We live on the development edge of the ever expanding “Greater Toronto”. Despite this, there are still some wild pockets of tranquility not too far from our home. Today we slipped into the woods. It was a perfect day; sunny, and that temperature where you feel like your skin goes on forever. A bounty …
This is what you see everywhere – along the roads and paths, in the old farm fields, and in our yard in places left undisturbed – purple New England aster and yellow goldenrod occasionally frosted through with white. The pollinators are making the most of these new fall colours. Too soon we’ll have the last blaze of red from the maples, woodbine, and sumac before winter sets in.
The heat is kicking us back to summer, but the colours know it’s time to fade to fall.
Green is busting out all over and it sounds like Hallelujah ! No names do justice to the green dialects currently on display. Maybe I should be painting it, but instead I’m eating it, fermenting it, preserving it, planting it and spending my days letting my eyes just listen to it. Too soon everything will dress up in summer’s green and I’ll have to wait another year to pick up this conversation.
Chippy likes it too.
Colours that lie opposite each other on the colour wheel. Placed next to each other, complementary colours enhance the brilliance of both; mixed they cancel intensity.
Am I placing complementary goals in my life next to each other, or mixing them and getting mud ? Something to think about this year.
GOat in PEACE, 2015
A study in orange-red and blue-green
acrylic on canvas, 9” x 12”
Palette: Cadmium red, cadmium orange, cobalt turquoise, ultramarine, titanium white and ivory black
I’ve been writing this post in my head for awhile, and by awhile I mean weeks. There is some sort of break between my head and my fingers when it comes to writing, or maybe it is easier to hit delete in my head (which actually explains the rather infrequent posts). However, the inspiration for the post, a painting, is finally finished which has given me a little boost in the I can get things done department.
I do dishes around here rather often ( so does my husband – not complaining dear !) and sometimes or maybe most of the time it feels like my effort would have more value elsewhere. But one particular day all the stainless steel pots and pans piled in the sink struck me as being rather artful. The cool light from the window was spilling over one half and the warm light from inside illuminated the other half. I stopped and took a picture. I ended up using this picture for an exercise in complementary colours I did in my slow attempt to start painting in acrylics. It was probably not a good choice for a beginner ; all hard lines and, reflections and shadows. I got rather frustrated on several occasions, but hey, not simple and frustrating can work sometimes too.
I’ve been thinking on what I value as an artistic experience, and my pots have inspired me to try and appreciate my everyday work as an important part of who I am as an artist. Strangely enough, a book I grabbed from the painting section at the library yielded this quote from the first page I flipped to:
When you wash dishes, be with the dishes only. … For the painter, mindfulness is a good exercise in concentration. – The Zen of Creative Painting
Was I being mindful when doing dishes and seeing a painting ? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m seldom thinking much about the dishes when doing them. I’m usually listening to music or watching the scenery out the window. Have I failed mindfulness ? It seems for me everything is turned around. When I ‘m painting I can’t be anything but mindful; I loose all sense of time and of having anything but form and colour in front of me. Painting is probably the closest I come to real meditation. Maybe art will lead me to mindfulness in life instead of mindfulness in life leading to art. Either way, I want to regard all of my daily experiences more highly.
On the other hand, you can read this (which appeared in my inbox not long after reading the aforementioned quote):
and get some more thoughts on mindfulness. It’s just that kind of day …
Time to paint !!!
Reflections on Value – a study in yellow and violet.
6 1/4” x 11” Acrylic on Illustration Board
I’ve been exploring neutral colours in colour mixing lately (acrylics), and now nature has obliged me with beautiful examples !