The forest clearing is rather full of foxes these days.... We've been hearing them calling in the night - distress calls, young foxes barking, and intense screams. One especially active night, I saw foxes dashing this way and that throughout the evening while peering out to investigate a sound here and there. A young fox climbed up on top of the wood pile and was not far from the shed roof. I looked out in time to see it yowl and scramble down into the night. They have surely gotten my attention, and Pasha cat's as well. He has been meeting them while minding his own business in the driveway - the first time that happened I came out to the screams of the male fox. The fox and a VERY puffed up and pointy cat were a few feet away. Nobody made any contact, but the screams were frightening enough. Since then, Pasha seems to have met with a few more here in the clearing and off in the forest, I hear the screams and then Pasha appears looking slightly stressed. Yesterday, a young one and Pasha surprised each other in the garden, today they met on the path. So it seems they have claimed my garden as their territory, poor Pasha is doing his best to stay close to home and keep alert, but now that the young are out of the den, everyone is out and about all the time learning survival skills. Luckily Pasha is a big cat, and not interested in fighting, but afternoon catnaps in the garden are not quite as sound as usual, and I'm wondering how long this will last!
Fox after the first encounter with Pasha
Maybe I'll get a snooze in, before they're back!
Jumping into work after a bit of time away takes discipline. After moving all the tools out and cleaning and reorganizing the studio, it was time to begin. Where to begin was the question. I started with a series of drawings playing with bleeding. I have learned much from this practice over the years. I've always loved working with bleeding and did many such ink drawings before the knowledge of the technique ever became useful in my watercolors. Now I employ what I learned when painting trees in the landscape. I take a heavily laden brush and work it into a wet wash, the resulting bleed becomes trees and tree lines. ("Pines" and "Pines and Dark Sky" to the right are good examples of this) It doesn't always work, there is a delicate balance I must achieve between all the elements, too dry and its over... But today I could just play, explore and learn. Listened to Japanese Shakuachi flute music and frog sounds from the forest and out of the meditation came these...
Meanders and circles have been in my consciousness since I began
And in the garden, after the foxes departed and kitty was sleeping, I wandered around to see what was blooming - a lovely woodland wonder - the Jack in the Pulpit.