Charcoal Still Life

Charcoal-Still-Life (2)
Charcoal and Chalk Still Life (approx A3 size)

This is an invented still life in charcoal and chalk. It is a happy outcome of a play session in which I basically start with a shape in mind, in shadow and light, and drew away. The reflections in the foreground were not planned but stole the show.I was still thinking of the light falling on a shape, some “infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing”, as T.S Eliot put it. The image below is a quick self-portrait, done in about 20 minutes.

Charcoal-Self-Portrait (2)
Charcoal Self-Portrait, July 2016

I use very chunky charcoal and chalk sticks, which keep me from trying to get things perfect and helps me focus on the big forms. I have not done a self-portrait in years, and made the classic mistake of putting the eye-line too high. Otherwise this is actually not a bad mug-shot of me.

The days of my life pass, at times it seems faster and faster. Sometimes it feels as if I miss a day – was I awake? If I could change one thing it would be to slow down, breathe with intent, sense more, look deeper. Life keeps on moving forward.

Moving Forward

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
that I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
and in the ponds broken off from the sky
my feeling sinks, as if standing on fishes.

Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly
from The Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke

Thanks to all who have encouraged my painting journey with likes and comments, and also to all who follow my blog. I hope you are happy and content.

7 thoughts on “Charcoal Still Life

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