Oil on Canvas (16 x 20″). This is yet another painting based on the scene shown in the source photo below.
In this painting I did not look at the source photo at all, but used my earlier painting (posted here) as the departure point. That painting, in turn, was based on this painting, which was based on the source photo. The sequence is shown below.
So I guess you can say that this painting is the great grandchild of the source photo. It left me wondering, if you continue copying your own paintings of the same scene – would you eventually arrive at the truth, some sort of pure abstraction?
I have been asking myself serious questions about painting. The question: “Why do this?” is often on my mind. Which leads me to “Why do – or create – anything at all?” I guess you can come up with many answers to that question: for posterity, to make money (good luck with that!), to find yourself, to keep from eating, etc.
For anything I spend time on outside of my day job, the best answer to the question “Why do it?” – the one that will keep me doing something – seems to be “because it makes me feel good. It makes me a better person, quiets the mind and takes away my restlessness”.
I find that in recent days my paintings are not too bad, but often I am restless and subtly discontent after a painting session – even if I like the outcome. It is a subtle coloring of the spirit, and I need to meditate on that – I believe it points to something in me that needs to be uncovered.
Over years, I have come to trust the wordless silence of the mind that can be touched in meditation. This open silence which holds us all the time is ultimately receptive and calms the restless seeking personality. I guess you could say that in meditation, that which is infinitely calm and can be trusted holds and calms that which is restless and cannot be trusted.
Over my morning coffee, I have been reading and enjoying two of David Hinton’s books. One of these is Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology. There is a lot there to reflect on. Being an unknown distance into the second half of my life, I am very conscious that there is an end to life – it is the cyclical way of nature.I am drawn to poetry that is short and punchy and points me to stillness.
CHA FESTIVAL DAY Seeing off the year’s final day, windblown snow can’t slow this warm weather. Already, at our gate planted with plum and willow, there’s a branch flaunting lovely blossoms. If I chant, words come clear. And in wine I touch countless distances. So much still eludes me here. Who knows how much with all this unearthly Manifest Mountain song? T'ao Ch'ien, translated by David Hinton. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.
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[Hey Boksie! Ek relax so lekker – baie dankie, en onthou ek is baie lief vir jou!]