Observing myself from a safe distance whilst painting – I noticed in my last few paintings I seem to be seeking a mythical sweet spot between the representational landscape and a pure abstract painting. At times – as in this painting – the search can get quite rough!
The painting moves forward and back through many possible configurations. I noticed as soon as it became too obviously a landscape – I started scraping out and obliterating edges. When it gets too wild – as in this painting – I try to pull it back from the purely abstract and messy. Sometimes the painting wants to stay in the wild…
For the longest time I have been wanting to quote the poem “Open and Closed Space” by Tomas Transtromer. Every time in my search to find it – one of my other poetry books ambushed me and stole the show. Here is the poem now below.
Notice how the poet and narrator confidently states his observations throughout the poem – almost factual – confident and prophetic. But at the very last – he revises himself, uncertainty steps in, and the poem becomes so much more real for it. To me, the success of the poem hinges around that uncertainty. Uncertainty is essential to original art.
Open and Closed Space With his work, as with a glove, a man feels the universe. At noon he rests a while, and lays the gloves aside on a shelf. There they suddenly start growing, grow huge and make the whole house dark from inside. The darkened house is out in the April winds. "Amnesty" the gras whispers, "amnesty." A boy runs along with an invisible string that goes right up into the sky. There his wild dream of the future flies like a kite, bigger than his town. Farther to the north, you see from a hill the blue matting of fir trees on which the shadows of the clouds do not move. No, they are moving. Tomas Transtromer, trans. Robert Bly in The Half-Finished Heaven
Thanks for visiting my blog. If I do not see you before the end of Christmas, have a great festive season and I hope you are happy and content!