"Golden Mists", watercolor
The puddles from last month's rains have finally dried up, but our weather has been
swinging from hot to cold. Last night I lit a fire in the wood stove to take the chill
out, and awoke to warm sunshine in long, angular rays of forest morning light.
As most of the garden tasks are finished (the big spring projects, that is..) I finally
forced myself back into the studio to paint. It took a bit to find myself again... it
always does after a break but I seem to think I should be able to walk right in, pick
up a brush and have satisfactory images emerge effortlessly. I leave after the first
day back knowing for sure that this time I've totally lost it, never will I paint well
again. I could have easily flowed back into work if I hadn't decided to work on misty
forest paintings instead of the high ridge views I'd done last. But the forest called
to me as I had stored much visual inspiration from my wet spring walks.
"Woodland Mystery", watercolor
"Green Light", watercolor
It seems the mystery behind the red door must be revealed... as several folks
wondered what was hidden in there. Yes, it is my studio, warm and cozy in
winter, but not so inviting in warm weather when dragonflies dart by the open
door and Pasha cat comes in between wanderings to entice me to walk in the
forest with him. In winter, he cries at the door and comes in for some heat
and a nap. In summer, he just doesn't know why on earth I am sitting inside
a dark room with lights on....
Inside, my table is piled with the new work, just untaped from boards. Some are
now listed in my Etsy shop, and some will stay stranded in limbo, not quite making
My tools - If you've never bought good watercolor & brushes, you might not know
that the shot below represents probably close to a thousand dollars. Can you believe
that? I see one recently purchased brush that cost over $60, luckily, I got it half off.
One advantage of teaching is getting to know the folks at the student art-kit supply
store who let me know when good things are happening. As my work and technique
develop, I've learned what brushes will give me a desired effect, so finding this
large, flat, great quality brush that holds just the right amount of liquid was a find.
There's nothing more frustrating to me than not having the right tools for the job.
I remember a chalk board in my father's workshop from my childhood that had the
same thing written on it for years - "NEVER USE CHEAP VARNISH" - or was it brushes,
I can't quite remember, but I completely agree either way!
As I look around the studio, I see two paintings from years ago that seem related
to these new pieces - forest layers, dark tree silhouettes and mysterious light.
Resting quietly on a pile of painted stones are two small spiral drawings....
they whispered to me that they want to go live with two of you in appreciation
for all the inspiration, community, wonderful comments and reflections you give.
Way back in March, just before my trip to Florida, I noticed that I had almost one
hundred followers. I decided I would do a giveaway, but somehow March went by
and the milestone one hundredth mark was made and now it is June and there
are a few short of two hundred of you readers...! So, I say, it really IS time for
a giveaway!! (not to mention that I have now been the recipient of two
blog giveaways - one lovely print from Christina at A Mermaid in the Attic and
just now a cool autumn leaf from Barry over at Rustnstuff)
So if you would like to participate, please leave a comment on this
post by Monday and I will announce the winners next week.
Out in the garden today, the happily grinning frog perched on his stones
amongst the sweet woodruff and oregano caught my attention.
And the Jack-in-the-pulpit:
The little white geranium showed me she is
not really all white,
and just around the herb bed, a triplet of Irises.
Pasha cat can usually be found on his bench for afternoon naps. I spotted
him while photographing the queen of the garden, the Angelica,
who is just about to bloom!
On closer inspection of napping cat, I noticed that one eye was surely peeking at me.
After a series of change-of-position circlings and resettling, the angle of one rear paw didn't quite make sense to me.... (I figured out after looking at this photo again
thatwhat I THOUGHT was a rear paw is a front paw - that makes much more sense)
Later in the evening, when Pasha was tucked inside to meet his pre-dusk curfew,
I wandered down the road in the last moments of sunlight. The fern glades are
particularly enchanting right now, fresh green fronds all heading in the same
A lovely flash of sunset hit me straight on when I emerged from the forest. The
neighbor's little barn driveway sparkled with color.
I was reminded of this strange photo I took of the sky on June 1st. Maybe it
doesn't look strange, but it was a strange sky day. Intense thunderstorms turned
into deadly tornados that hit not twenty miles south of here. We had hail the size
of cumquats and high winds. I thought my windshield would break from the hail...
Its rare for us to have tornados. I've since learned that every twenty years or so
we get them, but this time they hit several cities and towns and did terrible
damage and three dead. Thanks to those of you who emailed to find out if I
was ok. The green-ish afternoon sky suddenly turned this pink-orange color,
then into lavender-pink. There was definitely a "spin" in the air.....