Magic Moments-Clouds in the Valley

Valley fog

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Two bells, 9 O’clock, followed me out the door to the car. Warming the engine I glanced down, 9:06 on the dash already. I’m always late it seems-always in a hurry. Fastening my seat-belt I curved out onto the Highway and across the top of the hill. The empty road dipped around a bend, cold and grey in the wet February morning.

Descending to my left the double yellow line abruptly disappeared into a dense pillow of white. The valley below was filled with fog. Breathtakingly beautiful from above the fog lay folded into the valley like a soft snow-white comforter. Then the vision was gone and I slowed to find the next corner. Turning off the highway I parked to rendezvous with a friend for a morning walk in the mist, destination safely obtained.

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What a lovely beginning to a wonder filled circuit past sugar woods, streams, marshes and ponds. This is the circuit I always walk. Just a little over three miles it never fails to delight but today was made magical by the mist punctuated by the clamor of geese returning home.

I realize that i have been very remiss in posting to my blog. There has been so much change in my life over the last several months and i have been badly distracted. I hope to return to my circuit and begin to post more of my art and more news of my art activities. There is so much to catch up on!

Holly

Magic Moments-as the world turns

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Dear, Anne, Debi, Prashant, Owen (S.R.), Carsten, John, Margaret, Janet, Hannah, Nico, Carol, Shari, Jane, Tim, Melinda, Michael, Jack, Nick,   Oh, and so many more,-

 

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“Consider the lilies”transient beauty and instability

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You are the life line in my whirling seas, the house up on the cliff. How time flies! Here’s to 2018! May it see us all reaching toward our best potential and shining our light however bright that light may be. Know your light adds to the positive and creative light of the entire world helping to light the paths of others. You guys are the best! Keep up the good work and enjoy your travels.IMG_6313

In briefest summary: For the past month I have been focused on opening my own studio in the Farmington Valley Arts Center. This process involved making application, both electronic and with personal presentation before a jury and now setting up my space. I am now in Studio 9A at FVAC in Avon Connecticut and so delighted to be a part of this vibrant group of artists. They are so professional. I do feel out of my league; the little fish in the big pond. Yet, everyone here is so supportive and welcoming. It is simply wonderful.

Anyway as I get settled into the New Year I’ll share my adventure with you. So here’s to 2018 and all the paths we follow!

Will I be painting in watercolor? Figure drawing? Doing ceramic tiles? Working in batik? Sharing with students? It may well be all of the above. I certainly hope so. I am thrilled to be here and painting once again.

Happy New Year every one!

Take Care and Enjoy.

Holly

magic moments-innocence

Innocence and love

I’m not much of a Christian; perhaps in ethics I am, but certainly not in faith; I was brought up in a Unitarian church. Yet I sing in the choir of my husband’s Episcopalian church. Tonight as I sit here searching out the many messages from internet friends around the world one line of an anthem we sang for Lessons and Carols, the service last Sunday, keeps ringing in my head, “ and a little child shall lead them, and a little child shall lead them”. I am reminded of the innocence of children, of the innocence of man before he ate of the tree of knowledge. I think of all God’s creation, the world in its natural state, surviving as best it can, but not scheming, not planning, not greedy or full of deceit and I think of a little child reaching out his hand in trust with that natural offering of love that only children seem to have.

I wish we could all do that for one another no matter what our faith, or religion, or political position. I do believe in the efficacy of Christianity and that as Paul writes in Corinthians of Faith, Hope, and Charity the greatest of these is love. While my philosophy is built on hope I believe in love, love that seeks to understand and lives in gratitude reaching out beyond our wildest dreams to gather in everyone it can with the innocence and trust of a little child.

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So no matter what your denomination or faith I hope you can find the trust to reach out your hand in love to one another, trying to understand, and finding gratitude for what is given you.

 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday with the peace that comes through opening your heart to love.

 

May you find the light within yourself-Yes,we all have a little child with in us. Enjoy the Season.

 

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Love holly

Magic Moments- experiencing one day at a time

What began as a moody Monday of errands, a doctors appointment, a bit of tidying up in the garden,was lifted by a walk with a friend,  enjoying posts from so many talented, generous folks on WordPress followed by a bit of painting.

IMG_6408.JPG“Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.”

from Henry James on the importance of experience copied from Gurney Journey:

IMG_6509 (1024x768).jpgThree photos by me- inspired by  Belinda Grover’s post today of a beautiful floating leaf photograph. My own photographic efforts down at the spring lot are just snap shots:

IMG_6499 (1024x768).jpgBut I was especially pleased to be able to take these without scaring the very tired wood duck who clearly wanted to stay the night. She was a lovely little creature. Someday I hope they will nest on the pond.

IMG_6516.JPGMy watercolor version of “Fairy Boats” on the spring lot pond. 14″x10″ Arches HP

 

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IMG_6514 (1024x768).jpgAn attempt at the Hollister House working from memory while trying to avoid “mud”.

 

Holly (no wings, walking out of the dust-think of the movie, “Purgatory”)

Magic Moments-“breath in, breath out…”

We will Paint again.

However, the last several weeks have been hectic. I am hoping once the memorial service for my mother is over things will even out a bit. But having been designated as the sibling responsible for organizing all the details for the service and reception (which are being held “out of state”) I am a bit frazzled. This isn’t exactly my forte.

And to keep me on my toes there have been several juried shows to enter and their respective openings to attend. At this point I am ready to retire to a convent or some quiet retreat on the coast of Maine.

Instead I have gone foreword with my quest for adventure and so i am once more following the path once set by My New Day. This has recently taken me to The Maine coastal Botanical Gardens, the Cloisters in NY City, to Storm King Sculpture Museum above the Hudson, and just today to Innisfree Garden near Millbrook NY.

I can’t possibly do justice to even one of these visits in a single post but I’ll try to give you sense of the experience connected with the place.

I’ll start with Innisfree.IMG_6315 (1024x768).jpg

Consider Keats poem and you can feel the ambience of Innisfree. A beautiful landscape garden of many acres which was  laid out mid century around a lake; Innisfree invites the visitor to stroll  from pocket garden to pocket garden along paths which cross bridges, climb slopes, emerge to overlooks, and branch with delightfully unending choice. The sense is oriental in detail and form but the landscape is derived from New England motives; tall pines, sparkling water, majestic oak trees, green slopes, reeds and running rivulets, stone walls. All along the way there are chairs and benches inviting one to sit and hold conversation perhaps catching up with a dear friend or just contemplating the scene in solitude. Imagine yourself there:

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I sat on the moss beneath a huge European beech and did a quick painted sketch of the serpentine garden below me. Then I moved off to shoot a few photographs and finish my walk around the lake before closing time. Like the rest of my month this was done in something of a hurry having to ride piggyback on dropping my husband off in Leeds NY to rendezvous with my son. He is helping him drive a truck and trailer of house hold furnishings from Vermont down to a new home in Richmond Virginia. (life does keep moving ahead!!!) Still I had wanted to get to Innisfree now for over two years and so I was thrilled to have even a short time there. Of course I looked at those chairs with longing and wished…But, I guess “we’re all just beggars at this ball”IMG_6339 (768x1024)

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Tomorrow I’ll post some more pictures and maybe a bit on Storm King and a sketch or two.

Holly

Magic Moments-there is no failure

-Just steps closer to success.

Well success maybe decades away for me but gratitude for these words from  Anne (Anica Art) is very close to my heart. Finding them on her blog brought me back to my current motif, that of a marsh i saw last week while out on a birding walk. Further conversation with her (isn’t the internet an awesome thing-Anne lives in Australia!) has given me resolve to do more with this tomorrow and work more deliberately.

i need to do individual studies of the birds and marsh plants as well as work on pigment choices. i tend to get carried away. Marshes here in Connecticut become a riot of color and texture in the fall.

Here are the 4 i’ve done. When I’m painting -When I am able to paint- the world briefly gets to be a better, happier place.

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The bird walks are fun. Our leader, a member of the local Audubon chapter has introduced me to many different and previously unknown preserves. Venues all within striking distance of my home. And going out with knowledgeable people who can identify a bird by its song or flight pattern as well as by its markings is a wonderful help for this novice birder.

Now i’ve got to turn in! as there is a walk tomorrow bright and early!

Holly

(angel in the dust)

Magic Moments-by the River

After spending a morning in court, wither I had gone to support a friend, the victim of a tragic act by an irresponsible driver and drug user, I made my way down to the river to paint. There God’s world gave me a gentle welcome  in stark contrast to the human misery we have created within our societies and which is played out daily in our courts and jails.

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Greens, golds, blues and the rill of moving water washed over my soul. Fishermen hobnobbed on the park benches or quietly waded out through the reflections among the rocks while their wives sat and read on the shore. Six red-headed mergansers dove and skimmed the surface driving the trout together to be flipped into upturned bills. Later two more came gliding down the sun-dappled brown water. I have never before been privileged to see so many redheaded mergansers in one spot.

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5×7 cold-press field journal

I painted one small watercolor sketch looking across the river and did a few quick pencil sketches of the fishermen catching and releasing and of the mergansers ganging up on the fish. Then I headed up to the Riverton General store for an ice-cream eaten alfresco in the lovely outdoor dining area they recently created.

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It was a lovely afternoon. I am grateful for those who have encouraged me on this path to plein-air painting.  And, next time, I’d love to have some artist buddies join me to enjoy the scenery and the good food.

Tomorrow i think I’ll play with my new Chinese mop brush. Only doing diving mergansers in grey and rust.

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Holly

Magic Moments-just peaches

I don’t know were this week has gone…Well yes, i do: It’s gone to worrying about friends (I know, i know-“worry never made a sailor.” But i have been worrying.) Followed by one day in court to lend support to another friend-(the victim in a criminal case), one day furiously matting and framing work for the Peach Festival, one day volunteering at Hollister House Garden (we had 50 visitors in 4 hours!!) One day at the festival surrounded by friends while still trying to sketch-foolish me- and today yoga and Gallery work, picking peaches plus these little exercises.

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ink and wash and permanent ink
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contour line and pencil shading
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monochromatic and colored watercolor

I’m pretty happy with the results.

And i even peeled some peaches for a pie.

Thanks to Shari for the inspiration that got me drawing and painting this evening instead of just peeling and pitting. After all there is always tomorrow…

 

 

 

 

Holly

Angel in the dust

 

 

Magic Moments-just peaches and lilies

Life has gotten bigger than me and I am scrambling to catch up. A friend just gave me some tiger lily bulb-lets; they need to be planted out right away and the peach trees are dripping peaches. There are 3 shows I should be entering; I”ll be lucky to get work ready for even one. I think for the next several days I’ll be focused on canning peaches when I’m not helping out at Hollister House Garden, or Gallery on the Green (yearly maintenance) or working the Art League tent at the Peach festival.

Here is one painting I recently finished which i hope to get matted and framed. There are a couple more figure studies that I’d also like to show.  For sure, “I’m traveling faster than my soul can go….”

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“Life’s a twinkling but its such a fine thing” (Carrie Newcomer)

Holly    PS how many of you noticed the Cobalt Teal Blue  in the painting above? Debi’s right; it really is a cheerful color. Now i just need time to experiment with it!

Magic Moments-Living with Enthusiasm-part 2

“Yes!” the best word in the universe. Answering life’s questions with a positive attitude, approaching each new adventure with enthusiasm is the magic we all need to live in the moment. Too often we are met with the cautious, guarded response and sometimes even with, “No, i don’t…” While caution built on knowledge and applied responsibly is a very good human attribute, alone it makes a poor opening to gaining new experiences. Enthusiasm balanced by caution and thoughtfulness allows magic to happen. When confronted with something unknown or new i like to respond with an enthusiastic, “Yes”, lets go see, let’s try it out.
so out i go with my card and magnifying glass to view the eclipse myself. This should be fun.

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about 1:45
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2:45 but it’s hard to see the shadow of the moon
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 Let’s try it from the bike path bridge and looking down saw…
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bigger is better

So I went down to see closer and met Robert Siegel who was projecting the image using the telescope his dad built. He and his wife Judith have opened an alternative School called True North located below the bike bridge in the Collinsville Mill complex. He pointed out the sunspots visible in his projection. We had to keep moving the scope because the sun travels so fast. i wish them well in their project! Kids need enthusiastic people like this.

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continuing on down the path below the bridge
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i went to pursue my own project: sketching the path back of the mills

-A satisfying end to the day although this little sketch falls far short of what i want. Hopefully i’ll find time to paint this again and get it right. If I do I’ll post it.

Live each day deliberately, and laced liberally with enthusiasm and love.

Holly (aitd)