Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Time For Appreciation

As I enter into this decade of my life, a multitude of things take me longer to accomplish, not least of which is finding time to do my blog. I get the greatest ideas for blog entries, in bed, in the shower on a plane or the road. Seldom do they appear as I sit to do another entry. But it’s beyond time to do another, so here goes.

This fall has been a flurry of comings and goings. I flew to New Hampshire to see my sister and stayed about a month hoping the foliage would turn. Very few leaves cooperated while I was there, I missed peak by about a week. But I did paint a bit, one covered bridge and a few buildings. Corbin Bridge is in her town and easily accessible with good vantage points, so I painted that. It was an exercise in pushing color as the trees were still mostly green. 

Corbin Bridge, NH
I also painted on the Rockefeller estate in Woodstock Vermont. That was a fun day. I got to speak French with a docent and we visited grandly… I do miss it. I also painted the Woodstock library as light was breaking behind it and over the hill top. Met a leaf peeper (as the natives call tourists this time of year) off a bus with the same last name as mine. Now that doesn’t happen too often.

Then after my return home, I was out camping with my husband and two friends in Arizona. I painted there as well, but that presented challenges of a different sort. Challenges of composition in making a straight on view of a cliff face work. I also tried to make my translation of it more abstract than rendered detail. Challenges of wind and cold were a reminder that winter is supposedly on its way. It was colder in AZ than in NH, imagine! A curious squirrel did everything he could to entice a morsel of food from me, but I had brought nothing with me to share.

Fool's Hollow AZ

All this travelling about got me thinking about seeing my surroundings with a fresh pair of eyes. New England, Arizona or New Mexico, the wonders of this land and the works of we the people are amazing. I really felt a connection to all the places I was in. Surrounded by granite in New Hampshire or lava flow in Arizona, the impermanence of our time here becomes inescapable.

This tends to make me even more impatient to catalogue what I see in the time I am here. I sometimes wonder if the kids will have a garage sale and toss the paintings that I have agonized over after I am gone. I hope not.

I don’t write so well that posterity will find any deep thinking of value. But, I hope I paint better than I write. I hope that people who view my paintings get a sense of the reverence I have for this land and appreciation for all the sacrifices that our fellow citizens who came before us willingly performed.

If you have read this far, I thank you. Not all my blog posts are this serious. But painting this land has settled a feeling of thankfulness in me that I hope I never lose; one I hope I can hand on to someone else through my work.

"In the moment of appreciation we live again the moment when the creator saw and held the hidden likeness." (Jacob Bronowski)

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