18 December 2021

Letting the batter walk

                       LCM

 
Po√ęt Laval, oil on canvas, 5 Figure, circa November 15? 2018

This morning while looking again at this study I posted a few weeks back I began reflecting upon something that I often feel when working outdoors from a motif in Nature. 

This feeling comes over me that sometimes these paintings are almost pulled out of me, yanked from my will power, from my hands like some force out in the wild landscape resisting my hold over the picture. It is if while driving a car, a ghost suddenly grabs the steering wheel out of my hands.

As writers will often lament when their own characters go AWOL or off-script, so too, do painters when their pictures go out of control.

                       LJA

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 14 December 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

And this is the curious nature for all creative endeavours. Any task that requires both rigorous discipline but equally spontaneous action is vulnerable. How does a creator know when he or she is really at the helm of their own work or just in the way, and impeding it? Or is this the realm of the Gods?

The painting (just above) is from the other night and I post it because actually, it went where I wanted it to go. I saw it in the sky upon arriving at my spot on the dune and I quickly set up to paint it because in a way, I didn't want any problems. "No backtalk! Do exactly as I say!........... Or else!!!"

Of course I didn't have a 'or else', but I wasn't going to let the canvas board know that. Because I had missed so many evenings due to the rain I felt out of sorts, like a beginner, like I didn't know what I was doing there with an easel and backpack full of materials, and  I was feeling like a fraud which is an awful feeling. So consequently, I didn't want any trouble, and certainly I wasn't looking for trouble!

But it was an 'easy' sky, not at all complicated, one without too much confusion logistically speaking, so I was able to make four studies, one after the other in quick succession. I was not particularly happy with them at the time, but indeed I was happy to be painting with the 'possibility of success' circling around in my mind like a butterfly. And that possibility is essentially what keeps me going; This 'possibility of success', and I know it's like that for most others too.

Here are the others in the order of when they came out of the oven. They are what I would call 'careful pictures', no problem paintings, like what they say about reliable cars: 
"Boring, but they run reasonably well"

Like I said, I wanted some easy wins, some success for the night. In baseball jargon, I was the pitcher who let the batter walk but I was also the batter who just wanted to get on 1st base without striking out.

                       ALA
Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 14 December 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm
                                 ELL
Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 14 December 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm
                                  LSE
Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 14 December 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm



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