In this small study of an invented landscape I was focusing on using broader strokes and stronger, abstract forms. I tried to do something in the style of Albert Pinkham Ryder, but in the end I think it looks more like a Constable.
As explained in my previous post, I recently switched from using Burnt Sienna as my main red colour to using Transparent Oxide Red from Old Holland. Right from the get go I fell in love with this colour, and it will be my main red for some time to come. The tree mass on the right of my painting is just the Oxide Red underpainting. Nothing added – just that deep, earthy old-world red peeking through.
My current bedside reading is Hawthorne on Painting. I have read this so many times before, I basically just jump from one underlined passage to the next. I may just put in some regular quotes in my posts as a reminder for myself (let me know if these are of value to you):
The vision of the artist is the vision to see and the ability to tell the world something that it unconsciously thinks about nature. Everyone knows what a man looks like, or a tree or a house, but it is our job to tell the world something about these things that it has not known before, some impression that we alone have received. Art is a personal commentary on nature – the more humble, the greater the personality of the artist, the finer the work. (from: Hawthorne on Painting).
How do I feel about my little landscape painting? When seen from my egocentric, socially comparative personality viewpoint I feel it is insipid and worthless. But there is another viewpoint:
This morning during my walk I saw an injured blackbird on the white line between lanes in the road. It flinched each time a car went past and I could only hope a car or hawk would put it out of it’s misery soon. Sitting here in my warm living room, me and my loved ones safe – I consider my little painting again: an image of “something seen or remembered” made by an organic pattern that emerged out of stardust, to which the pattern will one day return.
Humility comes to me and I reflect on my extreme good fortune – to be an eye of awareness in the universe that opens in an instant and says what it sees. Maybe my painting is priceless?
In one of his Four Quartets (East Coker),. T.S Eliot said:
There is, it seems to us, at best, only a limited value in the knowledge derived from experience. The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies, for the pattern is new in every moment. And every moment is a new and shocking valuation of all we have been…The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
Apologies for the long post. I guess most of this is only for myself to return to one day to see what my past self was up to on this day. Thanks so much to all of you who have commented on my paintings and encouraged me to try. I hope you are happy and content.