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:

Gwen Buchanan said...

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

Starr White said...

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.

Lois said...

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

Velma Bolyard said...

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

Raquel Somatra said...

Lovely. Blessed Lammas to you.

jude said...

high summer makes me high.

Sara said...

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

Kimberly Wachtel said...

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

Mo Crow said...

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

Lynn said...

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

Susan Christensen said...

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

Mona said...

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.

Barry said...

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

ArtPropelled said...

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.

Valerianna said...

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.

Valerianna said...

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.

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Raquel!

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Sara :)

Valerianna said...

HI Kim - hope your garden is doing really well!

Valerianna said...

Hi Mo - and thanks - Winter greetings from the summer world!

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

This summer I just MUST pause.

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

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.

Mia Wolff said...

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

Carmine said...

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.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

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...

Caterina Giglio said...

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

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

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.

Valerianna said...

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.

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Cat!

JennyPennyPoppy said...

Simply gorgeous photos :)

kat scanlan said...

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

Sandra Dunn said...

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. :)

Tiffany Davidson said...

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

dori said...

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

Valerianna said...

Thank you!

Valerianna said...

Magical kitty assistants are a requirement here!

Valerianna said...

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

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Tiffany... :)

Valerianna said...

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

Tammie Lee said...

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

Tammie Lee said...

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!

Valerianna said...

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 :)