Tuesday, August 30, 2011

field of the goldfinches

August field

The flowers in the fields will soon be brown, their seeds flown, dispersed, or eaten, but not yet.  Goldfinches have been flitting in the fields, eating the seeds on thistles, bee balm, and coneflowers.  Goldfinches are BRIGHT yellow birds, and the fields still have colors, so a lot of bright dance is on.
I went to this field this morning and did a pencil sketch.  All last week I was in the world of medical detail.  Everyone there tries to dance well; still, I was glad to be here again for a while.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

poet in view

Cardinal in our yard

Philip Levine is the new Poet Laureate of the United States.  Yesterday we got the news, along with snippets of his poetry, his biography, and photos of him.  Fame for him.  Please link here, Philip Levine, to an earlier blog about his wonderful poetry.  Like our cardinals, his poetry flashes brilliance, flitting around in and out of view.

The cardinal is the state bird of many states in the American midwest.  Here I have tried to catch the male's amazing color and some sense of that amazing head, maybe nodding--in gouache, pastel, charcoal and graphite on Stonehenge paper.  Cardinals are clear, loud singers; certainly they add color and song, joy, to our yards.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

not Plato's cave

dove in mulberry juice and charcoal

My mother will be in a "cave" today, in surgery.
When she comes out, she will see my bird which I send as a message of love.
Truth and metaphor, for Sally.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paris gardens

paintings by Claude Monet

Claude Monet was 82 years old when he agreed to paint 19 panels of paintings that would be arranged in an oval or a circle in museum rooms designed solely for the paintings.  The painting, directly above, consists of four panels.  When I was standing there looking, I was about the size of the brown tree trunk:  large and vast these paintings are!  The imagery is from his gardens at Giverny.  The museum where the paintings were installed is a former greenhouse for orange trees, L'Orangerie, on the other side of a very long garden from The Louvre.

Water gardens and paint become the room; we are a part of a another world.

Monet's health was not great, and his eyesight was bothering him.  Still, he made these amazing paintings.  Mostly, he used brushes that were about an inch wide.  Still, there is amazing variety in the touch and sweep of the brushwork and there is elegance in the economy of the brushwork coming together to form images like water lilies or to animate the passages between the recognizable images.  And the color is gorgeous.  More than anything, Monet knew, loved, and passed on to us a joy of color.