weeks, I created a series of four paintings, “Emily’s Curtains,” which I included in an exhibit at the Westhampton Public Library that year, and again earlier this month at a pop-up exhibit at the Emily Dickinson Museum.

In preparation for the recent exhibit, this winter I began a new series, “Emily’s Window,” not by design but because imagining the poet and her vantage point continues to stir feelings and inspire.

Emily's Window, April (2 of 6), Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x12
Emily’s Window, April (2 of 6), oil on canvas, 16×12

Here is what I wrote to introduce Emily’s Curtains:

Emily’s Lace Curtains

I imagine myself lying in bed 

or sitting at my writing table, 

listening to the muffled sounds

of the household below, 

taking the scenery in, 

chewing on my pencil. 

At times my mind races, lost 

in thought. At other times 

my mind is quiet. 

That is when the poetry begins. 

Emily's Window, May (3 of 6), Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 14x11
Emily’s Window, May (3 of 6), oil on canvas, 14×11
Emily's Window, August (4 of 6), Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 12x9
Emily’s Window, August (4 of 6), oil on canvas, 12×9
Emily's Window, September (5 of 6), Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 12x9
Emily’s Window, September (5 of 6), oil on canvas, 12×9
Emily's Window, April (6 of 6), Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 12x9
Emily’s Window, April (6 of 6), oil on canvas, 12×9

7 thoughts on “Emily’s Window

  1. 2 of 6 is especially moving; I think of both snow falling and the first blossoms of Spring; Snowdrops. Beautiful Russ.

  2. Thank you for sharing your new works of art, Russell. I feel the “moodiness” which was so prevalent in Emily’s work and life in #3: the rain streaked window panes; you have captured her essence just standing at the window, looking out on a gray rainy New England day. Thought provoking study.

  3. The first painting is exactly how I imagine Emily. You caught her power…..congratulations Russ, you are an inspiration…

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