Hydrangeas at Arley Herbaceous Border

33 X 41 CM

Upon finishing Hydrangeas at Arley Herbaceous Border I realized that the general public now seems to demand EITHER photorealism OR abstraction in paintings in this post-postmodernist, supercommercial miasma in which we are currently mired. So anything that doesn't fit into either one of those camps can not be shoved into the appropriate cubby hole.

But rather than being depressed by this realization, it came as quite a great relief: for at the same time as this painting evades one extreme of painting technique or the other, it is perhaps my most Beautiful painting yet - and is therefore potentially my most successful, as it is solely Beauty which I am aiming for -- not photorealism, not imposed abstraction, not even definitive style. 

I'm finding that I have to step back, relax, and receive; as opposed to constantly aggressing life with neverending darts of often-wasted energy. In my eyes, this painting achieved Beauty because it allowed for it - rather than forcefully attempting to conjure it. In this respect, I'd like to think it achieves the core principle of Taoism -- which is essentially allowing for the feminine to pervade one's spirit. That core tenet of Taoism is that the weak and passive overcome the strong and rigid - like water eroding a rock.

Jesse WaughArley Hall