We took a quick visit to Flat Rock Park in mid-August to see the lily pond for the first time in almost two years. The pond is nearly entirely taken over with lily pads, tiny openings of smooth water visible only from its reflections. It was early in the morning and you could feel it was going to be a very hot day, and yet, these flowers glowed, unwilted by the intense sunlight. The anxiety I carried into the Park evaporated in that same sunlight.
This oil painting is a plein air I did a while ago at Flat Rock Park. I didn’t like it very much when I did it. I saw it as good from far, far from good. It didn’t feeling technically strong to me.
But after having time to reflect on it, it captures some of what I feel I am now looking for in my work – the hard and soft edges, and loose, uninhibited brush strokes, the freshness of an unlaboured painting. I can feel the soft overcast day in the muted contrast. It pulls me into the scene, rather than merely presenting it. Sometimes there is more to be found in what is incomplete, what allows the viewer to create the picture.
The painting is blown up well beyond actual size as the header background of this post, allowing me to see what I would not look at before. Its ambiguity appeals to me in a way I couldn’t appreciate at the time. A friend of mine helped me see that more clearly and has demanded I spend more time working in oil! (You know who you are and I know you’re reading this! ) So there may be some oils coming in the Autumn.