Sunday, March 24, 2013

Deeper Into the Mystery...

"Winter Mists", watercolor,  22 x 30", VClaff 2013
Tucked into my little studio, snowstorms howling outside and 
Pasha sleeping by the stove, the forest whispers its secrets to me. 
The new paintings feel like the integration of many things - things 
I can articulate, and things I cannot. For the first time in many 
years, each painting I make teaches me as well as deepens 
the mystery. Each new piece is a threshold to new 
possibilities in both form and content. 
Its a good place to be.  

small work, untitled, VClaff 2013 
I usually start the day with a few smaller explorations, 
warming up for the larger work. I push the medium with 
these to see what is possible, and what might create 
interesting results. Some get pretty wild. 

small work, untitled, VClaff 2013
small work, untitled, VClaff 2013
After a few of these, I begin a larger piece. Below is the first 
layer of "Winter Mists", the first painting in this post. Its the 
largest size I can go at present, unless I decide to buy a 
roll of watercolor paper. I've found both the long, thin 
format and this large rectangle work for my subject.   

first layer of "Winter Mists" above
"Rising Mists" below, is a painting completed yesterday, which
has me thinking about all sorts of things and reminds me of 
a particular spot by a stream in the forest here. 

"Rising Mists", watercolor, 22 x 30", VClaff 2013
 "Winter Trees" is one I'm interested in... one that seems to 
get to the heart of the stories I'm wanting to tell. 

"White Trees", watercolor, VClaff, 2013

Pasha, as ever, is my constant companion. Having been hesitant 
about the studio when it was first built, he now seems to look forward to 
our days in there. Sometimes, when we are out running around on paths 
and roads to let off steam, he runs there and cries at the door to go in... 
disappointed that we don't.


 He's been a bit adventurous with all the snow, trudging home 
from a short forest expedition over mountains of snow in a storm. 





And the snow falls and falls... burying house and paths 
and car again and again, leaving magic in its wake. 




On the Vernal Equinox, I watched a pink-tinted sky brighten as I 
headed off on my long commute. Light snow and beautiful light 
graced the morning.  


Once out of the forest there was a different kind of light-magic, 
inspiring me the whole way down the hill. 









44 comments:

  1. I'm not surprised that Pasha loves your studio-it is such a homely place.

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  2. Your paintings, your photos, your Pasha...all of it magic. I so enjoy my visits here. I share your work with my boyfriend. When I have to remind him of who you are (there are many out in blogland) ~ I tell him "This is Valerianna in Massachusetts, the one with the cat that acts like a dog. I love how Pasha goes for walks in the woods...brings some happy to my day :)

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    1. Its nice being appreciated enough to be shared! Woodswalks with Pasha bring happy to my day, too!!

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  3. Those paintings are wonderful; there is a haunting quality to them that makes me return over and over again to look into the mists. Very inspiring.

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    1. Thanks, Charlotte... I'm enjoying where these are going, mysterious even for me.

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  4. Love those pantings.All that snow! and Pasha out in it. So different to here.

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    1. Hi Penny, I think Pasha may be getting a little tired of the snow. Although its relatively warm today, he's decided to snooze inside on a sheepskin in the sunshine!

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  5. Hi VA - love the way you have got the colour-paint to bleed and create the misty and ice crystal look in the lower forest. Good experimental outcome - and I love the smaller works. Go well. B

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    1. Oh, I hadn't seen that "ice crystal" quality in that painting... interesting, thanks for pointing that out!

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  6. Years ago I attended a Van Gogh exhibit. Of the many wonderful paintings, a small fairly unknown work just held me. It was titled "Undergrowth" and was of a deeply wooded meadow with trees, painted when he was a patient at Saint Remy. Undergrowth just pulled me in until I was sitting in the meadow, could feel the sun, hear birdsong, smell the trees and foliage. I've never had that experience until now when I saw these paintings of winter mist and trees. Your paintings are so beautifully compelling.

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    1. Marti - a deeply meaningful thing, that my work has drawn you in so much.

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  7. tken by the light in your paintings

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    1. .... and I was just thinking while looking the other day, that it needs MORE light.

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  8. These photos are breath taking. I'm jealous. We do not get this kind of snow on snow in Georgia.

    Your forest paintings are wonderful. The foreground, background effects are very spooky and have amazing depth.

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    1. Thank you... yes, the deep snow does provide wonderful imagery for photographs!

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  9. your finished piece is exquisite and i am so admiring of your great love of snow and winter...

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    1. Thanks, Caterina... I'm glad I love snow and winter, or I'd be complaining with the rest of them! ( I will be attempting NOT to complain when its hot and humid)

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  10. your paintings are beautiful and full of rare light and mystique, that makes me look and look.

    and your snowy world is beautiful too ~
    wishing you a lovely spring.

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    1. Hi Tammie - thanks, inspiring spring to you, too! I like that, 'rare light and mystique"... good qualities, I think!

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  11. What a beautiful photo portrait of Pasha! Much to delight me in this post, especially your smaller pieces.

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    1. That Pasha pic is a bit blurry, but I loved it!

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  12. Your paintings stop me in my tracks - and as one other person said, they draw you into them. They capture the feelings I am having at the moment about my own work - that I am searching for something out there beyond the mist and wondering what will be revealed when the mists rises. Wonderful work!!

    and i am also not looking forward to the heat, humidity, and biting insects :(

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    1. Thank you, Starr. I love that somehow I am stopping you in your tracks. For many years I painted oceans and felt like I was on a journey out into the fog, in a small boat, on some important journey. I like that the forest paintings are giving you that "questing" feeling.

      I am looking forward to ferns, mosses and being able to sink into the mossy forest and dream..

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  13. oh my, I cannot get over what you are able to do with watercolors: I'm in awe (I'm an oils girl myself, so endless room for manoeuvre)
    and the results are breathtaking!
    as are the photo's of your cat in the snow, I don't know a single cat who will enjoy snow like a dog;-)

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    1. Hi Saskia, I used to paint in both oils and watercolors, but of late I want to avoid the solvents, etc. with the oils. And, I just really love bleeding paint, paper and water combination. Working for many many years in watercolors I experimented and experimented with bleeding to see what was possible. Then I worked on finding a balance between allowing and controlling... and that is really the challenge of this medium painting in the way that I do. Sometimes it just doesn't work...

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    2. PS - Pasha doesn't really love the snow.. but he can't stand being idle for too long. He MUST to out and get exercise or he's a crazy cat!

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  14. Valerianna, your paintings are just amazing.
    Much love to you

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    1. Than you, Trish! And many, many blessings to you :)

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  15. I enjoy following your progression on this series, v - and always, Pasha's activities. xxoo, sus

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    1. Hi Susan - thanks... and Pasha sends regards to the animal community out your way!

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  16. Oh I do love this new and growing body of work... each one different and yet akin, with the changing light and emerging trunks as you move from one breath to the next through the mysterious wood and the wild.
    I loved seeing the studio shots on your previous post with all the work up on the walls around your work space like a continuing dialogue.
    Hope you and Pasha are staying warm in the snows... I am longing for Spring, it is late...

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    1. Hi Carrie - its almost springy here, today! Well, down in the valley it was sunny and warm and not much, if any, snow. Up here, well, overcast but on the warmish side, still mountains of snow. Pasha, however, has been out all day!

      I, too, and enjoying the emerging stories from this new work, each piece is a sort of surprise for me, too... as I'm still playing so much with possibilities. Wishing your some spring over there!

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  17. Being one with the forest and the weather. Incredible cat!

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    1. Hi Dori - he lights up my life with his wildness.

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  18. you're going deep with those trees.

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    1. Feels that way to me, I'm glad you see that, Velma.

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  19. I'm new to your blog - have only just found you - but I will follow.
    These watercolours are wonderfully haunting and slightly eerie - beautiful. I will look forward to seeing more.....

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    1. Thank you, Charlton, and welcome to RavenWood!

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  20. Oh I love love love these new works. They look like paintings of Home.

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    1. Hi Virginia - thank you for your enthusiasm :)

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  21. Valerianna, I'm glad to visit your magic world. It's nice and full of mystery. And you look like a fary.

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I love reading your comments and sometimes I'm good at responding right away, sometimes not! Glad you had a wander here, I hope you found the mossy path soft on your feet and heard the call of the Raven.