#O62 Fisherman’s Song

#O61 Fisherman's Song (Oil on Canvas Panel, 6 x 6 inches)

This is my first oil painting in about a week. This is an invented landscape, reflecting a place felt or seen through a poem by Wang Wei. The poem and thumbnail sketch is below.

As you can see from the thumbnail, I started with a basic abstract shape – a dark, somewhat mysterious shape which forms the center of interest in the lower left quadrant. In my thumbnail this was an old, craggy tree but in my under-painting it became an old twisted tree stump – all that is left of an old Eucalyptus that battled with the seasons for many years.

When my oldest son was about four, he once sat in front of me and Kate at the edge  of a shallow stream running over rocks. He puddled around in the water for a while, then became very still and sat looking into the water for the longest time. After a long time we called him to leave and both saw he was in a sort of trance – very unusual. When I questioned him he answered – and Kate is witness to this: “I missed my life”.

What mystery is this life? I cannot understand what it is in me that is drawn so deeply to scenes like the one depicted in my painting. Also a childhood moment perhaps, when I lingered late at the edge of water and saw into a deeper truth.

I quoted the following poem in an earlier post, but I cannot help doing so again:

To Magistrate Zhang

Late, I love but quietness:
Things of this world are no more my concern
Looking back, I’ve known no better plan
Than this: returning to the grove
Pine breezes: loosen my robe
Mountain moon beams: play my lute.
What, you ask, is Final Truth?
The fisherman’s song, strikes deep into the bank.

Original Poem by Wang Wei (translated by J.P. Seaton 
in The Poetry of Zen, by J.P Seaton and Sam Hamill)

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you are happy and that you are content.

6 thoughts on “#O62 Fisherman’s Song

  1. Your posts and paintings are chock full of emotion and thoughts, I could comment the heck out on this one but I am suppose to be getting a move-on here. When I paint I feel that the scene is secondary, I always have childhood feelings and images pop up alongside my painting experience, very interesting indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words Margaret. I think Walter Murch said something like – the main thoughts we think while painting will somehow appear in the painting – like you say, perhaps we paint as a way to return to the childhood innocence. (I quoted that somewhere – if you are interested, search for Walter Murch on my blog). Hope you are having great quiet time and building up creative and spiritual reserves.

      I found that quote, it is in my Painting #34. Murch said: “A whole new world exists and moves in the mind while actually making a painting . . . But the thing to remember is that the world that the mind returns to the most will come out, will show in the completed picture . . .”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I started to read it but with a very interested 7 year old who is talking constantly, not going to work! I really liked what you wrote, but need to spend some time with silence, I didn’t make it to the quote….lol I need to come back to explore your blog more extensively, there is a lot of “meat” to digest.

        Liked by 1 person

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