The obscurity of a hat


It mattered little as the painter shifted his stance, and thought a little more deeply about the relative values to convey.The sunlight was part help, part hinderance, as he attempted to grasp a starting point. Above, a curlew called to draw attention to the point, as if the piping call was itself an echo of his mind’s doubting . Was it part of the scene, or a distraction?

The hat remained on his hat, protecting his crown from the burning heat of the sun. The air remained sultry for a June day in northern England. A few miles to the east, the fell walkers would be making their way up Skiddaw, like ants up a dungpile, glorying in the blessings of the day.

He felt isolated from any search for meaning. He was only interested in finding space to paint freely, free of any false constraint, or ambition. Free from any vanity, or desire to create. Just the promise of alignment, when the mind and spirit guide the body and physical elements work together in harmony. Choosing the paint, where to start, when to apply pressure, when to let go, what device to employ. When does painting transcend technique, or is the value of painting conditioned by the limits on technical skill? Because they are always there.

His head tilted to the side. A faint skein of sweat brushed his brow. The wet brush met the paper and the story unfolded. Clarity appeared from the constraint of obscurity. Even the hat seemed to shine.


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Left with the use of my left arm/hand only, after a serious motor cycle accident in 2005, I am learning to adapt to life with a brachial plexus injury and have developed a style of playing guitar using open tunings. I love drawing, painting and generally messing around in a fairly loose fashion. Can't describe myself as an artist, but perhaps a doodler with intent.

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