Last Farm Standing

This is a reworked version of my painting #O56 which I posted a while back. The source photo is shown below. The painting was standing around in the studio looking dark and sad and I was contemplating painting over it, when I thought I might as well try and improve it. Not yet sure I succeeded, so it remains a work in progress.


When I started my blog, I was loosely following the “painting a day” movement – trying to get back into a habit of painting on a regular basis, not getting caught up in an existential crises about the “one big thing” I am working on.

In the last week I have been re-shuffling my approach, and instead of working on one small painting a day, I am trying to get into a rhythm of working patiently on several (slightly) larger paintings at the same time. I was encouraged in this direction by some useful information provided by the very talented Teri Malo, who answered some of my questions about her paintings and work methods in this post.

I am also trying to slowly venture into the land of larger canvasses and I think this approach could help. For me it does require an adjustment. Instead of one intense creative push a few days of the week, it seems like I need a more even approach; say, one gentle hour of work (normally after “work”) on whatever is ready for the next phase.

Num-56-Source (2)

The patterns of my (our?) life keeps repeating. We think we see how we are put together, and then something changes – the New keeps pushing into our emotions, the internal deep. I suspect the wise man is the one that remains ever receptive, learning, accepting. T.S Eliot said:

There is, it seems to us,
At best, only a limited value
In the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
For the pattern is new in every moment
And every moment is a new and shocking
Valuation of all we have been.

Nature requires awareness, dynamic alive. Don’t conclude, live as in a rocking boat at sea:

All the fruit is ripe, plunged in fire, cooked,
And they have passed their test on earth, and the one law is this:
That everything curls inward, like snakes,
Prophetic, dreaming on
The hills of heaven. And many things
Have to stay on the shoulders like a load
of failure. However the roads
Are bad. For the chained elements,
Like horses, are going off to the side,
And the old
Laws of the earth. And a longing
For disintegration constantly comes. Many things however
Have to stay on the shoulders. Steadiness is essential.
Forwards, however, or backwards we will
Not look. Let us learn to live swaying
As in a rocking boat on the sea.

Friedrich Holderlin, transl. Robert Bly, in
News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness.

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

10 thoughts on “Last Farm Standing

  1. The colors in this are beautiful. Not over the top, not in your face. Perfect. I love the green against the blue mountain and the hints of yellow. Nice job Fritz. M

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the colors and I especially love the feeling that I get from viewing your painting. Often I think working on a larger piece for me is that you stay with the troubles that come up while working on a painting. The fear, the unknown, the “how do I” and “how will it turn out”? So that vulnerability often will keep me working on smaller paintings so that way I can avoid it! But I think sticking with larger paintings will help me to mentally, artfully and spiritually work out what I want to avoid and in the end I am glad for it. Well worth the effort and I really like having several larger pieces to work with because it shakes it up and keeps it interesting and not lingering in that particular vulnerability with that particular painting. By the way, I really love Teri Malo’s work, very interesting conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply Margaret. So far so good for me, I am getting into the habit of putting short sessions of work into slightly larger paintings. Over time, I hope to go beyond my current limits.
      So true – that fear “how will it turn out” when working days on end on a larger painting really is daunting. If it fails, my day/week tumbles into doubt and chaos. But I am learning to live with and learn from this too!

      Liked by 2 people

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