Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Pause to Drink the Season

"GreenWood", watercolor on paper, 15in X 22in, VClaff 2013
These are joyful, slow days in the forest. Lammas, the first harvest festival in 
the pagan wheel of the year, brings a celebration of flowers to my garden. Deep 
in the forest, the green, filtered light is extraordinary and the mosses gleam with 
the abundance of moisture this season. I watch as light creeps over branches, 
streams through leaves and illuminates one small spot on a tree. In a moment, 
it fades and travels on, finding its way over the canopy and as far beneath as 
the branches allow. Dark and damp and mysterious places remain hidden, even 
while the fields are aglow with goldenrod and all seems revealed. 


"Ghost Tree", watercolor on paper, 15in X 22in, VClaff 2013
In the studio, I feel the mystery seeping into my work with ghostly trees and 
the magical, green light of ferns and mosses. My production has slowed, as 
I have a clearer sense of my process with this new work. I understand what 
is possible with technique and open to the infinite-seeming possibilities of image. 
I love that there seems so much to explore with this work, I can trust that it 
will keep me going. 


"Earthlight", watercolor on paper, 15in X 22in, VClaff 2013
As the weather has cooled to warm and sunny, but not humid, and the flowers 
and bees and butterflies dance in my small clearing, I come to a moment of pause. 
Having made a huge amount of work in the studio, and finished nearly all the 
outside projects, I find myself needing to stop. It feels appropriate for the season, 
like a flowering plant having put all the energy towards the flower, and now that 
it blooms, there is a pause before the energy begins to sink again towards the 
roots. Crickets buzz in the late afternoon, juncos bathe in the stone bowl in the 
woodland garden, and Pasha and I find shady spots to be still and drink in the 
abundance of the year. 

If you'd enjoy a peek at a sampling of the new work all together, visit my art web 
site at www.valerieclaff.com  I've been uploading much of the new work there and 
find it interesting to look at in a group. 


Its a perfect moment for visits from friends and family this week and next - a 
perfect moment to nourish my body with herbs from the garden, berries from 
the forest and the colors, shapes and forms of high summer - a perfect moment 
to pause and reflect and rest in the exuberant embrace of flowers. 

















Do you see Pasha in his cool hiding place below?







One small friend just never seems to get enough time outside. 
This is the usual scene just after his pre-dusk curfew.


49 comments:

  1. Valerianna, So much reverential Beauty in the same place.... that is how I felt after going to your Art Website. Loved seeing the progression and the evolution.
    Your garden is lovely. Your photographs show it so well. Like I was actually there. Cheers, g. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gwen - that's a wonderful way to think about my Art Website - it is surely my intention to be reverent about the natural world. I'm happy that translates.

      Delete
  2. Your beautiful tree paintings look as if you have caught them in a pause as well - they seem almost suspended in the midst of a waltz in the magical green light of the summer forest. Just wonderful!

    And your garden is so beautiful. You are wise to take the time to stop and enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love this, Starr - "suspended in the midst of a waltz in the magical green light of the summer forest" - I love going back and looking at my work through your lens.

      Delete
  3. Happy Lammas to you! Your trees are ... amazing. I love them. Pasha is lovely too. I get excited when you post, because I know that my eyes are about to get a treat. Lois

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lois, happy that you appreciate what I share. Hope the first harvest is abundant for you!

      Delete
  4. you have been so busy and the work, well it really really has grown. a lovely lammas to you, and pasha, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Velma! So far August has been lovely, glad the steamy humidity has cleared out!!!

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Me, too, as long as it isn't hot and humid which makes me low.

      Delete
  6. Your writing is so lovely... and photos to match. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful post! It's such a rich time of year. Thank you, Valerianna!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Kim - hope your garden is doing really well!

      Delete
  8. the paintings are just so full of light and those photos of the butterflies are beautiful, thank you for sharing your summer world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mo - and thanks - Winter greetings from the summer world!

      Delete
  9. Lovely, just lovely. Sure is the time of plenty.
    Off to see the new website!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn - not new, just newly updated website. Happy August to you.

      Delete
  10. Such beauty, V - and thank you for the encouragement of your example to take time out, to pause, at the moment when so much has been accomplished over the summer months so far. peace to you and P. -sus and f

    ReplyDelete
  11. Blessed lammas to you!
    Seeing your new work all together, makes it even more clear to me, that there's so much light in your art. Flowing and living.
    Your place is extraordinary, made for pauses and meditations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mona "Flowing and living", I like that. This place truly invites stillness and meditation.

      Delete
  12. VA - looks like summer is bringing such brightness to your forest; and love the light you have captured in your work. B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Barry. Hope all is well down under :)

      Delete
  13. I thought about your paintings a lot while we were in the mountains. We walked through several forests daily. A Eucalyptus forest and many indigenous forests in hillside clefts. So very beautiful and green with moss. Much like your paintings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn - its wonderful thinking that my work went with you in some way on your mountain escape, truly, its meaningful to me. I don't think of green mosses in South Africa and love knowing that there is an overlap in landscapes.

      Delete
  14. I use to spend a lot of time on the edge of a hemlock forest. Now mostly I am in NYC.
    Thank you so much for the window you create and your individual glance, not to mention your glorious trees of light.

    www.wolffland.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mia. I love this hemlock forest... a very ancient tree with big medicine.

      Delete
  15. Valerianna, I love seeing your 2013 paintings in sequence, and I am struck by their quiet, numinous power. Photos of your sanctuary, the butterfly of wonder (Painted Lady?) and your striped muse (brown tabbies are camouflaged wonderfully well on forest floors) remind me of the best times of summer, and I am glad that you are harvesting the fruits of your labors and enjoying a time of sun and gentle warmth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carmine - yes, brown tabbies blend in well, especially Pasha as he looks very much like a hemlock stump when he sits still in the forest.

      Delete
  16. you truly have found a WonderLand, in your work, and in this Space that holds
    you.
    Life could not be better, yes?
    love to you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Grace - Life could be a bit better if I had more abundant energy... but, healing my illness is a practice of patience and being with what is, so, it is practice one must surrender to or be completely overdone.

      Delete
  17. your work is as magical as your beautiful forests... you capture it magnificently...

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a beautiful, magical place to live with a magical kitty assistant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magical kitty assistants are a requirement here!

      Delete
  19. The flowers and woods are creating a lovely August portrait. Much peace and love to you, V.
    Give Pasha kiss on the cold nose for me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sandra - August is still lovely here, but a tad on the chilly side!

      Delete
  20. You've done beautifully the light in those paintings. x

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love these flowers in combination with the forest! A wondeful summer-dream! Pascha as well as always! Greetings from the Bavarian Forest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dori - hope your summer is abundant with inspiration and healthy creatures to nurture.

      Delete
  22. so many beautiful glimpses of your world
    loving your paintings
    your trees are gorgeous as is the light ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tammie... and in answer to your below comment - yes, it made it here, so, I get to hear your feedback in a different way below :)

      Delete
  23. hummmmm, i am wondering if my comment went through?
    if not i will tell you again that it is nice to see the beauty of your world. also your art is beautiful, both trees and light!

    ReplyDelete

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.