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!”
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!
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