I’ve still got Carlos Casteneda on the brain. In Journey to Ixtlan Don Juan talks about good rest spots and bad rest spots. Don Juan and Carlos would be walking in the desert and Don Juan would ask Carlos to find a good place to rest. He failed when he found a spot where he started to feel tired and grumpy and irritated. Don Juan would later select a spot to rest where Carlos wrote that he felt refreshed and peaceful.
These writings come to mind when I’m looking for a good spot to paint. In Italy for the JSS in Civita program I walked around imagining eyes on the soles of my feet. The eyes saw the energies in different spots. I found that if I really paid attention to the psychic energies of a space it didn’t really matter what the space looked like visually. Because I felt good, I found pleasing arrangements.
For this painting I was determined to find a good spot. I devoted a whole morning to walking with the eyes of my feet open. I went to a nearby public park and tried to listen to my feet with every step. It took a few hours to find a good area. The area was on a hilltop near a dog park.
The next day I took my dog and wagon of plein air painting supplies to the park and hiked up the hill to the spot I had found. It still felt good. I know it sounds pretty hippie dippy, but there was a noticeable uplifting change in mood when I stepped into this good space.
For a couple of sittings Hero and I camped out in the good spot all day. I painted, he caught bugs and napped in the shade of the nearby trees. A red truck drove into the composition and made itself the star of the show before it drove out of the picture again. Those summer days were so green and pleasant.
I don’t always take the time to find a good spot. But I’m always glad when I do.