Painting #29

I really struggled with this one, mainly because of my attitude. I need to take a few days off, look at some things that inspire me, rest. Then wait for the tide to come in again.

#29 Invented Landscape (Oil on Canvas on Panel, 10 x 8 inches)

As you can see from the underpainting (below), the final image is very different from the original idea. Instead of the tree in the foreground I just left a single, small but sharp reflection to slow down the movement into space.The painting was already in a fairly finished state when I looked at it and the thought came into my head – “so what?”.  Perhaps I was still influenced by my venture into abstract painting that I posted yesterday, but I wiped out the sky and tree in the foreground and reworked the painting into something more moody and abstract.


If you look carefully at the finished image, you will see some small bumps. This is because I glued the canvas over an old painting and did not first scrape and sand down the old image. Lesson learnt – I won’t do that again!

Below is a work in progress. I am not yet sure if I will stick with the canvas panels or go back to Gessoed panels (which I will sand down to remove any uneven patches from now on). The canvas accepts paint in a very different manner compared to direct painting on a panel. I need to experiment more. Maybe by #100 I will know enough to decide?


Thanks to all who have supported my blog. I hope you are happy and content.

It feels like I am entering dark waters, familiar territory. I need to return to the grove:

To Magistrate Zhang

Late, I love but quietness:
Things of this world are no more my concern
Looking back, I’ve known no better plan
Than this: returning to the grove
Pine breezes: loosen my robe
Mountain moon beams: play my lute.
What, you ask, is Final Truth?
The fisherman’s song, strikes deep into the bank.

Original Poem by Wang Wei (translated by J.P. Seaton in The Poetry of Zen, by J.P Seaton and Sam Hamill)

11 thoughts on “Painting #29

  1. Very different, indeed, and although I like the finished painting, I do miss the trees. You are the artist, of course, and listening to our thoughts and feelings is part of the process of creating. We all need to “return to the grove” at times. I always things of it as “recharging”. Look around and absorb all that’s there, then bring it back to your painting. All the works in progress will be there waiting when you return. Very thoughtful poem. I’m asking myself now just what the fisherman’s song might be. Interesting. I will think on that today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I also miss the trees in a way. It is really hard to express, but I think sometimes we have some emotion inside, and even though a work on progress may be technically good, if it does not convey that emotion, it looks ‘off’. Going back to your comment about contentment in my previous post, I wonder if we would be best off painting in a state of contentment, but like you say, it needs to be practised, one does not simply arrive at it by chance. As always, thanks for your interest and comments.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that colour is raw sienna. To me, it looks rather boring on the palette, but over a white ground it looks so good. I need to figure out how to let this feature more in my finished paintings. Working on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your “so what” painting! And I love that sharp line you left – it does what you say. It’s a brave thing to change direction – and there was nothing wrong with the original painting – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s how we learn. Your learning worked!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh good grief. I saw those bumps and thought they were planets. You know how at certain times of the year you can see the planets in the sky?


      1. Well, I went back to yesterday’s, and that poem mentioned all that sky stuff, so subliminal maybe?


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