not drowning waving

Kim Gamble

Kim Gamble
July 13
dad, children's books, gardens, the ocean, coffee with a friend.


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MAY 1, 2012 12:38PM

With you.

Rate: 53 Flag


I don't remember painting this.

It would have been around '86. It's quite a large canvas. It sits on the mantel at Arielle's place ~ looks like a candle or something's been burning, there to the left of the boat. If you picked it up and turned it around, you'd see "with you," written on the back. I know it was painted over the top of someone else's picture ~ yellow and black ; a student exercise, thrown to the kerb, salvaged and passed on to me. I remember who salvaged and passed it on to me : Kathy. One of my best friends, I guess ; we hardly see each other lately.

It's about the morning after the night Bella and I went rowing. That's all it was, rowing. We'd gone down to the old Boatshed together, where I used to live ; where she saw the painting of Sandy, and Cliff told her where I lived. We rowed all night, up into the mangroves, out into the bay, up along Kathy's, past Frank and Kate's, and talked, how you do.

I think before the sun came up we'd pretty much decided the rest of our lives. It would involve two girls, a house in the forest, and a lot of pictures.

I remember the boat, and the morning. I remember the way the sun lit everything up. I remember thinking : there's an awful lot to do, now. I was 30, she was 24. My dad had died, and my best friend Frank was about to. I was spinning. I had to tell my brother I'd be leaving the agency and was going to live in the bush. No more linen suits, no more Fiats.

It was probably the pivotal moment of my life. I had the oars, & we spun, and the sun came up. I don't remember painting this, but I know what it's about, and why I painted it. I just don't remember undoing the tubes or squeezing the paint out, or any of that. There must have been a lot of paint ; it's quite thick, but in places the old yellow and black picture it was painted over still shows through, somehow. That's probably a good thing.

Arielle's 26 now. Bella works as a Gallery guide and a teacher. She's still an artist, still a mother, still one of the best people I've ever had the good fortune to meet, and I'm proud to say, still my friend.

Arielle has a sister, G, or JeeJee, or Greersy, who some of you know. Together, I guess, we are a bit nutso. I am held together by the laughter of my friend Anna, who writes, and is tolerant of the time I spend on OS. There are waves breaking on the wall downstairs. 


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What a talent you are, Kim! I adore that painting and the story that accompanies it.
Man, when you reveal, you reveal. This is so intimate I feel almost as if I'm trespassing. But its beauty makes the trespass worthwhile.
and it all drifts together, with our without plan, on top of used canvas or new

so at what point did you break your neck??
Wish we could edit comments. Should have enhanced "beauty" with "languid." And I forgot to mention the painting. It's vividly clear the painting was done by the writer, and vice versa.
And Jules just broke the spell, but...worth it.
Matt is right.(of course,as always)
The painting ,if you did this,is lovely.
The story,like Matt said,is very intimate.The empty spaces are the invitation for trepassing.
"There are waves breaking on the wall downstairs. "

some people... they just know how to do this writing thing.
Some people can do it all - and so well.
What a joy it must be to have your own paintings as testaments to your days. And then to be able to write so beautifully about it. I love the mixture.
Lovely, charming, sweet, bittersweet. You capture the essence of this painting - that it just captured a moment in time.
What a great memory! And to still have the friendships speaks so well of all involved.

You do look a bit knackered in the painting, but in a good way.
WW moment. Wow!

Well that's nice.
Thanks, Erica :-)
Chicken Mąąån, thanks. I'll always try to reveal ; it's why we're here, isn't it.
Julie am I going to dignify that with a response Hell Yes !! I broke my neck trying to look up your skirt on one of those posts you had about when you were even more beautiful.
Thanks Heidi. Feel free to trespass, please.
Lorianne, you do, & isn't it, & thanks.
Hi Sarah,
We aren't finished yet ; we'll see ;-)
Thanks jls ~ OS has become my diary. ( Hope no-one else reads it ! )
Hello nilesite. Thank you ...
Interesting phenomenon when you don't remember something you created.
I love the expression on her face, happy and serene, but the expression on your face with the sideways head, is at first disturbing to me, and makes me curious as to what you want to convey. Confusion? A new direction? Oh shit?

Those conversations when we are young and think we can just plot a course and all will be as it should, as we want and need it to be.

This is gorgeous. The story and the painting... love it.
I like nutso. So many memories floating along here. Thank you.
I love the reflections in the water, the golden hair flowing down, the light and otherworldliness to the colors...delightful. That light is like the inner drowsy lightheadedness one gets after a hot and humid day on the water...I love how you captured the feeling of those fabulous types of day, just messing about. : ) There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing...
Exactly what Lorianne said. And the painting thing too...~r
Hard to imagine you wouldn't remember painting this extraordinary piece KG. Do love the story of the memories though, leading to present day. Life is good, innit
that was you then, your lives painted over, ripples, if not waves, still reaching your walls.

and what is it about not remembering having created something?
Let me know if you ever find out...
Phyllis, I was knackered in the good way.

Thanks V.Corso.

& Mr John.

Con, it is.
I'm pushing 60 & it's happening a lot. I see these things ; I know them, but for the life of me can't remember how they came about ...

Oh shit ? ~ nails it.

Ta zanelle, ever happy to float along with you :-)
...and Anna, you and my husband sound similar with all the *tolerating*...
There are flocks -- venues -- of turkey vultures soaring north into the valley on their yearly spring return, large black wings gliding against a rich blue sky today.
Life is good.
: )
Don't know what happened to my comment, but apparently the ether didn't consider it worthy. You, on the other hand, are.
That is a lovely painting capturing a life changing event.
I think you remember well what you do. Thank you for sharing.

One of my best friends, I guess ; we hardly see each other lately. This how I think of you.

Going on 60, a great time to recall the time you rowed all night right into your future. It is good, I think, to share the sweet intimacy of times like that; I'm afraid they are becoming quite rare.

I think it's OK not to remember painting the picture, you do remember that you painted it. How many of us remember actually conceiving a child? Yet, there they are. . . . .how you do.
So fun to read. What a groovy painting. Thanks for sharing this. Nice when such good looking and talented folk share such things.
I typed out a very nice comment, it is with Tom's somewhere in the ether.
Beautiful Kim. Hard to believe that the lovely light in this painting was a darker painting originally. Her expression is what the word radiant means.
We are all a little nutso, life requires it of us.
Ah, we just don't visit often enough, but when I see what this picture is saying to me, I feel like I get it all. That is one expressive piece of peace.
'lovestruck' is the word that occurred to me when i looked at your head on its tired stem of a neck, arms and hands barely able to stay on the oars, much less pull them. and beautiful bella ... whoosh. done you were. i know that feeling.

the story - the writing of the story, not just the facts of it - is as good, gliding and turning in a river, splashes and drop of water adding a song and punctuation. lovely.
s/b 'drops.' pfffft.
The swirls the oars are making, spirals. Stirring up a direction. A compass point. That's life isn't it?

The pirate and the owl! They're back!
And yet you do not call yourself an artist? This painting shows otherwise.
...faces in the rocks, the pillar, vase...?
or I'm hallucinating?

Bella as Siren's Song, you, a goner.
Maxfield Parrish echoes ~ to me, at least...

Arielle, what a great painting to live with : )
Lovely, Kim. The writing and the painting.
Here ... just here ... for now ...
Such sensitivity in your writing lately. Each piece sheds light and light is what the true artist captures. I know what you mean when you say you don't remember twisting the lids off the tubes of paint so absorbed in the moment. You and Anna; Anna and You. Such light.
Such a moment caught here. Great light. It's all ahead of you.

I never remember making any image once it's done–not the blank surface, not the under, not the over, none of it. Not even when I spent a hundred hours. It's like the picture was always there.
What I nowwish to know is, which traitorous wench lent our priz'ner her laptop so this could be created(--and damned well, I might add).
You are forgiven, whoever you are!
So rated.
Maybe you should think about sleeping on fewer pillows.
Brave, bold and beautiful.
I like your new avatar. Very handsome. :)
As much as I have read your posts, I somehow missed that you paint. You are one of those talented people who can do many things.....
You are so remarkably gifted.

I’m always afraid to leave a comment. It feels like I’m walking in the most beautiful of houses with muddy shoes on.
Avatar, shmavatar!
It won't release you from your duties as chained swabby and general slave for at least another two weeks, Captain Kim!
Nor can it get you released from the Black Jail!
Hi Just Thinking.
Times in boats are never wasted, even with the oars up drifting.
Mole & Rat knew what it took, to make a day into a year, a lifetime ...

Hi Joan.
Thanks for the read :-)

& Tr ig ~ you paint enough pictures, build enough decks, cook enough meals & they all sort of swirl. I wish I could catch back, the moment of each ... but they gone, innit.

catch-22, you just have that way, don't you ? I'll let you know ;-)

Thanks, Mr Tom. I'm grateful you tried again, & made it through. Very much.

Hi Fusun.
Painting or writing, these moments need to be recorded, somehow. As you do, so well. Thank you.

Oh, John ~ I could tell you exactly the moment each of our children were conceived. Bella had it down to a very fine art. I could tell you, but not here. All I can say, is that they were loved into existence ;-) Thanks, mate. Thanks for the read too.

speaking of which, when are you gonna hit us with a new post, hmmm?

Thanks, Rita.
The system has been a bit voracious lately, eh ? I wonder where all our comments/posts disappear to ~ maybe there's a kid in the backstreets of Shanghai or somewhere who keeps getting these weird "OS" missives on his cellphone.
Hurro ? Nee Hai !
Sorry. that wasn't very PC.

Deborah, thank you.

& Sheila ~ no we don't ; love it when we do. Thanks.
*tapping toe whilst attempting to maintain decorum*
Ah, l'amour. Who knows when and where it'll strike us, when we know someone is "the" one. For me it happened on a boozy houseboat trip and I wasn't sure if he'd *really* call me later like he said he would. But he did, lucky him, ha ha. Isn't it sad though that it doesn't happen this way for everyone? Like a friend of mine, who after dating her loser boyfriend for 7 years with no hint on his part that it was going anywhere, had enough. She went out and bought two rings, found a church, booked a hotel ballroom, sent out invitations and then told him, here's the date and time. Show up or else, jackass. (He did.)
Phyllis - "knackered"? Is that anything like snookered?
I have to agree with Chicken Maaan. I don't know what it is, exactly, about seeing things unfold in this space (this Kim Gamble place) over the last couple of years. Just when I get used to you being parsimonious with personal details, it's like I opened a door and there's this SYMPHONY rehearsing, right in the middle of it all.
Candace, pffft to drops. Thanks for catching this, & the moment ~ I truly didn't stand a chance, that night. To good feelings & what comes of them :-)

Hi Linnnn ~ pirate & owl were here for zuma & poor woman's gig ~ they locked me up with Jimmy & JMac so I scarpered, back into a new identity. I swear I've got more identities than ...
Spare us. Down here, Linnnn, we face North ~ that's our sun in the Winter growing near. It's always been good to me.

Emma !
I always get a fright !
Thanks but hey, my criteria for "artist" is higher than I can reach, & I'm six feet. After all this time, "illustrator" still suits me fine :-)

JT, Margaret's been sharing some of Algis' stash, I see.
Loved Maxfield Parrish. Maybe Arielle could move that candle aside ...

Hi Janice, thank you.

Hi anna1liese.

Thanks, Scarlett. Hopefully an over-all picture emerges.
One of the loveliest moments of my life was to see Bella & Anna meet each other at a function somewhere, & embrace.

greenheron, same. Thank you.

PW 'twas Jimmy with a ipad in his skanky jocks did it.

Hey ! Let's talk about pillows ~ I bet you got some doozy pillow info, but I like my neck like this ! I can see sideways ! Can you see sideways ?

Thank you.

I Love Life,
Thank you, too. :-)

Never. I'm grateful to you, thank you.

You haven't noticed. I jumped ashore at Papayeete.

Margaret, you met him on a houseboat ?

... he called you back ?

I think your friend showed great initiative. I hope it worked out for them. I guess for his sake, it better have.

Hi DB.
I don't recall being too parsimonious ; I'm glad you can hear the music. Me, I'm tone-deaf ; this is my garage ~ go ahead & bang something :-)
For some reason I think of Fernando Botero or Diego Rivera... perhaps the rowers leg, shoulder or tilted head (?) what do I know...

What better vessel to carry one into the future, or bring one back from the past? Paint brushes in the oar locks, canvas frame.
Margaret, no, knackered and snookered are only alike in that they're British. Like wanker. It's British, too. At least, that's where I learned the terms. And get stuffed is a good term. I like that I can say them in public places and offend fewer people yet still vent my spleen.

Kim, you changed your face again.
Kimsy: Recent good news was such a shock to my system that I've been bedridden every since(and I don't have a laptop.)
But, thanks for the interest in any new post. Will try to oblige asap.
I like the smile also.
That is such an interesting dilemma. I like the image a lot and was wondering how to classify it. It is in the manner of my new work which I was thinking combing classic art to abstract cubism.The light is renansance ? If you see my current post down bottom the statue of Venus and the Satre has a similar quality. I like this low contast reflective and oh so memorable of time and place. In the end photo realist painting carry so much with them. Cheers and please help me classify what you consider it"s style.
The vibe is different around here, hmmmmm.
What is it?
Not the avatar, the *vibe.* Although the avatar is smiling too...
(radar up, turning....)
You've sussed.
I can hear smiling, contentment, a *turn*.......?

As for the faces in the rocks....I didn't get any of that stash but I still see faces back there.
knackered: tired as hell
snookered: Trick! ...what daisy jane just did with the 'sociologist' post.

John -- Yeah, I knew the moment I conceived kids too...
It is a fine art...well, sort of.
And an incredibly useful one.
: )
Here. Still here. Thinking ...
of layers ...
of many things ...
of ... you ...
Here ... listening ...
to words ...
your words ...
to waves ... breaking ...
downstairs ...
on your wall ...
How your words ...
catch ...
and hold ...
I love how you tell each story, and this one is calm, peaceful. It's delicate, exact, and beautiful.
Yer was dreamin', gamble man! Yer still in yer cell--must've been delirious er sleeping.
And yer little "plan" with jimmy with that hairpin ye found was scotched by me!
Interrobang, I'd accept echoes of Rivera anytime, though my time with this way has passed ... I like paintbrushes in the oar locks still, thank you.

Phyllis, & "tosser."
I changed my face again, yes. I'm having some kind of crisis, I think ( Open Call ) ~ I tried to match avatars with pieces, or in the case of zuma's, comments, but of course it doesn't work like that, & ends up just confusing.

Thanks Fernsy, & well done on the recent post. A good read.

Hi Rita :-)

Thanks Algis.
I loved the Venus & Satyr & that extraordinary new technique there.
We share a love of texture, I think. The tones in this, the atmosphere, are part of a journey ~ a year later I'm sure I painted nothing like this. We're informed not just by the moment but everything we've ever seen, processed & imagine.
Why change keeps us alive ?

Maybe a 'turn,' Just Thinking ... too early to tell ~ certainly it's lovely to accept how some things are, & see patterns, & stop for a little while worrying ...
Probably there are faces in the rocks : Algis is the go-to person for faces in rocks though.

Hi anna1liese. Thank you.

& Razzle, Hi.
I'm glad you came by ; glad you enjoyed.

Poor Woman I wouldn't be at all surprised to find I was still in the brig on a boat out on the High Seas again.
Okay, who's going to screen scrape these all and turn them into an e-book? We have to do a color edition, with photos of the picture. Opps. Would that be violating someone's copyright?

Did I miss the Fiat and the linen suit episode at the agency episode? I want to hear more about that.
And the angle of that head is so troubling. Maybe you could sell it for a $121 million at Southby's.
There's the whole water likeness, too. Maybe it's your own personal prophetic "Scream."
I figured the artist was the go-to person in this case as you painted the
Yeah....those faces of his. I am convinced they only show up for Algis, they fade when he's walked on by...
...they know their own.

"Spinning," maybe ... I think "With you."

I wonder if Munch had called his picture "Paranoia," would it have caught $ 120 million. I'm not decrying the price ~ I think it's wonderful anything that size & in that material can be worth so much, in this world. Personally I'd invest in the rights to a film for that much. "Babette's Feast" comes to mind :-)

Linen & Fiats is a whole other story ; another life, even.
...I found that price for 'Scream' just hideous....
heinous, even.
Considering it's a pastel, Just Thinking, that might have taken a couple or a few hours max, it's a huge wager. Whether it stands the test of time ... but whoever has a lazy $ 120 million is unlikely to be wasting it either. Maybe that image is the quintessence of the century we were born into the middle of. Hope not, hope not.
I always thought it looked like the 'scream' of regret.
Maybe that is the quintessence....I hope not too.
Been reading depressing environmental articles this morning, maybe that is why I see regret so clearly in that....pastel!??
For it to hang on a wall. Won't even feed one child.
Ack, my heart is tanking.
Get outside, Anna.
LOVE the painting. Such sweet, drifting, background/telling. Thank you.
Here ... once more ... listening ...
looking at this canvas ... that sits on Arielle's mantel ...
that speaks so eloquently of love ...
love that lives in all your hearts ...
love that you share ... with all who come to ... be ... with you ...
even as we listen with you ...
to waves as they break on the wall downstairs ...
Miss you, scupper.

anna1liese, going on a year later, the sound of waves on the wall downstairs has changed to the sound of wind in the old oak outside ...
You know it's the same sound, isn't it :-)