Friday, 22 January 2010

Maybe I wasn't so wrong afterall?

Sometimes getting it wrong is actually getting it right! That's the value of hoarding one's creative work and coming back to it at a later stage.

A year ago, almost to the day, I painted this little landscape. A view from the diningroom table, looking out towards the Golfo Dulce (a tropical fjord of the Pacific ocean), and the mountains beyond. I was quietly pleased with it, let's say, as a humble offering to the God of small things.

Golfo Dulce: Oil on paper, aprox. 18 x 25.5 cm. February 2009.

When it was finished, two things happened.

Firstly, I thought to myself, well, it's nice, but it's not right... it's not an accurate presentation of what's out there. Which is basically remanants of lowland tropical rainforest leading down to the beach. People will think I'm crazy if I say that this is a painting of this place - ignoring for a moment the fact that, ok, I am! ;)

Secondly, it reminded me of something else... something I had tried to do two years previously, but which I felt had been totally unsuccessful and so didn't work to finish it.

When I was reminded of the first attempt, I dragged it out from where it lay, dusty and forgotten, stuffed behind the bed (I have several things like that, hidden about the place, that way I don't have to confront my failings headon... but at the same time I cannot completely ignore them!)

When I saw this first painting again, I realized that, although it hadn't worked, persay, there was actually alot of truth in it, because, quite unintentionally, there's a strong similarity in these paintings! And not only that, but I think you can see an ongoing thread in my "style".

Golfo Dulce: Oil on canvas, aprox. 36 x 45 cm. February 2007.

So, forgive me, ye who flock to the Osa Peninsula and just can't see it, but... at this time of year, the landscape looks hazy, and the colors start to appear blanched, and, to me, it starts to look more like something out of Africa (which, incidentally, is one of my favorite movies!)

Sometimes, I think we need to put distance between ourselves and our work, in order to appreciate it for what it really is. Because, if you compare these two paintings with some photos that I've dug up, of pretty much the same vista, and taken at the same time of the year, you'll see that.... maybe I wasn't so wrong afterall???

Also at this time of year... earthquakes... like the one we just had as I'm writting this post!


Mnemosyne said...

your paintings are simply beautiful! and wow an earthquake while writing....:)

Catherine V. Bainbridge said...

That's very sweet of you Mnemosyne! These are not *the* best examples of my work. But they're kind of quaint I think. Yes, earthquakes... scary stuff!

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