When is a painting finished ?
I returned to the hills to walk the dog and take some reference photographs to try and capture the essence of the hills that I love along with many others who live and work within this landscape.
It is a visceral thing - walking the living ground seeing the weather and wilderness.
'It' is difficult to capture in life and in words.
I read a passage in the diaries of Virginia Woolf which expresses this much better than I could :
"I enjoy almost everything. Yet I have some restless searcher in me. Why is this not a discovery in life ? Something one can lay hands on and say 'This is it' ? My depression is a harassed feeling - I'm looking: but that's not it. What is it ? And shall I die before I find it ? Then (as I was walking through Russell Square last night) I see the mountains in the sky: the great clouds; and the moon which is risen over Persia, I have a great and astonishing sense of something there, which is 'it'. It is not exactly beauty that I mean. It is that the thing in itself is enough: satisfactory; achieved. A sense of my own strangeness, walking on the earth is there too: of the infinite oddity of the human position; trotting along Russell Square with the moon up there and those mountain clouds. Who am I, what am I, and so on: these questions are always floating about in me: and then I bump against some exact fact - a letter, a person, and come to them again with a great sense of freshness. And so it goes on. But on this showing, which is true, I think, I do fairly frequently come upon this 'it' ; and then I feel quite at rest."
This is a great description of the 'it' that motivates me to write, draw , paint and scribble.
So I return to the painting again and again trying to capture it !