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.

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