#O101: Clear Winds Turn

A landscape based on a photo taken on my way from work one day. A larger image and the source photo is below. In this painting I worked quite freely with the pallette knife, especially on the foreground.


After I started this I quickly felt that the contained ellipse of water did not contribute to the composition in the way I wanted, so I tried different variations and the one shown above is the one I finally ended up with.


Early morning I have been reading David Hinton’s book Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape. Here is a translated poem:

Autumn Begins
Autumn begins unnoticed. Nights slowly lengthen,
and little by little, clear winds turn colder

and colder, summer’s blaze giving way. My thatch hut grows still.
At the bottom stair, in bunchgrass, lit dew shimmers.

Hinton’s commentary beautifully outlines the translation of this poem from the original Chinese. I find his prose beautifully meditative:

We are perfectly apparent, and it’s impossible, really, to locate a center of identity in the midst of that clarity. If I sit beside the pool, eyes closed as an occasional leaf clatters down through streamside trees, and watch the relentless industry of self, each thought and feeling and memory appearing out of emptiness, wandering through various transformations, and disappearing back into emptiness, I see that I am fundamentally separate from the mental processes with which we normally identify. Instead, I am most essentially the emptiness that watches thought coming and going, hears leaves clattering down through bare branches. And if I simply open my eyes again, I am suddenly and exactly as vast as all existence mirrored in consciousness and vanishing there. The center is beyond, made of elsewhere: streamwater tumbling through schist boulders, for instance,

Hinton, David. Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape (Kindle Locations 470-476). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

10 thoughts on “#O101: Clear Winds Turn

  1. Love your clouds! I’m doing oil painting now (you’ll see my earliest paintings on the blog very soon) and clouds have been much more challenging than I’d expected. I do like the way you composed the painting…much better than the original reference, IMHO. I’m really loving oil painting. For so long, I was intimidated by it. I’m very glad I got over that fear and gave it a try. I will definitely be studying your paintings now and probably asking many questions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Judith, great to hear from you again. Oil painting can actually be quite forgiving. Just sort out a easy way to clean up and remember you can correct faults by just wiping it off any trying again. Questions welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I know I’ll have many questions as I continue my studies. 🙂 Question 1: What sort of oil painting medium do you use? Do you use a pre-mixed medium, or do you make your own?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Judith. I just use OMS from the art store, mainly in the initial stages of a painting. I used to add Linseed oil in the later stages but over time found that just wetting the brush in OMS gives me a bit more flow if I need it.

        There is a lot of mystery and confusion about mediums. It was solved for me when I read at least 2 well known artists say they only use turpentine. The key is not to use too much, but very little to just give the raw paint from the tube a bit more flow.

        I hope that helps!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m experimenting with my own mix right now, using sunflower oil and acetone. It’s called “making do with what’s on hand” LOL. I’m gradually starting to get more of a “feel” for how thick or thin the paint needs to be, and I’m getting a little better at blending colors on the canvas. I just wish I had a big (heated) garage or well-lighted basement where I could make my messes! I did buy a “safe thinner” — that’s actually the name of the product, I think — and while it’s completely odorless, I don’t like it at all for cleaning my brushes. I’m really having problems with that. It seems no matter what I do, I can’t get all the paint out. If you have suggestions to share, please do!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hi Judith, best for cleaning brushes is soap and water. I have something called Incredible Brush Cleaner, and I first rinse my brushes in that, then give it a good scrub in my palm with soap and water.
        I recommend the book Daily Painting or something like that by Carol Maine. It really covers all of Oil Painting very well. It would be a very good investment in Kindle.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I will check it out. I downloaded 2 different books through Kindle Unlimited, but I needed a chance to play around on my own for a while before I could really put the books to use, so I returned them. I’m probably ready now for more reading material. Thanks for the recommendation, and thank you very much for the brush cleaning info. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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