This small painting is – again! – of a spot I pass on my morning walk. A larger resolution image and the source photo is shown below. I was really just playing around when doing this painting, not expecting any outcome (thanks Aletha!), so I did it on an old, very rough canvas.
The image above is deliberately made a bit smaller and framed – I believe this is what the painting looks like when viewed across a room. The photo below shows a closer view – you can clearly see the rough gesso. I wish I chose to play on a better canvas!
The source photo is shown below. As you can see I have used quite a bit of artistic freedom – primarily by omitting some sighs of humanity and enlarging the shallow pool and changing the shape to lead the eye a bit better through the landscape.
When I started painting again earlier this year, I was fearful that the typical Waikato landscape was too pretty and green for me to paint. While I love living amongst it, I found it hard to paint. I kept returning to invented landscapes that featured dry, warm marshes – the colours of my childhood.
Now, slowly, as I practice painting my own surroundings more and more, the landscape comes alive with possibility. Truly, everything is a source of beauty. Perhaps I am also slooowly becoming a better person, which may be an essential element of painting.
Robert Henri says:
Whatever you feel or think, your exact state at the exact moment of your brush touching the canvas is in some way registered in that stroke. If there is interesting or reasonable sequence in your thoughts and feelings, if there is order in your progressive states of being as the paint is applied, this will show, and nothing in the world can help it from showing. Henri, Robert. The Art Spirit (p. 54). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.
This weekend we saw some really wild weather in the Waikato. Endless rain and wind. This afternoon my son and I had so take a chainsaw to a tree fallen over our driveway. Amidst it all I had several hours of painting with my music in the background. The world ceases to exist and my joy is wide as the river. I think this is what Rilke meant when he wrote:
#14 (first verse) This is my labor - over it my shadow lies like the shell of a nut. It's true I'm the same as leaves and mud, but as often as I pray or paint it is Sunday, and in the valley I am a jubilant Jerusalem. Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly from The Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke
I hope you have had a great weekend, filled with joy and contentment. Thanks for visiting my blog!