Painting #24

I started this painting of an invented landscape a while ago, and posted a picture of it as a work in progress in this post. Here is the finished version:

#24  (20 April 2016, Oil on Canvas 32 x 30 cm)

I have to say I thought long and hard about how far to take this painting. I actually liked the under painting showing through on the road area, but I felt it was just a bit too rough to leave as is. I finished it off with a slightly more painterly layer on the road, and almost as an afterthought added a late afternoon shadow to the foreground.

I got home from work after dark and had to take a photo under indoor light, which distorts and blurs the colours. The photo shown above does not really show the colour patina very well. The image below shows a close up of the bottom left area of the painting, just where the shadow hits that red focal point (some raindrops visible too!).


I realize I need a lot more practice with observing and painting colour nuances of grassland where the green grass after the first spring rain mix with the russet colours of remaining late winter grass. Marsh and moorland moods that keep on carrying my heart back somewhere to a distant past…

The last two paintings used a road as the main compositional element.This is a deviation from my normal approach of using water – or a reflection in water – as a key design element. But I felt I had to try something new and was surprised how well a road that leads – well – nowhere really, can help to set a sense of space and mood.

I am constantly surprised how the world can be transformed by the subtlest shift in attitude. A slight shift towards humility, openness and letting go of thoughts and the most mundane scene can become something that evokes an emotional response and a sense of meaning. I cannot help quoting James Wright again:


While I stood here, in the open, lost in myself,
I must have looked a long time
Down the corn rows, beyond grass,
The small house,
White walls, animals lumbering toward the barn.
I look down now. It is all changed.
Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here. At a touch of my hand,
The air fills with delicate creatures
From the other world.

James Wright from The Branch Will Not Break

I am quite happy these days, very grateful for good energy levels and health. Also with some confidence that when darkness comes – and it will come – it will be full of fruit if approached with the right spirit. I recently read the beautiful book: The Taste of Silence by the very brave Bieke Vandekerckhove. She suffered – and eventually died – from motor neuron disease. And yet, despite intensive suffering, she writes:

I have discovered the art of waiting in darkness. We have to dare to persevere in what appears at first to be only emptiness. There is a world strewn with innumerable wonders that awaits those who have freed themselves from the constraints of reasoning.

As always, a heartfelt thanks to all followers of my blog journey and to all who have encouraged me with likes and comments. I hope you are happy and content.

11 thoughts on “Painting #24

  1. Each time you post a painting, it becomes my new favorite of yours. Today is no exception. I love this. I’ve always felt that orange was a very misunderstood — and often mis-used — color. You’ve used it here to create emotion and beauty. I love the poetry, too. As always, thank you for sharing.


    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I love the yellow to orange colour range, I probably over use it! Glad the poetry connects with you, I sometimes wonder if it is too much to go with the discussion of the painting, but it is in the heart so there it is. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the shadow and the road. Looking at this scene, it feels as though I am arrived at the destination that the road leads to and am gazing back at the road that brought me there. It’s such a country scene. I remember places like this from my parents’ rural lives when I was a child. Very beautiful. Nice seeing the detail of the surface too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, I am so glad the image connected with something from your past. I am constantly amazed how I become aware of memories of places and situations from my youth that emerge while an image like this comes to life. The unconscious is a real mystery, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The shadow across the foreground really adds some nice depth. I really like the warm glow. Is that from the picture taken in artificial light or the painting? I struggle with painting from my head so I’m always extra impressed when other people do it. Great job! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Mulambo28! The painting has a very warm feeling, perhaps it comes out better in normal daylight, if you look at the painting of the work in progress you actually get a better idea of the real colour. I better invest in some natural light lamps! Winter came so quickly, there is no light left when I return from work in the afternoon.


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