Saturday, March 9, 2013

Forest Paintings and an Afternoon Walk

new work, VClaff 2013

new work, VClaff 2013

new work, VClaff 2013

Having had the week off from teaching, most of my time was spent in 
the studio, painting. I'm continuing to explore the forest paintings, playing 
with scale and technique and finding the balance of subtlety and drama. I need 
to keep painting and exploring before I really know this work well. The long, thin 
format is interesting for the forest theme, I think. But I've also made some square 
and don't feel the need to limit myself to one format only.  

My studio assistant has really taken to his little bed. In fact, I seem to have to 
convince him that occasional outside jaunts are good for both of us. 


  

  



The week brought a mixture of lovely, sunny and stormy days, adding to the 
mountains of snow piled high around the house and in the driveway. I think 
the snow might have influenced the next three paintings. 


new work, VClaff 2013

new work, VClaff 2013

new work, VClaff 2013

detail, painting in progress

cropping to generate ideas


Today was warm and sunny, the snow fell from the trees in great, muffled thunks, 
water dripped from icicles and dripped endlessly on the metal roof. There was no 
resisting the call of the forest, so I buckled on snowshoes and set out with my very 
adventurous cat friend. As soon as we were in the forest, he could not contain his 
excitement and raced up a big hemlock. 





He was certainly in an exploring mood today... or maybe he took every opportunity 
to get off of the cold snow. 


We came across a very large fisher's tracks. Its wonderful to know who's been 
wandering through and also puts me on high alert when walking in the forest 
with a potential meal for a large fisher. 




Pasha is also on high alert, as soon as we get to a particular point in the forest, 
he pays close attention to every sound. 





We ended our walk on the bench overlooking the clearing as usual, though 
today the bench seat was level with the snow, so I was rather wet and somewhat
uncomfortable with my knees up. 



The view from the bench...My, what a lot of snow!




38 comments:

gz said...

good to see your work flowing well-and your assistant/companion is doing a good job!

kd said...

Lovely both inside and out! Still canʻt believe Pasha cat is 15 - such vitality.

Valerianna said...

He's a very good assistant, and works for room and board, which is helpful!

Valerianna said...

Actually, kd, I think he might be older than that... like 17 or 18! Old man cat, for sure, but very, very active.

Nancy said...

I'm loving this new work and Pasha's way of walking with you...so dog-like! Lucky you who loves the snow :)

Barry said...

VA - the long thin format is working really well for the forest paintings - it gives one sense of low cloud and/or peer through a slice the the forest. The studio looks really cosy and conducive to creativity. Your cat always seems to enjoy the outdoor romp. Go well. B

Donna~Q~ said...

I think those are some of my favorite Pasha photos yet ~ gotta love his exuberance! What a beautiful feline friend, complete with eyes that match yours! It's a pleasure to see the process of your new paintings as well ~ very atmospheric!

Velma Bolyard said...

valerie, what a grand week of good work and warm companionship you've had. i hope you are happy with the work-you certainly should be. pasha and you are quite the woods team! he is a cat with real presence! i love that you walk him!

ArtPropelled said...

Lol.... lovely to see Pasha up the tree.... avoiding snow.
You are certainly on a roll with your glorious forest paintings. Seeing all your work up on the wall amazes me! What a great feeling to be in the flow of creativity.

Starr White said...

I love these new pieces so much, Valerianna. So much mystery! and I enjoyed the lovely walk through the snowy forest. I love the shot of Pasha looking as if he's saying "Did you get that one, Mom?" as he's perched on the side of the tree.

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Nancy... yes, Pasha is definitely a dog-cat. I'm definitely a cat person, but I love a cat that's got some real personality!

Valerianna said...

Barry - I like the format, want even longer paper now. For that, however, I'll have to invest in a rather expensive roll of watercolor paper.

Valerianna said...

Hi Donna - I like these shots of Pasha. Its been a long time since we snowshoed together, I think he had a lot of pent up energy!

Valerianna said...

Presence... definitely a word to describe Pasha. He's been feeling rather pent-up with all the cold and snow and only recently can he walk on top without falling through to much. That made all the difference. He can run around now.

Don't think I'm totally able to SEE the new work yet. Gotta give it time, but there are aspects I am happy with.

Valerianna said...

I think hes partly avoiding the snow and partly sooo excited that we FINALLY went for a woods walk. Its been too long cause I've been low-energy and various other things have kept us away.

Watercolors happen rather quickly, Robyn, the trick is to keep working and, in my case, I go back in maybe only once or twice once they are dry. I work mostly wet on wet, so, really, each one isn't that long a process. So, all that work on the wall can happen rather quickly, NOTHING like wood carving!!!

Valerianna said...

I love that you see mystery here, Starr, definitely what I am after in these paintings. And, for a cat, Pasha is definitely communicative with his gestures! That photo does look like that!!

Mo Crow said...

ah these paintings are so full of the muchness of your world V and your Pasha! what a magnificent cat, he reminds me of Ragnar Gustaffson Coeur de Leon the mighty Norwegian Forest Cat in The Wild Road by Gabriel King except Pasha is much smarter!

Valerianna said...

Pasha is puffing up with pride ( or is it ego?).... I'm glad the paintings are communicating something about my world, that's good.

jude said...

everything seems to be coming alive

liniecat said...

Stunning work here.......!

Valerianna said...

I might be melting, too....

Valerianna said...

Thanks, liniecat!!

layers said...

the images of your paintings juxtaposed with the photos of the forest trees outside.. are wonderful together... I can see how bound to nature you are.

Hindustanka said...

lovely paintings.. thanks for sharing your art with us , Valerianna!
it seems that spring is not far away now, but yes, the forest still keeps cold and snow in its premises...
say hi to Pasha!
Take care!
Anna

Valerianna said...

Good to see through your eyes, Donna, I'll go back and look with this in mind!!

Valerianna said...

Hi Anna - I will be sure to tell Pasha hello once I am back home tonight! It seems the snow is actually starting to melt, at least in the clearing!!

Caterina Giglio said...

your misty paintings are wonderful and so nice to see the inspiration shots with them... and yes, quite a lot of snow!!

Valerianna said...

Great misty landscape today... got a LOT of new inspiration!!

saskia said...

what a beautiful and well organized studio you have! those paintings all over the walls look great together, even more interesting with the real windows and views into the outside world and your books et al all juxtaposed, it is such a treat to be able to 'visit' your studio in this manner. I love watching how your paintings evolve and reading your words 'explaining' what you're up to

Valerianna said...

Hi Saskia - I so LOOOVE seeing into others' creative spaces, too. Looking at what books are on their shelves, what objects, etc. I work much better in an organized space.

But my old studio, which was basically a garden shed, is a complete disaster! When I moved out of it last January, I went through like a whirlwind, took stuff and left the rest. The plan is to go back in and organize all the stuff in storage. Hasn't happened yet!!

ArtPropelled said...

Indeed... the wood carving I'm working on has taken months and now I'm beading the whole "torso" which is a very long process.... but enjoyable.

Judy Martin said...

There are many things about your new work that appeal to me. You mention drama and mystery , and those are important for sure, but I think the format of the horizontal is really very compelling. It's funny how when we walk among tall trees, we keep looking up because the verticals lead our eye that way, and so I don't think I am alone in thinking about my walking through a forest in a kind of portrait format if I were to try to capture it.
Yet you have distanced your SELF from being inside the forest to take a more birds eye view I suppose and see through that camera view finder at the mass of them, and somehow into the interior of them ...yet not too much.

I enjoyed the previous post where you gave a clear description of the self discipline required to work every day if you want to work through your old ideas into new ones. So true and well said.

You have to go to that place so that your muse will know where you are. You have to show up and do it.

All very lovely new work - and so inspiring to see inside your studio and your head. Thank you.

Valerianna said...

Judy - I'm glad you enjoyed seeing inside my studio and my head!

And I wonder, cause when I walk through the forest, I don't look up that much, I look THROUGH and PAST at the tree rhythms and light patterns. Its an interesting thing to ponder- how we take in an experience sensorily... maybe a good question to pose on my next post! Also, since I live smack dab in the center of a clearing in a forest, I look out and see these scenes again and again, for 10 years now. The way the light and patterns change and its all while looking out of windows. Its my "view" and I wonder how that influences the work....interesting.

dori said...

What a companion! Incredible and wonderful. The watercolor is flowing, and the cat with you also through the forest - flowing and flying but not without contact to the earth.

Maria said...

Hello Valerianna. I came over from Moonlight and Hares...to say hello and congrats on that wonderful give away! I am soo glad I did...I found your beautiful place to be a little sanctuary of piece....Ooh and I simply adore kitties cats too! ~Take time to dream....with kind thoughts...Maria x

Valerianna said...

Hi Dori - Yes... it does seem to all be "flowing and flying!" Thanks for your thoughts.

Valerianna said...

Welcome, Maria - Oh, yes, I'm excited to have won that special notebook from Karen! Thanks for coming over and glad you found some peace here.

model busana muslim murah said...


I looking liked your post as it is very interesting to read thank you