In my recent paintings I have been using mostly thick impasto paint. This image started as a playful exploration of sky and land without a clear horizon line. Because I was not sure which direction the image was going to go, I kept the paint quite thin.
I liked the shapes and values of my initial lay-in. Even though I had no specific image in my mind – only a certain mood of sky and wetland – this image emerged and I had the temerity to say “this is it” and stop right there after the initial lay in.
I did wipe away a little here and there to reveal that warm Raw Sienna under-painting. I like this image and the mood it conveys, even though it is probably only for my own personal collection (along with everything else I paint!)
I recently enjoyed reading Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry
Contemplative practice means, among other things, becoming practiced in solitude. This does not mean brooding or self-indulgent musing, but instead practicing a special form of recollection of the past, mindfulness for the present, and envisioning of the future in a manner that is enlivening, clear, and insightful. We learn to be properly solitary, and to carry the depth of our solitude into the world with grace and selflessness.
I am also at present reading a biography of Wallace Stevens and Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography. I am just at the start, but already impressed with his knack for prose. Here is how he describes his teenage encounter with his father’s demons:
At forty-five he was friendless, and due to my pop’s insecurities, there was never another man in our home except me. He spilled his heart out to me. It shocked me, made me feel uncomfortable and strangely wonderful. He showed himself to me, mess that he was. It was one of the greatest days of my teenage life. He needed a “man” friend and I was the only game in town. I comforted him the best I could. I was only sixteen and we were both in way over our heads.
Finally, from time to time, at the end of my morning coffee in bed, I progress a bit further into my copy of David Hinton’s Classical Chinese Poetry. Here is the last poem I highlighted:
AUTUMN THOUGHTS, SENT FAR AWAY We share all these disappointments of failing autumn a thousand miles apart. This is where autumn wind easily plunders courtyard trees, but the sorrows of distance never scatter away. Swallow shadows shake out homeward wings. Orchid scents thin, drifting from old thickets. These lovely seasons and fragrant years falling lonely away—we share such emptiness here. Po Chu-I (772-846) translated David Hinton in Classical Chinese Poetry
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