31 August 2021

On the palette, Puccini, loved Pink !

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, c, oil on canvas board,  25 X 20 cm

Recently, I was speaking with another painter whom I vaguely know. She questioned why I would go to work outdoors to paint pictures. She wasn’t closed to it, but she was surprised that I still go out day after day to make a picture of the same place at the same time. 

I like her, and I know that she isn’t a snob so I tried my best to explain that I don’t go out each evening to make a picture as much as I go out to enjoy myself, to take pleasure in the challenge of painting. That I get a picture at the end is great but not necessarily the point. 

I needed to articulate for her that it is a way to open up to the palette wheel of Nature careening around us in constant motion. At the close of day, it comes to boil, a crescendo like the third act of a Puccini opera. And yes, it can  be quite melodramatic, bordering on the kitsch even, but to be there at dusk is to bath in great pleasure. When one takes command of one’s own palette of colours, one is entirely free in ways 

that only Art can witness.

They say that only after years of writing an author might find his/her voice, that they might discover a narrative style unique and original to himself/herself. And this is the same for a painter but only if they are fortunate enough to work through years of disapointment and failure and come out the other side.

This painter didn’t respond for a while, but seemed to ponder my clumsy attempt at talking about how Nature is our teacher when we’re working outdoors and in front of a motif that eventually becomes our teacher. And access to this teacher is through using our eyes first and foremost.


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