Friday, December 31, 2010

old year/ new year

winter field

Rain today has dissolved most of our snow.  Yesterday, at this nearby field, snow was not thick but still it dissolved most of the recognizable forms.  The grasses, the young trees, and the far treeline came in and out of definition, depending upon whether I fixed my view upon them or upon the snow or upon the winter-grey sky.

The year changes tonight.  2011 will become distinct at times from other years.  A vast field:   I'll move in and out of it, forward and backward, around and around.  You, too:  best wishes, Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

sparrows and snow

sparrow and snow

Our house sparrows are of course brown.  Still, when they are flitting on and off the snow, they can seem to be carrying the snow with them.  The "glittering" back and forth of snow and feather markings adds extra activity to the view.  With a busy flock of sparrows on the snow beneath the feeders, ohmygosh what a lot of this glittering clatter!

As with the bluejay in a previous post, with this small sparrow, I wanted to paint the detailed markings without detailing them.  Accordingly, maybe the markings flutter a bit, yes?

Thursday, December 9, 2010


November late field II

This field painting is revised.  It is a re-vision of my last post's image, a tweek.  The goldenrod-like passages are a bit stiffer/drier than before.  (They were just a bit "damp" or merged with the other in the previous painting, I decided.)  Words are difficult explainers when the tweeks are so slight.  Can you see the difference?  Please excuse me this revision; I did think the painting was finished when I posted it here.

Jack Levine talked about his troubles finishing paintings.  His gallery would send a truck to pick up a painting, and the truck would go back, empty, time and time again.  Also, this "trouble" of his:  I remember a truly wonderful large painting of Susanna as a child that hung in their living room whenever I was there (first, when I was studying with Ruth and then, when visiting); Jack would ocassionally gaze upon it and remark that maybe it would be finished soon.  When I first heard this comment, Susanna was a young married woman.!

We re-do, don't we, all of us, even if we are not painters.  Something about respect for the subject there, isn't there?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

bear field, leaving

late November field

This is the last "bear" field for the year, a small pastel painting from a sketch at "my" field, about two miles from home.  (I have sketched at that field almost weekly since the spring.)  Today snow covered the fields.  Bears and bear fields will be dormant, ungrowing, for quite awhile, five months at least.  Any latent growth is below ground now.

I started with a layer of ashey cool grey and cool sienna for the earth.  Leaves and some white seed heads fluttered around the page.  The queen anne's lace, like an old, still-elegant queen, held itself apart-- not fallen--but dusty-crystalline, no longer gold.  Brittleness suffused color throughout the field.