Today my friend and I hit the HB trail for our tri-weekly morning walk. Finally after weeks of rain the weather was sunny and cool. This is a very special area with a micro climate that favors a vast array of spring ephemeral flowers. They had struggled into rapid bloom early in the season trying to survive the extreme drought which we were experiencing for the third year in a row in New England.
Now following weeks of rain everything has greened up beautifully and the water table is approaching normal levels. Only the hemlocks are gone due to the adelgid and one can hear a steady rain of chips from the canopy high overhead as the gypsy moth caterpillars defoliate the oaks. But, somehow nature always seems to spring back-don’t we all?
So although I promised myself only to post watercolors-here goes- I’m going to post photos from our walk this morning. It was so much fun to find colonies of the plants now doing well which although no longer in flower felt like old friends. Of course there were new flowers to identify too, and a few that I have yet to catch in flower. One tree, a giant forest Tulip, dropped a flower at my feet. I hope to paint that soon.
Windy weather is lovely. It freshens up the air, it’s excellent when you surf, a kite loves the wind and it’s brilliant when to dry your clothes.
I wanted to see the big lake, Furesøen in the fresh weather, and I was not disappointed, but my hairdresser might have been 🙂
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.
— Marc Chagall
(re-quoted from Jane Hannah’s blog)
My Artist has fled. And for the past several weeks i have given up chasing it. Instead I’ve been focusing on people and places. I am hopeful that with time i will heal. i know i need to paint and i continue to see in watercolors. For those of you who also do this you know what i mean, otherwise you probably would consider me crazy. Basically i look and see everything as though i were rendering it in watercolor as though it were a watercolor! Gradually i am also seeing my emotions in watercolor as well. This could get interesting if i am ever able to paint again. Now i don’t mean ply the brush; i mean paint as with baited breath. So i keep dabbling. See my plein-air blog; for the moment that’s all I have to show.
I’m spinning a new thread of hope, the old one having given way. Soon like the spider in the Navajo legend i’ll pull my world back together and be able to enjoy working with the many images that just now live only in my head. It just takes time. And, yes, as in the legend a full moon will help.
The swift flight of the blue jay in silhouette against the sun, coopers hawk, flicker each a different shape, the swinging flight of tree swallows and stealthy flight of the black billed coo coo (who yes, landed 15 feet from me and sang to me so I know that it was he) the flitting nervousness of veery, towhee, and oven bird in the under-story, the zig-zag of black and white warbler and jigging of yellow rump, yellow, and yellow throat warblers high in the tree tops, the swooping of nuthatch and tumbling of oriole, the flit of redstart and chestnut sided warblers, a bobbing sandpiper in the brook, and an eruption of Blue heron huge above our canoe, while two families of Canada geese smoothly shepherd their balls of fluff safely past us and the turtles slide into the water.
Ah well, you get the picture; just now I am not painting but simply observing and truly enjoying the journey. I am also working hard at learning the songs of the birds as well as learning to recognize their movement. Not having a legitimate set of binoculars or any kind of scope or fancy camera I have to stay sharp to participate on these birding walks. Of course I can always take snap shots of the birders themselves and do. Here are a few:
People watching is fascinating: after all I have loved painting them as well as birds so why not! Here are some I took of people in the Matisse exhibit at the MFA a couple of weeks ago. Look how the birders lean backwards and the museum goers are intently leaning forward as though somehow we might connect with the object of our interest.
Notice the predominate color of the museum -goers “feathers” too. It’s a strange world.
Depression can take a terrible tole on one’s life and on ones loved ones too. The last post i made included a painting of a nuthatch in our red-bud. I actually had begun this painting almost 2 years ago and was only recently able to return to it and finish it by painting in the tree branches. For over a year i have struggled to return to the intense happiness that painting used to bring. i don’t know yet where my story will end but i can say that it is so important to have people who care and believe in you. If you know of someone suffering from depression don’t give up on them.
For me a turning point surely occurred when I discovered this early photo of me on the breakfast table a few weeks ago.
It was snapped while I was out sketching on the hillside behind the trailer we used to live in up in Vermont. With the photo was just a little note in my husbands hand,”I’d like this person back.” It makes all the difference to know someone cares. He loves the artist in me, and knowing that is so important to me.
I am working on finding and reconstructing her. it may take a while but I’ll do my best. If I post less frequently its because I only want to post solid accomplishments: paintings i feel good about. In the mean time I continue to avidly read your posts and deeply appreciate your comments. Keep up the good camaraderie and enjoy your work! And, please don’t forget to look for mine rare though it may be!
I shall repeat this poem of Rumi’s from my last post. For me it speaks volumes.
Just now the “sparkle” dominating our home, Esperanza, are the red buds. They are in full and glorious bloom. The old one on the front lawn stretches most of the length of the porch now, its old branches supported at odd angels by posts placed there over the years to help it through the winters. The birds love it and fly back and forth to it from the feeders on the porch. In keeping with the advice in one of Rumi’s poems which i found in a recent post by Ancient Skies, i have chosen to paint it today along with one of our resident Nuthatches.
Forgive me for not being original. However, writing is truly hard work for me and here Charlie has said everything i, myself, would like to say or nearly so. i might add that working and reworking a motif remains important to me and part of what I do but otherwise this post pretty well sums up my day. I hope yours will be “Sparkly ” too.
(Angel in the dust)
Today’s prompt was sparkling and since I’ve doodlewashed sparkling drinks more times than I can count, I decided to look around for new inspiration. As I was looking at things in the kitchen, I realized that nearly everything has a sparkling quality to it, so my options for this one were pretty limitless. I spotted a metal colander that was definitely sparkling with reflections and light and then noticed the tomatoes sitting next to it also seemed to sparkle in their own tomato sort of way. Suddenly, the rather ordinary scene before me was transformed and seemed almost magical, waiting to be sketched. I often find myself staring at common objects around me, studying them, wondering how I might bring them to life on paper. Even without a pen or a brush in my hand, I’m mentally picturing the lines I might choose and the color I could combine to recreate that…