Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Finding Self

Thinking about what I said yesterday about my father reminded me of the times I was given homework from school. I never asked my mother to help me with homework; it always ended in a mini battle of wills. I never did it well enough I would ask my father to help me with the homework.

I would ask him a question, and he would say, 'Well, what do you think.' I always got really frustrated because I thought that if I was asking him then I didn't know the answer myself. But he was right, with some gentle prodding I always came up with the answer. More important I always left feeling that I had done my homework on my own and I had learned something.

A distraught student approached his Tao master. "Please, Master, I feel lost, desperate. I don't know who I am. Please, show me my true self! “But the teacher just looked away without responding. The student began to plead and beg, but still the master gave no reply. Finally giving up in frustration, the student turned to leave. At that moment the master called out to him by name. "Yes!" the student said as he spun back around. "There it is!" exclaimed the master.

There are times in life when we bring grief and frustration to ourselves because we spend so much time trying to analyse what has gone wrong. For the artist it is called painters block. Having also had to write during my life I am aware this does not happen just to artists, it happens also to writers.

Having just been through such a period with my art, no painting for more than two weeks, I am aware how frustrating it can be. Sadly no matter how often it happens I never learn from the last time, accept it, leave it for a bit and get on with preparing for the next painting. I was out walking the other day along a path I used to walk with my father in my youth. I was watching the yachts sail in the River Forth. I heard his voice saying, “What do you think, could that be a painting?” (I am not advising listening to voices other than the inner voice of self).

Sometimes we try too hard and in the process and get lost in the muddle we create. The painting I did yesterday is not the best I have painted by along way, but it is better than all the others I have done in the last two weeks. I can hear my father say, “Well what do you think?”

This blog is linked to my other where I discuss the artwork it can be seen at:-The Race

1 comment:

  1. I like this painting, Ralph. There is a sense of drama with the angle of the boats/sails. There is the mystery of the sea revealed in the drama. I can almost hear those waves crashing!