Here is my painting #36:
To those of you who looked at my previous post (“What Comes from Silence”), this image may look familiar. I set out initially to do a somewhat darker and more sinister version of that watercolour, but right from the underpainting some part of me set off in a different direction.
As I put down the underpainting something boat-like appeared out of the canvas, and the image immediately called me toward a more abstract outcome. I like this painting, and I think it will escape the fate of earlier paintings that were recycled.
I realize it may not be in everyone’s taste, but I love the warm transparent colour juxtaposed against dark shadows and the more opaque, greenish areas. Most of all – for me it carries a sense of mystery that evokes a good emotion.
As I painted away, my thoughts went to boats and ships, and many themes went through my mind. I am sad to say, but with the previous past nights’ news in memory, the image came up of a five year old child, crossing white sand at midnight to board a dingy vessel in the Mediterranean – the little hand tightly clasping the rough hand of a father in whom trust is absolute and complete.
I recalled the lines from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” which never fails to give me goose-bumps:
I understand the large hearts of heroes,
The courage of present times and all times,
How the skipper saw the crowded and rudderless wreck of
the steam-ship, and Death chasing it up and down the
How he knuckled tight and gave not back an inch, and was
faithful of days and faithful of nights,
And chalk’d in large letters on a board, Be of good cheer, we
will not desert you;
How he follow’d with them and tack’d with them three
days and would not give it up,
How he saved the drifting company at last,
How the loose-gown’d women look’d when boated
from the side of their prepared graves,
How silent old-faced infants and the liften sick, and the
sharp-lipp’d unshaven men;
All this I swallow, it tastes good, I like it well, it becomes
I am the man, I suffer’d, I was there.
(this excerpt copied from The Writer’s Almanac)
And as the darker areas of the painting started to gain depth, my mind went to the never ending search for my True Self, swimming upward – into the depths (Transtromer’s term) of the oceanic:
OceansI have a feeling that my boathas struck, down there in the depths,against a great thing.And nothinghappens! Nothing…Silence…Waves..– Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?
Juan Ramon Jimenez
Thanks so much to all who have encouraged me in my journey with comments and likes. A special thanks to all followers of my blog.