#O183-186: Shadows and Ruins

An invented landscape: as I made this I kept alternating between memories of scenes from a car window in my earlier life (South Africa) and my current home (New Zealand). In the end I guess all I can say is that it is an international landscape – an endangered species.

#O183: Invented Lanscape
#O183: Invented Landscape

Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything!

[Rainer Maria Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet]

#O184: Invented Landscape
#O184: Invented Landscape – preparation for #O185

One of Pessoa’s fictional characters muses as follows:

The more I contemplate the spectacle of the world and the ever-changing state of things, the more profoundly I’m convinced of the inherent fiction of everything, of the false importance exhibited by all realities. And in this contemplation (which has occurred to all thinking souls at one time or another), the colourful parade of customs and fashions, the complex path of civilizations and progress, the grandiose commotion of empires and cultures – all of this strikes me as a myth and a fiction, dreamed among shadows and ruins. But I’m not sure whether the supreme resolution of all these dead intentions – dead even when achieved – lies in the ecstatic resignation of the Buddha, who, once he understood the emptiness of things, stood up from his ecstasy saying, ‘Now I know everything’, or in the jaded indifference of the emperor Severus: ‘Omnia fui, nihil expedit – I have been everything, nothing is worth anything.’

#O186: Invented Landscape
#O186: Invented Landscape

But in the end, poetry holds all in its claw. People have asked: “Why fruitful darkness?” – why not something light? But I am not alone. Charles Simic said: “Go inside a stone/ That would be my way/Let somebody else become a dove…”. and he concludes:

 I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed.
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star charts
On the inner walls.

from Charles Simic, "Stone"

 

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One thought on “#O183-186: Shadows and Ruins

  1. You have been busy. There is a heap of patience in your works. I feel as though there’s a distant scene and through your mind’s eye I’m able to see the different kinds of light that shift and play upon it, hour after hour, day after day, and sometimes the light changes so much as to be transformative. Other times we’re seeing the scene in the most minutely subtle alterations. It’s wonderful.

    Sometimes when I’ve painted still life I get some of this sense, when I notice very slight changes occurring in the colors. It’s then I see the things as sorts of clocks that reflect the nuanced changes in the light. I like all these, but the one at the top is especially wonderful — particularly the way you capture the bluing of the atmosphere in aerial perspective. And #184 is absolutely enchanting. This is the way: just paint, paint, paint.

    Like

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