This is another painting based on an old photograph (shown below). This is about a 10 x 8″ painting (oil on board). I am pushing my skills a bit to use a source image without being controlled by it.
For a recovering perfectionist, this is an exercise in letting go. Music helps, and not being to precious about saving the outcome for posterity. A more than anything, being guided by thoughts of pleasing an imaginary audience watching from the wings.
Below is the first version of the painting, which I originally posted:
After seeing this image on the web, I felt it lacked a bit of unity, so I worked it over with a brush:
The source photo (below) is of a typical afternoon on the South African highveld. As you can see I did a pretty loose interpretation of it. I decided early on that the heart of the image lay in the tinges of orange on the edges of the clouds, and on the russetty nuances of the veld in the foreground.
A poem of Wang Wei, from The Poetry of Zen:
He waits as at dusk, bamboo walking stick in hand, at the headwaters of Tiger Creek, leading us on as we listen to mountain echoes, following the water's way. Patches of wildflowers bloom. A solitary bird calls from the valley floor. We sit evening zazen in the empty forest: quiet pine winds bring the scent of autumn.
A time of rest and reflection before me, one or two days in – I sense an old forgotten open truth beckoning behind the dance of thought. The body leans towards it and the cells open and call…
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