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