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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
I need to stay with waves and rocks, asters and goldenrod, dying spruce and moss.
I need to slow down and paint!
Stop the world! I want to get off!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
“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.
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.
-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.
And even better to do some more figure drawing at both ALNB and at G on G
While I have been blindly experimenting with various papers and drawing instruments more seasoned students of art are admonishing me to become systematic-fat chance!
However, I will try to limit my experimentation in the future.
I find I am gravitating toward expression through flowing contour lines and lines which describe movement ant tension.
When I do work in pencil it is with a very light touch.
Working in the company of many other artists one sees all kinds of approaches to the figure. Often modeling and working with shadow and light to create volume the other artists work mostly in pencil, charcoal or conte’. Or they may abstract the figure into geometric planes or focus exclusively one part of the figure. This is all good practice in which i need much much more!
I, however, find myself fascinated with ink and watercolor.
So much to learn!
I frequently go back to studies and work them up in more detail or create a setting. Time with the model is terribly limited.
Here is some of my work (unfinished) from this week.
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?”