Magic Moments-Thoughts on watercolour

I spent the afternoon matting and framing some work for a couple of local shows. This is not my favorite activity! I’d much rather be sketching or painting or just outside walking or gardening. I cut my own mats but have to buy frames so i frequently recycle them.

Here is a half sheet painting of the river from last year that had to give up its frame to make room for new work.

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West Branch-Looking down river

Thoughts on Watercolour

A self portrait

While its transparency allows layers of veiled meaning, it is mercurial and hard to control. Extremely sensitive to atmosphere and weather, watercolour is temperamental being easily blotted out, stained by tears, or even washed away. And yet it is responsive and fluid, and can be even, on occasion, dry and precise.

Colours can be bright as jewels shimmering with reflected light or muddy as a turbid river in turmoil of dark despair. At times the colours present in shapes with edges hard as rock and at others with edges so soft as to fade away to nothing.

Watercolour doesn’t lie or hide its meaning. It can’t. Each brush stroke and flood of water is revealed as it carries pigment across the paper. And, when the brushstrokes become free to dance, it sings with ecstasy and confidence. Given more deliberate control it becomes amazingly precise conveying detail and form. But when confidence is lost the overworking of a surface says it all. Meaning, form, and line are buried in mud.

There is freshness in a confidently painted watercolour that becomes memorable. This doesn’t mean that thoughtful editing and reworking won’t ever be in order. Sometimes that is needed and helps. Only that the more directly the work springs from the heart the more effective it will be.

And We; we are watercolour within, waiting only for the Muse that can help the brush to dance with joy and confidence lifting our song on unfurled wings across the empty page.

Angel in the dust

Magic Moments-Moon Rise

and a poem from Rumi’s little Book of Life

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Put your thoughts to sleep

Let them not cast a shadow

Over the moon of your heart

Drown them in the sea of love.

While working in the main garden cutting down the dead stalks of Peonies and Lingularia and planting a few remaining daffodil bulbs I was given a moment of magic as the sun set red-orange behind me across the West Meadow and the moon rose to the east behind the pines and old maples:

Angel in the dust

Magic Moments- what makes them happen?

Almost November now. Listening to Reba’s top 30.

Too many of these songs are mine in content and spirit. Sometimes even the words are exactly right on target; ouch!

Trying to untangle my heart from my work knowing they both define who I am and realizing I can’t let one being broken also break the other nor, being the basically optimistic and happy creature that I am, can I built my art on unhappiness and sorrow although historically many artists have. Somewhere out there the sun will shine again. And even if it’s only a one word comment such as, “beautiful”, that will give me a magic moment.

 

And, yes, I am plying the paint brush only there is no magic just now and I am unable to share mud with my dear readers. They deserve better.

 

 

“You came along One Promise too late”

try or own the CD

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=ush-mailn_02&hsimp=yhs-att_001&hspart=att&p=reba+onepromise+too+late#id=2&vid=ade3bf7ffec7646fc57138edd2503cca&action=c

 

Angel in the dust

Magic Moments-come with connection

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I would never have dreamt of going to a reunion let alone a High School one, however, when this 50th plus 1 year reunion came up on the same day and in the same town for which I had already made plans to visit my Mother I decided to chance going to it.

I traveled alone and after a good visit with my Mother attended the gathering.

I went, of course, with my owm in spirit at least, and had a wonderful time for I listened more than talked, stuck to water and ice for refreshment, and focused primarily on getting to know the women.

My classmates and I (at least those who came) are a pretty neat group of  interesting people. I hope many of them will take the time, as I will, to reach out and affirm the connections we made or remade this afternoon. As we shared stories I did discover that staying married for almost 50 years made one decidedly unusual although I assured others that one could view that achievement as problematical even if highly honorable.

On the long drive home I had the pleasure of listening to a lovely harp concerto by Ditterdorf and the tone poem The Moldau  (‘Vltava” in Czech) from Smetanas series Ma Vlast thanks to the superb sound system my loving husband got with the car he chose for me. And I gave thanks to mp for helping me learn the value of spending quality time in connection with other people especially with my mother. And, most importantly, I drove very attentively.

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Angel in the dust

PS i am working on w/c sketches of guess what-ROADS! the ones in the country are lovely.

Magic Moments -for October 12, 13, 14

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

― Antonine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Love and Understanding support creativity, that essential human activity. And a small dose of that can unleash a flood of joyful activity on my part. In gratitude i will post the following right now and edit it tomorrow.

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green ware hand built pieces from Wednesday and today, Friday:

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a sketch for sibyl from Wednesday

and a sketch of traveling home yesterday:

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three figure drawings from Thursday night:

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short poems in the rough from today, Friday.

Morning walk

Ash leaflets lie

Zigzag on the pavement

Purple up-gold down

Pasted by the rain

Message

Hands flying, happy chit-chat, dancing feet

A mind wreathed in smiles

 Remembering three hidden words;

 One line of worry crosses my face.

Pieta’

Scrutinized, at risk of going down in flames

Bone aching numbness stretched taut

Cradled in dreams

 Opening Night

Yo Yo Ma and Dvorak

Accompany the purr of my diesel

What color would paint the sky?

The dark shadows beneath the trees?

A pale disk of beaten gold hangs

Suspended in a sea of deepening azure

Anchored by scarlet and flaming golden hills.

Now a bright rectangle of light

marks the gallery door.

Inside talk and wine spill mindless of the night.

Artists pin colored ribbons on empty images.

Stomachs and egos are stoked and stroked.

I dream alone

Marked by the moon and the cello.

 Angel in the dust

Magic Moments-On Inspiration

Inspiration for painting comes from many sources-

  • First Nature-

The first and most obvious for me is our natural world. I am captivated by the subtle play of ambient light on objects both inside and out of doors. I love landscapes and gardens, flowers and birds. I have also become fascinated by the human figure and the stories I see in faces. (Now can I ever live long enough build the skill to do portraits?… Has anyone yet discovered the fountain of youth?!!!)

  • Then there is music-

Outside or when working on location the environment itself provides the background noise or music. I love painting near moving water or among trees for that reason. In the studio I often play Reba’s #1s, her 30 best hits. I like the steady beat. Since I now know the lyrics pretty much by heart I don’t have to be distracted by trying to listen too acutely. In a similar fashion collections of Enya’s best provide the right kind of constant beat for yoga practice, something which has become essential for me. Music is my energy source; it can be guitar, hammered dulcimer, country and western, early renaissance, baroque, or whatever WMNR comes up with. However, I do find that classical-romantic music, that from Beethoven on, can be distracting as it has too much to say of its own.

  • And the work of other artists provides so much inspiration-

In my quest to use watercolor more sympathetically a contemporary water-colorist has become one of my inspirational mentors. See his work on:

https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.co

I have favorite painters, John Singer Sargent, Turner, and Corot  to name only a few of many, and Photographers, and poets including Rubert Brooke, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Frost, Celia Thaxter, and many more. Movies are also a source of thought and sometimes inspiration. “North by Northwest” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” my most recent movie picks, are still reverberating in my mind. I feel that I know these people and some of them very well or too well indeed. They may end up in a painting. I would love to paint to/for poems and someday even to classical music.

  • And then there are loved ones and friends-

There is so much to do and so much to look forward to when inspiration comes. I have my “New Day” to Thank for helping me move toward these goals. One must hang onto that golden thread of hope, practice change, and stand up for what matters. The world is a beautiful if challenging place. As the poet, May Sarton, is quoted to have said: “Yes. (I am writing again) Because I have a Muse again…Poetry (read Painting) is a gift; you can’t make it on will…. It doesn’t matter if I go to bed with her or not.”  Sarton then continued, as I also  would; “with me it’s the Muse who causes poetry (and painting) by focusing the world. Focusing the world-Yes! That is what occurs for me. So thank you, my dear Muse. Please stay with me. You help me see and feel the world with greater intensity and in more depth than ever before. It is a gift from heaven.

Angel in the dust