Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slow in the Snow

This was the view from the bedroom yesterday afternoon. By this morning, the snow-laden branch hung low over the bird feeder, covered by a thick blanket of white. Then the power went off. Luckily, the coffee had just finished brewing and was still hot, so we admired the 10 inch snowfall with eyes wide open. It really was spectaculor. After the Great Ice Storm of December 2008 when we were without power for four days, we knew what to do. So we did slow things doable without electricity, a furnace, and running water - reading, shoveling snow, sitting by the fire, napping, and packaging art work for mailing to Saranac Lake for submission to the 12th Annual Juried Show sponsored by the Adirondack Artists' Guild.

I always find photographing my work before sending it away very challenging, and today was no exception. A bit if serendipity interfered when I tried hanging the work on the front porch though, making the photos of the two little spring flower watercolor sketches into multi-layered images of winter giving forth to sweet growth and color.

The main piece I sent off was the collage of four little collage pieces that started with the botany illustrations. Working with plant images and terminology reminds me so much of my childhood experiences in the woods and fields where I grew up. One Spring while exploring the fields and woods around my grandmother's farm near Bath, NY I found a whole hillside covered with white trilliums. I was completely enthralled. Another Spring a few years later, I discovered intriguing sprouts pushing up through the leaf litter and dug some up so I could watch every bit of the progress made by the emerging plant. I planted the shoots (and their roots) in pots in my bedroom. Then I found branches with swelling buds and stuck them in jars of water on my shelves and desk. Then I watched. Again, I was enthralled and awestruck as the shoots sent up leaves and then jacks in their pulpits. The buds swelled to bursting, and maple catkins and oak leaves and black cherry flowers unfurled, shedding pollen and tiny larvae and little winged creatures across my homework pages and text books. I was in love with it all. And still am.

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