Friday, August 13, 2010

Wild August Garden

"Tree", ink, 2010

Fall colors are beginning to appear here in more
abundance than usual this time of year. 
Our drought has continued, over a month
now of no serious rain. An occasional sprinkle 
here and there, but not enough to keep even  
some well adapted native plants from wilting and 
yellowing in anticipation of dying back. 
The birch leaves are all turning yellow, 
much like the color in the above drawing. 

The small water bowl in my garden holds the most precious
resource for the birds as all the ponds and mossy pools have 
dried up in the surrounding forest. Mornings it is visited 
by robins, juncos, thrushes, blue-jays and chickadees, 
bringing their appreciation and songs. Swimming at the 
river is still a treat, though the low flow means one needs to 
be on the lookout for leeches. A long, undulating dark thing
I thought was a stick came after me on Tuesday, but turned 
out to be a blood-sucking leech thing I just avoided.... ugh! 

In the studio, I have had moments here and there to explore 
and keep ideas flowing. Still playing with bleeding, this time 
with branching systems and tree-like forms.

My garden is surely a late-summer garden. I love the 
abundance of spires and umbels and lacey wisps in the 
August garden. The once green teasels have turned 
brown, and the blue globe thistle dances with the 
tall, airy coreopsis. 

 Lack of water has challenged my little garden this summer, 
 I'm just keeping things alive, not wanting to use too much 
water. I had a moment of panic when my water ran out 
while watering the garden the other day, and began major 
conservation - dug a hole in the woods for an outhouse, 
quit showering and bought water for drinking. Luckily, 
the lack of water for a time was due to a momentary water 
pump glitch, and it seems there is still plenty of water in 
my well. It was an important reminder, however, to feel my 
gratitude for the abundant aquifers in these hills and to 
consider being a little more vigilant with conservation. 

a garden on the edge... dry, dusty earth...

brown-eyed susan

 The wild abundance I love in my August garden is 
luckily still present even with the drought as many 
native plants are blooming away with just a little 
assistance from me.  

Quan Yin welcoming visitors to the house. 

Shooting photos amongst queen anne's lace 
yesterday in the slight breeze... 

A peach and yellow petunia calling out to pollinators 
with delicate and sensual forms. 

Things going to seed, 
and flowers on my windowsill. 

A beautiful butterfly in the moss garden today....

 Pasha called me out yesterday for a walk in 
the unusually crunchy hemlock forest.  
Not one mosquito followed me....


Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Valerianna, I feel right at home here... everything is natural and beautiful and soulful and spiritual, and Loved... and even an encounter with a bear...
This reminds me so much of one I had years ago by my chicken coop...

I am very glad you visited me and I would like to follow you too.. Cheers!!

annell said...

All is still beautiful. But I know the anxious feeling that is often felt in drought. May you have an abundance of rain soon.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Beautiful post, Valerianna. And your new watercolours seem so serene and peaceful. I can understand your water worries. It's an ongoing issue for us here. We should still have a month of winter, but the signs of Spring are everywhere, it's another fine day today, and we've not had any decent rain for weeks. It will mean severe water restrictions again this summer. :(

steven said...

watercolours speak even more softly in an almost waterless world! steven

Valerianna said...

Gwen, welcome!

anell - thanks, there was a possibility of rain the last several afternoons and evenings, but still, nothing. I welcome rain wishes!!!

mermaid- it does seems as though strange weather patterns are happening all over the place. Hard to dispute climate change in my opinion. I do hope you get some good rains before summer. Luckily, we are heading into fall and cooler temperatures and hopefully the weather patterns will normalize...

steven -how about that, didn't consider the irony of painting with water in a drought! But then again, things could be a whole lot worse, I still can drive into town and buy bottles of water!

Julia said...

Your artwork and photography are enchanting.

Swan Artworks said...

Beautiful paintings... I love that bleeding technique you use. The first one almost has a chinese feel to it with the shapes and inks...

Hope you get some rain soon, we've not had much either up till now - have only had to cut the grass about three times all summer! (Although today I'm listening to the steady tap, tap of my broken gutter dripping onto my porch!)

Valerianna said...

Julia - thanks!

Carrie - yes, that first painting feels a bit like a cherry tree painting in a way... I grew up in a house full of Chinese and Japanese paintings, and do feel very influenced by them. Enjoy the rain!!

loveable_homebody said...

That bleeding effect is wonderful! And you must have a steady hand to have avoided blotting the rest of the page.

ruthie said...

Valerianna, i love the effect in your paintings, and the autumnal colours too. i am beggining to get a longing for autumn here. Beautiful photos as alwyas. Hope you get rain soon, we have had plenty here, and are hoping for some sun!

chicory cottage said...

hope ya'll get rain soon...we'd like to have a bit as well; already on voluntary water restrictions that probably won't lift until first decent rain or snowfall. am looking forward to Fall/Winter weather as i'm more of a dark-time/cold-weather person.

enjoyed your artwork and pictures.