#O120: Wait Without Thought

I continue in my journey to explore more freedom and color in my paintings. In this painting I was trying to do a modern take on one of my favorite Turner paintings: “Staffa: Fingals Cave“, which I have always admired for its dark moodiness and depth of color. I am still getting to grips with artistic expression but enjoying the ride.


I find if I spend too much time looking at paintings and painting, my well runs dry. I am beginning to suspect that – for what I want to say in my paintings – I need to spend at least as much time meditating and reading poetry as I do painting.

On the same or another topic, in The Denial of Death, Becker writes:

…my point is that for man not everything is possible. What is there to choose between religious creatureliness and scientific creatureliness? The most one can achieve is a certain sense of relaxedness, an openness to experience that makes him less of a burden to others. And a lot of this depends on how much talent he has, how much of a daimon is driving him.

Centuries ago, the Chinese Zen nun Xinggang, wrote this poem:

Behind Closed Doors
After teaching and preaching
running about for so many years,
Now I've shut my door and retired to the 
hidden forest spring.
Having kicked open heaven and earth
I can now rest my feet.
Alone I sit before the winter window,
the shimmering moon full.

translated by Beata Grant, in
Daughters of Emptiness


Thanks for stopping by my little blog.

12 thoughts on “#O120: Wait Without Thought

  1. So interesting, before I read your post upon looking at your painting, I thought of Turner. Last night I finished a bio about him and his work and I thought perhaps I only thought of Turner because he has been on my mind of late. Very interesting. Hmm, I love your idea and approach of wanting to spend as much time on poetry and meditation as you do painting. I just might emulate you if you don’t mind. πŸ™‚ Your foregrounds and horizon line always seem to be my favorite, your sky feels “exploratory”. Did you know that Turner had a vicious group of critics? They felt that his paintings were too “out there” and not based on truth. I simply love paintings that take you out to the edge of reality, I do believe that you are taking your viewers on a journey and I hope we never get there because this is so darn fun! Hope your Christmas was fantastic, mine was. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very interesting indeed Margaret. I have several books on Turner and revisit them often. I know of the criticism Turner picked up in his life – I believe his peers in the Academy of Painters called some of his paintings “Turners little jokes” or something like that. I think he was a gutsy genius – many of his paintings resemble those of very modern abstract painters, he far outstripped his peers in vision and his conviction in the validity of his own very personal interpretation of his emotional response to the world. What a man.
      Many thanks for your kind words on my paintings. I really appreciate the encouragement, and if you dislike something, I will not take offense if you would like to say so!
      I had an epic Christmas with my family, some of them visiting from overseas. Great to hear you also had a good time – now to lose all those pounds again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Turner was definitely an amazing artist. I read some of the comments (the negative ones) from other artists and from the Academy in regards to his paintings, boy there were some doozies! He suffered greatly from their critique and rebuke. I was intrigued by his work ethic and the amount of sketching and plein air work that he accomplished in his life-time. I am not much to give critique unless there is a request for it, I rather (in your case) give you “what if” in that if I were to see a creative corridor that I detect that I think you could explore more, I might speak up. See, I am talking in riddles. πŸ™‚ I always like to give the artist the benefit of the doubt and after all my vision and another artists’ vision might be totally different. Your exploration is something altogether yours and personal. What if my “dislike” throws a wrench into your wheel of discovery? okay, I’ll stop before I start an essay. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to get back to painting, I have my grandson over for several days. Cheers!


      2. I agree Margaret – I think inviting criticism is not good for a painter, perhaps at any stage except as a raw beginner. But certainly in certain stages it would be like someone doing Primal Scream therapy and then stopping mid-scream to ask “How am I doing”. Not a good idea!
        Great to hear you will be back painting soon, I am looking forward to what you have been up to – but no pressure! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I am gonna have to learn about Turner. Fritz, you have the best skies and today I am gonna go hide in that spot of blue in your painting and not come out for a week.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that, for me, this one is the most like the poetry. I feel like I’ve visited this place. Not recently — maybe in childhood. It seems so raw, has an intensity of the sort that children feel. There’s such a lot of space. The time of day is difficult to pin down. Things look sort of dark, but whether the light is waxing or waning is unclear. I’m not sure what I’m looking at and that sometimes happens in Nature. I think there’s a large body of water but things are growing around so that I not sure where the borders of it lie. Maybe one would have to walk around a wide arc to reach the land under that cloud. I don’t know. But it really is a magical vision.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Aletha, I feel this is the most daring departure I made recently, and at times I think I pushed it too far, other times I am really drawn to the image. Reading your comment, I realized your description is probably exactly what I played with whilst painting this, you write so well, it is poetry in itself:

    The time of day is difficult to pin down. Things look dark,
    whether the light is waxing or waning is unclear.

    What do I see? This happens.
    There’s a large body of water but things are growing
    – where do the borders lie?

    One would have to walk around a wide arc
    to reach the land under that cloud.


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