Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dramatic Skies of July

This is a photo (the second image) I took today as I was out painting in a new and exciting location!  It was one of those rare places left where the views in all directions from my easel could be a subject for a painting - rolling high fields, a glimpse of mountains in the distance, the roof of a barn or an old farmhouse, and  the wonderful shapes of old trees dividing the pastures.  The skies were an everchanging drama of dark clouds with highlights of white and cobalt blue sky breaking through.  I did three small paintings before the light changed and the sky became overcast. Each moment seems to be caught "on the run" with this season's fickle weather patterns!  Above the photo is one study from today.
Beautiful as this location is today, it is sad to see the once vital small farms on this road are all gone, the barns in ruins as a reminder of the past.   At least the fields are kept and mown and undeveloped - where the cows once pastured now is home to deer and other wildlife.  When I first came to this spot, a doe sprang out across the fields, followed by her very young fawn- who was not at all sure about me being there!  As I was painting I heard a strange noise near me suddenly and looked over to find a hummingbird hovering very close - it was attracted to the bright colors of my paint and hoping to find some flowers to suck the nectar from!  

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The sound of rushing water

Streamside Tryptich I  (Summer)
The sound of a rushing stream can be heard from my window in the study as the waters rise from all these incredible thunderstorms.  It seemed the right time to share this streamside tryptich from last summer.  This swimming hole is in such an inaccessible spot, down a treacherous dirt road, that I don't think I'd try to get there in this weather.  The road becomes a slippery mud slide along a mountainside. When you are lucky enough to get there, the only sounds are water rushing, birdsong, and the breeze in the leaves overhead.  I spent the whole day there doing studies for this painting.  

Summer fields in Ulster county

Field II

As June ends and the rains continue, I take advantage of every hour of sunlight given us to go out into the hills and record the lush countryside.  Each phase of the season goes by so quickly - soon the fields will be mowed down and the tapestry of wildflowers and grasses will be gone.  This is also when I appreciate the open spaces left in our region, where no house interrupts the flow of the plants, mountains, and sky.