This painting is based on a photograph I took on my way back from work, in the time I still lived in South Africa. This was about a decade ago. I have made several paintings of this scene in watercolour – this is my first attempt with oil.
In this painting I tried to stretch my limits a bit by trying a more rectangular format, which places more emphasis on the foreground. I struggled to get the texture of the foreground right, and I am not too happy with this painting.
I think the problem for me is that I dislike too much detail in paintings, for example, when each blade of grass is visible in the foreground and in the distance a house with a kettle on the table. I prefer something more atmospheric.
But in this painting, with the large foreground, some texture and detail needs to be visible, and I struggled with that. The horizon with the clouds is really the star of the show and in my next painting I focused on this element using a flatter landscape format.
I have been through some deep waters filled with anxiety and fatigue in the last week, so perhaps it is fitting I post this now. Not knowing what the future brings, no sleep, anxious about work, my health – and the pain in my back closing down my days and nights.
What will happen? “Don’t know, don’t know”. How beautiful, reassuring is poetry in such days:
“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
― T.S. Eliot