Under the umbrella

More of a work-out, or should that be a working out, than a painting session? I was and still am unable to see the wood for the trees where this piece is concerned. What is essential, what superfluous? The old tussle between form and content…

Unable to see the wood for the trees

Oil on canvas, 36 x 28″, on and off (lost touch with it a few times) over the past two weeks, today’s date July 27 2020

Further thoughts (July 30 2020)…

Much of the time we are driven by unconscious forces. We love to think we are in control of our lives but in fact we have been programmed (so to speak) by events from our infancy and formative years to become creatures of habit.

These powerful unconscious forces are the driving wheels that dictate the course, the flow of our lives. They all too frequently drown out an artist’s conscious deliberations and intentions.

With the result that unknown and inexplicable things happen.


In this work I thought I had gone wrong, taken a wrong turning somewhere, but no, my unconscious being had taken control and was making my decisions.

So, now, I think I understand that this woman, the woman under the umbrella, is one who is very firmly grounded in the present moment. She sees everything clearly in the ‘now.’ She knows exactly where she is right now.

But at the same time she is very much aware of her past, of where she came from, and, in contrast with her clearly seen ‘now’ world is her somewhat fuzzy view of memories and recollections to do with her distant past life.

The umbrella speaks: To the left of the woman’s head it is nicely painted and stuff is shown more or less clearly. Whereas to the right of her head, that is, behind her, no details can be discerned, things are vague and indistinct.

Is there a motto or something? If there is then it is to live in the moment, seize the day, do not dwell in or on the past. Yes, sure, the past governs what happens in the present moment. But it cannot be known. It is too deep to fathom, hidden from view, obscure.



  1. I like the girl in the painting.

    She shows that she has something on her mind as she walks in the rain.

    The water spots on the umbrella showing how much it

    is raining on the umbrella is brilliant!

    I also like the bird and sun drawing on it too.

    Your writing for this piece is good too!

    I like how you talked about the painting experience and the story of the painting.

    The colors are soothing.

    Who says rain has to be sad and depressing!

    Not guys like you and me!

    Rain is inspiring.

    This painting shows it!

    Good show!

    ROCK ON!!!!!

    1. Wow! Ryan! I cannot find adequate words to thank you for your poem. I could say, ‘Your lines have made my day,’ but no! More than this… your words are so full of goodness, a goodness that is all too rare in this world… Thank you! My wish for you is that all your dreams come true… 🙂

      1. AWW! Thanks Buddy! I hope some day a gallery owner sees your works and insists he sell some of your work in his gallery. Someday your paintings will be in a museum. Thanks again! You Rock!

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