Painting #39

Here is my painting #39:

#39: Marsh Sunset (June 2016, Oil on Canvas on Board)
#39: Marsh Sunset (June 2016, Oil on Canvas on Board 45 x 25 cm)

This is a larger and more panoramic version of my earlier Painting #18. Below is the source photo.I struggled with the sky, I started off with both the orange clouds and the purple clouds being to bright and strong in colour. I added in some dull yellow in both to tone down the colour intensity. That same yellow is also in the greenish low-to-middle sky before it turns more purple and darker.


The marks on the source photo show where I tested my colour against the source photo (this was in my earlier painting #18). Looking from the source photo to my painting above, I can see that the clouds need to be blended with the sky at the top and also at the right.

This is a type of landscape representing a situation in life that I am compellingly drawn to. I have painted it so often, that I feel I may have reached the end of the line with this theme. Time will tell – I love landscapes.


Here, in this mineral landscape
of rock and sea, sapphire and diamond,
which to the wheel of Time offers nothing that’s perishable;


here in the great victorious light
whose only stain is your own shadow,
and where only your body carries a germ of death;


here perhaps for a moment the idols
will vanish; perhaps once more again
in a dazzling flash you may stare at your true self;


that self hidden by so many masks,
distorted by necessities and yokes,
which you betray, and everyone else robs you with violence and seduction.


Thus cleansed like an earthen jar
or bones stripped bare, your clay shall escape
for a brief moment the implacable weights of life and death.


Alexander Matsas, from Modern European Poetry

Thanks to all who have encouraged me with follows, likes and comments!

7 thoughts on “Painting #39

  1. I enjoy painting watercolor skies, and I can’t imagine doing it in oils. It seems it would be very challenging. I like the colors, although I do wish I could have seen them before your toned them down, especially the orange. The shapes you’ve painted are interesting and must have really “popped” against the darker sky with brighter colors. Of course, you’re the artist and you make the choices. The toned-down colors probably fit more closely with your vision and with the mood you were creating. It’s a beautiful landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Judith. I hear what you are saying, and indeed the brighter color made a very striking picture, but not very realistic if compared to the more suppressed tones and edges in the photo. To be sure, the ideal is not to mimic the photo, but what I had with the brighter color was not a mood but what Andrew Wyeth called a “visual cocktail”. Many people are drawn to this, but it is not where my spirit rests at this time. But who knows what will happen next? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Look at those blues. And the light coming through…and the reflection of the sky in the water. I think it is pretty. Yup.


  3. It’s very dramatic. The format is perfect for this scene, and I definitely believe you have captured the correspondence with the poem and its sensibility (and yours) about things. It resolutely transcends the photographic source.

    I have painted the same things again and again and have not exhausted any of them yet (not that I know of). But I wander away from motifs often. For instance, I’ve done lots of the koi pictures and many versions of the same motif (often in different media which helps me think about the motifs in new ways). But then I find that I don’t want to do koi anymore. I do still life instead, particular objects — the sea shells — or maybe a table top of objects that I return to and rearrange. Or I’ll do landscape. And so on. Then when I come back to the koi, I am bringing something of the experiences of the other things. The koi affect the still lifes. Still life affects landscape. Landscape affects, perhaps, the way that you look at a face.

    They are all lines, marks, colors on a flat surface.

    I don’t think that a subject is ever exhausted. There’s a great Delacroix quote about Nature having more ideas than we have ways of expressing them (I paraphrase awkwardly). And we have Nature inside us as well as outside us. Cezanne painted apples. How many times have artists done that? And yet he found a way of making them distinctly his, which is really quite an achievement! I don’t think he set out to be idiosyncratic, but painting apples so distinctively is really pretty niffy.

    Sometimes you just need to do something different. You haven’t really “exhausted” the subject — you just get numb to it. Doing something else helps you go back to the subject in a fresh way, bringing back to it all the new things you learn somewhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Aletha, that is a beautiful and helpful comment. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say: “You have not exhausted the subject, you have just grown numb to it”. I thiink you are right, and also I probably have reached the limits of my skills relative to what I am striving for. More practice and experience will help. All good experiences to learn from. Many thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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