Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Tree

The leaves are almost gone but this past week while in Floyd, VA I saw this tree that was striking and made me think of Halloween - the black & orange color theme!
Summer's end - Samhain time of preparation for the cold winter. The time of year when physical and supernatural worlds are the closest and magical things could happen.
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Heading up to the studio to work on some of those magical things. Marilu & I are putting together a Mini Holiday Nature Art Show opening this Saturday Novemeber 5th. Yes it is almost Novemeber! Come by 3 N. Main Street, Mt. Airy, MD from 11 - 3:30 on the 5th watch demonstration and see the creations we have come up with for the winter celebrations. 

View from my back door early this morning, Blacksburg, VA

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Websters dictionary says that seasons is "action of sowing" - "one of the divisions of the year" - "a special period" - Sowing is "to plant seeds for growing esp. by scattering".

I do believe that is what Mother Nature was doing this week, the winds blew the leaves, pods, seeds from the trees, scattering the seeds to rest during the winter waiting for spring to come. Autumn is a special time of year, the sky is bluer, the trees give us one last show before the winter rest comes. Walking in the woods, listening to the sound of the leaves under foot. The smell in the air, the crispness in the air and in the fall fruits, apples, hmmm.

Each year I collect leaves, I don't need more leaves but there is always one that is so beautiful that you just have to pick it up. Since, I plan to use the leaf image in my work for the mini show coming up in Nov. I have a reason to collect a few along the way. Leaves are wonderful to use in making monotype prints.Not only do they leave lovely negative shapes but transfer the ink in multiple layers.

Enjoy the season, take a walk, breath in the clear crisp air and prepare for the seasons to follow.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Along The Blue Ridge Mountains

Just a few miles up and over the Blue Ridge Mountains the leaves have already hit their peak color. The cold front that is now blowing through has taken many of the leaves off the trees. Our timing was pretty good last weekend. My husband Rick, friend Sarah & I took a day trip to Floyd, VA and along a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a bit windy but not too mad. The worst of the wind was in those overlooks that give you panoramic views. We were up near Buffalo Mountain. As we came down and were in-between the trees we were sheltered from the strong winds. Along the Parkway is private land, farms, we saw cows, horses and wild turkeys.
There are sycamore trees, wild rhododendron, pines here & there. Seeing the leaves falling always inspires me. Life has been some what busy with moving to a new location. Still trying to get the studio space to flow. But, the leaves have helped me figure out what I need to do for my up coming mini holiday show. I purchased several shapes & mini sizes of different kinds of canvas/boards. I kept going through pictures trying to think how to make small pictures work for a holiday winter type show. As I think of those leaves, the colors, the movement, I do believe that most of the images will be leaves. Some prints, using monotype & linocuts to create them and maybe some mixed medium painting type pieces. Might have to have a few little birds in there too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Elements - Water - Air - Earth - Fire

Listening to the wind blow this morning, dealing with pastels in the rain, leaves falling to the earth and wild fires out west. Since my work is influences by nature, I deal with the four elements all the time. They are part of my life as they are part of every one's life. There is a fifth element, quintessence, "quint" meaning fifth and the belief that this element is beyond the material world. The dictionary says quintessence is: "the purest essence of something". I used this as a title to one of my charcoal drawings, not knowing the connection of the fifth element.

Recently, I went to Chincoteague Island for a plein air painting weekend. It was hosted by my good friend Jeanean Songco Martin. It was a bit rainy over the weekend, there were breezes to deal with and mosquitoes. Marilu & I were in search of birds and trees. We found both, but in the area we were searching the mosquitoes were heavy and hungry. We found an area we could pull off the road in the National Wildlife Refuge and stay in the car to work. We jumped in & out of the car taking photos of herons, egrets, other shore birds and trees. We settled on a tree with some vine twisted around it from bottom to top. We could not identify the twisted vine, it was not poison ivy which is often seen on tree trucks but it was interesting so we took the time to do a field sketch. We were able to do some sketches of Great Egrets & Snowy Egrets as they were caring for their feathers, sitting in the trees over a swampy water area.

It did not occur to me then but as I look back at taking those moments to sit in peace and quite. To draw what we see in nature, I believe that it was a quintessence moment. It was the purest form of nature, watching but not interferring, recording what we see and taking that moment of peace as a private moment.

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...