Poetry and Painting combined

I have recently become intrigued by the thought of combining my poetry and my painting in such a way that one image contains both a poem and a painting.

It seems to me that the combination may make an interesting work of art.

Sometimes the poem comes first, sometimes the painting comes first. And sometimes they just belong together.

These are the first three I have done.
Do let me know what you think.


Reality on Whitby Pier

In this case there was no question in my mind that the two belong together.

I have printed this off, blown up to poster size, and pinned it on the cork board in my kitchen.


In this case the poem came first.
I was looking through the poems which will be included in my new book and just thought – I could paint that.
Just for fun.


In this case the painting came first.
I took an extract from one of my poems because it seemed to fit.


35 Responses to “Poetry and Painting combined”

  1. Hi David, your new posting was the first thing I opened in my mailbox, I suppose I am as curious as the gulls 🙂

    This is a very good idea! The three poems are a perfect match for the paintings. They are one. I remember when you took the picture of the pier, later I saw the painting and now, what a result, combined with the words of your bookmark 🙂 that is great. You really gave a good shape to your reality!

    I took a blown up look at the poems to read them and I love the (new) painting of the Voyeurs 🙂 That poem is really funny 🙂

    As a whole, it comes together very well, and I just want to see more and more of your art like this!
    I hope you have a nice day as I have here. Keep it cool 🙂

    Arohanui 🙂

    • ps 6-0 ! 😛

    • Thank you Ina,

      Shall I worry about you coming to look in my window? 🙂

      I think one of the joys of painting is that every time I look at a painting I can recall the first occasion I thought to myself that I could paint that! I too remember standing on the pier taking those photographs. 🙂

      I already have some ideas about poems and paintings so I suspect I may well explore those possibilities further.

      Next up is the book launch – more painting after that 🙂


      • lol I don’t see much anyway so my guess is you’re safe 😛

        I think you can paint anything. The technique you use, allows you to.
        I am in a hotel on the mainland now, they just gave me a welcome drink, I could get used to living in chique hotels! 🙂 And I just overheard a phonecall in the lounge that set my fantasy going towards a thriller 🙂

        Keep poeting as well as painting! (I just finished the portrait I did of you btw now working on one of Eline. It is fun. I don’t think I should publish. )

        See you soon 🙂
        Arohanui 🙂

      • Big 🙂

        Perhaps you will bring your portrait of me to Bridlington with you?

        It has now reached the stage where I begin to get nervous. 🙂

        Look forward to seeing you there


      • I’ll pack the portrait 🙂 Try to relax, it probably will go smoothly, and if not, no harm done, Keeping fingers crossed! and looking forward to it too 🙂
        Arohanui 🙂

  2. These are a real delight. In a way they remind me of the tradition in Chinese art of combining the three skills (do they call them excellencies or something like that?) of painting, poetry and calligraphy. In yours, I particularly like the strong composition of Whitby pier. Give us some more!

    • Thank you John,

      There is great re-assurance in the thought that I am following in the footsteps of that particular tradition.
      I have been fascinated on occasion by some of their art.

      There will be more 🙂


  3. Katherine Says:

    What a magnificent idea.. what a git this would e for a someone.. your work is gorgeous David..

  4. Stylish with a dash of quirkiness is what I say; they are beautiful and eye catching.
    Although the picture of Whitby Pier had remained in my mind throughout, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it (when I imagine a pier, for some reason I have the preconception of the path to be straight). Now it is perfect for me.

    I love them.

    Ayano xxx

    • Big Smile, Thank you.

      I suspect one of the reasons Whitby Pier so appeals to me is that curve!!
      It does add a touch of mystery 🙂

      Take care

  5. You are totally onto a winning streak here, David! I especially related to the idea of tossing stones out into a lake to flush out memories.

  6. Hello, David, my friend,

    Apparently, everyone else could read the third poem, but I zoomed it and still couldn’t read all of it. Other than that, your paintings and poems interlace beautifully, and I’m very happy that you came up with this new outlet for both the arts you love so much, and do so well. 😎 Bravo, David!

  7. Hi David.

    I do very much love your combining of your poetry with your paintings. It works beautifully I think. Although I have the image from the bookmark in mind when I think of ‘Reality’ , Whitby Pier still works very well. It’s still contemplative…who knows what lies in wait at the end of the pier. 🙂
    I think Stones and the part of the poem you used were made for each other. 🙂 There a lovely serenity in your painting that matches the reassuringly peaceful action of memories being let go with skipping stones. It’s a close tie for favourites here but…
    My favourite is the Voyuers. I can’t help but give a BIG 😀 everytime I see it and read the poem. The painting is just inspired! I suppose the fun came out in your painting as much as the cheekiness in your words. 🙂
    Thankyou for sharing these David. I hope we see many more to come in the future. 🙂

    I hope you are doing well?
    Take good care my dear friend.
    ((BSH)) and
    K’sOTC 🙂

    • Hi Tikarma,

      Thank you for this comment and for your continued support and encouragement.
      It is all about, I think, being prepared to try new things and if they don’t work then they don’t work!! Try something else!! 🙂

      I still use those bookmarks for whatever books I am reading – they did, and still do, work extremely well as an image and a poem combined.

      Nor am I surprised by your choice of favourite – it is all about that precious ability not to take ourselves too seriously!! 🙂

      There will be more to come.

      I am well thank you – I seem to be deeply entrenched in ‘busy’ at the moment but that will ease off once the book launch is over and I will be able to look forward to more quiet ‘painting days’ 🙂

      You take care too my good friend – you will be much in my thoughts over the coming weeks.

      and K’sOTC 🙂

  8. Anna Mark Says:

    I admire your ability to try new things and to do it with honesty and integrity.

  9. David, I have to agree with John. The idea for combining words and paintings goes back to Chinese and Japanese art. In those cultures calligraphy is also considered an art form–one of the few things I have not yet seen you master, so that too is included.
    One of my favorite paintings of yours is the pier, and the poem does not take away from the symbolic nature of this lone, colorful pier reaching out into an endless sea. The illusion of an endless pier that you cannot quite see the end together fits together with the words in the poem.
    The second poem, voyeur, as Ina says, is funny, but then gulls are funny birds, a little raucous and more audacious than any human. I think Scriptor Obscura, or maybe Anna, once shared a video of a gull going into a grocery store and stealing, in broad daylight, a bag of cheese curls or some such snack. I can perfectly believe they enjoyed being voyeurs, especially if you felt a bit uncomfortable. After all, they are kings and you are, at best, a human.
    Skipping stones in the last poem and painting is perfect for the end, standing on the shore with a flat stone in hand and then flinging it skipping out over calm waters, trying to achieve a skip that symbolizes human survival longer and longer into the waves.
    I like the creativity of this, David. Good work.

    • Thank you Thomas,

      I would love to learn calligraphy but doubt if I will find the time.

      I already have some other poems which I have a mind to paint.
      I look forward to having some more time after the book launch to explore further.

      I hope you are well my friend


      • I’m well, David. I’m having trouble keeping up with wordpress because of the work and stress load at the college, and I get too tired, but am trying to figure out when to retire. I am looking forward to getting your new book after the book launch.

      • Retiring was one of the best things I ever did Tom

        Go for it


  10. Am glad you are having fun with that. Save images as .png or. Jpeg for better chances of longevity. i wear a 16 gig flash drive on a silver chain.

    • It is fun Eileen.

      The images get saved as .png and I keep copies on a CD, and of course on the iPad.

      Although your idea of a flash drive on a silver chain is a good one.


  11. David,

    You are having a lot of fun with this! I love watching creativity bloom. This particular project is a grand idea, and nice way to showcase two talents at once. Maybe it’s a third talent to have the ability to choose which poems perfectly match which scenes. I think so, and your results are impressive.

    I hope you are well.
    Much love and smiles,

    • Thank you Shirley,

      Having fun is what this is all about really.
      I find I am writing very few new poems, but the challenge of combining poems and paintings fascinates me.
      More to come after the book launch. 🙂

      I am well. And you?
      Smiles are good

      Much love

  12. Gah, you have enormous talent, David! To be able to draw AND write AND take photos!!! – L

  13. Well done. I think there is something of a tradition for this.

  14. fun. like the seagulls one.

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