Painting #28

Feeling a bit under the weather, and resolved to slow down after I spent several nights of the past week painting into the night. This afternoon I did one underpainting for a landscape, and was going to stop there. But I hovered around in the studio – always a slippery slope – and in the end I managed to start and finish this abstract:

#28 Abstract (Oil on Canvas Panel, 30 x 32 cm)

On my computer screen this looks too yellow – a bit garish. But on my iPad the correct colour and value comes through.

I seldom work up the courage to try an abstract painting, but I was encouraged by a comment by the super-creative Debi Riley on my watercolour painting shown in this post to try my hand at it again. This is my first painting on canvas in a long time – the last time I tried I gave up in disgust with myself and the way the canvas accepts paint (probably because I was comparing the experience to watercolour).

Here is the underpainting for my next landscape. I am hopeful but resolved to see this as a learning experience – given my inexperience with the canvas texture. This is an invented landscape I painted before as a larger acrylic.  The oil painting is small – 10 x 8 inches.


Invented Landscape, Acrylic, 76 x 50 cm, 2015

Several times this week, cold and dark in my outside studio amid torrents of rain, I ventured where angel-artists fear to tread and asked myself – why do you do this? Tired and fatigued after a day at work, I felt strongly tempted to sink into a couch and get lost in some senseless Netflix series. Why not?

One reason is that recently, painting makes me feel good, as I explained in this post. If it does not make me feel good, I know I have to slow down and check my attitude, expectations and motivation.

Another reason is that on the occasion that I end up painting something I really like, something that makes me gently nostalgic or sad, there is an awareness that some element of space and time had been transcended. Hard to explain, really, but there is a sense that something had come into the world through me, something that is me but somehow more than me. I guess this does not make much sense?

OK, here is how Wallace Stevens explained it:

The Planet on the Table

Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time
Or of something seen that he liked.

Other makings of the sun
Were waste and welter
And the ripe shrub writhed.

His self and the sun were one
And his poems, although makings of his self,
Were no less makings of the sun.

It was not important that they survive.
What mattered was that they should bear
Some lineament or character,

Some affluence, if only half-perceived,
In the poverty of their words,
Of the planet of which they were part.

Wallace Stevens

Thanks so much to all of you who have encouraged me with follows, likes and comments. I hope you are truly happy and content.

10 thoughts on “Painting #28

  1. I always enjoy your paintings and the poetry you share. In this post, I think your words convey the feelings very well. It is sometimes difficult to express much of what art means to us, how it affects us, what it brings out from within us. You’ve shared one of those transcendent moments that come from being creative. The invented landscape is beautiful. The abstract is powerful and bold. We should all be like Ariel and be glad for what we have written, painted, danced, sung, played…or whatever other creative endeavor we have performed. Thank you for again for an inspiring post. Your thoughts always help me prepare for my day, adding a sense of meaning and purpose to all that I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. “We should all be Ariel…” Indeed. Last year a close, loved relative was diagnosed with advanced cancer – she was amazingly courageous and fortunate and overcame it – but I was made acutely aware of how fragile life is. Some days I walk back from my studio feeling so grateful that I was granted another day to wonder and create. Although I still, VERY often, get lost in expectations and “the 10,000 things”, I strive to have just one expectation, to live and be satisfied with one more day with my life, family, health as it is.

      Thanks again for your support. I keep following your blog with interest and really enjoy your writing and seeing your paintings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and forget to count the innumerable blessings we are given. Life is indeed fragile. I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the value of contentment. Life isn’t meant to be a struggle, but too often that’s what we make of it. I appreciate all your support and encouragement.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, contentment is perhaps a more real state of being than the elusive ‘happiness’? I realized, however, that contentment is a SKILL, the more you practice it, the deeper your experience of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not an abstract lover, but I am am learning to see beauty in them and am starting to have fun looking at them. I must say that the colors in that abstract are so pretty. I can’t decide if I see a heavy curtain or veil or hard rocky cliff. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. It is pleasing on my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is simple and the color is one of my favorites. It is very sturdy looking or heavy, but not in a harsh way and it is dark, but not in a bad way…more like a way that just accepts what is and goes on and I want to see what is in the shadows or what is under the painting if that makes any sense. I know what I mean…but it is hard to explain. Anyway, I really like it.

        Liked by 1 person

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