Tag Archives: county dublin

Tomatoes 2021 (1)

Walk through the townland. Gather what is left behind. Single use coffee cups. 

Stab a couple of holes in the base for drainage. Fill with compost. Pop a seed in the middle.

Lightly cover with compost. Leave in a warm spot. Add water, sometimes.

Anticipate growth and harvest.


Words: JesseJames. Image: JesseJames.

these things themselves run through time

A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney

Any drawing or painting contains time because you know it took time to do. You know it wasn’t made with a glance. If it’s honest work, you know it must be a genuine scrutiny of the experience of seeing.

The Japanese and the Chinese did not have the camera until the nineteenth century. I assume they didn’t because there’s no evidence of their art being one-eyed.

Here was an art that dealt with essences, not with verisimilitude, which is about surfaces.

After A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney by Jessica Peel-Yates

The late theorizers of Cubism never say it’s about abstraction. They know it’s about perceiving the physical. Cubism is about how we see what we see.

We see everything in focus, everything, but we don’t see it all at once, that’s the point. We take time. The camera, the one-eyed camera, can be arranged so that it sees a lot in focus, but it’s difficult if there’s something very close to it and there’s something else thirty feet away.

I began to realize that I was making pictures in a very strange way, in that when I began I did not know where the edge was going to be.

An Eye’s Walk around Bray Head by Jessica Peel-Yates

Perspective makes you think of deep space on a flat surface. But the trouble with perspective is that is has no movement at all. The one vanishing point exists only for a fraction of a second to us. The moment your eyes moves slightly, it’s gone, and it’s somewhere else. In a painting, the hand is moving, the mark is being made: these things themselves run through time.

Any drawn image is moving through time because of the hand at work.

Words: Hockney on Art, conversations with Paul Joyce.

Images: A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney, After A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney by Jessica Peel-Yates and An Eye’s Walk around Bray Head by Jessica Peel-Yates

Moonlit Gardening

The Distance of the Moon – Ink on Paper by James Moore

“The moon looks upon many night flowers; the night flowers see but one moon.”- Jean Ingelow

One of the more fascinating things that we discovered lately is that for hundreds of years people have been planting their plants and vegetables depending on where the moon is in its cycle.

For example, they would plant annual flowers and fruit and vegetables that bear crops above ground (such as tomatoes, and courgettes, peas) during the waxing of the Moon, that is from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full. As the moonlight increases each night, they believe plants are encouraged to grow leaves and stems.

During the waning of the Moon – from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again – gardeners would plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground (such as onions, carrots, and potatoes – the kind of plants known as the nightshade family). As the moonlight decreases night by night, it was believed that plants are encouraged to grow roots, tubers, and bulbs.

The thinking behind Gardening by the Moon is that …just as the Moon’s gravitational pull causes tides to rise and fall, it also affects moisture in the soil – drawing it up to the top of the soil when it is a waxing moon. This causes seeds to swell, resulting in greater germination and better-established plants. When it is a waning moon the gravitational pull of the moon is lessened. The Earth’s gravity has a slightly stronger pull on the roots of plants which helps their downward growth.

Although little scientific evidence has been found to verify such claims, it is known that moonlight affects the leaf orientation of certain plants at night. Scientist Isabella Guerrini who works in the department of agriculture at the University of Perugia in Italy, has observed that sap flow in plants confirm that, indeed, fluid flows are …fuller, faster… as the moon becomes full, slowing down as the moon wanes. This, she explains, has important consequences for plant growth and pruning.

Making Land

On Inis Oírr,  islanders cleared stones and use them to fill crevices in the limestone pavement and to build walls to create enclosed areas. Sand and seaweed were harvested and spread to make land in these fields.

JesseJames make land by composting kitchen and garden waste, enhancing it with diluted human liquid waste, forking in air and water and leaving it to mature for around six months. JesseJames use the resulting compost to enhance the soil.

My whole life had been spent waiting for an epiphany, a manifestation of God’s presence, the kind of transcendent, magical experience that lets you see your place in the big picture. And that is what I had with my first [compost] heap – Bette Midler.

Image: JesseJames. Words: JesseJames.

Calligraphic Snow

The higher contrast of objects in snow is often very calligraphic, like a chinese water-ink painting on a white background. People trees, bushes and rivers appear almost black against snow.

Calligraphic Marks
Ink Well

These concepts inspired James to create the following mixed media painting.

Firhouse Bridge under Snow

Images: JesseJames. Words: JesseJames.

This Shortest Day

So the Shortest day came, and the year died,

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive,

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, revelling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us – listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,

This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.

Welcome Yule!


Image: JesseJames. Words: Susan Cooper.