Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Predawn Musings

Moonlight always calls to me when it shines bright, lighting the outdoors and peering in through windows, beckoning me from the comfort of my bed, from the security of my house. I step outside into the magical light of night, and Petra, somehow knowing when I'm drawn to the moonlit night, leaves her comfortable bed to eagerly but silently join me.  We leave Steve and the other dogs sleeping, while we pad around the yard, filling and quieting heart and soul.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Like a Lion...

March's leonine nature has stepped to the fore, roaring in on a north wind during the night,  painting frost pictures on windows and thickly coating the deck with ice. The previously melting snow is now coated with a thick crust of ice, on which I could walk if it weren't so slippery. The feeders, nearly deserted yesterday, are bustling with birds today. Warm in wool, I watch, as I sip my tea and enjoy winter from my window.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Darkness and Dawn


Darkness and Dawn
I woke up and glanced out the bedroom window to see streaks of light breaking the darkness, crossing the night sky with hints of the new day. Racing to my studio, I painted this in the dark; if I had turned on a light, I would no longer have been able to see what was dim but dramatic in the early dawn light beyond my window. As I look at the sky on such mornings, I can't help wondering how often our lights, sounds, and other ways of adapting our world obscure from our view the often-silent beauty of that which is beyond our control and is far more majestic than anything we can create

This is one of the paintings on display at the East Fishkill Library until Friday this week.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cardinals

Watercolor 5x7
Cardinals
From early spring through summer, I awaken to the song of a Cardinal, the first herald of the new day. In winter, the Cardinals around my home seem to prefer their cozy perches and they let other birds announce dawn, preferring to wait for the late-rising sun to fully appear. Just in the past week, though, the  Cardinals have started singing their cheerful morning song, which tells me that they believe spring is just around the corner. Much as I love winter, I will welcome the warmth, the sunshine, and the song of spring.

This Cardinal watercolor is currently on display at the East Fishkill Library in Hopewell Junction, NY. If interested in purchasing it, please contact me at naturepainter@hotmail.com.

Here are a few of my journal pages from recent days, sketched in between shoveling snow:
 
 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birds and Dogs in the Snow

I know, snow is not a newsy worthy event by now, with the many snowstorms we've been having this winter, but I am still loving it. Today the snow is falling with large, lazy flakes, making for a muted, serene landscape. The view may be quiet and peaceful looking, but the birds are full of vim and vigor. Twenty or more Goldfinches vie for the best spots at our feeders, chasing off larger birds and getting in repeated airborne spats with one another. Our local bully, a large, confident Mourning Dove is back, claiming a one yard length of the deck railing. Whenever another bird ventures onto "his" section of railing, the Bully fluffs up to almost twice his normal size and rushes at the other bird, which hurriedly leaves. The Cardinals started their spring songs this past week, and the Titmice have been filling the air with their clarion notes for a while, so even though it looks like winter, it's starting to sound like spring.

 Stephen and I have shoveled pathways through the snow-- our "Cat in the Hat" paths, which encircle our yard, so that I can walk and the dogs run around. Petra is usually dashing full tilt ahead of me, careening off the paths to leap up trees or just plow with delight through the deep snow, while Milo trots steadily behind me, around and around and around, wagging his tail the whole time. Rowan spends much of his time "grazing" on bird seed that has spilled beneath the feeders, but he comes running any time he thinks I'm going to throw snowballs. Both Aussies loves to leap at the snow I toss aside when shoveling, and there's been plenty of that to amuse them, and even Milo gets in on the shoveling fun sometimes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wise Old Owl



Wise Old Owl
One morning before dawn my children and I went to a nearby county park to see if we could see a Barred Owl that reportedly was in the area. We waited quietly a half hour or so, before an owl suddenly swooped in on silent wings, then perched in a tree in plain sight. We observed and sketched him for over half an hour, before he left as silently as he had arrived.

Here is my journal page from that day in 2001, when I observed a Barred Owl with my children. We also found a dead weasel right near the owl's area, and we wondered whether the owl had killed the weasel.
 This watercolor is currently on display at the East Fishkill Library in Hopewell Junction, NY. If interested in purchasing it, please contact me at naturepainter@hotmail.com.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Winter Sparkle

Watercolor 5x7 (8x10 framed)


Winter Sparkle
I stood at my front door, every few minutes stepping briefly out into the winter cold, attempting to capture the magic of the early morning sunshine sparkling on the stream as it wound its way through the woods. This is the view I see every morning, sometimes covered with snow (as it is today), sometimes green with lush growth, and often in the winter, nearly monochromatic, which makes the sparkle of the stream in the sunlight all the more captivating.

This watercolor is currently on display at the East Fishkill Library and is available for $200, matted and framed. If interested, please contact me at naturepainter@hotmail.com.
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