This painting was based on a charcoal sketch I made of a spot that I pass on my morning walk. The charcoal sketch is shown below – I actually like the charcoal a bit better and have since made a watercolour and charcoal painting of it – I hope to post this tomorrow.
A photo of the actual place on which the above two works are based is shown below. As you can see I have used my artistic freedom quite liberally. I do also like the photo and plan to do a painting of it someday soon.
The presence of water near a clump of overhanging trees remind me of an intimate space in a small enclosure of the landscape. I camped in such a place as a child – making fire, boiling my own water and making coffee after school, sometimes while a light summer rain came down. In the right mindset, 20 minutes in a sacred space like that can change one forever…
Written on the Wall at Chang's Hermitage It is Spring in the mountains. I come alone seeking you. The sound of chopping wood echoes Between the silent peaks. The streams are still icy. There is snow on the trail. At sunset I reach your grove In the stony mountain pass. You want nothing, although at night You can see the aura of gold And silver ore all around you. You have learned to be gentle As the mountain deer you have tamed. The way back forgotten, hidden Away, I become like you, An empty boat, floating, adrift. Tu Fu (712-770), translated by Kenneth Rexroth from The Enlightened Heart this version copied from Remembering the Sacred Self
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