Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Whispering Wood

One evening, just before dusk, the forest called me out.
I wandered, mindful of every footfall in the whipsering wood.  

A Thrush and a Veery sang their fluting songs - the mamma
birds putting their babies to sleep, my mother used to say. 

Though I often walk this way, journeying at the edge of the 
light was an entirely different experience. 

I found myself on a mossy stone, where I often sit and sing, 
transported by the call of one tiny frog.

I sensed watchers all around, wondering why I came 
in the hours reserved for them.  

I am grateful to be feeling a bit better, to be full-time in the studio 
this summer. I feel free to wander and dream. It has been a long time 
since I've had such space. Blue-gray winter shifts to misty, healing green, 
and I find myself lost in a quiet meditation while painting this new work. 

"Spring Mists", watercolor, 15" x22", VClaff 2013

"Forest Glade", watercolor, 15" x22", VClaff 2013

painting - almost done

"Spring Green", watercolor, 11"x30", VClaff 2013

 I've been watching a bloodroot leaf change, 
and have become obsessed with the sublte shifts in color. 

In the studio today, Grace's Grass Woman reached out her 
hand and asked for the leaf - a spectacular combination, 
I must say! ( and I love the spiraling shadow behind her head)

In the garden, the Mountain Laurel bursts exuberantly 
beside the Spirea, but out in the forest, the show 
belongs to the laurel. 

Rarely do I see the tree frogs, but this mid-summer visitor slept all day 
in a crevice on my deck, except when I came around to see if he was 
still there. I finally had a chance to thank this beautiful creature for 
his song. Go here for a sample of the sounds of summer 
at RavenWood. 


Charlotte said...

A jewel of a post. Then to find your lovely forest, work and you on Terri's blog too, what a feast of the peaceful. I do so value the little windows into your forest.

gz said...

A beautiful inspiring place at all seasons- you are so fortunate

Barry said...

VA - I love what you have done with the camera to give a real sense of mystery about the woods and their call to you; and of course I love how you have rendered that feeling and image in your watercolours - it must be great to be able to enjoy the vibrancy of spring in the woods. Go well. B

ArtPropelled said...

"Forest Glade" is particularly beautiful, Valerianna. Loving the misty healing greens and feeling the mysterious, mystical qualities of your woods through your photography and paintings.

Umā said...

"Forest Glade" is amazing. I'm loving all of these greens.

Starr White said...

I love how you capture the feeling of the trees in your paintings - their quiet, mystical power. I can feel their spirit in your paintings - wonderful!!

kd said...

Beautiful - inspired work with the camera to catch the mood of that liminal time. And the watercolours are exquisite. YES! Love our little housemates of fur, feather claw and skin. The reptiles and amphibians are especially special to me as they are a conduit, connect me to my ancestral spirits in father and mother.

ramona said...

Wonderful post! I'm glad you're feeling better.

Hindustanka said...

Yes, the forest has changed... so as your paintings! like the tender tints of green.how is Pasha?
take care, Valerianna!

Tammie Lee said...


your painting looks gorgeous and so very inviting, i would love to walk right into it!

that leaf is beautiful too, i love that it has your attention in watching it change.

wishing you lovely summer walks. so glad you are feeling better!

Tiffany D. Davidson said...

Gorgeous painting ~ the fog light is spot on; reminds me a little of the Hedgehog in the Fog animation.

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Charlotte! "... a feast of the peaceful," I like that!!

Valerianna said...

I try my darndest to speak my gratitude daily. This dark forest is not for everyone, but it truly inspires me!!

Valerianna said...

Barry - glad you appreciated my whacky camera work. It happened by itself on one shot, then I noticed how perfect it was for the moment, so kept it up. I hope my watercolors are beginning to have that forest mystery feel. A few people who saw my work lately have called it 'creepy", much to my horror!!

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Robyn. I almost didn't put that largest, branchy tree in Forest Glad, but I think it really helps to push the forest back... and anyway, with watercolor, there's no going back.

Valerianna said...

Thanks Uma, I've been so taken with all the greens around here these days, deep medicine.

Valerianna said...

I'm happy that a sense of their mystical spirit comes through. Thanks, Starr.

Valerianna said...

kd - yes, I love those little creatures - such a slow and otherworldy way about them.

Valerianna said...

Up and down, Ramona, but getting very slowly better.

Valerianna said...

Hi Hindustanka - Pasha is good! Not loving the heat and humidity, nor am I, but he finds places under the ferns to sleep and keep cool all day!

Valerianna said...

Hi Tammie - ha, who knows what you might find in that wood if you walked into it... a good plot for a story.

Valerianna said...

Oh, Tiffany, I love that animation! I'll go back and look at my paintings with that in mind, thanks for the reflection on that.

Long Ridge Farm said...

Love the bloodroot.
Spring Green is lovely. Our summer is so green here, isn't it?

Valerianna said...

I've always loved the shape of bloodroot leaves, then to add such color, wow!! I imagine coming back from Africa you must really notice the lushness of New England.