#P11: Waikato Dapple


I tried to push my boundaries a bit with this painting. It is based on two photos of the Waikato River seen through the dappled sunlight and shadow of large pine trees. The source photos are shown below.

The end result is not really to my liking – reminds me of my kindergarten drawings. My relative inexperience with pastel is probably the main cause, but I have to say I have never managed to paint something that I like in which blue and green dominate. Oh well…next time. Now I have “expanded knowing”.

I have been reading Jane Hirshfield’s Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World. Some of the poems and prose in this book takes my breath away:

What a writer or painter undertakes in each work of art 
is an experiment whose hoped-for outcome is an expanded 
knowing. Each gesture, each failed or less-than-failed 
attempt to create an experience by language or color and 
paper, is imagination reaching outward to sieve the world.

Hirshfield, Jane. Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

This same book gives a poem for my post:

The fish are dreadful. They are brought up 
the mountain in the dawn most days, beautiful 
and alien and cold from night under the sea,

the grand rooms fading from their flat eyes. 
Soft machinery of the dark, the man thinks, 
washing them.

Jack Gilbert, from “Going Wrong”, quoted in

Hirshfield, Jane. 
Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World.

“Soft machinery of the dark” – stunningly beautiful, pointing phrase.

Thank you for stopping by my blog, and a special thanks to those who have posted kind and thoughtful comments on my recent posts.

9 thoughts on “#P11: Waikato Dapple

    1. Thanks Nadia! Glad to hear you liked it. I will certainly keep this around – my wife likes it so it may actually make its way to a frame one day. Looking forward to some new photos and posts from you – have I been missing them?!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lol. Oh Fritz. Your drawing is fine, it is just not your style. If that is how you did in kindergarten…dang guy! Child prodigy!!!! Besides, how would you know you didn’t like the outcome if you didn’t try…so now you know…trial and error, live and learn and all that stuff. My personal thought (from what I hear anyway) is we don’t look at our own stuff objectively and we can’t because we are too close to it. We might even like it one day, hate it the next, love it…hate it. Someone else doesn’t see it that way. They focus on the positive, we focus on the negative. In short, one mans trash is another man’s treasure and art is subjective. You never know what pleases another person’s eye. Personally, I would hang this in a child’s room or school, not because it looks like a kindergartener did it, but because it is cheerful and the shade and light are nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks DawnMarie, child prodigy, that really cracked me up. I think you are right, we are certainly too close to our own work and often emotionally involved with “our little children”. Putting the painting aside for a week and looking at it again often solves the problem…but it could go both ways! Many thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to laugh, you sound like me, so picky! I love the lighting, your style is there but kind of veiled…..if that makes sense, peeking through, perhaps. I think that you are not in your river of joy/art making that is all. The unfamiliarity of pastel probably drives it further into feeling off, imho. It stretches you to get out of your preferred scenes and pastel does do a little pushing because of the learning how not to look kindergarten! To me, your painting doesn’t look that way but who am I to tell another artist especially one that strives from the heart? Love that lighting and your shadows are dark and rich, pastel can make that a difficult task. I say, keep on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, indeed I am picky! But to be fair, I think when we share our work with other art inclined people, it is probably the one place where a somewhat critical view of your own work is in place? If I ever have an exhibition, I don’t think I will put a plaque below this one that says “(Artist does not like this one)”!
      My wife and at least one son happen to really like this, so who knows, maybe it is just my own taste? As always, thanks for your comment, I always enjoy hearing your view!


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