25 September 2023

right and wrong, ideas and sensations

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads 16 September 2023, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

From a few nights ago came these two studies. The top one feels OK to me but the one below is decidedly wrong for a reason that confuses me. I will try to explain. 

First though, the top one seems to work, if by that, it conveys a sense of truth to nature without being cloying or sentimental (both which I hate) But it has light which I like, and also that favourite feeling of what the Zen Buddhists call 'suchness', a natural kind of spontaneous but holistic perfection of the moment. (Ohhhh, naturally my own understanding) and yet, it's somewhat on the money because I love works of art that exhibit a freshness that feels as if it were created by the wave of a magic wand. This is personal, just my own preference, but I do appreciate laboriously created pieces too, if they work as a unity, no matter how abstracted. 

These are souvenirs of a place, after all. They don't pretend to be 'great works of art', just records of a specific moment. And if they succeed in living for a moment when completed despite their haste, they have a good chance of living on forever like a Haiku by Basho or Issa, two of my faves. What do they say? "Nothing Special".

And although this second study below began with an earnest idea to explore the same thing as the first one, it quickly lost its way like a guy who ate too much for lunch. 

"Trop gourmand", as the French would politely observe. 

I'm not sure where it when wrong but there are just too many elements, and while painting it, I watched my heart sink. 

"It had so much possibility!" 

I thought to myself, because after all, the first one had come out so well.

But now that I spend time looking at it, I wonder if the simple solution isn't just to paint out the cool Emerald Green stripe that runs along the base of the picture plane that indicates the foreground? 

Yes, I'm pretty sure that’s what is needed because actually, I had thrown it in at the very end of the session due to me ‘getting an idea’. That was my error. Like my Haiku heroes, I generally try to avoid ideas or concepts in these quick studies while relying instead upon my senses.

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads 16 September 2023, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

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