In Honor of Spring and Frost

Or at least the last snow, still on the ground in places.

And in honor of the birthday of Robert Frost, one of my heroes. I appreciate the view of the world he showed us, with the hope in so many small things.

The Onset

Always the same, when on a fated night
At last the gathered snow lets down as white
As may be in dark woods, and with a song
It shall not make again all winter long
Of hissing on the yet uncovered ground,
I almost stumble looking up and round,
As one who overtaken by the end
Gives up his errand, and lets death descend
Upon him where he is, with nothing done
To evil, no important triumph won,
More than if life had never been begun.

Yet all the precedent is on my side:
I know that winter death has never tried
The earth but it has failed: the snow may heap
In long storms an undrifted four feet deep
As measured against maple, birch, and oak,
It cannot check the peeper’s silver croak;
And I shall see the snow all go down hill
In water of a slender April rill
That flashes tail through last year’s withered brake
And dead weeds, like a disappearing snake.
Nothing will be left white but here a birch,
And there a clump of houses with a church.

Robert Frost

In Honor of Spring and Frost

Monday Sun-Day

Was out early today, getting the Prius Prime’s 10K checkup. They say it’s totally one hundred percent good. I say, I have some questions… LOL but anyway after that, the sun came out. No clouds but still – sun. So I went off to paint. Windy as all get out. I put a weight on my tripod and still had to hold onto things. I was pretty pleased with the results. When I finally packed up to go to Mom’s – classic J.M.W. Turner clouds… of course. But still. Sunny and 50 in early March, I’ll take it.

Monday Sun-Day

Thursday: Snow, Wind and Clouds

After a howling windy night and a mixed-precip morning, I went to do a little cloud-chasing, taking the southern route home over county 28.

That landed me close enough to Ooms, so I sat there awhile and did a sketch before starting home.

Thursday: Snow, Wind and Clouds

Ah HA! The Job of the Artist

I started reading “No Time to Spare” by Ursula K. LeGuin and what a read it is. A blurb on the back by New York Times Book Reviewer Melissa Febos promised “The pages sparkle with lines that make a reader glance up, searching for an available ear with which to share them.”

And so dear reader, since the cats sprawled nearby look confused by my fist pump just now, this share is for you! (emphasis mine) Ursula writes about that question writers are asked: what does it mean? She encourages readers to seek out reviews and other analysts of writings if they can’t decide for themselves.

It’s a job I do as a reviewer, and I enjoy it. But my job as a fiction writer is to write fiction, not to review it. Art isn’t explanation. Art is what an artist does, not what an artist explains. (Or so it seems to me, which is why I have a problem with the kind of modern museum art that involves reading what the artist says about a work in order to find out why one should look at it or “how to experience” it.)

I’m on page 42 of this slender volume and this just stopped me in my tracks.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Meanwhile, today was a gray rainy day, not for painting, but I managed to buy some new socks. I also managed to go into an art supply store and leave without anything. I got an EZ-pass thing for my car after finding out from a co-worker that you can buy them at drug stores and grocery stores. Well, you buy it but they put all the money as a credit on the pass so it’s all good. Did some wash, did some reading, watched a favorite movie.

Yesterday I tried again on the scene I’d painted two days ago. Trying to figure out if it’s the change of paper (at least in part), paints getting rehydrated (they are now), me being rusty (yes and yes) but anyway here’s what happened. No explanations LOL per Ursula. Done from photos I’d taken of each scene.

Ah HA! The Job of the Artist

A Warm Bright Day

Rumor had it that today would be unseasonable warm and that was correct. Can’t complain about sitting outside in near 50F sunshine, painting and listening to the canadian geese trying to lord it over each other.

These were on the new paper, the first two on the turner 140 weight and the last, started to let number two dry and flatten a bit, was on the leonardo 300 weight.

Am currently reinstalling scanner software because unless I included a bright background these scanned in technicolor. I finally gave up and used ImageCapture which had its own weirdness but at least the color was better. Geesh. I would have been excited to have painted the scanned versions!

A Warm Bright Day

The Sun! The Sun!

I literally ran out of the house this morning when the sun appeared and found a scene to paint, even before starting to sip coffee! That is how sun-deprived we’re all feeling about now.

This one I did at home. I’m trying some new paper by Hahnemühle. The last two are 300lb Cezanne paper (cold press) which is quite a bit stiffer than the 140 I generally use. The first was 140 but a different type that is only sized internally – it’s their Turner line. It’s quite a different experience from the Arches that I have been using from the start. I bought full sheets of both to try and the Turner is smaller (20×26″) than most sheets (22×30″) which confused the heck out of me but I worked out the math to cut it up. Another good use for the mat cutter! This paper came via Acuity Paper in Indiana.

And in case you wondered – was that Mary Beth out there at the side of Old Post Rd? Here’s how you can tell:

M4KE 4RT

The Sun! The Sun!

Third of February – Blue Sky

I was being good and staying home sorting stuff for trash night when suddenly the world turned bright and shiny. The first photo was taken this morning when it was still pretty grey, of a shrub of bright red berries I admire often.

I did these while sitting in the car – just a hair too cool to sit outside for long. I realized though that the main problem with this – the lighting inside is too dark. Will have to dress warmer I guess!

Third of February – Blue Sky