#A3: Streets of Philadelphia

This is an acrylic based – very roughly it turned out! – on the charcoal and chalk drawing shown below. With this composition, I wanted to see if I could invent a landscape that had more middle ground focus and also was a bit more challenging in terms of form.

Apart from some silly large acrylic canvasses I painted a few years ago, this is only my second attempt at acrylic this year. So I am willing to cut myself some slack and say – “I like it!”

c21

This afternoon I read New Zealand born author Katherine Mansfield’s short story “The Garden Party”. The story deals with the preparation and aftermath of a garden party at the home of a wealthy family. Just before the party, the daughter Laura – a sensitive person full of empathy for others – learns that earlier the day the breadwinner of a poor family (living on the fringes of their property) had fallen from a horse and died.

After the party, Laura walks to take a basket of party left-overs to the widow. Laura is deeply moved by the tragedy, but cannot help but recognize the joy inside her – another leftover from the party:

It was just growing dusky as Laura shut the garden gates. A big dog ran by like a shadow. The road gleamed white, and down below in the hollow the little cottages were in deep shade. How quiet it seemed after the afternoon. Here she was going down the hill to somewhere where a man lay dead, and she couldn’t realize it. Why couldn’t she? She stopped a minute. And it seemed to her that kisses, voices, tinkling spoons, laughter, the smell of crushed grass were somehow inside her. She had no room for anything else. How strange!

An excerpt from a poem by Wang Wei:

...
Oftentimes - with joy in my heart -
Alone, I roam here and there.
It is a wonderful thing
That I am aware of myself.
When the streamlet ends my trip
I settle down and catch
The moment of rising mists.
Now and then I meet
A furrowed dweller of the woods.
We chat and laugh;
Never do we want to go home.

Wang Wei, quoted in
Creativity and Taoism, by Chung-yuan Chang

It is a wonderful thing that I am aware of myself!

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

9 thoughts on “#A3: Streets of Philadelphia

  1. The painting has taken its own road, I like the mountains in the distance. I’m seeing waterfall again in the charcoal! Is that because the water is made with downward strokes against the horizontal landscape strokes do you think? Or am I just needing new specs!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks FR! I think I need to just work on my waterfalls so they look more like streams 🙂 In general, in my experience, water reflections at low light tend to have a movement in the direction of the water, so I use downward strokes and keep things fuzzy to suggest water reflections. It needs some work!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Both the acrylic and the charcoal have so much energy. I like them both, Fritz. And the readings you pick each day! They’re always deeply though provoking. Thank you for sharing your inner wanderings with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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