Tonight is a very special post for me. Last week I entered the “Arts for Health” Competition here in Hamilton, Waikato. I have always been somewhat private about my art and this was the first competition I have ever entered. So I was absolutely humbled and honored when one of my paintings was awarded the 1st Place Prize. My cup runneth over…
In my last few paintings I have slowed down the pace a bit and also painted in a thinner style. Although I am sure I will return again to the palette knife soon, I am quite happy with some of the results I have achieved.
I once saw an exhibition of Toss Woollaston, a great New Zealand painter, and was amazed at how thin the paint was applied in some of his oil on board paintings. To me, it seemed that he had barely stained the surface, but the combination of color created a richness and depth that took my breath away.
In this invented landscape I also worked very thin, and even left most of the under-painting exposed. I just added some opaque color in places to the landscape so that it could set the scene for the sky.
I wrote earlier in this blog that on the occasion that I end up painting something I really like, something that makes me gently nostalgic or sad, there is an awareness that some element of space and time had been transcended. I noted:
It is hard to explain, but there is a sense that something had come into the world through me, something that is me but somehow more than me. I guess this does not make much sense?
OK, here is how Wallace Stevens explained it:
The Planet on the Table
Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time
Or of something seen that he liked.
Other makings of the sun
Were waste and welter
And the ripe shrub writhed.
His self and the sun were one
And his poems, although makings of his self,
Were no less makings of the sun.
It was not important that they survive.
What mattered was that they should bear
Some lineament or character,
Some affluence, if only half-perceived,
In the poverty of their words,
Of the planet of which they were part.
I have gotten into the habit to make a few thumbnail sketches of landscapes early morning with my coffee. These are mostly invented but based on memories of my walks around my home in the Waikato. Doing these thumbnails, I feel completely relaxed and can play without any fear of something turning out “wrong”. Here are some outcomes:
Thanks so much to all of you who have encouraged me with follows, likes and comments. I hope you are truly happy and content.