Monday, October 25, 2010

Drinking Color

Traveling from here to there I am drinking color.
 This fall it seems the trees are offering a celebration. 
I know they do every fall, but this year I find my spirit 
bowing in deep reverence to the magic of tree-color.  

On my trips to town for groceries, I pull the car over
and climb into the embrace of a forest gone wild. I
wish that photos could capture the exuberance inside 

I fall more in love with the land in this little town,
dressed up for the autumnal display. 

After a walk in the forest with Pasha, 
I sit under a hemlock and swim in a sea of gold.

I traveled north to Vermont to hang a show at the 
Bennington Arts Guild, stopping frequently 
along the way to photograph. 

An overcast day with muted greens and golds, 
and the mountain terrain of Southern Vermont.  

While driving, I felt as if I was at times within my own 
paintings, and took note of how after seven years of 
living here, the landscape is inside me. 

Driving home, I see a  familiar road anew,  
noticing how the gentler foothills invite a 
more intimate experience of the land.

As I turn onto the dirt road that winds up 
the hill to my home, I notice the raven, 
and that the big maple is almost 
undressed to her bones. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Remembering with the Land

Summer's fire releases with the exquisite
burst of fall leaves in New England - a 
perfect moment to make art with the land.

Embrace in progress

My class, Exploring the Natural World, came 
to RavenWood for a day of environmental art. 
They were divided into three groups, each picked a 
word out of a hat. The words were shelter, embrace 
and flow. They picked a spot, and could use only 
what they found on the land. 

"Embrace" completed: embracing tree, embracing water.

All three groups used leaves in some way or another,
the color so astonishing in contrast to the green mosses 
and brown trunks. 

"Embrace" - a surprise burst of color from a distance.

Students sewing leaves together for "Flow". 

We noticed how quickly the sun moves as places 
that were chosen for the light were soon in shadow. 

"Flow" the next day, having lost a section
of leaves to the wind in the night. 

The chain of leaves mingles with submerged
mushrooms. After such a long drought, we had two 
weeks of rain, over seven inches, and strange 
things like underwater mushrooms!

"Flow" - detail of sewn leaves. 

"Shelter" - an arch sheltering the path 
down the hill.

"Shelter" - in progress.

"Shelter" and a moment of me spinning. 

I've been offering this event for several years now, 
I love what happens to the class as they work on the land. 
When I first mention the mandatory Saturday field-trip to 
my house an hour and a half away, I get some groans...
Once here, however, stress sinks into the leaf mould, 
breathing is deeper, and eyes shine with a bit of the wild. 

The following Monday at school, when reflecting on the day, 
several students said they felt whole again.... and that 
their roommates noticed. So, art is good, but wholeness,
 well, what could be better?

Remembering with the land- that's how I think of it.
Re-membering - like Isis who travels the earth finding pieces 
of Osiris, putting them together, and bringing him back 
to life. Trees - and stones - sing me back to life.