Friday, March 18, 2011

Oil Painting "In Distant Country" Completed

Last Wednesday, I completed a painting I'd been working on for several months:

In Distant Country / 在遙遠的国度 / In fernem Land

I was first struck by a vision of stark contrast between muted landscape and saturated world and my desire to capture this contrast brought to my trip to Bruges, Belgium, where beautiful city landmark buildings glistered in the sun but quite muted at night.  My morning trip to the canal to greet "my" swans etched these impression to my mind and they serve a perfect model for my painting.

The title of this painting is a phrase from Richard Wagner's Lohengrin "In fernem Land". In this aria, mysterious knight Lohengrin related his background. He came to Brabant, on chariot pulled by a swan, to defend a wrongly accused maiden Elsa.  Somehow, the medieval story of Lohengrin, with the mythic characters abundant, felt quite right for my painting depict a medieval town, with its eternal swans, despite the fact that Bruges is not in Brabant's proper, but very close.

This paining can also be viewed as a companion piece to my "Bruges, Impression" which was completed in 2009:

Bruges, Impression / 布魯日,印象 / Brügge, Eindruck

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