Often, I rally against the wind, raise my fist up and shake it in defiance. The wind wears me out, because I insist on fighting against it rather than embracing it or moving with it. But, I think I could learn a thing or two from the amazing Wind Paintings by Bob Verschueren. Back in the 1970's and 80s, Verschueren would lay down lines of natural pigments and let the wind have its way with them, scattering the color across the ground. A symbiotic relationship in which the man needs the wind and the wind needs the man. I wish the wind needed me.
Verschueren sought out barren landscapes in which he would draw linear motifs on the ground. He used natural pigments like charcoal, iron oxide, chalk, terra verte, flour, yellow ochre, terre de Cassel, burnt and natural umber as paint.
Then he would wait for the wind to perform its job, start blowing and spread the pigment across the earth. Lasting only a few hours before the wind scattered the pigment too far or smudged it off in a different direction, the paintings were time stamped and Verschueren would do his best to document them.
The Wind Paintings were the result of three factors - the direction and strength of the wind; the landscape and its relief; and finally the hand of the sower and the color of pigment. Verschueren must have understood that he only played a minor role in the creation of these transient works of art. He was there to bring the pigment, lay it on the ground and step back and watch. At that point the end result was all in the hands of the Wind.