#O95: as Mist Resembles Rain

Morning in Waikato, New Zealand (Oil on Canvas, 20 x 30″). This painting is the largest I have done this year and is based on a photo (shown below) I took one early morning. The view is looking toward the town of Ngāruawāhia, with the Hakarimata mountains beyond.

I really struggled with the clouds and sky, and I tried in several sessions over about two weeks. At one stage the sky looked just like the photo below, but then I did not like the painting! In the end I settled for something more dramatic, resembling twilight, early night, rather than morning.

o95-source

Here is a larger version of the painting as it now stands. I think this could be a never-ending work in progress.

o95

The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is often held up as an example of an old style poet – one who perhaps spelled out too much for the reader – lacking the sophistication of modern poets like Wallace Stevens and T.S. Eliot.

But there was a time when I held on to his poem “The Day is Done” like a lifeline. It was to me like a symphony I could relax into when things became too much for me. My painting above reminded me of the end of a day, with a village gleaming through the mist, just like Longfellow describes in his poem.

Here are the opening and final verses of his poem, The Day is Done:

The Day is Done
The day is done, and the darkness
      Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
      From an eagle in his flight.
 
I see the lights of the village
      Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
      That my soul cannot resist:
 
A feeling of sadness and longing,
      That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
      As the mist resembles the rain.
And the night shall be filled with music,
      And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
      And as silently steal away.

 

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

10 thoughts on “#O95: as Mist Resembles Rain

  1. That is an incredibly beautiful poem that also offers a richer understanding of your painting. I love that poem (which is new to me) and it reveals a lot of what I love about your paintings. I’m wondering what impression Van Gogh’s landscapes make upon you, particularly his early landscapes, ones which share in that feeling of the melancholy that is not exactly sadness. Now then — there’s a sensibility that seems less often found in the world today. It’s something that we need to rediscover. The sense of the beginnings and endings of things, the longed for, the realization hidden behind a veil, the twilight moment in nature, silence and wide spaces, both physical and temporal … our connections to the rest of nature.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your beautiful comment Aletha, the last paragraph is a piece of prose I will refer to often.
      Yes, I really like Van Gogh’s early work. A long time ago I had the privilige to visit the Musee D’Orsay in Paris and I bought a beautiful hardbound book with excerpts from his letters and then the drawings and paintings beside it. The tonal quality resonates with me, but I also like most (not all!) of his later works.
      Thanks again for your comment, I hope you are well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too. I think I probably love just about everything that Van Gogh ever did. He’s one of my favorite artists. It is in his early paintings and drawings, however, that I find that particular quality most evident. It may be hidden, as it were, in the later works as well — hidden inside brilliant color that disguises melancholy somewhat.

        And again, really love your painting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks again Aletha. I spent much of this weekend reading Van Gogh’s letters and I thought of you often while doing so. It is so tender sad how often he gives himself pep talks in his letters – promising Theo that his paintings will improve and one day amount to something. If only he knew! if only we all know?

        Liked by 1 person

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