Still painting and stuff

This morning I stopped at a local park and painted the lake in between rain sprinkles. There was some sort of fishing event going on, the place was packed but as far as I could see I was the only painter.

From this morning:

From the other night at the local pond:

My aim is not to exhibit craft, but rather to submerge it, and make it rightfully the handmaiden of beauty, power and emotional content. — Andrew Wyeth

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The Tales of Middle Earth

Those tales are drawing to a close as our small party have just arrived back in Bree on their journey home.

Tonight a group of us went to see the new Star Wars film, Solo, and I think we all enjoyed that tale too. Much in the Star Wars of hero’s journey, travels bent by trust, trouble and luck, it had a few surprises at the end. Before the movie, my co-worker Rich and I were talking about things LotR and I mentioned this quote from Treebeard aka Fangorn, the Ent.

‘Will you really break the doors of Isengard?’ asked Merry.
‘Ho, hm, well, we could, you know! You do not know, perhaps, how strong we are. Maybe you have heard of Trolls? They are mighty and strong. But Trolls are only counterfeits, made by the Enemy in the Great Darkness, in mockery of Ents, as Orcs were of Elves. We are stronger than Trolls. We are made of the bones of the earth. We can split stone like the roots of trees, only quicker, far quicker, if our minds are roused! If we are not hewn down, or destroyed by fire or blast of sorcery, we could split Isengard to splinters and crack its walls into rubble.’
From: The Two Towers, Chapter Four “Treebeard” by J.R.R. Tolkien

So there you have it, as also told in the Silmarillion, of how Evil tries to overcome the Light by copying its strengths, but it never succeeds because its purpose is not whole and good. So darkness and anger taint and distort and weakens all it touches, and the goals, which is only to pull down what it is most jealous of, fail and fail every time.

In order to arrive…

A facebook friend tagged me in his post of this great quote, saying it was quoted by the poet Robert Lax shortly before the German invasion of France in May 1939. It’s a keeper, no matter what your denomination.

In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything,
desire to have pleasure in nothing;
in order to arrive at possessing everything,
desire to possess nothing;
in order to arrive at being everything;
desire to be nothing.

Book One Chapter 14 of “The Ascent of Mt Carmel” by Saint John of the Cross

Keeping Up the Fight

‘Despair, or folly?’ said Gandalf. ‘It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.’

‘At least for a while,’ said Elrond. ‘The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings)

Please note that I’m deep into the audio version of Fellowship of the Ring at the moment. I wonder if I’ll ever stop weeping when Gandalf falls into the depths with the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-dûm. Although I am not of this level of readers, I love that there are such people in the world as these, who discuss many things.

From the Quote Box

It is something to be deep in the snow in winter, to be deep in the yellow leaves in the autumn, to be deep in the ripe wheat in the summer, to be deep in the grass in the spring. It is something to always be with the mowers and the peasant girls, in summer with the big sky above, in the winter by the black fireplace. And to feel — this has always been so and always will be. — Vincent van Gogh, 1885

How to paint

When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape, until it gives your own naïve impression of the scene before you. — Claude Monet

From the Quote Box

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity. — Tao Te Ching