This is a landscape I painted just a few days before my time away from the studio the last two weeks.
I had been looking at some of William Merrit Chase’s paintings, especially the landscapes he did of the Shinnecock hills. One painting in particular (link below) inspired me to try a similar composition and colour scheme.
This painting goes straight to my emotions and stirs things up there. Looking at this truly gives me the urge to travel long distances. (Notice that I cleverly put the link to Chase’s painting below my own – I realized that if I had you look at his painting first, mine would look like a kindergarten drawing by comparison!)
Below is my own painting in a small black frame. The lighting situation is a bit different from the photo above, and I think it shows what the painting will look like in muted indoor light out of direct sun.
I am fairly pleased with this lesson, and I learned a lot. For one, I am starting to dislike the rough gesso coming through, especially in the sky areas. I think for the next batch of panels I prepare, I will apply the gesso more smoothly and sand down the last layer somewhat.
I also need to do much more observation of grasses and colour variations so I can paint them more confidently with a brush loaded a bit heavier. In places my painting looks a bit thin and deadly to me.
On the heart front: after returning from my trip to Indonesia – no sleep on the 10 hour flight and waiting for me a long To Do list with plenty of items flashing red – life suddenly looks somewhat bleak. Doubt, anxiety and “what if’s” are everywhere and life seems a bit less sweet.
For me these are all signals to slow down and start focusing on what is given in each moment, including my breath. And get back to my meditation cushion again. How many times have I learned how different the very same world looks when the mind is clear and rested.
Many thanks to all those that showed an interest in my blog and paintings through follows, likes and comments. I hope you are happy and content. I leave you with two poems.
This one by Dale Pendell makes it so clear how yielding can become a solution to something that initially looks like it requires more “doing” and hard work. I do not have a reference/link for the source book, but please his books up if you are interested.
How many nights nowhas the stream told you:“This is the wayto deal with Obstacles”
And this one by Wendell Berry with its “until the heart has found its native ground…” is always a pointer for me:
The Clear Days
The dogs of indecision
Cross and cross the field of vision.
A cloud, a buzzing fly
Distract the lover’s eye.
Until the heart has found
Its native piece of ground
The day withholds its light,
The eye must stray unlit.
The ground’s the body’s bride,
Who will not be denied.
Not until all is given
Comes the thought of heaven.
When the mind’s an empty room
The clear days come.
Wendell Berry – New Collected Poems
Postscript: I was just looking at this post of mine on my iPad, and also in the Reader, and the photo makes the painting look slightly horrific. It is almost as if the painting is being pushed right into my face! Too much detail and brush strokes visible. I tried to reduce the image size considerably, but the details remain. Perhaps I should just stand a few feet away while taking the photo? Any advice from some experienced artist-bloggers will be appreciated. I normally just use my iPhone to take photos.