Somehow February has vanished before it even properly began. i painted a full sheet and ditched it. Painted little sketches and hid them. Didn’t paint and felt horrible. i have done quite a bit of net working and some painting with under glazes on ceramic tiles. Eventually those will be fired and might be posted here. On paper i really only have this birch tree: painted on a half sheet of Arches hot press
and these sparrows in the witch hazel painted on Arches hot press 11″x14″
i also added a background to this mallard and diddled his eye…
The white throat sparrows where the most fun. And, I also enjoyed doing the sky for the birches. i did botanical studies for the witch hazel although i never took a photograph of them.It’s not much to show for 10 days. I suppose i might legitimately include the dozen or more tiles of i’ve done but who knows when those will be fired. Mostly I spent time networking with other people. While i did sell enough art to pay my rent this month I’m feeling the “price” of doing business is too high. I’d rather just wander around looking, sketching, and painting –
and picking up ideas for more pictures like these scenes in Collinsville.
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!
Somehow my day escaped without any art work happening unless one can count hanging pictures and touching up trim and floor in the studio with new paint.
Anyway here is a duck i painted on Tuesday. On Wednesday I formed more hand cast ceramic tiles but didn’t bother to photograph those. My life continues limping along in a rather fractured manner and I keep hoping things will settle into place soon. It’s critical to keep working. I am looking forward to peaceful productivity after this weekend and the Opening for my New Studio is over.
the duck on my desk in front of one of the paintings in the studio.
A diversion Wednesday morning at 6:48 as the sun throws its shadow on the moon setting over the West meadow just before dawn.
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”)
I needed her voice this morning. Thank you, New Day.
Now i finally can move forward again having gotten this little bird from one of the twitcher’s off my desk.
Even as i posted this i saw a problem with my aerial perspective and had to make yet another change. These things are too touchy! i am not going to photograph it again!
Here are some photos of Storm King as promised. The place is vast and my back and foot were dead by the time we got the bus home. However, like my visit to Innisfree this destination had been on my bucket list for a long time and I am thrilled to have had the experience of being there.
It is amazing to me how many fascinating places there are all with a days visit of home. Yes, that includes my own yard. The part I’m trying to overcome is my sadness at having to do it with only what i can carry inside. i keep trying to turn that into joy and failing.
So again, thank you, Enya for some much needed songs:
“If you really want to”/ “You Don’t need a reason” and-“If i could be where you are”.
Angel in the dust
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.
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:
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”
Tomorrow I’ll post some more pictures and maybe a bit on Storm King and a sketch or two.
Except for the occasional scream of a blue jay, the woods and edges of the marsh were quiet today. 24 gregarious but quiet birders walked the paths under warm grey skies. There were no unusual birds sighted; only some white throat sparrows, a chipping sparrow, a thrush or two, geese, crows and a pair of ring neck ducks. i found solace in painting a little sketch of one of the several ponds. It’s amazing how much painting helps one to feel at peace..
I’d forgotten to replace the flash card in my camera and anyway the battery was low. But, Painting was better than taking photos. Birders walk very slowly and i travel fast so it was no problem rejoining the group when i finally finished painting.
Angel in the dust
-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.
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!
(angel in the dust)
Thunderstorms and sketch of the bend in the river at Satan’s Kingdom.
Traffic on the highway bridge above me lends a surreal feeling to an already surreal day. All around me people i love are hurting and i can’t help them. I don dark framed new glasses, and strappy platform shoes I bought this afternoon on impulse. I think I’m losing my mind or just reacting to the reality of its loss. Who the ___ am I and why am i alive? I don’t have any answers just heartache and unanswered questions, a CD, and a bottle of Jack Daniels. The music and songs deepen the anguish in my heart. An evening with friends last night seems a light year past. Plans for tomorrow so irrelevant. Nothing soothes. “Sometimes it seems this whole life ain’t nothing but a long Good bye, nothing but a long Good bye”…. Odd I’d like to dance a polka right now. i often want to dance and have no one to dance with….Maybe a brush can dance?
I guess it’s time to try painting those foolish lilies again. Golden in the light they’re a symbol of the beauty of this world we are all so lucky to share.
“Didn’t nobody teach you there’s a time and place for every thing? Didn’t nobody teach you here’s a method to this madness, my Dear? Didn’t nobody tell you? Didn’t nobody teach you?”
Angel in the dust
There is so little time and so much to do. But i mustn’t fret over all I’ve missed for now the sun is giving warmth and i am gaining faith in each day bringing a new day that can be filled with hope. And with hope comes life, and joy, and a willingness to take risks. Next week I’ll be out at the Isles of Shoals (painting of course) and then up to Vermont and Montreal. I ‘m pretty disgusted with my work. There’s a stack of quarter sheet paintings from the last week and a half and they would make great kindling. Still i believe in my New Day and there will be a tomorrow.
So yesterday i tried to paint the little guest cottage. It was pretty hot even with the breeze off the West Meadow-
And today my drive home up the lane felt like entering a stage so i painted this.
There is so much green and gold. Just this evening while studying the routes into Montreal on Google i looked up and was transported by the golds and greens in the treetops beyond the North lawn back-lit by the setting sun. I really want to paint that but I’ve got to pack and get some sleep too.