Entries Tagged as 'first draft'

Prairie (first draft)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Yesterday I started a prairie painting. This time of year, wind moves across the prairie and shakes the water, dry grasses, bird feathers, and walkers into a kind of weathered, worshipful submission.

I don’t know how to paint the prairie; artistically, it has always baffled me. Like the overwhelming stimuli of a field, the prairie gives me aesthetic overload. I’m working from memory and feeling, not from photographs, and sketching what imprinted as I stood out there, watching and listening.

Painting has gotten safe lately, and a little formulaic. I need to get lost in a painting, to get in over my head and find my way out. The prairie seems like a good place to not know what I’m doing. It’s too big, wild, and complex to get it all, or get it right. Instead, I’m going to try to let it get me.

Flowers (part 1)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

flowers 1

“Easy is right. Begin right and you are easy. Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy is to forget the right way and forget that the going is easy.”
Chuang Tzu

After getting irritated and bored with the painting in Minutia post, I started this painting with the intention of maintaining interest and curiosity throughout the process.  For me, this means following the enigmatic advice from Chuang Tzu.

I love what Tzu suggests about the natural flow of life energy and the creative process, and about the need to let go of attachment the idea of “the natural flow of life energy.” I memorized this quote years ago, and I repeat it to myself during times on the path where things don’t feel easy, and I seem to have lost the “right” way. It usually helps me soften and find my footing again, find my energy to keep going.

I’ll post my work on this painting each day until it’s finished, using Tzu’s poem as a compass. Stay tuned if you’d like to see what happens.

Easy is right.

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