Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Passing of Time

"All Our Yesterdays" - watercolour - 16 x 26 cm

I have often passed by this old cottage and thought that it would make a nice subject in a rustic kind of way. There are lots of these old buildings in Caithness, and as I was painting this I realised that they represent a specific point in time. Within living memory some of them were still being lived in and worked as small farmsteads, but in a generation or two they will have disappeared; worn down by a combination of weather and neglect.
We tend to think of the times that we live in as being the most important, but in fact they are transient, and future generations will think of us as being just as much a part of history as we do of our ancestors. I expect there is a moral to be taken from that: Maybe that we should embrace change because it is inevitable, and that resisting it holds us back. Equally, it could be argued that we should preserve memories of the past as a reminder of our development as people. Perhaps we need a balance of the two.
I painted the sky that way for compositional reasons, but it occurs to me now that the change in the weather echoes the theme of change generally, and gives an extra dimension to the painting. My title for the piece comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dawn of a New Year

"Dawn of a New Day" - watercolour - 18 x 26 cm

We are well into the new year now and I haven't posted anything yet, so here something to start with. I have some ideas for things I want to try this year, so the subject of a sunrise seems appropriate.