bright jewels fall
from your fingers, paint the ground
in colours from a royal palette – amber, ruby, amethyst
Its taken a long time for autumn to start making her self felt, but the last few weeks have had a chilly nip in the air, and the daylight hours are getting shorter.
Many of our New Zealand trees are evergreen, and our winters are often more richly green than in the summer. But we have many exotic trees as well, and the contrast makes their fallen leaves and bare branches even more special.
Following on from my previous post – here are the next nine portraits:
Learning so much about colour, and the use of light and shadow.
January to February 2019
I’ve been working through a portrait painting series of workshops called “Take Thirty” by Misty Mawn. This is available from her website http://www.mistymawnart.com/ .
These are my efforts from the first nine workshops. There are a couple here I really love as they are, and many that would be worth starting over again. Proportions, angles, shapes, relationships that are not right. But just to show that we all have to start somewhere, and we all have days when things just don’t work out that well – I’ve decided on “full disclosure”. So here they are – all nine so far.
What I’m finding is that I am beginning to work more quickly, less obsessing over getting every detail perfect, and more able to tune in to a more intuitive process. I say that – but I’m still aware of being quite analytical, constantly making comparisons, choices, decisions. But sometimes this process seems to slip just below the surface, so I can feel it happening, but there is equally that emphasis on the word “feel”.
Perhaps its more about the power of practising something enough that you begin to draw from that in a way that feels more natural, more personal, because its based on your own experience and knowledge of what’s worked previously.
I’ve discovered that now my creative practice has shifted into this visual form, I’m writing much less. Its as if my brain isn’t comfortable working on words and images at the same time. And yet, there is a time when I want to be able to merge the two.
I’m about to start the eighteenth portrait – so I’ll be sharing that soon.
the falling begins
the withdrawal, the sheltering
hold life close to your heart and release the past
Our Autumn usually begins in March, but we’ve had such a long, hot summer its hard to imagine the weather changing. But just this morning – it was cooler, I wore a light-weight jersey to work, I fiddled with the air-conditioning trying to change it from cooling to heat. I realised that I am noticing the change, ever so slight, that is starting to happen. And when I went outside to cross the road to the little sandwich shop opposite, the freshness in the air was a shock and a joy. The air felt fresh, clean, as if it was somehow more full of energy and oxygen than usual.
So – welcome Autumn. Come and bring your falling leaves, your cool temperatures, and I will begin the sheltering. This is the time when we move indoors, not to get out of the sun, but to conserve heat, to wear an extra jersey, to throw a rug across the bed. I should have realised the change was coming when the cat began to sleep on the bed again after weeks of night-time exploring – he had begun to notice the drop in temperature on his midnight rambles.
So – welcome Autumn. And as I start to move inside, I’ll notice the treasures I have around my house, and I will light a candle to the memories. But I will hold hands with the present, with the here and now, and what gives me purpose and pleasure.
So – welcome Autumn. And soon you will bring your sister Winter. And that’s when things get serious.
filling the space,
every window shows your face,
your multitudes, your bright insistence
February calendar post at last!!
Why has it taken so long – no idea – beyond printer not working, going back to work after summer holiday, and putting my time into painting.
Anyway – here ‘tis. This is my world, my green view – this is what I see if I feel like a spot of daydreaming.
And now that the cicadas have come out in force at last, I wonder if a big shiny insect might have been a better image. Still – they need the trees and trust me – they are all over these.
granddaughter and the wolf
I will build a small house in the woods
with a library and a kitchen and a studio and a bed
and when the wolf comes
I will invite it in
and read to it in a quiet voice
with an even rhythm
and a slow pace
I will cook the meat it brought me
and we will lie on the floor
holding the bone between us
and chew our way to the centre
until our noses touch
I will use a large brush to paint its portrait
in gold and silver and grey
with eyes closed and mouth just open
and when it is tired
it will crawl onto the bed
and I will lie beside it
and comb its fur while it dreams
in the morning
we will drink the broth
and polish our teeth
the question is – who is the granddaughter?
Another year begins…
I’m making do without a printer at the moment – so the quality of these screen-shot images aren’t the best. I’ll update with better images in the future.
The theme for this year is all about the green world, the trees who stand guardian over us.
the wild dance shifting with the seasons
the wild pulse beating through generations
from the branching root to the breathing leaf
I wonder if anyone noticed the theme of last year’s calendar…
Here in New Zealand, January is the height of summer, and while a lot of the pasture land dries and turns golden, we have an abundance of evergreen trees.
hold the sky, shelter the land
dance in the half-light, verdant choreography
I’m writing from the armchair in my living room, looking out over the bush and trees on property that flow seamlessly into the local bush reserve. This is the first image with the kereru (woodpigeons) I’m using for the cover.
I’m still finishing off the rest of the months. The text came first this year, so I’m scrolling through my photos to find images that resonate and connect with the text.
I’m thinking of making a pdf of the whole calendar available – my gift to the new year – let me know if you’re interested.