Friday, January 23, 2009

Gift and Lift

Satoru sent me another box of natto and home made jam!  His hometown Ibaraki is famous for its natto. Beautiful packaging. I ate a stick of the sticky beans with wasabi for dinner. It was extraordinary.  Satoru rules. 
Here is an iphone photo of a new painting of that sacred tree-I can't get those roots out of my mind. It'd been a long time since I'd used watercolor, and a huge nostalgia opened a river of subtle bliss that fell out of my fingers and into the paint, I'm sure of it.  Watercolor is fun, quick, and, like Zen calligraphy, it is a physical expression of an inner state.  The freedom, and precision, mixed with the degree of creativity in the mark determines its depth and harmony. Watercolor is hard, too.  its transparent, and the reflected white light of the paper illuminates the painting from within. It's like everything is backwards and reversed. 

As I painted I watched the new Lost, which I think is really good so far-wonderful use of time travel. I also heard myself thinking/ re-minding a list of watercolor rules collected from all my teachers past. Their meaning is altered when set in the context of spirituality. ( I do that a lot, see art rules as metaphors for spiritual insights). Begin light to dark.  Leave light. Paint with the water. The clearer the water, the brighter the color. Don't be afraid to lift. Never lift. Lift the whole thing. Mask it. Leave it. Plan ahead. Don't plan ahead. Play. Stay controlled. stay spontaneous. Flow. Move the eyes around. Build up detail. Build up islands of complexity.  So many rules. Wyeth was the greatest watercolorist, for sure. He has some good quotes.

1 comment:

Michael Garfield said...

More watercolor, please, David! You have such a subtle stroke, perfect for that medium. And your understanding of the inner light in paintings is crucial to good watercolor. I hope you will be spending more time with those paints...after all, we're moving from an age of fire to an age of water, right? :)

May all beings be Free and in Love.



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