Sunday, December 29, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Thursday, December 19, 2013
An 8 x 10 1/2 inch pastel. I'm trying to paint what can't be painted.
More words of wisdom from Charles Wright:
"The problem with all of us as we get older is that we begin writing as though we were somebody. One should always write as if one were nobody, for that's what we are. In the giant shadow of Dante's wing, for instance, we are nobody and should never forget it. So we should always write out of our ignorance and desire and ambition, never out of some sense of false wellbeing, some tinge of success. There is no success in poetry, there is only the next inch, the next handhold out of the pit."
Just substitute 'painting' for 'poetry' and 'writing'.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
Winter snow brings mystery to the landscape: two 8 x 10 1/2 pastels.
Two more items from the Belden Lane book on The Solace of Fierce Landscapes:
A Zen Buddhist saying: To the one who knows nothing, mountains are mountains, waters are waters, and trees are trees. But when he has studied and knows a little, mountains are no longer mountains, water is no longer water, and trees are no longer trees. But when he has thoroughly understood, mountains are once again mountains, waters are waters, and trees are trees.
"Most of us have little experience in paying careful attention to anything. We marvel at a naturalist such as Louis Agassiz of Harvard, who once said he had spent the summer traveling, only to get halfway across his backyard."
Friday, December 13, 2013
An 8x10 1/2 inch pastel of a view from a ridge of other ridges and edges.
In the outstanding book The Solace of Fierce Landscapes the author, Belden Lane, writes about an Englishman in northern India near Tibet who wrote, "We are saved in the end by the things that ignore us." The 'things' he was referring to was the landscape. Lane adds, "By its very act of ignoring him, the landscape invited him out of his frantic quest for self-fulfillment."
Sunday, December 8, 2013
A dear friend was driving to visit us, and got a late start. When she finally arrived, she told me she had driven over a dirt road just before finding our place. That's when I realized that she had gone up and over Blair Road in the dark, not the preferred route. Fortunately the road is not rutted yet. Nor did it have the late afternoon sun to illuminate it as seen from the 9x12 oil from a couple days ago.
Friday, December 6, 2013
A 9x12 oil on panel.
I've been reading a book called Epitaph for a Peach by David Mas Masumoto, which I found fittingly at the dump. It's a book filled with wisdom acquired through Masumoto living the life of a farmer dependent upon nature, and other things out of one's control. The writer mentions a farmer friend who paints, who uses a variety of greens to depict plants, and who also likes to depict piles of discarded fruit trees assembled by the bulldozer. I might paint a picture of the discarded barn, another pile of wood. Masumoto wrtes: "This past year I have learned that productivity is little more than managed chaos, wildness the source of fertility."
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Samuel Johnson said that the prospect of being hanged concentrates the mind wonderfully. The same applies to moving. But I am concentrating on painting again. The above is a 9x12 oil of the view on Butler Street approaching 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn.
Lately, I have been reading Thoreau's Ecstatic Witness by Alan D. Hodder, which I acquired at the bookstore at Walden Pond earlier this year. It is a rich, profound book about Thoreau's religious and artistic vision. Hodder cites Thoreau from Walden: "I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born."