I am trying to vary my compositions and color schemes as much as I can, though I am sticking with a fairly basic palette. In this painting I started with a very dominant, stormy, red sky in the under-painting. As the painting evolved, everything took on a different form, and this is – I think – the final image.
I am taking a few days off from work and have managed to make some frames for my recent paintings:
This morning I took off the shelf my old copy of the poet Ryokan’s One Robe, One Bowl. I have not visited this old favorite of mine for some time, and was delighted to rediscover the simple scenery he paints for us.
What I like about much of oriental poetry – and Zen poetry in particular – is how the poet paints a situation for us, then leaves us there to dwell in our own inner riches, or lack of it. If we have the openness of mind and richness of imagination to walk the image out with the poet, we find ourselves transported back to ancient Japan in the blink of an eye. The poet points us to a moment, a situation, in which stillness and purity is momentarily achievable. How we find it, and how long we dwell there, is up to us:
One narrow path surrounded by a dense forest; On all sides, mountains lie in darkness. The autumn leaves have already fallen. No rain, but still the rocks are dark with moss. Returning to my hermitage along a way known to few, Carrying a basket of fresh mushrooms And a jar of pure water from the temple well. Ryokan, translated by John Stevens, in One Robe, One Bowl
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