22 June 2021

Summer Solstice, 2021, under the watchful eyes of God


   Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 21 June, 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

I have not been painting regularly and consequently it has made me feel somewhat out of touch with the motif. Remarkably though, when I do get there to set up at the beach, mix a palette, and put a white canvas board on the easel, I breathe a little less anxiously. The sky was clear but for a long bank of clouds hugging the horizon, the colour of a corpse. 

And I confess that I haven't a clue what I am doing. I am just doing. 

I once heard a guy talk about his meditation ritual. I had found him quite pretentious but this was years ago when I found lots of people pretentious. I still do because these days, so many really are pretentious around topics of meditation and spirituality, especially in this neck of the woods near Byron Bay Australia. But no matter, people find me pretty pretentious, so I have been told.

Anyway, this guy was saying that after so much meditating his mantra was so ingrained in his whole body that he could no longer tell if was breathing or the mantra was breathing through him. (Or something like that) 

So in any event, here is where my own pretentiousness kicks in; because though I haven't a cognisant idea how I proceed in a picture, I know that something guides me, and I like to think it is the Motif which is steering the tiller. But, it is certainly Nature which guides the motif and tells people like me how to proceed, not the other way around. Contrary to many others in the Painting world, I watch and listen, I don't dictate to Nature. My decisions (choices) are contingent on Nature and not of my own volition. 

But this can open up a bigger conversation for another day.

These last two are not as successful but there are things in them which I like. I had been joined by a retired meat inspector, a lovely older man who was fascinated by the speed at which I was able to work. I explained that I was an anxious child, to which he did not even blink an eye. So, these last two were painted under the watchful eye of a gentleman named Warwick, originally from a small town in Victoria.

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