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