Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reflecting on the Full Harvest Moon



Fires are beginning to be needed, now and again, as the colder weather slowly 
creeps over the land. Its a funny time of year, this transition. One day it is cold 
and raw, air scented with woodsmoke as I walk out in the early morning, the next 
it is warm and slightly humid, dragonflies flitting about. The forest is still full 
of late summer crickets, and squirrels and chipmunks busy with foraging. The oak 
trees are dropping acorns that ping off the metal roof as loud as gunfire. With 
the first few weeks of teaching and winter preparation, the most I've managed in 
the studio is a few more teeny tiny paintings. 


I enjoy these small, dreamy forest paintings. I like taking time with them, creating 
tiny worlds that invite me deep inside to explore their mysterious realms. Two are
framed and sitting by my dining room table offering me somewhere to travel as 
I eat my meals. 





Outside, I wander close to the house, looking at the layers of green 
textures and finding great joy in the small moments of beauty here. 



Its the time of black-eyed susans, and fall-blooming asters and perennial 
sunflowers and obedient plant practically obscuring the old studio.  




There is still plenty of magic to be found if I bend down and look inside things,
and the dragonflies and phoebes continue to patrol the garden looking for prey. 







Some flowers have gone to seed, 
while others are still offering up their pollen. 





Crumbling, dried flowers begin to top the stalks, and 
hopeful seeds fly away on the wind. Hints of the last 
blast of color are beginning to show - I mourn the flowers, 
and celebrate the decay, too. 








Autumn work is upon me, this pile is almost stacked in the shed, but another 
one was just delivered. This Equinox weekend will find me working outside 
with the squirrels, stacking my winter heat away. 


And today I'm reflecting on a life - today would have been 
my mother's 77th birthday. In a month, a day before my 
fiftieth birthday, it will be a year since her death. 
After I post this, I will go the moss garden, and sit 
with the full harvest moon 
and maybe hum a bit 
- close the earth -  
where my mother's ashes 
have become 
the land. 




62 comments:

ArtPropelled said...

One of my favourite scents is wood smoke on a cold, raw day. Your dreamy forest paintings put me in a reflective frame of mind. Thinking of you today.

Hindustanka said...

Valerianna, your paintings are absolutely beautiful, and mysterious! I can also imaging going inside that forest and talking to fairies there...

Those who leave us never leave forever, they keep on living in our heart.

Julie Howe said...

What a beautiful Autumn post Valerianna, the end of the summer being gently tucked into its winter bed. I hope that you found a quite peace in the moss garden with fond memories of your mother.

The leaves are still very green here, Autumn is still thinking about making her arrival.

Mrs Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

Your photographs of this stunning place in which you live are so wonderful. Is that a Dragonfly this late in the year? And the colour of him - red? I've never seen any past end of August. Just beautiful. Enjoy. x

jude said...

beautiful. all of it. and the basket! :-)

Valerianna said...

Hi Robyn, thanks... and glad the paintings invited dreamy for someone other than myself. One never knows!

Valerianna said...

Thank you so much, Hindustanka. And, yes, you are right that people live on in us.

Valerianna said...

I felt very energised in the moss garden last night - might have stayed up a bit later than was prudent!

Valerianna said...

Yes, dragonfly - the red ones are stunning when they flit around a green garden!

Valerianna said...

I love that the basket is empty but the space around it so FULL!

Mo Crow said...

love how all these photos are full of the letting go-ness of autumn

Pixie said...

...such wonderful photos, and oh such magical paintings too....so pieceful and serene...
Lovely blog.
Pixie x

Kimberly Wachtel said...

Beautiful post, Valerianna! I really love the close-up photos of the echinacea seed head and the seed pod. Do you have a fancy camera? The detail and focus are quite good! Thinking of you and your mom at this intense time. I look forward to celebrating your 50th year with you.

Raquel Somatra said...

Just takes my breath away, the photos and the paintings and all of it.

tveirhrafnar.com said...

Your paintings arriving in my reader are always absolute joy. Thank you.

mairedodd said...

this post sums up the bittersweet balance of life so perfectly. the poetic expression of your world, both visually and verbally, is always so thought provoking and soothing. surely it is times of transition that keep us on our toes - keep us grateful and mindful of what we have, what has past and what is to come.
i send loving thoughts to you as you sit and hum...

Medieval Muse said...

What a lovely post!! Thank you for sharing summer's quiet surrender into autumn and the beautiful changes that brings. It is such a good reminder that we don't need to go far outside our door to enjoy the gifts that Mother Nature provides. All we need to do is look and listen.

And I'm very enamored with the gorgeous small tree paintings too.

Velma Bolyard said...

i love, where my mother's ashes have become the land. beautiful.

Valerianna said...

"letting go-ness of autumn... yes, just as you are in the springing into life mode!

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Pixie.

Valerianna said...

Hi Kim - actually, not a fancy camera at all, but I do like it for a not too expensive one. Its a Canon point and shoot, but it does have a macro setting. Can't always get what I want, but I can get a relatively decent shot with the macro setting and then flower setting!

Valerianna said...

Thank you for your enthusisasm, Raquel!

Valerianna said...

I'm smiling that I can send some joy into your reader :)

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Mary Jane - and yes, we are definitely kept on our toes during transition times, both in seasons and personal cycles. Have a great day tomorrow!!

Valerianna said...

I'm glad you like my little paintings :)

Valerianna said...

Sitting there last night, it was clearly so - Mother Earth.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

your world is Elegant

Nancy said...

A deeply beautiful post where the ebb and flow of lifetimes is noticed and honored...and embraced. Stunning.

Sandra Dunn said...

Much peace to you as you hold your mother close in heart and thoughts at this time.

Your forest is beautiful as always - flowers, ferns, & dragonflies weaving magic.

Blessings on your autumnal beginnings and storings.

Love ya,
San D

Barry said...

VA - I love the light in your forest paintings - so mysterious - inviting one into another world - just like the light in forests actually does. Your autumn is mirrored by our bursting spring. Love that in our blog community we can share such different seasons and yet feel as though the other members of the community are just around the corner. Go well and may the lead up to your birthday and motherly memories be gentle. B

Starr White said...

Your paintings get brighter and lighter as time goes along, and they are at the same time deeper and more complex. These are paintings of wisdom gained from a difficult journey and the hope of a warm and welcoming future. The more we learn in this journey we call life, the more the mystery deepens, doesn't it? I think your paintings reflect that so beautifully.

And your garden photos are breathtaking! My favorite is the echinacea with the speckled petals - an imperfect beauty. So much beauty here as always....thank you.

kat said...

That last picture - pure magic! I should like to see a painting of it, done by you in your dreamy style -

Valerianna said...

That's good to know... feels like a tangle of woodpiles, falling leaves and grass that needs to be cut!

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Nancy.. :)

Valerianna said...

Hi Sandra - yes, autumnal sortings - a good way to think of it.

Valerianna said...

I know, Barry, isn't that so wonderful? Amazing to have what amounts to a solid handful of modern-day penpals. I love getting a peek into the lives of all the artist-bloggers around the globe, so inspiring!! Happy Day of Peace.

Valerianna said...

Definitely the mystery deepens - and the paintings might look different, too, because I paint so differently on such a small scale. Things happend differently with washes on such a small surface. In the large paintings, its a challenge to keep thins going and wet to work into them. More of a juggling act. Small is a dreamy process - much easier. But I like the impact of the large paintings, too. Just a completely different thing.

Valerianna said...

Glad that photo spoke to you, Kat.

Heather said...

My favourite time of year. You capture it beautifully.

Valerianna said...

I love this time of year as well, such amazing beauty in the decay and the celebration of color is just around the corner!

Tammie Lee said...

such a wonderful strand of images; Autumn's beginnings
and your wonderful forest paintings.

sending light to your mother and you ~

Carmine said...

Autumn seems like the most wabi-sabi season, doesn't it? I love how you've captured the withering, seeding and decay, gorgeous in its unperfection...the season of farewells and letting go. All that plus the coming blaze of glory. The last photo is so lovely, Galadriel's mirror, showing what is and what could be. Blessings to you as you sit with your mother and reflect on your life's harvest.

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Tammie, hope the season treats you well in your neck of the mountain.

Valerianna said...

Carmine - definitely wabi-sabi - just my style. And, oh yes, Galadrie's mirror, perfect!

Sharmon Davidson said...

I like your tiny paintings very much; looking at them makes me think of pristine fresh air. Your lovely sanctuary looks peaceful beautiful, as ever. Namaste.

Valerianna said...

That's a nice thing for paintings to evoke, I think, I'm happy for that!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

yes...Just how it is....beauty Full photographs of these days as they
come now....
thank you

Nikiah Seeds said...

Your blog is always such a feast imagery! I love the red dragonfly especially and the images of flowers slowly turning with the season... so haunting...
SO Beautiful
Nikiah

Valerianna said...

The days of falling leaves and glorious color and shifting inside me and out....

Valerianna said...

So funny, Nikiah, you were probaby here as I was over at your blog! I'm wishing for some of that chai right about now as I come in from stacking wood and feel a bit chilly...

Jodi Le Bigre said...

Wonderful new paintings. And I really enjoyed this a lovely post that turns to a poem at the end. Happy autumn to you!

saskia said...

such beautiful images, I love this seson too, the colours and scents and surprise sun-warmth, the winds whooshing and fruits falling.....your small paintings show me just how close to nature you are, you live in a wonderful speck on our earth

Sweetpea said...

I haven't been 'round to walk through your place in a while .... loved to see that so much that is living is feeding off of so much that is dying. Autumn, in the truest sense. A post filled with all sorts of reflection ;>]]

Happy season to you, V!
Christi

rivergardenstudio said...

I love your "small moments of beauty" Valerianna, and your descriptions bring me right into your woods and your studio, with the smells and the textures of the changing seasons.

Ruthie Redden said...

Dear Valerianna, I so love this time of transition, time for much sitting in the quiet nature places and for pondering. I found a tiny lichen patterned rock in my garden yesterday that reminded me exactly of one of your wonderful spiral paintings when i picked it up, I shall have to blog about it. I fall in love with each one of your paintings, the light through them is so ethereal and draws me in. Makes me want to get out my brushes too. x

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Jodi, same to you!!

Valerianna said...

Hi Saskia - I like that that is what you read in my work... a closeness to nature, good!

Valerianna said...

HI Christi - Happy season to you as well. Yes, life and death and something in between that is inspring.

Valerianna said...

Mostly, it smells a lot like mushrooms around here now, Roxanne! But the colors are inspiring.

Valerianna said...

Oh yes, Ruthie, I'd love to see that stone! And, isn't just amazing how these days can bring real connection between us? You in your small place on Earth far from here, and we've never met, but you recognize something of me in a stone - beautiful!

Sophie Munns said...

Reminds me all the more of why living on the land brings you so close to life cycles that thread through your days. For your mother's ashes to become the land where you live is the most poignant of relationships Valerianna.
Its no wonder the full value of living on earth is so apparent to you.

Elizabeth Wix said...

Such lovely tree paintings!