Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer in the Studio and Stalking Chipmunks



I wandered around the garden with my camera a bit today, realizing that 
was speaking to you. So it seemed that I might need to write a post, as 
the many stories of my days are piling up and some are too old to want to tell here. 
Its been a very full month. I can say with confidence that I was more social these 
few weeks than during the years I spent dreaming and manifesting the new 
studio. Gatherings, my dear friend Katja's wedding, the Daughters of the Earth Gathering, and genrally making point to see friends filled me up while 
the heat, humidity and mold spores flattened me. I even found time to 
work in the studio where I explored the continuing theme of light and branching 
in the forest. I worked with a bit more layering of branching over the atmospheric 
washes and bleeding this time which I especially like in the top drawing. 



Full days in the studio began with writing in my journal, sinking into the space 
and listening to the sounds of the forest. Often I shift into drawing spirals. I 
now have a sketchbook dedicated to them, and recently words have been 
spilling out onto the bottom of the page. 



The words above are:

Listening to the wind today....
So many stories float by in the infinite. 
I am called to presence
watching the dance of tall grasses.  




Here the words are: 

It can't be long, can it be? 
Until hearts are shattered into a million pieces 
and the shining 
can begin. 

( I wonder about the punctuation here, but left it as that is how I wrote it)


I framed two of the drawings and hung them. They are some of the
first things I have committed to hanging on the pristine walls. 


Pasha has figured out how to come in through the bug screens,
and must check in throughout the day on breaks from stalking chipmunks
nearby.  Stalking is an exhausting pursuit, he tells me, and short naps on the 
studio chair are needed to keep going. 


A dear student, Sarah Pollock, sent me a sample of some of the 
ecodyeing she has been continuing with after I introduced her 
to all of you amazing fiber folks out there. She learned so 
much from all of you and especially India Flint, of course, 
who inspired her to no end! Below is her cloth which is 
now hanging in the studio... I know only that that one 
wonderful stripe is a rusty pipe. I think it relates quite well 
to the forest theme here!


With more expansiveness to my days recently, I decided to finally 
re-organize my upstairs, and especially my bedroom. I'm not sure 
how it happend that I hadn't completely settled in there even though 
I moved here in 2003. I found a wonderful old, wicker rocking chair on 
Craigs List - an online listing of all kinds of stuff for sale, trade or sometimes even 
for free! The rocker wasn't free, but it was a very good bargain at 
$40. Better still, I love it and so does Pasha. 


I framed a couple of older forest drawings and hung them, 



Found a table, finished it and now have a nice place at 
the foot of my bed for important things like sticks and stones.
 I think I am close to a decision about wall color - a light ochre...  


 My constant companion has been very relieved that my travels 
of late last only a few days. He very much enjoys when Boo or Kessie come 
to visit him while I'm away, but he would much rather visit outside than 
in. I'm starting to get the message, too, that he isn't always fond 
of the camera pointing at him.  


Lastly, I've been watching the slow transformation of a lovely 
spider web on a downstairs window. I can't help notice the 
relationship to my spiral drawings. The last image is quite 
a magical doorway to travel through, I think....



52 comments:

Nikiah said...

Reading your blog always makes me feel so peaceful! Your aesthetic for the simple and yet rich and tasteful items you choose for your space makes me sigh with happiness and inspiration, for I am a a clutter bug and fill my space with everything that appeals to my eye.
This can become tiring which is why I enjoy your photos and artistic process!
Thank you and Blessings

ArtPropelled said...

Your forest paintings look beautiful hanging throughout your home. Light ochre sounds right for you with all your earthy gatherings. I have 3 rooms, each in a different shade of ochre. As Nikiah commented .... your blog posts makes me feel peaceful and connected with nature. I found a quote by John Muir a few days ago and thought of you.
"A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease."

gz said...

The tree drawings are good- it is always surprising how mounting, framing and hanging art can completely transform it too.

I used to have a cat who loathed squirrels and would chase then anywhere...but would ignore rats and mice!!

Valerianna said...

Ahhh.... but you haven't seen the healing room or downstairs at my altar (its visible sort of around Pasha in that photo of him above)... I have little sacred things everywhere! I'll post a photo or two of the healing room sometime so as not to let you think I'm clutter-free! I am about to clean and clear it out... so we'll see if it ends up less full.

Valerianna said...

Hi Robyn - what a lovely quote... thanks! And about the wall color, I might have landed on the name, but now I need to find an actual paint color that matches my idea of what light ochre is. Maybe its because I am a painter, but I have a really hard time finding the actual color I want! Wish we could trade color names, but I imagine you have very different paint manufactueres over your way!

Valerianna said...

I really love the forest drawings in my bedroom in thick, dark wood frames. But these are also without mats and I like that, too. They aren't quite archival that way, oh well. And it is always so interesting how different work is when presented in frames.

Funny story of Pasha and hunting, he loves rodents of all kinds - mice, voles, shrews, chipmunks, but he almost never pays attention to birds. Sometimes in winter he'll be under the bird feeder on a pile of snow that is so high he's only feet from the feeder. Birds are sailing in sailing out with no mind to him because he's completely transfixed at the ground and whatever rodent activity there MIGHT be under there. He completely ignores the very available prey right over his head for the sometimes detectable sound of a rodent tunelling for seeds!

Kimberly Wachtel said...

It was nice to visit you here this morning. Sounds like you've settled into some nice routines this summer. I love your new paintings and spirals and recognize the frames you put them in :-)! Looks great. Happy creating.

susan christensen said...

V - layering of branching over the atmospheric
washes and bleeding - very very effective! that last photo: MAGIC is afoot. Hello to Pasha, sus and ww

Sandra Dunn said...

You have been busy! oh, your posts are like retreats,,, :)
Your studio and other rooms are warm, serene and beautiful. Love your arrangement of artwork! The branching forest trees are amazing, V! This was a beautiful post and Pasha,,, I totally recognize that look, I get it from Zody - it's called the stink-eye! ;)
Love and blessings to you!

Valerianna said...

Hi Kim - great day to work in the studio... hope Kazmir gives you a moment to yourself!

Valerianna said...

thanks, Sus.. and hello to ww!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Sandra.. and I like that "stink-eye", ha! I always KNEW it must have a name...

Penny Berens said...

Oh, the forest drawings, so gorgeous. And how I love the spirals. I could do with a Pasha cat right now...the chippies and squirrels and chewed their way under the garage door and through two layers of hard plastic containers into the bird food! They are welcome to it; but I would rather they waited until I served it up!

Tammie Lee said...

your world and life look and sound wonderful
the top art... looks like a wonderful reflection in water
they look awesome framed
wishing you lovely summer days

Velma said...

i like the little changes in the work you've shown, the spirals with words. and then i also like the final web, beaded with color and light! beautiful.

summertime dreams said...

Your home just looks so darn homey. I just want to sink right in and absorb it all with a book and a cup of tea in hand. Interesting branches - I like picture 3 the best.

stregata said...

I absolutely love the layered drawings of the trees and branches... sigh! Looks like life is good. That is as it should be.

Bella said...

What an eye you have for catching beauty. The spider-webs and tree circles lend this post a peaceful feel. (I love thise wonderful views you have from your windows)!

Barry said...

VA- such a packed post - so many images and thoughts to ponder and be inspired by - I was drawn to your spirals and your words - such a creative thing to pause and express inspired by the image you created. Thanks. Go well. B

Valerianna said...

Yikes! Those are some determined critters!! The bears do that kind of thing sometimes around here - well, they don't chew through things, they just bust in through screen doors and such... like big plows.

Valerianna said...

Hadn't thought to look at that top image as a reflection, interesting!

Valerianna said...

I'm smitten with that web image... really feels magical with those beaded light thingies. I think they are either dew drops refracting or dust!

Valerianna said...

Come on over... its been a little short on company of late. I'll put the tea kettle on.

Valerianna said...

Hi Stregata - thanks!

Valerianna said...

Hi Bella - its been a peaceful few weeks... glad that translated. Well around here anyway, not so much at all the events I've been to!

Valerianna said...

Hi Barry - its interesting with those spirals and words... cause I'm not sure that the words are inpsired by the image, and sometimes I find myself wondering if that's ok. I know, strange thing to question, but I have been. Of course, the other me just keeps doing it, so that's how it is.

Mo Crow said...

what a beautiful sharing of your space V, the spiral life the spider webs the Pasha cat & the paintings... your first painting is so perfect, love the gentle peace and sense of space in all your work
namaste

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Mo Crow... the spider web keeps morphing into wonderful patterns.. I want to clean the window, but can't bear to lose the web!

Lynn said...

So beautiful and so perfect. You weave such magic, Valerianna!
Love the feel you've got in your new works.
(Light ochre sounds great for the walls - a lovely, warm glow. Choosing wall colour is so much fun, but it can be a royal pain getting just the right one!)

Valerianna said...

Yup...choosing paint, a royal pain... the reason why I've waited sooo long to find a wall color! I've had many ideas, I do think I've landed, though. Now I just need to find the one... wish me luck! I think it might be harder for a painter? I just want to mix on the wall until I've got the color I want, just like on a panel. Oh well. Gotta get brave and DO IT!

the wild magnolia said...

Nature reaches deep in our hearts and spirit and does a good work.

Your art is special. Thank you, for sharing.

Tib said...

I LOVE the spiderwebs photos, each like a little cosmos or galaxy. And I love how the spirals with the brown paint atop them look like wasp's nests or caves, mysterious and evocative. And I really, really love the photos of your studio and home...just lovely and peaceful...it looks like the way sandalwood smells, or like a piece of amber with light coming through. If that makes sense. :) Thank you for sharing it all!

acornmoon said...

Your work space and home look so tranquil and meditative. The tree paintings are beautiful, I love the way you have allowed the paint to run free and yet controlled the composition. I was about to say how much the web reminded me of your spirals but you said it first!

jude said...

such peace here.

Valerianna said...

Thanks for the appreciation.... and, yes, nature and spirit heal.

Valerianna said...

Well I love both sandalwood and amber with light coming through, so if that's what my home is like, then great.... maybe you are smelling the incense I light daily with sandalwood in it and see the amber I wear daily!!

Valerianna said...

I love working on that balance of control and bleeding. I think I'm starting to get to know how to use it in a variety of ways....

Valerianna said...

August is like that.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Love your framed work.. it suits your environment so well.. kitty makes it feel like home too.

Medieval Muse said...

I think a few others used the word "tranquil" and that is what first filled my mind when "walking" down the page with my scrolling button. Love your new paintings and the quiet simplicity of them hanging on the walls. Pasha is gorgeous as ever!

Beautiful post!

Victoria said...

Super gorgeous blog..it has been wonderful visiting your magical realm here! your art is stunning and deeply beautiful and poetic..and carries such a meditative essence..absolutely wonderful!
Victoria

Valerianna said...

Hi Gwen - kitties bring something important to home for me! I like those frames, too...wish I could find them large enough for my bigger work, I like how rustic yet elegant they are!

Valerianna said...

Pasha milks it! Well, not on purppose, he just knows how to pull at my heart strings!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Victoria! Glad you stopped by...

yvette said...

sigh...love you and Pasha

Valerianna said...

Hi Yvette - sweet message today, I needed that! Blessings and love back to you.

layers said...

your art work is so connected and bound by nature.

Donna Iona Drozda said...

You have created such a magnificently soothing worldview...it's an honor to visit and spiral into the beauty.

dori said...

very interesting tree-watercolors! Dearest cat! Beautiful rooms!

Valerianna said...

"bound by nature"... like that!

Valerianna said...

Hi Donna - thanks, what a lovely reflection for my day!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Dori!