22 February 2021

throwing caution to the wind, Open Sesame!

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 18 February, 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

This was one of three studies last week, done one after the other. I jumped into them quickly and without hesitation. The sky was full of clouds and a bit complicated to render at dusk. But at the same time, the air was full of salt which gave the sky a mistiness that appealed to me quelling my initial fear of dread.

"First thought, best thought" as the wise guys in the East say. 

On other social media this one generated a lot of excitement. I liked that, but somehow I am not convinced of such excitement myself, though I do like it well enough.

When I make pictures that appear more familiar-looking, more comfortable perhaps, studies that conform more to what ‘civilians’ are used to seeing out in the natural world I begin to worry that I am losing my edge. These kinds of things are usually more appreciated than my expressive-looking pictures that are more experimental and actually more interesting. And yet this isn’t necessarily what I am after. But in the end, I can only really paint what the present moment dictates to me.

So it isn't up to me how they come out, though that may sound strange for a painter to admit. Sometimes they are like this, on other days, they are like that. And that is the way it should be, at least for me. 

"Open  Sesame!"

As I open up to each painting session, the session also opens up to me, as does the motif facing me. 

But naturally, I bring myself too. Sometimes I am tired, maybe pre-occupied, the mind is elsewhere, maybe I feel bored, or maybe optimistic. No problem. 

Gauguin once said that one should paint wildly, and with great abandon. That is a tall order for me but I try.

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