Here is my Painting Number 27, freshly painted.
The under-painting was shown in my earlier post (Back in the Studio), but for those who like to make a comparison, here it is again below.
I like the colours and the composition but the rough gesso (I originally intended this panel for an abstract) is distracting and I think impacts negatively on the final image. I learned my lesson now. Apart from the rough gesso texture showing, I am quite pleased with the outcome, and the colour-texture of the marsh grasses in particular gives me joy and gratitude.
If you compare the colours in the two underpaintings for this painting and the previous one (Painting 26) you will see the effect on the two finished paintings. This was not at all planned. I normally use a mix of burnt umber and ultramarine for my underpaintings. However, in the case of Painting 26, the brush happened to have more blue on it and this affected the final painting and pushed it to a blue-green which – to me – conveys a different mood.
In this painting (#27) I had in mind a yellow evening sky, a more romantic effect – an idea which was borne out of the somewhat random warm colour in the underpainting.
I spent the day at work thinking about this landscape – all the way through a long meeting – plotting and scheming. Not in any obsessive way, but rather like a touchstone, a light, little secret that I could touch to stay tuned to the mystery that lurks at the heart of creation, of which Radhakrishnan writes:
For every individual there comes a time sometime or other, for nature is not in a hurry, when everything he can do for himself fails, when he sinks into the gulf of utter blackness, an hour he would give all that he has for one gleam of light, for one sign of the Divine. When he is assailed by doubt, denial, hatred of life and black despair, he can escape from them only if God lays his hands on him…
The sense of insufficiency, of barrenness and dust, is due to the working of the Perfection, the mystery that lurks at the heart of creation. The invisible impulse to seek God produces the agony that inspires heroic idealism and human fulfilment. The image of God in us expresses itself in the infinite capacity for self-transcendence.