Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the Cusp of Autumn

It's one of those jewel-like days in the north woods where you hardly know what to do first: go and lay in the hammock and read that book that's been waiting, walk in the woods and look the tinges of bright color, throw open the studio windows and paint that painting that is in your heart, get out your easel and set it up down by the lake shore, pull up a comfy chair and work on that jig saw puzzle, write poetry, read poetry? 
I just got a wonderful new book of poems by Mary Oliver..."another year gone, leaving everywhere it's rich spiced residues: vines, leaves, the uneaten fruits crumbling damply in the shadows........I try to remember when time's measure painfully chafes, for instance when autumn flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing to stay--how everything lives, shifting from one bright vision to another, forever in these momentary pastures." And so I did do a lot of these things...moving through my studio and readying things for the class next Wednesday...making plans for the last few art projects in the last 3 weeks here in the north.  

A tree fell last night in the darkness right across our drive...Greg heard it crash (I'd fallen asleep) and it is a huge one totally blocking the road this morning.  It is an oak with some living branches still on top...bright green acorns still clinging.  So my husband and a neighbor have been sawing away in the bright sunshine.  A limb from a maple came down with it and when I brought them lemonade at mid afternoon I could not resist lifting some leaves up to admire them.  It looked exactly as if mother nature had used spattering to make the colors of scarlet lake, lime green, new gamboge, and Winsor red.  

So I got out my little hand made piece of screening, 2" x 3" wrapped in tape, and blew the paint onto the image. Make yourself one of these little spattering devices...they are swell. (Love that word swell).  Just paint the paint on the screen and hold it close to your paper and blow briskly.  Voila.  Nice even spatter.  


  1. Did a class this morning with leaves - ours are still very green here so we pretended we knew what we were doing (!) and let the colors flow. I'm glad you mentioned the spatter - I have one of those little screens, too - but usually use a toothbrush, seems to work better for me - guess I'm not really "full of hot air" as some claim!

  2. Ginny - I got really nostalgic reading your blog today and the poem is just poignant and lovely. I love your spatter painting and think I will make some little screens for my kids at the alternative school. Sorry to hear about the tree falling - what a bummer! (But glad it led to your beautiful leaf painting.)