Oil on paper, A4 size. This is an invented landscape, started again with a wash of Raw Sienna into which I gradually placed shapes, letting the image unfold as I go. It was painted with a rather limited palette, so it has good unity although I would have liked a more spacious feeling to come through.
I am taking a break from work and life, spending a few days on my own (arranged by my wife who knows me so well). Lots of time to rest and reflect, I am skirting with the thought of what pulls me toward painting, or any sort of creativity at all. I am playing with the idea of letting a painting dictate its own direction…putting off sense and notion, as T.S Eliot gestured in Little Gidding:
... If you came this way, Taking any route, starting from anywhere, At any time or at any season, It would always be the same: you would have to put off Sense and notion. You are not here to verify, Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity Or carry report. You are here to kneel Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more Than an order of words, the conscious occupation Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying. ... (text copied from this site)
Little Gidding came to my mind because of the phrase “you have to put off sense and notion”. Perhaps that is what is needed in my painting? But then my love of poetry takes over: I cannot quote anything from Little Gidding without including these stanza, some of my most liked ones in English literature:
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree ... (text and photo copied from this site)
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