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.
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.
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.