Friday, October 18, 2013

simple things


I'm almost embarrassed to post a picture as simple as this one done on a recent  afternoon but I'm going to do so anyway. This is no brothers Detmold, nor Edmund Dulac, nor any of the other watercolorists of the early twentieth century whose work I admire so much. It's not even as complicated as work I did years ago when I had a full time job and a busy schedule that accounted for most of my waking hours. The fact I painted a number of fairly large and complicated pictures, some of which took weeks to complete, seems strange to me now. Now I have less patience - or perhaps it's that I feel I have less time (no, I'm not ill) but every so often some little image appears and I just want to see it done. I don't want to wait. So here's this one that reminds me of words I once heard in a dream or brief vision just before sleep came - the color of Heaven is green. I don't know what that meant, if anything, but I do know that there's no happier time for me than walking along a sunlit beach with a good friend.

It's the simple things in life that bring us our best and most satisfying experiences.



32 comments:

  1. Beautiful work, Susan! I too love the simple things in life - a good philosophy, isn't it?

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    1. Thanks, Marja-Leena. Morning coffee while the sun rises, a greeting from a stranger, a flower, a bird's wing, a child's smile - all these and so many more make life worthwhile.

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  2. This is so precious and such a gift to me at this time.... I am weary just now, really i should just give up and go to bed. I feel pushed, driven, so I take Bella and just walk in the fields, checking the grass that is just beginning to sprout upward, there is such a peace, I never want to return to whatever is awaiting me at home... i just want to walk and walk, meander really... this painting is you, susan, the woman i know... i am so glad you shared this tonight. :)

    much much love to you, dear one.

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    1. It makes me very happy to know I provided you with something good at just the right time, my friend. Your home landscape is such a wonder to behold in the photographs you share throughout the year. Knowing you get to share those enchanted walks with sweet Bella is felicitous (^^)

      much love to you
      xoxo

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  3. It seems to me that there are occasions when a simple image, blurred slightly by this beautiful wet-in-wet technique, invokes a sense of reality beyond what can be put into ordinarily onto paper. I would say that it is often the ordinariness of a picture that is truly extraordinary in its ability to reach out and tease into consciousness.

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    1. The blessing for an artist is being able to envision for others the entrance to a larger realm. Going through it is quite another thing, but I have hopes of this map making.

      Thank you for your very kind (and astute) words.

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  4. Enchanting! Those were the uncomplicated days of my Summer childhood. No cell phone, no laptop, no huge back pack as I see today's children carrying everywhere they go. The best was to be in a world totally my own. No intrusion, no duties, no schedule, nobody else in charge. Just to be plunged in nature alone or with a friend. What a luxury, what a gift, what a rarity it is in our brave new world....So grateful that the moment you reproduced with such an inspired charm has been a part of my long ago life. Merci de tout coeur for bringing it back to me.

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    1. Many of us who have been fortunate to attain 'a certain age' were blessed with similar less complicated childhoods in a time when we were often left to our own amusements. I feel very sorry for the children in our culture who aren't allowed the time to dream on a summer's day or know the delicious pleasure of playing with sticks in a mud puddle.

      I'm very pleased to know you shared those delights of imaginative fancy as well. Merci de tout coeur for telling me.

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  5. Now I have less patience - or perhaps it's that I feel I have less time.

    The first part of this sentence reminded me of what once one of our great political cabarettist's said: "The older I get the less time I do have to compromise."
    The second part is . . . simply true..

    Your painting, Susan, your thoughts: delightful!

    True is also: The older I got, the more I learned to appreciate the little things, – "The God of the little Things", as Arundhati Roy put it. Oh! And how many little things there do exist to fill our mind and hearts with joy . . . if only we open our eyes to see, our ears to hear, our nose to smell, our tongue to taste, our bodies to feel.

    Need I to mention that irony and sarcasm are said to be my illegitimate fathers and melancholy my mother? : )

    Rumour. Nothing but rumour.

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    1. I'm no longer able to devote the time required for the fussiness that never did lead to perfection anyway. As to the other, it's true there are many more years behind me than are likely to be ahead. That's fine - so long as we are well then all is well.

      I'm happy you like the little painting. I imagine there will be more to come.

      That little book is a favorite of mine, wise woman that she is: 'That is their mystery and their magic'.

      I can't accept your mother being very melancholy with such an amusing and thoughtful son under her wing. Who, I wonder, began that rumour?

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    2. Uff! : )
      I was (trying to) talk(ing) in pictures
      Too picturesque, obviously. : ) Sorry, Sue.

      No rumour; I tend to irony / sarcasm, and at the same time a tiny bit to melancholy. :)

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    3. The problem with words is they're always so much more difficult to arrange than pictures. I have the same difficulty. No apologies required :)

      Irony, sarcasm and melancholy are frequently the most appropriate reactions considering the current state of things.

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  6. Simplicity allows us to assign our own perception. Complicated pictures supply the story of the painter; whereas, this one allows us viewers to supply our own meaning.

    I love it.
    The Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I guess there needs at least to be enough substance to direct the eye without distracting the mind. I'm very touched by your reaction.

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  7. I think its lovely. and I don't think its simple I think its talented!!

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    1. Thanks so much for saying so, Claire (^^)

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  8. Hi Susan,
    I agree, It's the simple things in life that bring us our best and most satisfying experiences, as my children remind of enjoyable family beach walks in the far north of NSW, when on annual holidays. I like your painting which has an alluring simplicity that goes well with the idea of heavenly green hues.
    I understand, for the indigenous tribes in the USA, such as the Apache, green symbolized endurance, harmony and the healing power associated with plants, from the bountiful earth, energized by the summer rains. They produced the color of green from moss or algae, flowers or berries. Have you seen any of these images?
    Talking about colour, nothing was more colourful or engaging to me as a child, than to sit and listen to the stories read to me every night by my aunt, from Kipling's original Jungle book.
    Within her darkened bedroom, adorned with books (my aunt had a bad leg and spent most of her time reading with curtins drawn) the jungle book came to life, to the extent that those jungle companions and foes invaded my dreams each night.
    Even today I can visualise the intense excitement over a boy I imagined my own age (I was about 8 at the time) engaging with the wild animals of the jungle as you so aptly described in the previous post.
    Best wishes

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    1. Hi Lindsay,
      I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the picture and that it reminded you of happy summer days with your family. No, I've never seen any of those Apache images but it makes sense that they honored the color green and its connection to the living shades of earth's plantlife. Buffalo certainly needed the grass.
      Yes, the Kipling stories must have sounded wondrous indeed as read by your grandmother. The formal English used by Kipling as the common language among the various tribes was perfectly done.
      Best wishes

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  9. "the colour of heaven is green" truly. this is such a beautiful picture.... it reaches from soul to soul, as only art can. art need not be complex to be brilliant. perhaps it's all that practice at complex images that's given you the skill to produce emotion and insight in just a few 'simple' strokes, as you do so well. this picture says so much, and it reminds me that this is what i'm reaching for... a return to green, and quality time - to where my soul lives. i've long given up the idea of perfection. it's not achievable, at least in this life. but excellence is, and has nothing to do with being perfect. the corners of quilts need not be perfect, nor everything perfectly square and even. they just need to be well crafted, warm, attractive and functional, with that inner glow that comes only from handmade things. that, to me, is excellence.

    i've stopped in briefly before the whirlwind of cleaning, cooking, setup that is a Home Routes show day. Dave Lang & the Twin Otters expected 3ish, with spaghetti dinner @ 5:30. you've put a shine on my day.

    this is a picture i'd love a print of, if you'd like to sell one.

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    1. In that dream I was walking up a grassy slope toward something unknown but beautiful beyond. I can't tell you how happy it makes me that this little picture touched your heart so well. I'm sure you're right that there's no perfection achievable in this reality, but what we can manage is being open to just how numinous is that greater Reality. Music is one of the surest routes to that understanding and that you know quite well. It seems to me that everything you put your hands to is graced with the qualities of love and excellence.

      I wish I could be there to witness that show :-)

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    2. I wish you could have.... And joined us for dinner. Lively conversation, abundant wine, laughter, life's fine things

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  10. //the simple things in life// I went to the store to buy some of those simple things...... but forgot my coupon and couldn;t afford any without. and....listen to me.... I have NEVER seen any of your art that was SIMPLE. so knock that off...gees.... you want simple? I'll give you simple.......

    Artist Pablo Picasso surprised a burglar at work in his new chateau. The intruder got away, but Picasso told the police he could do a rough sketch of what he looked like. On the basis of his drawing, the police arrested a mother superior, the minister of finance, a washing machine, and the Eiffel Tower.

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    1. Thanks! A good laugh or two is definitely the best medicine :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :D

      "The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water'. The sermon tonight:'Searching for Jesus'."'

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    3. She only makes it APPEAR simple....

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  11. Recently a man in Paris nearly got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre. However, after planning the crime, and getting in and out past security, he was captured only two blocks away when his Renault van ran out of fuel. When asked how he could master-mind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied: 'I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gough.'

    ....ha..! bet you thought I was done, huh!

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    1. An invisible man marries an invisible woman.
      The kids were nothing to look at either.

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    2. You two are the next Marx Bros... WAYNE $ Schuster.... Smothers Bros....

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  12. ohoh... I got the last one. and speaking of last ones..... one more..... Salvador Dali walks into a fish and orders a pint of stamps. The barman says, "Why the bicycle wheel?"

    now go paint something.... simply wonderful &stuff





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    1. Sheesh, you're pretty demanding, aren't you?

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