Sunday, July 13, 2014

Many Moons Have Passed

"Forest", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff 2014

Many moons have passed since last I wrote! I didn't wander off into the forest, 
never to be found again, or spirited away by faeries... no, I am here. I am 
quite well, in fact, better than I've been in a few years. My health is better, 
my grief is there, of course, but less on the surface now. I've been off on 
adventures since last I wrote, and found as the days turned into months 
since I've posted here, it felt harder and harder to know where to begin! I've 
not been visiting blogs much, nor spending as much time plugged in, but I 
imagine it might well be seasonal. 

I spent the early spring in the studio, determined to be in there regularly 
this summer. A few new pieces emerged that feel good to me. Not sure if 
the first two are finished, though they've been sitting for a long while now. 
In these photos, you might see that most are still wet.

"Forest Glow", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff 2014
"Hemlock", watercolor, 8"x10", VClaff 2014

"Hemlock Grove", watercolor, 8"x10", VClaff 2014
The winter invasion of mice after Pasha's passing has continued, though I'm getting 
it under control with a relocation program, new foam insulation under the house 
plugging up the mouse entryways, and peppermint oil packs in strategic places. I've 
had a number of small, adorable mice trap themselves in various buckets, this one 
greeted me one morning in the kitchen sink. At this age they are so adorable that 
relocating him or her outside alone was a bit challenging for me! 

Mid June found me in Vermont at the beatufiul farm of my dear college roommate, 
J'Amy. I had a wonderful visit with J'Amy and her family, and stayed with her mom, 
Sue at her little cottage surrounded by amazing gardens. Unfortunately when we 
went on the big garden tour, I didn't have my camera.

At the farm one evening, we were lucky to find a huge cecropia moth seen 
here with J'Amy's daughter, Leeya. We determined that this must have been 
the female as there were as many as 19 others flying around us, all interested 
in this one. It was magical!! 

Back in the forest, a new garden bed went in, and it has been a great year 
for moths, including the enchanting luna moths. 

A long overdue renovation project is underway thanks to a development grant 
I received from a local corporation. New siding to replace old, rotting shingles, 
a drain under the house so no pond forms in heavy rain, new entrance stairs, 
a new downstairs bamboo floor (!!!!) and varioius other wonderful gifts including 
a new gas cookstove and a backup heater so I might be able to go away in winter! 
One factor in my long absence from here has been the presence of workmen here 
every weekday and various projects I am undertaking alongside them. My usual quiet 
summer with the mosses has been overtaken by this project and LOTS of people 
here. It is well worth it, however, as my gratitude for the improvements is over-
flowing! With the completion of the bamboo floor downstairs this week, and a 
few details here and there, I believe the six weeks of work will be coming to an 
end. I am very ready for some quiet time with the mosses.

Once the new stairs went in, I suddenly HAD to paint the doors green... 
maybe I was influenced by the daily visits of the luna moths. 
I was lucky to capture a little video of two on the screen 
one evening. I find luna moths to be quite otherworldly.  


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

It's good to see your post and to know that you are doing well. It's amazing that you got such good pics of the moths. I have seen several different ones around the house lately but I have no clue what they are. I am especially taken with the orange and brown ones that have really made their presence known.

Don't wait so long to post again, please.
xx, Carol

ELFI said...

c'est très beau..les papillons et peinture petite souris est mignonne ne pas oublier, tes aquarelles dans un soupçon de vert!
bonne semaine...

Marti said...

Celadon door, amazing moths, the painting of the Hemlock Grove, time in Vermont, all such good things to see here. Time away to take care of necessary repairs, time to quietly complete work, time on a farm with dear friends replenishes life. Glad that all of this occurred for you.

Lynn said...

You have been busy, Valerianna.
Wonderful paintings.
I can imagine that you're anxious to have a bit of summer peace and quiet. As nice as it is to have those projects taken care of, renovation is loud and busy!
I've also been neglectful of both my blog, and of visiting others'. Nice to get caught up here. x

Sharmon Davidson said...

It's good to 'see' you again, Valerianna, and to know that you're doing well. You must be so excited about the renovations; I've been doing the same this summer, and I know how nice it is to get those things fixed! Your place is looking wonderful. I'm loving the new paintings, especially the first one. Blessings and hugs to you!

ArtPropelled said...

Good to read that your health is better and that you are still painting... and blogging. I'm always hoping to arrive here one day to discover you have a new furry friend to keep the mice at bay.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

a Post well worth waiting for! are LUCKY for the good.
the black and white you know what it is?
I haven't seen a Cecropia for so many years and the flutter of 19...ohhhh...
I love the glow of the hemlock grove...
it feels as if All is Very Well at Ravenwood...Love,

Starr White said...

Hi Valerianna! Your new paintings are wonderful - they seem lighter and brighter. Though you've been very busy, it would seem that it has been a fruitful and restorative period for you, and I am glad to see it. The moths are spectacular! I think I am even more fascinated with them than with butterflies. Perhaps it is their mysterious quality. Best wishes!

Sandra Dunn said...

Nice to see you surface with such beautiful things - your forest tree paintings! moths galore and flowers. Glad to hear you're feeling well too. Hugs!

yew tree nights said...

Glad to see you back again! But I'm also glad that this past while seems to have treated you so well and that you have been fully enjoying your summer and accomplishing so much!! Lovely photos of moths, mice and everything else. Mellow summertime wishes to you.

Mo Crow said...

such a buzz seeing you & your beautiful world V!

gz said...

Good to see you back. Those moths are marvellous
xx gz

Barry said...

Hi VA - thanks for sharing your spring and the vibrance of flowers and moths etc - great to be out of winter. Love the little mice but you are right outside is their place. As Robyn says I too expect to see another furry friend at your place sometime. Go well, continue to be well and create well. B

Velma Bolyard said...

valerie-i left a comment, that seems to have disappeared...beautiful lunas, cecropias, and busyness.

Wyld Oak said...

So good to hear from you and know that you are doing well this summertime. I am happy that you blessed by moth visitations and essential forest-home improvements! Hugs & happy bloomings to you.

Karen said...

The moths are stunning! Glad that you are getting all the improvements done. x

Judy Martin said...

Watercolours are magical - moths are mystical
Nice to read this positive post.

summertime dreams said...

Hello again. It's been a while... I guess I've been away from blogs for over a year now. Life got a bit complicated for a bit. I just got caught up here and while I don't like to reopen old wounds, I wish to let you know how sad I am to learn of your loss of Pasha. What a wise old soul and dear little face. I will miss seeing him about these places. I'm glad to see you are still walking your walks, creating your works, and blogging about them! I hope to be around a bit more often myself. Happy summer and happy end of renovations! Enjoy your quiet time!

jan said...

Good to read your post. Glad to hear these changes are making such an improvement in your life. Glad you're back here. Look forward to reading more. XX