Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Deep Winter

"Moon Night", scratbord drawing, 11" x14", VClaff, 2010

Deep in the forest, on a moonlit winter night, I am curled under 
wool and down, a young cat curled into me, dreaming. I sometimes
 wonder if he dreams inside my dreams, or me inside his.  

"Two Trees in Snow", scratchbord drawing, 8"x10", VClaff, 2010

Cold days are upon us, though there has been a cycle of warming 
up just as the snows come, bringing sleet and freezing rain and lots and 
lots of ice. I have not taken my icegrips off my boots all winter. While 
I walk here, I do not dare wear any other shoes. 

"Moonlit Maple", scratchbord drawing, 7"x5.5", VClaff, 2010
Having pulled these scratchbord drawings out for my open studio,
I've been looking at them and seeing the deep dark they contain, 
thinking how they are just right for this moment. They are now 
listed in my Etsy shop in this deep dark of winter. If you'd like 
to take a look, go HERE

"Moonlit Birch", scratchbord drawing, 6 3/4"x 3 3/4", VClaff, 2010
"Moonlit Hemlock", scratchbord drawing, 11"x9.5", VClaff, 2010

"Glow", scratchbord drawing, 11"x8 3/4"", VClaff, 2010
 Getting back to work has not been smooth. The heat is working 
very well, but I've been busy with school and other projects and distracted, 
often, by Rhu who is still young and has lived here only five months and 
I still keep an eye on him while he is out, as much as I can. But I 
have begun, and that is good. 

Always when I am in the studio, and especially on a sunny day, 
my gratitude for the space is deep. If you are new to here, you might 
not know that in 2011, I received a grant to build the studio as I 
would not have been able to do so on my own. I think that sometimes 
I feel I am abandoing this living, loving space when my 
full life keeps me away, and though I try to banish it, 
guilt can find me. Its not useful, I know, but it finds me still. 

Last weekend in the studio, I did begin to find the place I want 
to travel in with new work. Something about the icy winter, 
the storms, the cold and the mystery at the core of being.  

small mystery study, VClaff, 2015

small mystery study, cropped

I can't see the studio door from my worktable, but I can sense him. 
When I go to look, there Rhu is, looking in, wanting me to go out 
as he has not quite yet transitioned into studio assistant. I believe 
he is afraid of the ceiling fan, thinks its a bird of prey, as Pasha 
did at first. Its taking him a lot longer to adjust to coming inside, 
so, I am distracted. 

When he manages to pull me away from work, 
there are trees to climb,

and owls to impersonate, 

and deep snow to romp in, 

and sunshine to warm up by, once back inside, 
before the afternoon nap. 


Suz said...

Oh my goodness,he does look like an owl! He is such a beautiful cat... So so happy you have each other. Your trees are dreamlike

ELFI said...

tes peintures hivernales sont superbes .. et ton chat magnifique et amusant!

Karen said...

Love the picture of him in the tree impersonating an owl. He certainly has the colours of an owl. The wind is sounding like a wolf here today I'm hoping it will soon bring us a covering of snow. Stay warm.

Sharmon Davidson said...

I love your scratchboard pieces and how they capture a moonlit night.... your studio looks wonderful, full of creative energy, including Rhu.

Tammie Lee said...

ah the wonderful tree art and studio

looks like you have such good fun with your kitty. i borrow my friends dog from time to time and she loves the snow. watching a kitty in it is fun to see. lovely day to you!

Barry said...

Hi VA - such a full post. Love the winter drawn out pieces; but also the new experiments with iciness. So good that Rhu is such a good part of your life. There never seems enough time for our studios - but we do our best. Go well and create as you can in 2015. And stay safe and warm. B

Starr White said...

I love how the winter trees sleep and dream in your work, Valerianna. I've been thinking a lot lately about how the sleeping trees are gathering their strength for the warm months to come. Do you suppose we do that too?

Caterina Giglio said...

so glad your heat is on and you have begun... great owl impersonation.. :D

Mo Crow said...

Your Rhu is such a comedian!

Wyld Oak said...

Scratchboard seems like the perfect medium for bare trees, I love how you you have created such a wonderful sense of their texture and dimension. Besides the fact the trees creations themselves are stunning in all their curves and bendy branchings! I also love how Rhu responds to your prompts and encouragements with comings and goings. I've never wondered before whether my cats are dreaming inside of my dreams as they snuggle up to me...but I love the thought of it.

Judy Martin said...

That studio is so inviting!

Nancy said...

Love all of it here...all of it! But tonight I am most enchanted with your deep, warm laugh with Rhu Kitty :)

summertime dreams said...

I'm so glad to see you working again and also wishing that I could just, for once and for all, get over that hurdle of getting started. Gah. I did do a wee bit of design on the computer these last few weeks, but it's certainly not the hands on feeling that I crave. Love to see photos of your sweet companion as always. What personality he has - especially in his nose and tail. Sweet but also a bit mischievous, no?


Chère Valerianne,
Je découvre ton blog d'artiste avec beaucoup d'intérêt. Tes dessins d'arbres sont géniaux. O, voit que tu les aime. J'aime aussi l'esprit qui règne dans ton blog et c'est pourquoi, je m'y suis inscrit.


cath hy photographie & peinture said...

Très joli post !

Relishing Life said...

such a fun video, thanks for posting it

layers said...

I love your scratchboard winter tree pieces...they do seem to be in the depth of deep winter.. a perfect pairing with your images of snow and bare trees.

Julia Elfvenmyr said...

Lovely drawings of the trees! The snake-like shape of roots and branches is fascinating. There are a few trees like that in the forest near where I live and they always bring an air of mystery.

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Arija said...

Thank you so much for 'being'. I was led your way by a comment you left on my daughter's blog and felt tendrils of a kindred spirit reaching out. Living in a clearing (Northern Hemisphere) embraced by the shielding arms of a forest has always been my wish and being in that netherworld, I wonder, is it something like my knocking on the pearly gates? leads to so many inner changes. My blogging too has almost lapsed since april. My time runs short and cyber space no longer has the same attraction. I have added you to my reading list in the hope of another post or two. Loved your squirrel/cat video.

Valerianna said...

Hi Arija - I see you are the only person I've replied to on this post, dear me! Guess this was in the midst of our intense winter, so I must not have come back after I posted. Thanks for your visit and I imagine there will be another post or two here sometime in the near future.