Hot summer days have at last come to New Zealand. In the area around our house, the farmlands and hills have turned from green to a beautiful warm russet green-orange. The grasses sway in the wind – I cannot keep my eyes off it.
In this painting I wanted to introduce some variation into my skies – the last few paintings have all utilized an orangey cloud and Cerulean blue sky with green and yellow in the landscape. So here I wanted to use a more tempered sky and capture some of that grassland color I mentioned above.
In the end I feel the painting recalled a day in Africa years ago. It was late and I almost followed the thin waterline to explore the darkness behind the trees. But the dogs were restless and I hesitated…
It has been long since I visited my copy of The Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks. I did so again this afternoon. I found a poem I had underlined in Africa years ago. Here are the first few verses:
Like Light Over This Plain A moth flying into the flame says with its wingfire, Try this. The wick with its knotted neck broken tells you the same. The candle as it diminishes explains, Gathering more and more is not the way. Burn, become light and heat and help. Melt. The ocean sits in the sand letting its lap fills with pearls and shells, then empty. A bittersalt taste hums, This. The phoenix gives up on good-and-bad, flies to rest on Mt. Qaf, no more burning and rising from ash. It sends out one message. The rose purifies its face, drops the soft petals, shows its thorn, and points. Wine abandons thousands of famous names, the vintage years and delightful bouquets, to run wild and anonymous through your brain. ... Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks.
Thanks for visiting my blog – I hope the last day of the year is good for you.
This was a great year. Rilke might have said: Goodbye 2016, it has been a great summer.Lay your shadows now on the sundials, and on the open fields let 2017 go!