#P5: Marsh in Twilight

I am still trying to get to grips with pastel, limiting the unknowns. So this is another copy of one of my earlier Oil Paintings – in this case, the one I posted here, which includes the source photo and some background of the place depicted, which is in South Africa.

Below is the image in it’s first stage, which is basically just an unfinished watercolor painting. I included the outskirts of the photo which shows how the stretched paper is stapled to the plywood board and then framed with masking tape.

#P5-WIP (2)

The image below shows the painting after I foolishly applied fixative without first testing and fixing nozzle issues. I know, it is a sad story, but a useful learning experience nevertheless.

#P5-Marsh-in-Twilight-With-Fixative-1 (2)

My work and family situation have kept me out of my studio and away from myself for several days – I am frustrated and tired. How can this situation be useful? Don’t know yet!

Looking carefully at my self-imposed expectations, lack of gratitude for small things – stepping our of my car, my face for a second caught in a rare shaft of sunlight, or an unexpected “I love you” from a teenage son – it becomes clear that the fault is not in my stars…but in the way I frame my situation.

Our old way of thinking— that problems are to be gotten rid of 
as soon as possible— overlooks the most important thing of all: that 
problems are a normal aspect of living and are basic to human creativity. 
This is true whether one is constructing things or reconstructing oneself. 
Problems are the outward signs of unused inner possibilities.

May, Rollo. Freedom and Destiny (Norton Paperback) (p. 20). 
W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

My mind keeps setting up these complex structures and conditions for happiness – to be achieved only when some conditions are met, or in some vague future moment. Once on a meditation retreat, the teacher said “the mind is forever creating a dilemma to solve”.

In my own case, this is very true. In a series of unthinking moments, a sub-conscious condition for happiness is continually being set up. What the body needs is so much simpler – it is already right here:

In his book Creativity and Taoism, Chung-yuan Chang tells a story of Confucius asking his pupils about their ambitions:

One said that he would like to be a minister of war, another a minister of 
finance, still another a ceremonial official in the prince's court. 
The fourth pupil, Tseng Tien, completely ignored this exchange and 
quietly strummed his lute. Confucius, when the others had finished, 
asked him to speak. Tseng Tien answered that he would like to go 
in the spring to the river bank, where, with his companions, 
he would bathe in the river, enjoy the breezes, and walk home singing. 
Whereupon Confucius said "I approve of Tien".

I need to look closer – 90% of the time, joy is here already.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you are happy and content today.

12 thoughts on “#P5: Marsh in Twilight

  1. It amazes me to no end that your style is being transferred so easily to your pastel work. That doesn’t always happen, especially when the medium is new to the artist, you are finding your way. Your painting isn’t as dark and moody but I think that you’ll find your way to the dark, if that is so desired.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Margaret – I have to say I find the pastel comes to me quite easy – at least with my skill level! I am missing some colors but will flesh out my set over time, I don’t want to buy 100 colours and end up only using 20. I read that for a beginner 30 colors are quite enough. I am quite happy with this picture, thanks again for your kind comments.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. the softness and mood of the painting was conveyed so beautifully Fritz. I love that about your work. you do convey mood and feeling in the works you paint. its not just about getting all the exact details perfect…. but providing the viewer entry into the scene through emotion and feeling. Plus…… I am with Tseng Tien!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The light is lovely in this piece. You seem to have a feel for pastels.
    And about happiness, I had an epiphany a long while ago that happiness is a state of mind, not a state of being. A nice phase that is devilishly difficult to live by. But sometimes it helps me to remember it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, I suspect happiness, joy and gratitude are like skills. One has to practice it – use it or lose it type of thing. If you grow old without developing those skills you are done for. Thanks for visiting Nadia, I always enjoy your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

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