Magic Moments-maybe Ephemeral

A Promise of spring?

Or a desperate race to survive?IMG_3263 (1024x648).jpgThe leaves blanketing the path rustled and crunched as I climbed along the hillside under a hot dry sky. Trees and bushes anxiously pushed their buds to open or stood still and silent panting in the searing heat of an 80 degree day, unusual for mid April.

In spite of flood warnings two days ago due to torrential rain, North West Connecticut is till officially in a severe drought and the Fire danger is listed as high. Climbing higher I left the vernal pools with their frantic chorus of peepers, chiming frogs, and clacking wood frogs to finally fill my water containers at a cascade of water pouring over and under the rocks. The clear cool water seemed in such a great hurry to leave the dry steep hillside. This hillside is unique in New England in having over 80 different ephemeral spring flowers along one short half mile of trail. The micro climate produced by a North East facing hillside forested in mixed hardwoods and hemlock and covered in shattered glacial rock with seasonal and intermittent streams has made a perfect home for these spring flowers. Only now with the hemlock dying out due to the adelgid infestations and poor snow cover with drought the ephemeral flowers seem to be struggling.

I found my favorite clump of round leaf hepatica and sat in the path to paint. The hot dry wind dried my watercolor wash before I even got it down. Tiny soft petals came out with hard edges and spots of dried paint. It was hard to paint freely or maintain any feel of freshness. The colors on my pallet skinned over and grew hard. I moved; tried some spring beauties and trout lilies (not blooming yet) added wake robins bursting upwards to unfurl their leafs and a froth of corn flower or Dutchman’s breeches. The woods were empty hot and silent. Even the birds had sought a cooler place. But one army of animals found me: ticks. When one crawled across my pallett I called it quits and headed home.

Singing the praises of having a deep well and a lovely new shower I took advantage of both head to toe. Tomorrow I’ll venture forth again. After all I loved being in the quiet woods ticks or no ticks. Perhaps shady brook will be a little kinder and my painting made easier.

IMG_3265 (1024x757).jpg

Angel in the dust

Holly

Magic Moments- i wonder

“I wonder.  If more of us painted, more of us drew, more of us tended our gardens, more of us wrote poems and stories, if more of us Created from the artist within….  wouldn’t  it all  be a much better world.

 

I look at the skies above

and wonder.”                                                                                          quoted from debiriley’s blog

IMG_3121 (768x1024).jpg
a painting by one of my favorite writers/illustrators Holling Clancy Holling. What a difference he made to me as a child.

 

The truth is there are artists all around us. We just need to pay attention.

Here in the grey snow covered and rain soaked hills of North Western Connecticut one doesn’t always expect much culturally but this weekend proved that there is hidden fire in these hills.

Hartt School of Music hosted the Northeast Horn symposium and offered three concerts to the public at large. What a treat for both my husband and me. Playing horn is definitely a thing of our past and while Jamie was first horn in all state it was only a minor part of my musical study but we both still truly love the horn. And to be privileged to talk with and listen to these musicians in intimate surroundings  was one of those incredible experiences to treasure-to be immersed in the nuances of the sound and repertoire of French horn for a weekend of three concerts for less than the cost of a bus ticket to Boston-wow!

Pieces included works by Gounod, Beethoven, Holst, Rapoport, Dukas. Glazunov, and others including a beautiful piece by James Naigus for 9 horns just released called Harvest Lights. Imagine towering white pines against the blue sky and golden sun filtering through the woods-well that’s where my mind took me when I closed my eyes. Horn is so awesome and to hear the difference of sound demonstrated between Viennese horns, Bruckner horns (James Summerville played on one of the original 1887 horns only recently replaced by the BSO by a new set. It was clear, sweet –took me back to my childhood in Symphony Hall) and classical and bright modern double versus velvety deep Wagnerian Oh gee!

And so we got to listen to Erik Ralske, Principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera and James Sommerville, Principal horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra up close and personal.

In addition the programs included other fine horn players including principals of Hartford and New Haven symphony orchestras ,Professors from Yale and Hartt and more as well as an evening with the US Coast guard Band featuring pieces with french horn.-Awesome.

IMG_3123 (1024x742).jpg
9×12 canson sketch book 170326

 

Well I did pick up the paint brush but only briefly. However, now when I close my eyes I see golden horns and when I listen to recordings I can sometimes identify the type of horn being played. It’s like pigments and colors in watercolor only overtones and sonority/color in music.

IMG_3117 (1024x718).jpg

i think a still life or figure study with a french horn is my next challenge if only i can get one decent wave!!

Holly

(angel in the dust wishing she could share the beauty all around her with you)

Magic Moments- suspended#2

Abstract spring trees: pictures and poem by me. Inspiration from Salal Studio.

IMG_3099 (1024x780).jpg
spring poplars

9×12 fluid cold press/Prussian blue, new gamboge, vermillian, sepia scraped, brushed, and lifted.

IMG_3101 (1017x1024).jpg
Version #1 6×6 cold press

Beyond Reach

Mindless mists of misery blot out all thought

Unyielding, soft, insistent, absolute-

Rain-slick boughs bend beyond control

Sending silver sleeves to stain the forest floor.

And up the glistening trunks a sinister

Gleam lights the gloom then quenches

A last flicker of Hope     

                                                                                              Holly Hall

IMG_3104 (1009x1024).jpg
Beyond Reach

Holly

Magic Moments-Take Work

Darn this is hard.

IMG_3044 (1024x492).jpg

I have been told “that if you really want something; you can make it happen.” Well maybe and maybe not yet, if ever. I know what I want but I don’t have the skill to paint it. So I will share these studies with you just so you may see that I am working, not because I am satisfied with where I have gotten to.

IMG_3046 (1024x740).jpg

I do have to come up with something by the end of the week one way or another. Unfortunately I cannot take the cavalier approach of blowing this one off. The deadline is 5PM Sunday: 3 pieces matted and framed ready for hanging. The poems are already submitted and in the catalogue.

IMG_3049 (768x1024).jpgThis one may have to do bumpy horizon line and all. There are parts of it I’m happy with.

 

IMG_1714 - Copy (1024x751).jpgThis one also has a large version which works OK. I just haven’t got it flattend yet to photograph.

? Maybe I should present myself-rope around neck.

 

Angel in the dust