#O118: This Bright Earth

For the past few paintings I have become aware that purple and light blue is a color that I struggle to utilize in my landscapes – not counting the sky. Looking at the work of Arthur Maderson, for example, I am always impressed at how he uses the full spectrum of color in his paintings.

In this painting, I am taking baby steps toward using a bit more light blue or purple. I am also still working at loosening my style and finding my place between representational and abstract image making.


One of the most well known Afrikaans South African poets of the previous century is N.P. van Wyk Louw. It is a pity I am an amateur translator. Some of his images keep me spellbound. Here are some of the last verses of his poem “Thoughts, Songs and Prayers of a Soldier”:

Perhaps we too shall die
  and tumble backward to the void
for this bright earth
to be darkened into us.

Perhaps later no one 
will know our beauty,
no meaning found
in all our strife and sorrow,

and when we lie helpless
close to death,
will have only this lonely
certainty at last:

that we could not be bent
 in the shape of their violence,
and we could live exulted
true to our blood.

I hope you are happy and content. Thanks for visiting my blog.

13 thoughts on “#O118: This Bright Earth

  1. Love those dabs and dashes of color, the light blue especially in the foreground really draws me. While you are painting in this looser style do you paint intuitively or with an idea or feeling in mind? Is your painting process any different than when you have painted in the past? I have nothing better to do than pick your brain. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. Thanks Margaret. In these paintings I start with no fixed source image or idea, but as I do a wash like underpainting I look for ideas and shapes. Often I put down some wild strokes to the sound of music, and then a dark horizon line. Then the painting takes shape around that. But it can take on many forms before I settle on a concept.

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    1. ThanksI Yes, loosening up is a major battle for me too, paradoxically. I have found it immensely helpful to rev myself up before and during a painting session by looking at art that I like which is also extremely loose. I mean really loose, so you have a extreme example before you, of a well respected artist. It works best if the painting you look to for inspiration (notice, not at all to copy or mimic except in concept) is not pretty in the conventional sense. It really gave me license to be a bit more daring and less worried about what others would think of the outcome.
      I like looking at the art of Joan Eardly, the late Scottish painter. Her landscapes are really wild, but always harmonious and balanced. Certainly not pretty. But very honest. That is what I aspire to. I hope it helps!

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  2. I love the whole feeling of this landscape — it seems like a place I know — it evokes an emotional memory somehow. The colors and textures are really wonderful. I especially like the effect of the grey — it forms a visual path through the picture into the distance and seems to make the colors surrounding it all the richer for its presence.

    I cannot think of a better way to understand color than by experiment since colors change each other in the ways that they combine optically. Whatever you did here certainly works marvelously well. Such a fine scene of nature. You have such a strong feeling for the outdoors in your paintings.

    btw — just want you to know that my latest post features a book of poetry published posthumously of poems written by an old internet friend — Paul Squires, an Australian poet — he had created a blogsite Gingatao that I think you’d enjoy. He was a wonderful poet.


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