#O201: Quiet Pine Winds

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:

#O201

After seeing this image on the web, I felt it lacked a bit of unity, so I worked it over with a brush:

#O201b

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.

#O201-source

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…

Thanks for visiting my blog!

13 thoughts on “#O201: Quiet Pine Winds

  1. Beautiful painting, love the dark tones and the looming clouds. I appreciate your comments about your approach while painting this. I relate to so much of what you wrote in this post, especially the recovering perfectionist and painting for an imaginary audience. Just recently I am learning to let go and not follow a photo, very freeing.

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    1. Thanks Margaret! Indeed, I find the painting journey for me is a fine balance between control and letting go. I hope you will make great strides in your journey of self-discovery this year, and have some fine paintings to show for it.

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  2. Yes, I much prefer this version. Perhaps it loses a little in the depth/contrasts in the middle/back of the landscape?, but it gains more, for me, in the joy/brightness that the brighter colours and contrasts bring. But hey, my colour sense is not yours nor is my concept of the (sunbaked?) veldt = i like especially that you are courageous/flexible to restart.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes, I tried to edit that after I posted. I meant that the middle distance , to me, became a block of one shade (of ochre?) whereas the original had a bit more light and dark there. My edit was because I realised it doesnt matter. Sorry

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    1. Thanks Alistair, actually I think I agree with your first assessment. The ochre should cool down a bit as it moves into the distance. Will fix it up. Round number 3!

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