Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spring Shifting

Almost a month has passed since last I posted here. The snows finally melted, 
and warmer weather has come - but just barely. April did not bring lots of rain, 
and the wood stove was still burning for much of it. I have little work to show 
you - the last weeks of teaching seemed more demanding than usual, and then 
grading and ill friends to worry about and on and on. I've been unsettled with life
demands, many errands and paperwork, and have not had my usual diligent studio
schedule. The pinboard was cleared except for a few pieces that I want around to 
inform my next paintings, work that I'm interested in knowing better. 

I did get a few days work in and made a three panel painting. Its the middle piece 
in the image below. I was happy with the first layer, but not so with the next. 
Working quickly over the whole expanse went well at first, but I didn't take in 
the whole piece visually when I added the next layer. Having had some time away 
from it, its not as terrible as I thought, but it lacks the nuances of the two pieces 
above it that I am quite interested in. I suppose its time to buy a large roll of 
paper - the challenge might well have been from painting on three sheets together 
as opposed to one large one. 

Below is first wash layer, it had a lot of potential, oh well. 

I had some final details completed in the studio that, though seemingly small, 
finished off the space nicely. The plan had always been to put posts in the 
entry to separate it from the rest of the space. I'm happy with the results. A 
few more details - some coat hooks (natural branches is the plan) and a larger 
bulletin board, and the entry will be complete. When I am in there now, I feel 
something in the energy of the space has shifted, and I am needing to re-settle 
once a few important tasks are accomplished next week. 

With a wonderful new wooden post to play with, I got right to work, banging 
nails for brushes and hanging a lovely little plant-dyed silk bag made by Velma 
that my friend, Donna, sent me. They met at a bookarts fair in Maine where Velma 
was a vendor, what fun! The bag is hanging with some dried plants from last season.

A few more wonderful gifts have arrived in the mail, but I just realized I don't have 
photos of them yet. I am continually grateful for this blogging community... as I 
look around the studio, I see little cards, sculptures, pictures, poems, seedpods, 
notes and all kinds of inspiration from all of you. I had no idea when I began blogging 
a few years ago that there WAS such an inspiring, generous and amazingly gifted 
community waiting for me... thank you! Waaay back when I reached 300 followers 
I wanted to do another giveaway, now that number has climbed to 365. So, I hope 
to get something together soon to pay forward the generosity. 

The next images are out and about and in the forest, but just this week the leaves 
have come out and the ferns are unfurling. Wish me luck in selling a few things I've 
inherited - which will mean that I can focus on being a full-time artist this summer, 
and maybe not feel financially strapped for a change! I hope to be back after next 
week with good news to share and continuing with the new work. I wonder how the 
spring-green forest will influence the images?

Coltsfoot - flowers first, then the leaves. 

I took a few photos of myself in the forest to use for bios. 
From intense forest woman to more inviting - both useful.

Life is good for Pasha, long days outside and good naps on 
the porch make him a very contented kitty. 


Tammie Lee said...

so wonderful to see what you have been creating,
the gifts you have received,
the flowers you find growing, i had never seen coltsfoot before.

love all the portraits of you, each one different and wonderful.

kd said...

Love the lighting on the self portrait in the middle - where youa re looking up. And of course my heart always swells when Pasha Cat features - thankyou!

kat scanlan said...

The picture of the ring on the tree is captivating - like an eye watching you -

Sweetpea said...

Spring shifting has made for a very pleasant visit over to your place, V. And those looks on Pasha's face say it all ! Goodness, I've just realized you are at last snow-less???

Nancy said...

Ahhh...a woman and her woods. No matter how often you get a post up, it is a visual delight to see and the long time in between, may leave you absent from the electronic web...but not from the the heartstrings of this reader. Just tonight heading home, I thought of you and your amazing watercolor paintings, for I saw the mountain top through a cloudy rainy haze, leaving it soft and dreamy, like your work. Beautiful.
365 followers speaks loudly of your power to pull others close, inviting them into your magical world. I'm all in if you do decide to do a give away! 365 ~ a reader for each day of the year!

Barry said...

Hi VA - wow what a news packed blog post - so much catching up or sharing. I always find it a bit of a challenge when I get back to my work - the first pieces can often just be that bit off - great wash. Love the entry - good to have a transition threshold and welcoming bits and pieces. Good that the forest woman can get out and take photos of the forest, cat and self. Go well. B

Gwen Buchanan said...

Gorgeous portrait of you with the light forming shadows.

Yes I agree the beam really makes a big difference in the feel when entering your space.
Good to see the way you work, cheers

the wild magnolia said...

Very good to see you hear. Sorry life has been dragging for you. Amazing that a simple change, give the entrance a new perspective.

Pasha is gorgeous. He is living his perfect life.

I hope the sunshine returns to your spirit very soon.

Valerianna said...

I'll be sure to post photos of the coltsfoot leaves, they are GREAT. By the end of fall, they often have wonderful purply red colors and lots of worm trails.

Valerianna said...

That self portrait is very dramatic... I sort of feel like it should be a black and white film poster or something!

Valerianna said...

Hi Kat - I did a whole series of drawings of this kind of image, was really obsessed with them for a bit. Might be again someday. I love the ring/eye image, too.

Valerianna said...

At last, snowless! But, we're not out of the cold woods yet... suppose to get cold again next week and possibly have a FROST! Yikes, I'm not so happy about that!

Valerianna said...

What a lovely comment, Nancy, thanks for the encouragement. Love that something out in the land reminded you of my work, nothing better! I will surely get to that giveaway soon, I hope!

Valerianna said...

Hi Barry - yes, definitely challening to take breaks from work, though I suspect they are useful, too. STILL not back in there, probably won't be until next week... oh well, something must be readying to sprout. Glad you like my threshold space with welcoming bits, essential for enhancing the enchanted feel of a studio space, I think!

Valerianna said...

Hi Gwen - isn't it wonderful seeing other artists' spaces and process, I get so excited about it!

And, as I said to kd above, I think that image of me is very dramatic, kind of a black and white old movie poster. Not sure what I'm starring in, but I like it as a portrait!

Valerianna said...

Thank you! I'm not that down, just busy with things that take me away from my true calling. Isn't that amazing, that beam, and what it does for the sense of entry?

Starr White said...

Beautiful portrait! and so many wonderful textures in your photos. I am always happy to see a post from you pop up in my reader, because I know it will be full of beautiful and interesting things. It would seem that we have been walking a similar path lately. It is my prayer for you (and for myself) that you will be relieved of the financial worries so that you can be free to follow your soul's calling.

Saskia said...

again another wonderful glimpse into your studio life in the forest, I'm happy for you and Pasha that the weather is slowly improving; hope your sales are successful, financial strains are such a drag, and I haven't -yet- found a solution for ours either.

Mo Crow said...

there is such serenity in your studio, forest and the work that pours out of your hands, thank you for sharing V.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

love looking at your long worktable...that kind of table always calls.
and may the transition complete itself and let you deep into your work again,

Velma Bolyard said...

rich here

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Starr - things went reasonably well in getting some mula together, so I can breathe easier now for a spell!

Valerianna said...

Hi Saskia - the weather did improve, and then it got very, very cold and wet and doesn't at ALL seem like spring anymore. In fact, its Wednesday afternoon at about 5pm, and I'm heading to the wood stove to light a fire in a bit! Wishing you magic around finances, it is such a downer to be struggling!!

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Mo - I'll go back and look for serenity... I love seeing through a new lens, and the serenity lens you've suggested is well appreciated.

Valerianna said...

Such a good kind of makeshift table. Love that it can just go away if I have a group in.... which, in fact, it did so I can hold a retreat on Friday. Looks like you are able to comment here again, Grace, yipee!!

Valerianna said...

I like your choice of words

Sandra Dunn said...

Spring has entered the forest,,, may it revive and strengthen you, V. Love the yellow coltsfoot flower. Your artwork looks lovely as always. I really like the circular green leaf - the center looks like a diamond drop. :)
Hello to Pasha!

illustration poetry said...


i would love to stay here looking at your paintings, having a cup of green tea. And please teach me how to paint nature, okay thanks!


Valerianna said...

Sandra - that leaf is a Lady's Mantle leaf. Water always collects in the leaves, such a wonderful plant! Been cold here the last few days, but today, spring has sprung again! Pasha just came to meow his hello back... ^:^

Valerianna said...

Oh, but you sure know how to paint nature!!!

Paper rainbow said...

Your three panel painting looks amazing! I love your woodland walk, wild flowers are so entrancing, their names, coltsfoot, lady's mantle, buttercup.. they are so full of joy in themselves, lovely to discover your blog!

Valerianna said...

Thank you, glad you found me here at RavenWood. Yes, I love the names of flowers.

Jo Potter said...

It has been a very odd time for many of us at the moment and the strange weather this spring does not help either!
I'm sorry to hear about your ill friends, I know how much of a worry it can be. I hope things calm down for you soon and all is well with them again.
As always your work, studio and your life in Raven Forest is magical. Lovely photos... Take comfort dear friend that you are in a special place for healing and creativity.
Love to you and Pasha,
Jo & Ziggy. xx

Caterina Giglio said...

nice to see everything greening up around you, your forest and your studio growing and taking shape along with your art... and we are so influenced by those around us.. x

Heather said...

Beautiful studio and such gorgeous surroundings! I really like the picture of you just after the one of the lady's mantle. Interesting angle and lovely expression.

Valerianna said...

oh dear... sorry to take soooo long to respond to your comment. I've been a bit ill, and it has knocked me out of internet land other than checking in briefly on FB and blogs. Friends are better, it seems, but now its my turn! And we've continued with the strange weather, VERY cold, almost freezing here over the weekend, but now it will go up to hot on Friday... strange, strange. Hope you are well and all those you share your life with.

Valerianna said...

Yes, Caterina, yes, concern for those around us can have a big impact! Things are surely greening, and now, after a week of rain, the grass is a tall as the trees!!

Valerianna said...

Hi Heather, yes, I like that one, too!!

Tiffany D. Davidson said...

It is months sometimes between when I log into blogger and the next. Your blog is always a comfortable place to me, as comfortable as being home with myself.

Hope you're well