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-Still a heart

Beat away.IMG_6206 (1024x768).jpg

I can still hear the surf on Monhegan Island even after a trip yesterday  into New York to visit the Cloisters-such a different world-also one I would love to paint.IMG_6185 (768x1024)

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Then today talking with a fellow artist /photographer I was being urged; strongly urged and encouraged, to visit a nearby farm where I might paint wonderful barns and pumpkins and yet another farm with horses and fall color and, and, and…IMG_6001 (768x1024)

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I need to stay with waves and rocks, asters and goldenrod, dying spruce and moss.

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The spruce woods

I need to slow down and paint!

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Stop the world! I want to get off!!!

 

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And as if that is not enough, Having resumed my morning walks I am seeing reflections in the marsh, flocks of cedar waxwings tipping off soft needled branches in quest of slate blue juniper berries, clouds that pile up in the blue; more images than I could paint to in a life time.

 

Wild flower bouquet from Monhegan that made it home in my back back.

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And it’s all-“One Long Goodbye”

Holly (Angel in the dust)

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-painting with words

Shari says it is still national poetry week (at least for a few more days) so perhaps this is legitimate???

My GardenIMG_3435 (1024x768)

I am the cloud that cloaks this hill and sometimes hides the sun

For in my darkest hour I shed too many a tear

But here where wave on wave of westward marching hills green up at start of year

The daffodils can dance and laugh and have some fun.

 

In shining shade the cherry hangs and pansies peek and playIMG_3433 (1024x768)

While Koi slip silver, red, and gold beneath the falling water

Azalea, iris, lily, rose all thrust against the earth. And there beneath the arbor

Still nods the Lenten rose, though tulip, bluebell,  hyacinth are now on full display

 

Shy bleeding heart and Solomon seal discreetly hang their heads

And gaze below to littler flowers of violets, yellows, butterflies-and-lobeliareds.

So many tiny promises of joy in life are springing forth, ones heart should surely sing.

If only I could nurture friends as well as flowers in spring  

It is a garden of delight

          Or so it was when hearts were light.

 

 

Angel in the dust

 

Magic Moments-gone awry

My Dear Readers, I am so sorry if I have not responded to you.

Recently I began to notice that my Word Press Reader contained things which were not showing up in my Inbox and wondered that no one had contacted me. Finally at the suggestion of my husband I checked the spam folder on my account. For months, perhaps even since I began this blog last summer comments, likes, and contacts, even new posts have been treated as spam by my computer. Only items from the last month are still available in that folder. My chest already hurts 24/7. This breaks my heart. From now on I will be checking the spam folder as well as my inbox and I will try to solve this misbehavior on the part of my computer.

“Contacts” (found in the header above my post) is an excellent way to reach me privately and will not show up as a comment on my blog. Please feel free to use it-I’ll make sure it doesn’t end up in spam again. Otherwise likes and comments are always appreciated and posts are eagerly anticipated.

You are an awesome community of artists and writers and all very special to me.

Holly

your Angel in the dust (again!)

PS

On a happier note: the crocuses are blooming, a purple river with whitecaps all along the drive and the cardinal wakes the morning with his lilting melody. I even planted some lettuce seeds and prepared a row for snow peas. A year has passed and spring is back (at least in this hemisphere!). Will we all grow and send out blossom? that is my hope for you.

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a painting from last year

 

 

 

-help me find the joy to paint again. It is possible-it must be.—somehow.-

Magic Moments-Now

We each must do our best with the opportunities we are given even when they seem beyond us. And we can choose those friends who help us realize the best that we can become. i live through hope  and faith in those friends. Knowing they are there gives me courage to address a home of 21 rooms and 7 generations of accumulated stuff…

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Here is an Advent calendar of Esperanza that i made some years back for our children. And, yes! it has 21 rooms, a barn, 2 guest cottages, and 2 garden sheds all packed to overflowing and, and, and….

I know I can,

I don’t know how

To write the Poem

That is Now.

You’re in it

That I’m sure.

It’s just you’re not

An easy  aperture

Of flesh and blood

And touchable sense;

But more a Dream

Of unshakable permanence-

Whirling in my mind

Directing every Attitude

That shapes my course

In unending Gratitude.

I don’t know how.

I can, you’ll see

Live the life

You wished for me:

To put my mark

upon this Place

and do it all

with simple Grace.

Angel in the dust

for my readers who can’t know all the particulars i will have to spend less time painting and posting to this blog in order to make more time for the house but i won’t disappear. I’ll still be here and listening-

Magic Moments-Moon Rise

and a poem from Rumi’s little Book of Life

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Put your thoughts to sleep

Let them not cast a shadow

Over the moon of your heart

Drown them in the sea of love.

While working in the main garden cutting down the dead stalks of Peonies and Lingularia and planting a few remaining daffodil bulbs I was given a moment of magic as the sun set red-orange behind me across the West Meadow and the moon rose to the east behind the pines and old maples:

Angel in the dust

Magic Moments-?

Winter

The things I like best about winter are my cozy black Damart tights and top. They’re warm and sleek. And, I like the silence of the snow and the way it has mounded up in the apple leaves like scoops of sugar in little cups. I could love it if my eyes were burning green and gold, but they’re not. They’ve changed to grey.

For the rest; the grey cold fits my mood internally and externally. This weather is such a contrast to last year on this same day in late October. Then the world held promise sparkling like the visions of a child but now it exists just to be dealt with.

Winter: dull and chilling, or cold and invigorating; we wait to see. Hope holds fast as frosty breath breaths white clouds over a garden outlined in white. And soul and spirit wait patiently yet fearfully like tulip bulbs beneath the soil planted in spite of the danger of being consumed and brought to extinction over the long bleak months of winter. Will they be there to bloom in May?

IMG_2006 (768x1024).jpga light dusting begins the day

IMG_2018 (768x1024).jpgcreates lace and

IMG_2013 (1024x768).jpgbeautiful patterns

IMG_2015 (768x1024).jpgadding mystery (and misery) to dark interiors.

IMG_2007 (1024x768) (2).jpgIs this some kind of joke?

IMG_2021 (768x1024).jpgwinter’s cold touch reaches my heart.

Angel in the dust

Magic Moments-For today

for 911

For the moment I hope this watercolor sketch will do for today’s post. We each must use the time we are given in positive ways. And I can hope that even an activity like this can help ease the troubled world look toward the positive and the good. Later I may post more on inspiration. First though, there are things that must be done in the day to keep my promises to others. So for now a little sketch I painted while hosting at Hollister House Garden yesterday.

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The time was just about 3:06 when I received a message from my muse and knew I had to pick up the brush and let the paint sing.-thank you-

I will include 2 photos of the interior of the garden as well.

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Everywhere there are people creating beauty if we but open our hearts to it.

Angel in the dust