A Reminder to Hope

I’m deep towards the end of Lord of the Rings on audiobook right now and at last, this oft-quoted here reminder that light prevails.

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

I’ve been struck this time at how Sam and Frodo fit together – Frodo has the unasked-for, crushing burden with which he doggedly carries on, not knowing the end; Sam just as doggedly keeps hope for both of them. Hope that they will come out of this and there will be an afterwards, and that the world will survive, because light and goodness are forever above the passing evil.

Last light

A Reminder to Hope

The Light at the End of Day

Which comes pretty darn early now. These clouds were amazing. Taken in Stockbridge and West Stockbridge on the way home from the figure studio.

5 november 2019 evening//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Light at the End of Day

Figure Painting Studio

I sketched, I used water-soluble graphite, I watercolored… This album has all four weeks and you can see the newest at the end.

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Figure Painting Studio

September Morning Treats

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Spiders and the oxalis are still hanging on (click above for more images via flickr). The deer are munching on the hostas.

The other morning this was my pre-drive view:

September Morning Treats

September 11, 2019

REMEMBER

911, quilt by Mary Beth Frezon, 2001. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong of the Michigan State University Museum

This is what I wrote as an early statement about this quilt:

September 11, 2001
The phone rang. I watched my mother talking and prepared myself to hear that someone had died. Who could have imagined? We didn’t have a TV where we were so we didn’t get the barrage of instant images. All we could do is listen to the phoned reports and wonder.

What stuck me about that day was the change. The sky was crystal blue, the Adirondack water still sparkled with the sun, the mountains still held in the lake on all sides. What had changed was me. I felt that someone had knocked a hole in my body or head. That there was a gap between the me of a few minutes before and the me now. I looked at the others and they seemed to have the same problem putting themselves into this new existence.

I’ve used simple images to portray that turning point where the innocent happiness changed on a moment in time. I’ve left a suggestion that this will continue to evolve. All grief becomes tempered over time but how long before the memory of that moment is softened?

We continue to remember and take the time to memorialize and to remember.

…I grabbed the last Sunday Times
You stole my cab
We waited forever at the bus stop
We sweated in steamy August
We hunched our shoulders against the sleet
We laughed at the movies
We groaned after the election
We sang in church
Tonight I lit a candle for you
All of you

from — “Nine-Eleven” by Charlotte Parsons


Remember.

Recently I realized that people coming into an age to work and to vote were either just born or about to be born in 2001. So we begin layers of people who have no connection, no memory of that day or its events. I realize that small children alive then don’t really remember, in the way that some younger than me at the time don’t remember Kennedy being killed. I don’t always know what to make of everything that brought us to this time, with its blowhard narcissist, but I am still here, trying to do what’s right and making art and words and soon to be marching.

I remember being buoyed up by the responses to the September 11th attacks and also being worried about the sudden homeland security and searches and all “to protect us”. And I remember the rising tide of hatred, surrounded by all those flapping patriotic flags, hatred against those “other” people who hated us enough to want to hurt and terrify us. And here we are today.

Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.

#RESIST

September 11, 2019

Thursday evening, painting at Ooms

I took myself and my paint gear, along with a new Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook out to Ooms conservation area late this afternoon. It was a good outing, and the book seems good – more hot press-like than cold and did well with pretty wet painting even though it’s not a cotton paper. Afterwards I stayed for the sunset.

Thursday evening, painting at Ooms

Wednesday of Va-kay

I sat in a little park enjoying my coffee and watching clouds.

Then I came home and painted, yup, my mailbox.

Then I watched/listened to James Gurney answering some questions live on You-Tube about Gouache while I did these:

I used Holbein Gouache, a set of Primary Magenta PR122, Primary Cyan PB15, and Primary Yellow PY3, 74 and three tubes I bought myself Flame Red PR9, Ultramarine Deep PB29 and Permanent Yellow Deep PY1. I used the same Primary White PW6 for both wheels. The black in the center is not the Primary Black PBk7 of the set but mixed of the three primary colors. The primary mix was easier than the colors I chose. That flame red is pushy!

Wednesday of Va-kay