Through the looking glass

view through the window

through the looking glass: looking out or looking in?

When painting a view you might think that you are recreating a scene outside yourself but I think it can also be true that you are looking within and revealing what is there. The inner landscape and the outer merge; there are the basic forms of the ‘real’ scene but a state of mind is present too. Feelings and thoughts permeate the painted landscape, ruffling the grass with agitated energy or smoothing it peacefully. Colours respond to emotions, becoming heated or cooled, excited or serene. How on earth it all works is a mystery, but that’s what makes painting so interesting.

The night before the crisis colours vibrated in the air, the vegetation, rocks and soil. The tree raised its branches towards the sky and sang, a piercing dischordant note.

oil painting, 9x12 inches on canvas, colourful swirling energy, tree in the landscape

the tree in a tumult of colour, with energy swirling around

After the event stretched nerves slackened, sinews untwanged and the landscape breathed slowly again, muting its colours.

oil painting in a calm style, 9x12 canvas, tree on the hill

after the crisis, a calm painting with balanced shapes and cooler colours

The next day everything became warmer, brighter and more optimistic and the landscape glowed in the evening sunlight.

oil painting with warm colours, evening light on the hill, 9x12 inch canvas

warm colours in the evening; the sun’s last visit to the hill with glowing light from the west

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