Listen to the frog chorus. Watch the red wing fan his tail and tilt sideways when he sings while the grackle stretches straight forward and lifts both wings and tail. The tree swallows swirl like mini fighter pilots and the buffle head ducks dip and disappear slick as submarines. Above the dirt road the first Mourning cloaks emerge to float softly in the warm April sun. But If You So Much As Dare To Speak…
The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. When the sun is out and the wind is still, You’re one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, a cloud come over the sunlit arch, And wind comes off a frozen peak, And you’re two months back in the middle of March.
Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 re-blogged from Hanna’s walk
(There in Denmark the cherry trees are already out. It will be awhile before that happens here. Next week we could get a snowstorm. It’s happened before.)
But today was so warm i sketched outside at the Hurley building in short sleeves.
( see blog post https://litchfieldhillspleinairsketchersandpainters.wordpress.com)
This morning i also sketched and yesterday after church as well. I think that that painting is still in the car so here are a few photos from my Sunday walk. Can you guess where they were taken? Tomorrow JL and i will go up Shady Brook. Even with the drought our corner of the world is full of running water and bird song.
blueberries in bud.
This one begs to be painted.
A soft spot to sit? And i did and sketched the boardwalk and beaver dam beyond. -A nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Today I took many of my paintings from last year to the newly formed Farmington River Artists Guild in the Hurley building to see if they might find buyers and new homes; A sad moment for me as they were painted under sunnier skies but it’s time to move on. Perhaps the new plein-air group will take hold and keep me focused. Check out their schedule on: https://litchfieldhillspleinairsketchersandpainters.wordpress.com
I ‘m not sure what is next-carry on i guess. So…here is a poem for you and some recent photographs to enjoy. Take care and find joy in the new day.Magic Moments Pass Us By
I think my friends learn to accept my idiosyncrasies such as today when I lay down on the stiffly frozen grass to photograph the ice and then just stayed there admiring the trees. Actually the grass was comfortable. It worked like coiled bed springs trapping air so the ground did not feel a bit cold even though the air temperature was barely above the single digits Fahrenheit.
We stayed for quite a long time listening to the ice which besides reflecting the trees in its usual beautiful milky way was also “talking”; it chortled and burped and gurgled. Once it even gave off a series of explosions sounding like a fourth of July fireworks. I suppose it was expanding and responding to the warmth as the sun gradually rose above the trees. But, I don’t really know. My friend said it sounded like the mud baths at Yellowstone National Park.
Often when I experience something beautiful or fascinating I am aware of a deep loss. Only today an idea clicked: in my sensation of loss the one missing becomes present and is, for that moment, here with me, a comforting feeling. And so “up” gets very soft and full of memories:
Home from our walk i worked on painting number two of the ocean, then headed into class where I sketched people at yoga practice-a great place to do figure drawing if you keep it simple and quick. The challenge for this week is to sketch or draw a 100 people by the end of the week.
I am about to give up. Word press has decided to edit the length of my post. these photos are from the same walk taken today and should follow the first set of hoarfrost in the previous post-They show snow everywhere after a blizzard yesterday that followed two warm days when the world turned rose and gold (actually on that day the only camera i took were my eyes so you will have to imagine the lichen and red osier dogwood now covered in white.
The original “depth beneath the sparkle” was written just one year ago and now the sparkle is gone but the river still runs deep. Hope dies hard and life turns toward the New Day waiting for the sun to light the water with laughing brilliance in celebration of creative and enduring friendship.
And so in celebration of ‘YES’ (a New Years resolution to sketch every day), I did today’s sketch, a tiny study looking up the river. This could help toward a larger watercolor soon. There were snow flurries so I painted at my steering wheel rather than down by the river as we did last year.
And I’ll include some photos, one along the park road looking south-
A friend with whom I had been working in ceramics but who knew my love of watercolor recently loaned me “Sketching in Nature” by Cathy Johnson. One of the suggestions in Cathy’s book is to do (attempt!) quick sketches from the car while riding as a passenger.
Wanting to try this I asked my husband to drive the leg from Burlington to White River on our way home from Vermont today. Here are a few of the ones I tried.
I had my point and shoot camera with me but left it firmly in my bag and took out a little spiral 5.5 x 8.5 canson sketch book and an Ebony design pencil.
Sketching from the car on the highway is fun, and a wicked challenge, because in a wink what you saw is gone.
Add to that the magnificent and constantly changing weather over the mountains (we had snow showers all afternoon) and …
I’ve a long way to go to learn to abstract and simplify my compositions and a longer way to go to gain a bit of confidence and skill at sketching. Still I’m done with point and shoot at least when i don’t have to be at the wheel!
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.
Angel in the dust
PS i am working on w/c sketches of guess what-ROADS! the ones in the country are lovely.
Riding hard in the saddle there is no time to post or paint!.
A poor pun indeed yet true! This weekend has been awfully full; Both Friday and Saturday nights had opening receptions to attend. These are grand chances to connect with other artists and patrons but they are time consuming and exhausting.
Then on Saturday after I got back from yoga class Jamie and I took the canoe out. On Sunday I drove up and back to Boston to visit my mother. And next weekend promises to be busy as well; we will be taking another canoe up to Vermont for my son’s family to use.
I will at least get a photo or two posted. What I really want to do is paint some images of the quality of the light inside the First Parish where I took my Mother to church on Sunday. It was a beautiful diffusion of all the glowing fall color that I have been privileged to see along the roads and on the banks of the pond where we finally found some quiet water to paddle in and sketch on. (do you recognize it?-thank you, R for finding it for me) Life is good but time passes too quickly.