It’s always nice to see my work in it’s ‘forever home’. This one is a bit special because I got to hang it myself – and it’s one of the most difficult paintings to hang because it’s not only a 4-piece painting, but because the four panels can be rotated, all the wires and hooks have to be perfectly aligned, so that when it’s changed around, there isn’t a need to make any adjustments. Here I am with the finished installation.
I was preparing for an upcoming poetry feature or two that happened to pop up in the next 6 weeks and decided to read a few poems from each of my books plus some newer ones. While going through the poetry folder on my laptop, I found a poem that I’d forgotten I’d written. I guess that’s what happens when I don’t exercise the poems after they’ve been completed. I think this one was inspired by a dream, rather than a storm, but as we can see with my train of thought, the sky is still playing a role!
A grove of trees
Near the top of the hill
A grove of trees
Stands in warming sun, refreshing rain
In storms, in blazing heat
In beautiful dawns and sunsets
Growing together, outstretched limbs
Touching and intertwining
Shedding leaves mingling on the ground
Budding together in spring.
A summer storm
Gathered beyond the distant mountain,
Rolled thunderheads like cabaret girls plumes
Water looking like smoke
Anger aloft for no reason
Power gathering, struck
One of the trees
Cast into flames briefly
Extinguished by a torrent
A spirit borne aloft into the wind.
And still we stand
Trees growing together
Still stretching, ever branching
Budding and shedding in the seasons
Seeds falling by and saplings sprouting
And a space amongst us
Left by one tree taken
Where sun now shines between.
Our branches still dance the memory
of your shadow on the grass.
One of the advantages of the cosy summer days is that the oils dry faster, so my previous oil painting is already dry enough to go on a wall, and the next oil is in progress. I was inspired by a misty scene I saw on the internet and decided to incorporate some of that mistiness and put a sky of similar colors above it. This is what I have so far – I intend to put a tree on the left when this layer had dried enough to paint over it rather than sinking into it.
I nearly made myself sick painting this layer though. I’ve only got one large brush that I was using for the background, so I was continually cleaning it as I worked through the color gradient. As I’m using odorless turpentine, I didn’t realize how much the fumes were building up in the studio – and indeed the whole house – as was about 108 outside and the A/C is on and the house isn’t very big. I was feeling queasy and developing a headache. Even after I’d taken out the turpy paper towels to the trash can, it was still an issue. Serendipity to the rescue again. I noticed there was a stiff, hot breeze blowing outside and I thought – there’s nothing for it – I need a different batch of air. Opened all the windows and doors for five minutes – the temperature was quickly up to 90 degrees inside (I usually keep it around 79) – but that hot air was fresh. The A/C quickly got everything back to 80 after I’d closed up – but I know I could not have done it without that breeze! The wind died down soon after too.
So, from a breezy phase to another quiet sky. I have not yet settled on a name for the painting – I usually don’t until they’re complete. More in a couple weeks when I can get the tree on.
I had the hardest time naming this piece. I painted the watercolor some time ago and only in the last couple days got to cutting and mounting it. Then I couldn’t decide what to name it…. eventually I went with ‘Last Stop’, because I think the birds are making their last stop before migration, and the phone/power poles have reached the end of the line too. All that’s left is the sky to fly in.
Anyone living east of the desert is probably hoping I’m the anti-Punxsatwny Phil and am merrily predicting spring. Well… my powers aren’t quite that great, but I can predict that this coming Saturday I will be at Art Under the Umbrellas in Old Town La Quinta. Here is one of the paintings that will be available and looking for its new owner.
Here are five progress steps for the painting I created at the 6th Indio Chalk Festival yesterday. I understand my painting is being washed away by rain as I write. That is the destiny of ephemeral art. It took about 5 hours.
This Thursday and Friday I am scheduled to be working at the 6th Annual Indio Chalk Festival. I say scheduled, because on Friday, raining is also scheduled, according to noaa.gov and accuweather.com. We need the rain so badly. I intend to chalk my fingerprints off on Thursday! Unless I find a better photo between now and then, I will repeat ‘August Afternoon’ (above) in homage to the rain gods and will be content that my offering would be washed away on Friday. Also, hopefully the downpour will be completed by Saturday morning as this weekend I will also be at Frances Stevens’ Park for the Desert Arts Festival. For this show my work “Palm Springs Sunset” is featured on the event postcard.