#O107: Pathless at Night

Oil on Paper (8 x 10″, I think). I have been experimenting with painting on paper. This is one of my first attempts. I used thick 300 gsm Fabriano HP watercolor paper with three coats of acrylic prime.


It is a very slick surface with its own charm and challenges. For one, this surface – like no other – teaches you to put a stroke down once and LEAVE IT ALONE. If you so much as touch a stroke for the second time, working into it with more paint, the first stroke comes right off.

This painting was based on a scene I see almost every day on my morning walk. I have painted it several times, and each time comes out different. Two earlier versions (with a photo of the actual scene) can be seen here (oil) and here (pastel).

Other than my little painting above, I do not have much to say tonight. I will soon be reaching a milestone of sorts in my age. Have been thinking of all the opinions over the years I have held, about this political party and that.

It all keeps changing. I think the only constant over time has been my concern for the environment and my dumbfounded astonishment at the way the fossil fuel industry hijacks all governments of the world.

I have lived a blessed life. Difficult childhood, but who has not? Yet, tonight I feel like staying silent. Rilke has written something in this vein in his poem “We must die because we have known them”. The last two verses are below:

But the grown man
shudders and is silent. The man who
has wandered pathless at night
in the mountain-range of his feelings:
is silent.

As the old sailor is silent,
and the terrors that he has endured
play inside him as though in quivering cages.

(Rainer Maria Rilke)


Thanks for visiting my blog! Special thanks to all followers and supporters who have recently encouraged me with kind and thoughtful comments.

6 thoughts on “#O107: Pathless at Night

  1. I really like this! Especially the sky colors. It has a soft, gentle feeling about it. I’ve wondered about painting on paper. I don’t think it’s anything I’ll be trying any time soon 🙂 I’ll leave it to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This seems like another psychological landscape. It lacks the sort of obvious path that you find in landscapes of the past, those pictures where the visible meandering path is supposed to take you mentally into the space and give you chance to wander around vicariously. And yet the desire to head for the far distance is so strong in this image. Maybe it’s like a path through the air such as a bird would take in its flight as it shoots over the ground like an arrow. I look at it and feel that I’m being drawn across the land seeing first one passage and beyond it another and another until at last I will reach that distant blue. And I’m aware not only of the passage across (and above) the ground — but of the passage through the clouds above which also seem to pull one toward the horizon. This is one of those kinds of infinity paintings that was so dear to Van Gogh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Aletha for your kind and observant comments. This is a view on my walk that I have always felt had some potential from a composition point of view. I am quite fond of how this effort came out. I am curious to see if this will translate well to a larger canvas, but it will have to wait a bit while I pick up the train again…


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