Watercolour Prelude #1

Before I started my recent run of oil painting attempts, I revved myself up by doing some watercolours – a medium in which I am a bit more confident. In most of these I really did not try to produce anything special, so they don’t look like much. But I was encouraged by a recent post by Jill Milward to dig up a photo of one that I felt was worth showing:

IMG_0341 - Copy
Watercolour Prelude #1 (roughly 20 x 30 cm)

On my laptop screen this picture looks terrible, but on my iPad the image seems to carry at least a bit of that mythical, mystical depth and translucence of watercolour.

I have very little experience in abstract painting, and it probably shows. But for me the test is always whether there is an element in a painting that makes me sad or melancholy – that evokes a sense of awe at the mystery of life. For that reason I am keeping this one.

For anyone reading this who meditates regularly, here is something to help carry you into that sacred space, from Wendell Berry’s beautiful book of poems, a Timbered Choir:

A Timbered Choir (excerpt)

I go among trees and sit still.

All my stirring becomes quiet around me

like circles on water.

My tasks lie in their places where I left them

asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes

and lives a while in my sight.

What it fears in me leaves me

and the fear of me leaves it.

It sings and I hear its song.

Than what I am afraid of comes.

I live for a while in its sight.

What I fear in it leaves it

and the fear of it leaves me.

It sings and I hear its song.


3 thoughts on “Watercolour Prelude #1

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