Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Walk in the Woods



Sitting down to my WIP today was a daunting experience. So much left to do. Although I have more than 50% coverage, most of the covered areas need development, darkening, burnishing. Today, I am tackling 'sky holes'; you know, those glimpses of sky you see through the branches of the trees. Scary stuff, deciding on colour values and strengths that are not too dark and not too light (a true Goldie Locks moment). Meanwhile, Spring opens up with the early show of wildflowers. While my current WIP is certainly an expression of burgeoning Spring (absolutely rampant with blatant fertility symbols if you haven't already noticed) I'm missing out on the small moments that slip by so quickly.

I'm not sure how others manage to hole themselves up in studio for days at a time (at least I hear that this is what people do). I need to be outside, up and moving my body through the world. I walk everyday, and almost always in the woods.

To paint the forest I need to understand it. Understanding is more than just pulling out a camera and snapping a reference shot. I need to see the forest, but not just that, I need to smell the forest, all it's scents inhaled deeply. I need to feel the forest, not just as the ground beneath my feet, but to feel it in my muscles as I trude along, an ache in my knees and my hips from countless footsteps past, feeling endless footsteps forward.

This is where the art comes from, and without the physical experience, there would be no art.


About the pics:
Click to see them at a decent size.

Top, is the trout lily showing off one of it's best features (and the one it is named after). See it's brown speckled leaves? They are gorgeous, sparkling and upclose have an almost holographic glimmer to them. Here is last years coloured pencil version of the Trout Lily.
Still walking along, how can one possibly miss a the startlingly bright Scarlet Cup, a ground fungous most notable for it's colour.
One down further, and here is the White Trillium still shaking off winters sleep.
And last, Spring Beauty. If you can actually bother with getting down on your hands and knees and getting nose to nose with a cluster, you'll notice they smell as sweet as they look. On a wind still and warm day, where they are numerous, you may even catch a whiff of them as you walk by. I apologize for the blurry photo, but my camera is a 2M point & shoot, and the view finder is so small I haven't a clue what it's focused on until I get home. It's the best I can do for now, and it is such a small and diminutive flower I didn't want to leave it out.

7 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

I think art means more and you feel more from it when the person making the art has actually experienced what they are making art of (that doesn't make a lot of sense). of course there is a lot of great art where the artist has never seen what they are painting in the flesh, but you can sometimes tell when an artist is just painting for the sake of painting the objects compared to one that they have a passion for.

Jenny said...

Ah, all of our best spring friends coming back to bloom for us! I know I said on my own blog that trilliums are my favorite, but I love the trout lilies too... and the spring beauties... it's so ALIVE outside right now!

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Jennifer. You're making sense, to me anyway. I'm always thinking, before I start something lengthy, is this one worth spending hours/days doing? I think you need a passion for the subject for that.
Jenny, it's impossible to decide on favourites, isn't it? I just run around saying 'this one, this one, this one, and oh yeah, that one too'.
I may ask again, but has anyone smelled a rotten log that smelled exactly like anise candy, as in edible and yummy? No, I didn't eat it but it smelled wonderful.

Jennifer Rose said...

"has anyone smelled a rotten log that smelled exactly like anise candy"

don't think so. cool tho and glad you didn't eat it! lol might have had something toxic on it

kaslkaos said...

Looked it up; there's several mushrooms with anise scent. It's not only been noted, but there's research being done into 'industrial' use to make a naturally sourced anise scent. While some are edible, I don't think I'd want to chomp on a punky log; however, it smelled so good I now have a strong urge to bake anise cookies. I just can't describe how good it smelled; one of those 'moments' that stick, like a dream you wish you could extend. I'll be sniffing again on tonights walk. http://www.mycologia.org/cgi/content/full/94/3/373

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I need to be out there as well. If there is nothing going in - nothing can come out, so to speak! :) So I understand completely!

kaslkaos said...

Hoping you get out to sniff the flowers, Michelle.

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