Friday, March 30, 2007

twilight through trees

I love the way the sky and mountains peek through the tree limbs like little jewels. It is quite enjoyable to experiment with images that I wouldn't necessarily attempt on larger canvases. I particularly like this one, and have already started thinking about a strategy for working on it on a larger scale.

mountaintop study

Apologies for the late post today...I seem to have pulled some muscles in my shoulder and after last night's drawing class I was simply in too much pain to paint. I am still captivated by imagery from our weekend in North Carolina. This is from a spot that I painted in the morning looking to the west. I can still close my eyes and see the rows of mountains receding in the distance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

dogwood flowers

On our way home from North Carolina, we marveled that we had not seen a drop of rain-- a rare thing in the Smoky Mountains. It was probably the first time I have been there that we had sunny skies the entire time. Of course, we had gentle spring showers all day here in Tennessee, the kind of warm rain that makes the pale green of early spring glow on the trees and ground. I was surprised to see that even in a few short days, the dogwoods had bloomed. We are fortunate to have both a pink and a white dogwood tree in a little grove beside the house. In our absence, spring arrived.

up the mountain

We ended up camping on the mountaintop Sunday night. I spotted this incredible place on the way up to the top and Lee was kind enough to stop the truck long enough for me to shoot here. This early in the spring, the green lichens on the trees almost glow against the dark ground. When we reached the top, Derek spotted a black bear running throught the woods ahead of us. It was my first sighting of an adult bear and his first bear sighting ever! That, combined with steaks cooked on the campfire, coyotes howling in the distance, and mountains stretching out in the moonlight, made for a magical night.

Monday, March 26, 2007

top of the world

There is something so deeply moving about standing at a high point, rising above the concerns and trappings of life, and viewing the world from a different perspective. When I was in Egypt I watched the sunrise from a point such as this, and it was one of those experiences that almost warps time...that hour when I normally would have been asleep or doing something equally mundane is forever burned into my memory as a significant event, lived in soul-time. Any time spent on a mountaintop has the same effect on me. We "climbed" to the top of this one in Lee's 4Runner (the plein-air monster, as he just nicknamed it), and I could not stop giggling as we approached the top, giddy with each new view of blue mountains reaching into other states. Tonight we will sleep there, and watch the sun rise on the world in the morning.

twilight path

We spent yesterday afternoon on a mountaintop near Lee's place in Big Pine. While I painted, "the boys" took walks and explored the ridge. I had a hard time deciding what to paint, since there were far-reaching views in all directions. I finally put down the brushes and went off to try to catch up to them, but became preoccupied with the silence and solitude of the path, and I ended up alone at the top of the mountain, watching the sun set.