Here is painting #31.
Despite what I said in earlier posts about my enjoyment of the painting process, all I could think of as I painted this was the starting lines of Rilke’s poem “Pushing Through”:
“Vielleicht, dass ich durch schwere Berge gehe in harten Adern, wie ein Erz allein;” (translation by Robert Bly below).
I was very tempted not to post this painting and just slip in the next one. But each lesson is after all a lesson and if only for myself, if I live to see Painting #100, it may be good to know what I struggled with when I was still painting in the 30’s.
I am a complete novice when it comes to painting abstracts – and I find they demand a level of self-confidence, letting go and self-acceptance that I simply do not yet possess. But I have found, after trying a few abstracts, my landscapes seem to improve a bit from all the trying. Perhaps it only feels good to be back on my home turf again?
It is hard for me right now – I am questioning a lot of things that seemed like certainties. Painting is one of those things – what to paint, why I want to paint. Not a nice place to be – the fruitful darkness of uncertainty.
How much I owe to Rilke:
It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.
I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief –
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation by Robert Bly
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