The Little Close Encounter

Go out into the woods they say. Commune with nature they say. Draw strength from all beings. Yeah. Well sometimes you go into the woods, think deep thoughts and write a big book. Othertimes you go for a walk and stuff happens.

I thought I’d record some of the beautiful bird songs Tuesday so I used my phone. I was almost instantly sorry I wasn’t video recording. As soon as I hit the record button of course all the birds stopped singing, so I take a few steps toward the birds I can see and hear…

The next thing that happens is two birds tumbling through the air together whooped down on me out of nowhere and continued on their way. Whether they were enjoying what we called in Zoology Class a ‘cloacal kiss’ or were joined in a turf war I didn’t get a chance to find out.

Friday, trying. I’m trying. And why

If you recall, my motto is Practice, Persistence, Beauty. In that spirit I got myself out of the house, put a coffee and breakfast sandwich in my hand and splattered paint on paper for a short while before work. My goal – don’t be saying a few years from now – wish I’d used my paints…

When you set a timer because you really need to pack up and leave by a particular time, it puts what you’re doing in a different light – will not be finished, will not be perfect, what am I doing, sketch, darks, shadows, lights, what’s in the frame…

I got a little distracted by an oriole and some territorial canadian geese with a handful of goslings and maybe a fox sparrow and could that be some sort of warbler up there but despite it all some paint ended up on the paper and then I went to the other work.

Wednesday Night

Came home today and sat down to paint. Step by step we reach our goals, right? Added quite a bit, managed to leave a lot of white areas where there would be flowers and realize deep in my heart that dark colors are really something I need to get comfortable with. Very odd since in fabric I’m all about the darks.

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans. Aim high in hope and work. Remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die. — Daniel H Burnham

Tuesday out and around   

I took the long way back home this morning, enjoying the quiet road and the bright sun. There, a view was worth pulling over for got me taking photos and tonight I started this, but it has to dry.

Mother’s Day, Day Off

I had dinner with mom after work last night and she suggested that I go painting today. But it’s Mother’s Day, you know… Nope, she was pretty sure I should go painting if the weather held. So in her honor I took the new pochade box and all the gear and found the little Hand Hollow Conservation area in New Lebanon.

Right at the split of Hand Hollow Rd (?) and County 9, it was nicely marked, had a little parking area and trail maps and a nice pond with a couple picnic tables. Perfect for setting up the tripod and box. Because it rained buckets last night I used my beach backrest as a dry seat (because you know, wooden picnic table benches…). It was brisk so my black cap was welcome, as was the thermos.

Three cars pulled up while I was there, folks getting out and stretching their legs on a beautiful afternoon. The trail information talks about what to do if you come upon a bear – do not approach! make a lot of noise! – but all I saw was a pair of Canadian geese and small birds.

I tried very hard to channel the Brits and splash in washes to help define areas. I was not dismayed when the gray sky , which I’d painted rather well, turned beautiful and blue. I was more than glad to change that around. I was sorry no one wandered by to look over my shoulder while I was merrily dashing the initial washes about.

Tuesday, Paint Adventures

Threatening rain now but earlier today there was a narrow window of sun. I went out and had a quick breakfast, catching up on a friend’s trip and then headed off to work on the next phase of my travel kit prep. In the days when I did a lot of teaching at my quilt guild I put together a travel box with duplicate common tools. That way it was always ready to go and I never was missing things in my work room or at a meeting. Worked out great. So why was I trying to shuttle paint brushes inside/outside/inside etc?

Went off to Arlene’s with a short list of brush essentials for the paintbox. Managed to come home with what was on the list and only a little more. I did get some cobalt blue because I love to watch the UK guys dab it around for skies. And I also got a very greeny-gold color because that’s around a lot this time of year. Looks like it will grey up nicely too for darker olives and browns.

This first one needed to dry some so I can go back and add bluer-green shadowy areas.

Of course, it would have made more sense to do those the opposite way around, but on the second, all I really wanted to do was to try this 1″ hake brush. That’s going to take some practice to get color vs water right.

Tonight’s View

waiting for this to dry.

Integrity is the essence of everything successful. — Buckminster Fuller