My corona fight

First of all: No, I’ve not got corona, I’m well and healthy. Admittedly, it’s said that several people can get infected with the virus without noticing anything at all, but until proven otherwise, I’ve not had it, nor do I have it. My fight against the corona is not a fight against the virus itself, but against what the fear of it causes.

Sort of.

My life has been more or less as normal these weeks; I’ve been shopping food as normal – only a bit better place in the shops, and as for other shops I haven’t missed anyone that might have been closed. The only way that I’ve been directly affected, is when painting classes were cancelled.

Image of paint brushes

Painting classes aren’t exactly considered essential, so having them cancelled isn’t that big of a deal. Except, if I shall be honest, it was much easier getting done some painting when there was a class every week. It has been harder to get a grip on myself and paint now, and it isn’t only about a complicated image to get correct. Breaking up from the usual habits has made it easier – too easy – to tell myself that the painting can wait a little bit; it won’t run away. Just that after not too long, my good habit of painting isn’t there anymore. I have to restart it.

This is where I am now. I have to just put aside whatever else I’m doing, and paint something. Either continuing on a painting, or a new painting if I struggle with the first one. Only good thing is that I’ve managed to get some other needed things done, so at least I won’t think of those anymore.

OK, this was just a little sigh of the heart, to let you know why I’m not posting anything to show my progress (or lack thereof).


Optical Illusions

I guess we all have seen various optical illusions; drawings that can be seen as two different things at the same time, images where the shapes also seem to hide or form other figures, geometrical constructs where the angles seem to be OK, but at the same time are completely impossible.

M.C.Escer: Waterfall
Waterfall by M.C.Escher

One well-known artist of the impossible geometry is the Dutch Maurits Cornelis Escher. Way more can be said of him and his art than I will do, other than that he serves as the inspiration for one of my paintings in progress.

The image I’m thinking of is “Waterfall” – impossible geometry where the water flows down in an aqueduct all the way, and ends up in a water all down into the beginning of the same aqueduct. All the action takes place in a limited space, and it’s easy to see how it’s done. But in my mind, I was playing with the idea of taking the same principle and transfer it into nature, making a believable picture, despite the water flowing downwards all the time, in a circuit with several waterfalls. Would it be possible?

I had a rough idea, sketched it on paper, just as rough, and decided that yes, it would be possible. Then I had to decide if I should make a more detailed sketch, using photos and stitch together something in Photoshop, or just start painting, with that rough sketch as my starting point. I went for the latter option, as the rest would have me spend way too long time before I could start painting at all.

It started out nice and quick. I blocked in the colours for the first shapes; sky, mountains, water, ground. Added some more details after I decided where the light should come from. Made the river flow from the lake in the distance towards a lake in the foreground, with some waterfalls on the way to make it obvious. Then the time came for me to make the river flow back, down from the current low point to the starting high point …

OK. It’s easy enough to make the river flow downwards, but it should also look natural. I spent some time thinking of this. It started getting hard …

Work in progress of my "impossible nature painting"
Work in progress. I’m getting there, but lots of work left.

As it is still a work in progress, I’m not finished. By far.I’ve blocked in the main colours, so I see the shapes and things are getting clearer. There’s still a lot of details that need to be painted though, but there is one thing that’s getting very clear to me: I was overly optimistic about the time I would use on it. There’s more thinking to do than expected, to make it look convincing. So much that it has been hard to sit down and do some actual painting. There are other pictures I want to try, too, so maybe I’ll just start that before I finish this one. Luckily, that’s very much allowed. Getting my spirits high on painting something that doesn’t require this much thought can only be of the positive, and it’ll make it easier to start on this one again. I hope.

Sounds like I’m trying to convince myself here, but in any case, I’ll have to get some painting done again, and show it.