This is a pastel version of a painting I did earlier in oil, and which I posted here. For this pastel version, I did not refer to the oil painting but just used the source photo (shown below) as a reference again. It is interesting how different the two paintings turned out.
This painting was done on thick and rather rough 100% cotton watercolor paper. I like the sturdy feel of this 300 gsm paper, but the I dislike the roughness, even though it gave an interesting feel to the edges.
This photo above was taken in South Africa about 10 years ago, most likely towards the end of a day of work as I drove home. In early summer, if you are lucky, a storm may break and completely soak the dry African veld, like on this day.
I have been reading the book Art as Therapy, by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong. In the book the authors show a painting of a family on a dock next to a sailboat in the last rays of sun of the day. It is a beautiful, serene painting, which is presented as a work of art that may lead to greater self-understanding. The authors write:
Life is going on, but there is no drama, no expectation of an outcome, no sense of getting anywhere...In a strange way, the picture is filled with a sense of delight in existence expressed quietly. It is not the light in itself that is so attractive; rather, it is the condition of the soul it evinces. The picture captures a part of who one is - a part that isn't particularly verbal. You could point to this image and say, "That's what I'm like, sometimes; and I wish I were like that more often." It could be the beginning of an important friendship if someone else understood this too.
I was stopped by the sentence: “That’s what I’m like, sometimes; and I wish I were like that more often.”. It made me understand better why I try to paint, and why I repeatedly come back to the same themes – same quality of light and patterns of land and water – it is the only way I know to express how I sometimes feel…
My picture was of rain that fell most likely in October to December. Tomas Transtromer writes of rain at another time:
The Man Awakened by a Song on His Roof Morning, May rain. The city is silent still as a sheepherder's hut. Streets silent. And in the sky a plane motor is rumbling bluish green. - The window is open. The dream of the man stretched out sleeping becomes at that instant transparent. He turns, begins to grope for the tool of his consciousness - almost in space. Tomas Transtromer, trans. Robert Bly in The Half Finished Heaven
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