Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Can you tell what it is yet?



  Can you tell what it is yet?

I realised very quickly when I began this painting that I had attempted something way beyond my skill to even get close to capturing what I’d seen. The light, the reflective nature of the subject, the transparency and the shade, not to mention the colours, were so hard to draw and then paint, I felt exhausted once I had finished.

If you still haven’t guessed, it’s a watercolour painting of a chunk of amethyst.

I’m a bit of a collector when it comes to rocks and shiny things; it’s all down to that child in me that still believes in magic and faeries and mysteries.

Of course, to quote Hamish Fulton, “An object cannot compete with an experience” and in the end, this rather odd little painting is trying to capture my experience with a crystal. I hope that shines through even if the subject is still a bit obscure.   

by Viv


January 17, 2009 - Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, drawing, fun, illustrations, life, nature, painting, personal, Viv's Art | , , , , , ,


  1. I thought about what it could be before reading your text. My first association was marshmallow. We have a box full of little pink marshmallow cubes here, and you take one at a corner and pull, it could look like that. But this does not explain the darker pink points, which made me think of strawberry. But I found it difficult to imagine some strawberry with straight edges…

    Amethyst, of course! Beautiful! And yes the light comes thorugh, and the magic too!
    My mother is a collector too, and has big pieces of amethyst at home in the Pyrenees. Most of them coming from Brazil, where my parents lived many years. Amazing stones, really. In 2007, in our trip “10 weeks in a box”, from Spain to the north of Scotland and back, we went through the Peak District and visited the Treak Cliff Cavern in Castletown. I bought there a piece of the “Blue Jones Stone” for my mother, a beautiful stone which can only be found there… she was over the moon as I gave it to her!

    Comment by Miki | January 17, 2009

  2. OOh Blue John..Wonderful stuff. It’s a very special form of the mineral fluorite, of which I have numerous pieces. I use a polished and flattened palm stone of this stone to treat migraines.
    Our friend who has been in Argentina most of last year popped by over Christmas; he sends me rocks from round the world but this time he brought them to me and among them was a perfect amethyst point he found by the roadside somewhere in south america.
    Amethyst literally translate from the Greek as not-drunken because it was reputed to stop you getting drunk; wine goblets were crafted from it for this purpose. No idea if it works though as I’d never be rich enough to commision a cup now.
    One of those weird coincidences; one of amethyst’s uses in crystal healing is to prepare for the transition of death. I did our Christmas shopping about 12 years ago and bought a big chunk of amethyst for my friend Debbie, and was still doing the parcelling up when her letter arrived to say she’d been diagnosed with acute myeloid lukaemia. She was dead in six months. I dithered about sending the amethyst because I’d bought it simply as a lovely stone and in the end I sent it, but it did make me think about things. I am sure she appreciated it.

    Comment by viv66 | January 17, 2009

  3. As usual, I see, I spelled it wrong! Yes, of course, Blue John. And do you know the derivation of this name?
    Interesting explanation about the amethyst, and powerful story with your friend Debbie. Scary in fact… I suppose that nobody in that situation could avoid “to think about things”…

    Comment by Miki | January 17, 2009

  4. I don’t know the derivation but I could look it up!
    One of the other uses for amethyst(even from ancient times) was as an aid to sleep and to meditation.
    I have my bullshit-meter turned up full when it comes to crystals and crystal healing but I’ll admit I have done a fair bit of work with them, and with some great successes too. But if you read a book on it, by certain authors, you’d wonder why on earth there are any illnesses left on the planet when crystals can cure everything!
    The Native Americans call crystals and rocks the STone People (Plants are the Standing people) and believe that stones have a form of life and consciousness and wild as this sounds, this has indeed been my experience with working with rocks.

    Comment by viv66 | January 17, 2009

  5. I knew the derivation, and it was very interesting as it has to do with some French word, but I have forgotten the details! Kevin will surely remember… I’ll ask him to come here and tell us after he comes down from his Coop Cow! He is just not in the best mood, Derby County lost this afternoon…

    Comment by Miki | January 17, 2009

  6. I did remember in the end, bleu jaune, and this link will tkae you to the wiki site that gives more info

    Comment by viv66 | January 17, 2009

  7. Your title reminds me of the legendary Rolf Harris of course, and the time I met him at Ferrybridge Motorway services on the A1. Us entertainer types often run into each other in the wee small hours. You’d be surprised who I’ve met in such places, Leo sayer, Rory Gallagher…but Rolf..well he was sat drinking a coffee with his driver and I sat down unknowing at the next table. Looking up and recognising him, I said “hi’ without thinking and we had a great chat – he’d had Christie on his TV show in the early 70’s – and he asked me to pass on his regards to Jeff Christie. Rolf had been gigging at Hull University, as a result of his popularity with the students who used to love him on Rolf on Saturday, OK! as toddlers…bizarre!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 17, 2009

  8. I couldn’t manage to convey the accent when I wrote the title but it was just that gent I was thinking of! I even tagged Rolf Harris, in case. I guess he is as nice as he seems on telly. I loved him on Animal Hospital and he is a pretty good artist in his own right.
    I’d love for it to happen one day that someone goes onto relate such a story about me, having met me(probably at Chelmsford services which is where I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of my working life) and going on to say how nice I was. Though in all probability I’ll be grumpy as hell and not nice at all. One of my colleagues persists in dredging up an almost wholely fictitious account of the first time we met; I admit I probably was a bit snappy but at the time they were in the way and if they weren’t going to help, they needed to budge. But the way she tells it, I was the Fuhrer reborn….

    Comment by viv66 | January 17, 2009

  9. …and in a spooky coincidence, he also did a bit of art… 🙂

    Comment by kevmoore | January 17, 2009

  10. I’m so excited — I guessed it to be a crystal! Great job, Viv 🙂 I just finished a crystal image myself yesterday. But, as I would not even attempt to draw one, I took a picture and played with it in Photoshop. Yay for pretty sparkly things!

    Comment by shelleymhouse | January 17, 2009

  11. I am glad you liked it Shelley.
    I have far too many pretty sparkly things… I have enough crystals to start a shop, to be honest. I think I was a bit OCD about it for a few years, though it started when I was about ten.
    I realised it was about impossible for me with my limited skills to draw it well, but I just wanted to try, and I’ve seen worse attempts in crystal books. Of which I have, you guessed it, far too many!
    I’d keep a psychoanalyist in beer money for years, me!

    Comment by viv66 | January 17, 2009

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