October

waking slowly, you smile

and colour bursts across the hillsides,

fat, furry bees investigate your sleeves

The clocks went forward on the weekend here in NZ and now we live with the illusion that it takes longer for the darkness of night to settle over the land. Of course night and day come and go as they’ve always done – it’s just that we’ve adjusted our schedules to look at it differently.

And the land – she had started to wake – with trees opening their bright green hands, and blossoms everywhere – except now we’ve just had a dreaded cold snap.

I fear Spring is shivering in the rain and I wish I could wrap her in my arms and keep her warm.

drawing and painting

A couple of favourite pieces from the last few months.

A portrait Based on a reference photo of Georgia O’Keeffe (by Philippe Halsman). I know I’m not alone in finding her an inspiration.
And a portrait based on a photo of Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth in the film, Elizabeth, the Golden Age.

(using acrylic paint)

And these two drawings from the evening class I’ve just started going to.
(using charcoal to sketch, and Conté à Paris colour crayons – these materials are a whole new experience!)

August

IMG_3481

there is beauty in your ravaged body
and shelter still between your naked arms
not barren, only sleeping
not alone, the night birds are watching

Ah – another late post.

It wasn’t until I re-read this that I realised just how dark my words can be. What was written at the start of this year as a metaphor for winter, seemed to be speaking to some deep psychological state. And perhaps there’s a truth in that.

August came, and I slipped into the darkness that sometimes settles over me at the end of winter. The days are so short and the light is gloomy. Motivation dissipates, and all I want to do is to snuggle under a blanket and keep warm.

I’ve kept up with my artwork through the weekly classes I’m going to after work. But I haven’t put in much effort on the weekends. I was having a tidy up a few weeks ago and rediscovered my stash of wool – so knitting has become my weekend activity. I think that’s because I can do it while snuggled under the blanket mentioned above.

Anyway – today – I’m wondering if I’m starting to turn a corner. The weather is still awful, cold, rain, even thunder and sleet today! But I stood at my new easel and finished the drawing I’d started in class last Tuesday. Its good to be looking forward.

July

a little of madness, a little of wisdom

spin the compass in the midst of winter

a wild circling, a dance that keeps your heart awake

July – midwinter – sitting on one of the turning points of the year and feeling both the pull to go out into the dark, the cold, and the desire to keep warm and safe.

And realising that sitting in between these points achieves nothing.

There are choices to be made, risks to be taken.

Sometimes we need to use a tool to give us direction, and sometimes we need to be prepared to feel a little vulnerable, a little reckless.

It all keeps the blood pumping rich and hot, even if our breath and fingertips are freezing.

June

deepen your shadows,

rich histories beckon as we go into the dark,

slow mysteries in the undergrowth,

bright eyes watching

.

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June – the start of winter.

Time to reflect and remember- to open our inner selves to the dark while we shelter and keep our bodies warm.

Time to notice the life that continues all around us, though it might slow and withdraw into the shadows.

Time to check the mirror for our own reflection, to notice our own bright eyes looking back.