Well actually a week of drop dead beautiful mornings in Maine while tenting up in Acadia both on Mt Desert Island and on Schoodic Peninsula. i relished the solitude and the quiet. I guess I’m not much of an extrovert for i really enjoyed being by myself and alone with my dreams. Hmmm… the ocean and some loons were companion enough. The late evening light was beautiful. i only wish i had the fortitude to work hard enough to capture it. I promise myself I’ll keep trying-there are those who care and the beauty of ocean and woods are calling.
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.
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!
I saw these drakes on a pond next to the Green House Cafe where a friend and I went to lunch several weeks ago. the weather had turned abruptly cold and they had flown out to their customary paddling spot only to land in and discover it nearly completely frozen over. the landing skid marks were fascinating. The ducks looked disgusted but their necks gleamed in the sunlight and the sight stuck in my memory. two weeks later when the restaurant owner tried to get them to fly around to the pond into the sun for me they wouldn’t even budge from their pen. so this picture was painted from memory. Now i am embarking on a study of ducks.
I’m OK with the head on this one and appalled by the line of his back. It should be much flatter. I’ve got to be more deliberate when I am drawing. Getting attitude right is every thing in drawing ducks. Plumage is the next most important part and I doubt I’ll ever have the patience to do it well.
This close up shows a little bit of the fussy nature of painting head feathers.
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.
“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:
Three 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:
But 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.
My watercolor version of “Fairy Boats” on the spring lot pond. 14″x10″ Arches HP
An 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”)
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.
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!
Tomorrow i must pack. On Friday I leave for Monhegan Island, a wonderful Mecca for artists off the Maine coast. I came back from there last fall miraculously still in one piece and with a sketchbook of watercolors and drawings. This in spite of having totaled my car the day before I was to leave for the island. There were moments when the air below the cliffs drew me in but I painted them instead of giving in. This time I’ll have a body guard in the form of one very caring husband and my only concern is will I be able to paint at all? For my connection to that life force which gives happiness to endeavor waxes and wanes and often falters entirely. I’ll stay back from the edge.
I am blessed by having found three other artists who will be coming out with me. They and their spouses will share the cottage with us for the week. It should be fun. Particularly since one of the men has volunteered to be chief cook which removes a big concern of mine. Each couple or individual has their own bedroom. Now all we have to do is find a rhythm for using the bathrooms and other common spaces to meet every one’s needs. We’ll be 7 altogether. Best of all it looks as though we may get pretty decent weather. Let’s hope so! Watercolor in the rain isn’t much fun. And, I am planning to head out to those cliffs again and also into the woods or maybe the village itself. There is so much there to explore and paint to. Who knows what will ignite a fire?
I’m gathering what the four winds may scatter to live my life between then and now. Nothing-and Everything-matters. I am embracing the New Day and turning toward the morning. I want to find that confidence I lost and with it the happiness I know can be. There is a light within me. If I can find a way to embrace it with my heart i can let it shine out.
Perhaps if I really try I’ll be able to shut down my conscious mind and hear my truest voice. Most of all let me concentrate on painting and then painting some more.
Guard the Flame of Creativity that lights our path.
As I have been struggling with waves of depression over the last year and a half or more, I have come to realize how fragile our creative souls really are. It is hard enough to be creative in the normal chaos and distraction of living our lives; it becomes a challenge to find the will to even try when lost in depression that won’t lift.
The Christmas cards from 2014 and 2015 were a joy to paint
I’m hoping someday to even mount another show and that this year I may once again design a Christmas card for my friends as I did in 2014 and 2015. Last year I couldn’t even do a card design let alone mount a show. But, I sure am not giving up.
So guard the light of creativity and let yours shine. It lights the way for all of us and we are so grateful.
Painted from a tiny sketch scratched on the back of an envelope in the dark; here is Mahlers 2nd symphony as experienced in the Tanglewood shed this summer.
It was a moving experience and I can still hear the glory of it all. I see the the sound baffles as clouds of green and gold above a rapt audience. the choir silent in black and white rising as one to sing and the soloists flanking the conductor with perfect voices. Harps, timpani, bases, cellos, brass and woodwinds; one beautiful rich sound building to the next..
the chorus like one voice over 150 strong and the two soloists beyond compare. Andris Nelsons’ interpretation new but completely fitting and beautiful….A lovely evening. And one I’ll have to try painting again. But here is a first try.