This is a 7″x5″ study. I have been painting a couple of very large oil paintings, and I miss my pastels, and actually finishing something. I took a coffee break, and painted this little guy while my coffee brewed.
We don’t really have Indian Summer in Texas, we have cold snaps. Nevertheless, after a long, hot summer, a few warm days feel like a gift. Even in Texas, our barefoot, sundress days are numbered. We try to make today count.
These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June, –
A blue and gold mistake.
Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,
Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf!
Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Oh, last communion in the haze,
Permit a child to join,
Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!
I came across this painting today. I didn’t like it, but I hadn’t thrown it away. So I sat down to figure out why it didn’t work. The background had to much contrast, and was perhaps the wrong color. (sorry no before picture). Originally the background had bright green and yellow (which is how the grass really looked), and had a lot of the dark paper showing through. So I took a hard teal pastel and scumbled over the entire background. Ta-da! It works now. Sometimes reality isn’t the best place to base your subjects.
I spent my weekend playing in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. My husband ran a 100 mile trail race through the woods called the Arkansas Traveler 100. The thermometer never dipped above 42 degrees, and it rained, or poured almost all weekend. He had a great race, and we, a great time, in spite of the weather. Around midnight we stopped at an aid station to wait for Matthew, and we were invited to warm ourselves by this fire. It was seriously the best campfire I have ever seen, these campers had been tending it for 3 days, so the rain did not dampen its lively spirits. The glowing coals were probably 8 feet in diameter, and they had s’mores!
Many thanks to the strangers in the woods who offered us hospitality. Here are some poems for the rest of you to enjoy.
BY KRISTINE O’CONNELL GEORGE
I am a careful marshmallow toaster,
a patient marshmallow roaster,
turning my stick oh-so-slowly,
taking my time, checking often.
This is art—
a time of serious reflection
as my pillowed confection
slowly reaches golden perfection.
grabs ‘em with grubby hands
shoves ‘em on the stick
burns ‘em to a crisp
cools ‘em off
I’m still turning my stick.
He’s already eaten six.
By Gregory K.
The campfire burns. It’s 9:08.
I feel so good cuz I just ate
Two graham crackers, and chocolate, too,
With marshmallow turned to warm, white goo.
A treat indeed, a dripping mess.
A touch of melty joy — oh yes!
It’s bedtime soon, but I’m not done.
I simply cannot stop at one.
Because, you see, it takes three s’mores
To make a night of happy s’nores.
The Harvest Moon
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A touch of cold in the Autumn night
It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.
4×6 study in pastel on abergine sanded paper