Monday, April 1, 2019

Walking In Sunshine

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
--John Muir

I'm so lucky to have a big dog that needs to be walked several times a day. He usually chooses our route and he is a creature of habit so we frequently end up walking the same path every day.   When we follow our normal route it's interesting to see little changes in the way things look day after day. As February comes to a close, you start to see tiny little buds show up on trees and think, was that there yesterday? Then something green starts to emerge from the ground. It's like the earth gradually starts to wake up after a deep sleep. And makes you realize that even though it looked like nothing was going on in this spot for several months, behind the curtain there was actually a lot of activity. A good life lesson there.

These walks are of course, good for me, and I get a lot of joy seeing how this little thing that we do several times a day makes my dog so very very happy.

One of the best things about these daily walks is the thinking time. I get so many of my ideas when I'm out free from the distractions of my home and electronics (I usually don't bother to take my phone). A few months ago I saw a friend out walking and said, "If you ever want to walk in the morning, let me know," and I respect her enormously because she said, "I really can't. This is when I collect my thoughts for the day." I also appreciate her honesty.

There's a famous quote by Grant Wood, who painted American Gothic, the painting with the farmer and his wife standing with a pitchfork, in front of their farmhouse. He said, "All the good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow." Without getting into left brain right brain stuff, when your hands and body are busy with routine tasks, your mind is free to think and imagine. Which is why the coloring book craze is so good for us.

Anyway, while walking with Rufus, I have watched spring approach, which is incredibly beautiful in Virginia. Winter seems to hang on a little too long, and the choking heat and humidity of summer still seem a long way off. One by one, pops of color have appeared -- the yellow of daffodils and forsythia, red of flowering quince, purple from grape hyacinths and crocus. This week the tulips are about to explode, and this morning I saw the first iris in full bloom. Artists never tire of flowers because the challenge of matching some of the real life colors is endless. Some colors can ONLY be found in nature, the most astonishing painting of all.

I've been painting flowers for years, sometimes obsessed with color, sometimes obsessed with shape, other times detail.

 Last summer I started some flower paintings exploring a new technique but found them lacking.

 Not really finished, to my eye. The fermenting and percolating in my brain all winter has helped me realize how I wanted them to look, and what I needed to do. During the past few weeks I have been furiously, obsessively experimenting and practicing. So today, April 1 the flowers in the outdoors as well as those created by me, are exploding. I'm starting a new discipline today, 100 Flowers in 100 Days (similar to my Daily Painting practice). It will run April 1 to July 9, I will post a new painting each day on FB and Instagram, and put up on my Etsy site for sale. We'll see where this goes.

These are a few that have been started but by no means finished. Watch what happens!

No comments:

Post a Comment