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.