#O187-189: For Hunters and Anxieties

Oil on Panel (13.5 x 9″). Below is a preliminary stage – perhaps I should have stopped at Stage 1 – I don’t know.#O187b-stagesRecently, while painting, I do not work off any sketch or plan. I simply put down some bold color and perhaps a horizon line. I return a day later and put an uneven glaze over the landscape portion and some color into the sky. From there, I just respond to what the image suggests. It is a dance of sorts.

In many of my last paintings, a road going down the middle of the image has emerged. I sense it has some meaning, but have no idea where it will lead to…

#O188: Oil on Panel (10 x 8″)

At times, when I paint in such a responsive way with wild abandon, I think of what “people might say”. I hesitate, but then I think of the painters I admire so much – few more than Joan Kathleen Harding Eardley – and they give me permission to go right to that wilder mind and respond to it.

#O189 Oil on Panel (16 x 12″)

To quote from an earlier post of mine:

It is OK to proceed regardless of what others think – if you are walking a path that is lighted by your spirit. Tomas Transtromer ends his poem “After a Long Dry Spell”, as follows:

It’s all right to telephone the island that is a mirage.
It’s all right to hear the gray voice.
To thunder iron ore is honey.
It’s all right to live by your own code.
Translation by Robert Bly in The Half Finished Heaven

How often have I realized the futility and energy-sapping neediness of feeling that you should explain yourself to others and get approval before you have a right to live by your own code. Rilke says:

What goes on in your innermost being is worthy of your whole love; you must somehow keep working at it and not lose too much time and too much courage in clarifying your attitude toward people.

In my dialogue with my paintings I keep dreaming of landscapes that arise from deep inside. I feel a kinship with Pessoa when he writes of:

…a landscape for hunters and anxieties, with rushes growing along rivers whose jagged banks jut like miniature muddy capes into the lead-yellow waters, then re-enter to form slimy bays for toy-like boats, swampy recesses where water glistens over the sludge that’s hidden between the black-green stalks of rushes too thick to walk through…

No one has been there or will ever go there. Even if I could go backwards in time and space, fleeing the world for that landscape, no one would ever join me there. I would wait in vain for what I didn’t know I was waiting for, and in the end there would be nothing but a slow falling of night, with the whole of space gradually turning the colour of the darkest clouds, which little by little would vanish into the abolished mass of the sky.

Fernando Pessoa – The Book of Disquiet

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope with a large part of my heart that you are happy and content.

7 thoughts on “#O187-189: For Hunters and Anxieties

  1. Wow….I totally get what you mean in regards to wondering what others think of one’s work. I love what you have been painting lately. Letting go and painting for yourself is letting go of wondering what others might say. I don’t seem to be able to let that go entirely and I detest it. I would love to walk more on the edge as you do, I still seem to stay within the safe boundaries of realism. I suppose that your paintings are not entirely “out there” and yet I think that you are further along in painting with wild abandon. Enjoy the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Fritz, is Stage 1 Africa bold (I saw Victoria Falls at 1st glance, never been there) and Stage 2 more muted green/blue New Zealand? I like both, preference for Stage 2, all good!
    We introverts paint entirely for ourselves of course, and we’re our own worst (and ultimately only?) worst critics. That may/must reverse if the motivation is selling it to make ends meet. Thoughtful blog as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alistair. Yes, I think many of my landscapes mferge these two countries. In my dreams they blend into one! I have been to Vic Falls, it is breathtaking!


  3. Painting imaginary scenes is something that I’ve begun doing lately. I spend some regular time drawing from memory as a form of rehearsal, preparation, brain storming. My daughter and I go to concerts from time to time, and I now I use some of those occasions to draw from memory while listening to the music. Making idle, random-seeming drawings in a little notebook I carry around represents is a way of taking first steps toward doing certain imaginative motifs.

    Liked by 1 person

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