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.
Here is the first fee booten painting which inspired me to give my walk a try even though i didn’t feel 100 percent. The woods are so beautiful.
And my walk today was marked by beauty in spite of finding myself unable to complete my normal loop. Part of the beauty was nature’s offering and the other the cheerful arrival of my husband to pick me up at the halfway point. The loop is only 3 and a half miles but today halfway was more than enough for my bad foot and leg. Besides i was missing my friend.
here are the Fairy Boats again in another painting. the sun is catching them. But they are beginning to sink.
I am working on the golden forest. Here are some photos from today.
It is the beech trees which are so glorious. But the oaks do pretty well too-
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”)
Late last night on our way home following the Memorial service for my father and mother which i had organized, some hidden obstruction material embedded in the exit ramp slashed both of my right tires. We were returning from what had transpired to be a moving and fulfilling day. I was set to resume my painting and try again to center myself having fulfilled my obligations to my siblings and family.
My car is my only independence. Once again I feel so punished. How does one get past this?
Turn around, away from the computer screen, count your blessings (we are all OK) and pick up the paint brush. I’ll try to post some studies of mergansers ASAP.
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”.
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.
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.
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.