Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Light

"January Ice", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff, 2012
I've been gone from here... gone down into my roots and out into the wintry forest
where the creaking and cracking breaks the quiet and the snow squeaks underfoot 
from the frigid air. There is deep stillness in the forest, and no turning away from 
the fragility of life. Blood on the snow and late night yips of coyotes tell tales  
of winter survival. 

"Late Winter Forest", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff, 2012
I haven't been in the studio, either, taking time away for my father's Christmas 
visit and supporting Pasha through another emergency vet visit to get things 
moving along his internal pipeline. After his second visit to the ER, I really thought 
he wasn't going to make it. But the holistic vet sent a new bunch of Chinese herbs, 
and put him on a pill that he said works wonders for elder kitties, and miraculously,
my father and I watched Pasha grow stronger day by day. Outside we trudged for 
several daily walks, to the studio and back, even in the biting cold. Two weeks 
since his last crisis, he seems more stable than in a long while. I am his alchemist, 
adding powdered herbs and homeopathic remedies to his food and drizzling cod 
liver oil over the top which he now won't eat without. 








I record the frozen winter light with my camera and wonder how these images 
might influence the winter paintings to come.  




In late December the forest was full of bobcats, 



and ferns peaking out from the snow,  



and weedstalks still feeding the birds until the deeper snows bury them. 





We sit on the stoop, Pasha and I, and take in the late afternoon quiet, 
and I am grateful for his company. 


37 comments:

jude said...

lovely new paintings, love the feel of cold there. pasha has seen many winters.

Valerianna said...

Yes, he's winter wise and here for now.

Jen Parrish said...

so much beauty and wonder. glad he is feeling better, and staying by your side.

Valerianna said...

He's rather resilient... years of eating mice and running wild in the forest are paying off, I think!!

Susan Christensen said...

Dear V - your wintery light is so lovely. We are locked under deep layers of rain clouds for weeks now in this part of the Forest. I am glad Pasha is doing better. Hugs to you both, sus

Sweetpea said...

I think I know a little of what you are feeling about your current moments with Pasha and his own time of 'winter light' ...
You - and your forest - seem a strong place.

stregata said...

New Year's wishes for you and Pasha. Your vet sounds like a good vet to have - hope Pasha will feel better and continue to accompany you. Your winter watercolors are stunning.

Tammie Lee said...

so happy that your kitty is doing well.
your winter sounds much like mine.... snow and forest, quiet and crunch, tracks of those who have passed by. so lovely to see your world.

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Beautiful paintings! and words as ever, many good wishes for Pasha, he has a good caretaker.

Velma Bolyard said...

beautiful, valerie, and so familiar. pasha has a very very good human friend.

gz said...

We had the most beautiful light over the New Year in the Western Isles.

It is wondrous that despite all that the weather is throwing at them, the plants are growing, peeking out from the leafmould and snow

Mona said...

Wonderful watercolours! They are so icy, brrrr ...
Good for you to have a holistic vet. I also treat my animals with homeopathy. If I may offer a little advice - homeopathy works best if given not with any food, but at least half an hour before/after eating. I use a disposable syringe (which I reuse, ofcourse) without the needle, mix the medicine with a bit of water, gently insert the syringe in the corner of the mouth, and slowly inject. Wish you both much strength and joy in the year to come!

dori said...

Feeling the coldness - you change it into a wonderful net of lines, shaddows and light.

O, Pascha was ill? I am so sorry, and I hope he will become better and better, being in such good hands.

Blessings for you and your special meditative situation here!

Starr White said...

Oh, you have captured the beautiful silvery light of winter so well…..
So glad to know Pasha is feeling better and is still with you. Cats are the most wonderful creatures for doing that - just being with you

Sandra Dunn said...

Hello~ You have been through so many storms, yet manage to share such serenity and peace with us. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Pasha is looking well and taking in his familiar fresh air and turf.... :)
Much love,
Sandra

ramona said...

Oh Pasha, your shadow on the snow is so beautiful!!! Please stay well and let your Mama take care of you XO

Ruthie Redden said...

Such magical images & inspiration, I look forward to seeing how they will show in your new work. Keep well dear Pasha x x Happy New Year to you both x

Mo Crow said...

(((Pasha)))

Paper rainbow said...

Beautiful icy watercolour and fabulous photographs!

Caterina Giglio said...

so glad that Pasha is responding.. and the photos in the snow with the shadow are simply stunning... you new work is magical as always... hope you have been warm by the fire... you always inspire me!

Carmine said...

A blessed new year to you and your furry Pasha, who casts a bright shadow. I am grateful for his company, too, and your ever-serene presence here.

jan said...

Yes, the photos of Pasha and his shadow are wonderful. Hope he keeps well with the treatment and the love you give him. We do what we can for them, don't we.

goldenflower said...

Thank you for taking us along on your walks Valerianna. I always enjoy slowing way down with you as you notice the curl of a leaf or the ways n which the light transforms the landscape.

Barry said...

Hi VA - all the very best for 2014. Loved the shadow light with Pasha. Winter light can offer a safeness. Go well. B

THE OLD BURROW said...

It's funny how pictures of cold snow warm my heart, thank you and many blessings for your Pashas insides. :)

ArtPropelled said...

I'm imagining the blissful silence of that snow laden landscape. So glad you and Pasha are enjoying it together. (Gratitude for "Chinese Herbs for Elder Kitties" :-)

yvette said...

just love for you and Pasha!

jan b. said...

I'm mesmerized by that frozen winter light. Even more so by that tree ... the one in the first frozen light scene. Amazing!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

his shadow

Judy Martin said...

The first two photos of winter light, the tree and those amazing clouds. I look forward to seeing what you will do with that imagery in your dreamy watercolours.

happy new year!!

sandra hagan said...

It is good to hear Pasha has wise caregivers and persons who care! He is such and outdoors kitty, loving the woods. I adore the photos and silhouettes of Pasha!

Winter is brutal in your area, beautiful and brutal. Great pictures.

May this new year gentle on Pasha and you!

yvette said...

ok?

Valerianna said...

Sorry not to reply to all of your comments. Been an intense journey with Pasha...

yvette said...

just you and pasha are in my mind....love

Tiff (The Curious Peasant) said...

Here's to healthy hibernatings, Valerianna, and if not that--then understanding. Hugs to you and Pasha. x

Hula La said...

Your winter scene has a story to tell. I just love all that this gorgeous season has to offer...(ok, it's abit cold here in the northeast), but yes, a woodland trek is good for the soul! Aloha

Mrs Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

My heart was breaking as you two treasured your last moment together. I am so glad that you had them. Just knowing a spirit who you have ben one with is leaving makes each second of time like a snowflake. I love the pawprints in the snow. x