Musée de l'Orangerie - Paris

After having wanted to see the panoramic installations of Monet's waterlily paintings for years, I was initially disappointed to find the galleries were crowded.  I walked up close to look at a specific area of color.  The section filled my field of vision - a specific atmosphere of watery color.  As I gradually drifted along the painting, the color atmospheres continually changed - like skies change at sunset, like scrolls unfurling, like woven textiles, like patterns built with sequenced groups of color swatches - short notes, long notes, harmonies.  The experience was extremely satisfying and left me pondering new possibilities in painting and time.

>> homage color studies
record color groups from paintings and then look for them in nature

>> time-based aspects of work
marking time, time as subject 
living with paintings
painting in relation to music, film, book, exhibition...

By my side, Thad was singing Dean Martin on repeat - "How would you like to be down by the Seine with me? Oh what I'd give for a moment or two under the bridges of Paris with you...."
Destin, FL

Thank You - for sound of the loud, quieting waves - with their tumultuous strength and continuous rhythm.

"but I myself find in [the song of the nightingale] monotony, that inexhaustible source of everything that makes a deep impression.  Hearing it is like looking at the vast sea, one always has to wait for one more wave to break before tearing oneself away; one cannot bear to leave it." - The Journal of Eugène Delacroix Friday, 7 May 1824

>> repeating patterns
Wildwood - Germantown, TN

one two three four / one two three four / one two three four / one two three four / one two three four
Watching Posy's footfall at a walk.  Outside hind, outside front, inside hind, inside front. 
More grace, more concurrence, more momentous than the words.
**** / **** / **** / **** / ****
Observing visually from the ground.  Observing consciously as a rider.  
Knowing the cadence bodily. Moving together in sync.  Asking at the right time. 

** / ** / ** / ** / **
Watching Posy's footfall at a trot.  Outside hind with inside front, inside hind with outside front.

>> motion study drawings 
like the seahorse studies from the New Orleans Aquarium
Birdlands - Como, MS

Vigorous ride.  Exhilarating.  
Sensations that triggered memories of other rides and made me feel unusually, pleasantly connected to the past.

From the winter landscape, I mentally extracted color studies.
Then, I noticed that moving through space would build something like the time-based color pattern I loved imagining in Paris.

>> deeply specific focus

Some mornings Thad brings me coffee in bed.  While he makes breakfast.  I read and wake softly.  This gift is promising - helps me see opportunity for us to make new times and spaces for each other - in our marriage, for our interior lives and creative work.

When we were in our early twenties, my friend Susan Kelly asked a table full of our friends to share five memorable days from that year.  I liked the question and resulting conversation so much that I made the practice a way to mark the year end - remembering, reflecting, gathering vivid experiences (not limited to five), and adding them to a list that dates back to 2012.  At some point, I added the practice of listing hopes for the new year.
Summer / 2020

So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.
Isaiah 7:26
Whiteface Mountain - Cashiers, NC

The soil sparkled like it was full of natural glitter that Carolyn and Bill said was mica.  Delightful!  The same mica that makes my iridescent paints shimmer and shift in natural light.  I brought home a few small pieces that are somewhat like fish scales.
Schoolhouse Falls - Cashiers, NC

When I was younger, I used to stretch my arms out wide when I was overwhelmed by natural beauty.  Standing in the cool mist under Schoolhouse Falls with a fern speckled rock wall behind me and my true love beside me, I stretched out my arms and thought about how my perception has changed.  I remember being thrilled in a way that is inaccessible to me now.  I am not saying my experience was better then.  Just noticing the different graces.  More possibility then.  More layers now.  More of my dreams have come true.

And this is just the beginning.  I have more to tell you, things you never knew existed.  This isn't a variation on the same old thing.  This is new, brand-new, something you'd never guess or dream up.  from Isaiah 48 MSG
Summer / 2020

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.
Isaiah 28:10
Camp DeSoto - Mentone, AL

Thad's photos of a strip of screen shadows that ran the length of an empty cabin gave me pause to ponder the way that natural beauty multiplies.  The rhododendron outside the panoramic cabin screens stand in a flux of light and flora - steadily branching and shimmering in winds - adding their radial silhouettes to the constant concert of shadows in the air.  Shadows animate the screened cabins at Camp especially well - as they gradually change positions in the room - pulsing between clarity and abstraction in overlapping layers of sharp and gauzy shapes often portioned out graphically like these in repeating cabin window frames. 

Science [James Buchanan Eads] knew, does not compromise.  Instead, science forces ideas to compete in a dynamic process.  This competition refines or replaces old hypotheses, gradually approaching a more perfect representation of the truth, although one can reach truth no more than one can reach infinity.
Rising Tide by John M. Barry, page 90 

Lately, I have been noticing that some fulfillments of prophecy are aware and others unaware - some are understood at the time, and others are apparent later -  some are informed by knowledge of promises and require intentional responsive actions, and others are completely mysterious. 
The first chapters of Matthew seem almost structured by the author's awareness of prophecies fulfilled in Jesus' early life.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?"  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."  Then he allowed Him.  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."  Matthew 3: 13-17 NKJV
A Celebration of Life: Sara Barrett Harvey Roberts (1978-2020)

Sara planned the readings and music for her funeral.  That glimpse into her life with God made me miss her more.  
Singing It is well with my soul and Here I am, Lord with her family and friends reminded me of the instruction to give thanks and praise in all circumstances.  I thought of the difficult circumstances through which Sara praised, and I thought a line from another song that implies generations of praise on earth: "If the sum of all our praises still falls shy, then we'll sing again 100 billion times."  And, I loved my song being, in that teary moment, a part of Sara's legacy.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18


Today I finished tracing, darkening, revealing the last small area of the last of the ten zinnia drawings.  My reluctance to complete the process surprised me.  The action seemed a sort of strange release to move forward.  I consciously blessed future, past, and present time.
I remembered again a story I read as a child - about a little girl who removed from a loom in the evenings the work her dying grandmother had woven in the days - in hopes of prolonging her life.  
I thought again about how lifetimes overlap - and hoped and grieved and cherished.

Charles Burchfield, The Coming of Spring, 1917 - 1943

This first "reconstruction," begun in April 1943, marked a turning point for Burchfield, as he began to reclaim the inventive fantasy and spontaneity that had enlivened his earliest watercolors. The Coming of Spring was started even before a larger, more realistic version of the composition entitled Two Ravines (1934–43; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga) was completed. Both were based on the same 1917 watercolor of a Salem forest scene, but instead of working from it (as he did for Two Ravines), Burchfield painted directly on the earlier watercolor, expanding its dimensions. What the artist had once considered an 'uncompleted failure' (he painted over it in gouache in 1919 and restored it in 1931) was now dubbed "a delight," full of "abandoned creativeness."

The subject of two ravines—one symbolizing the coming of spring, the other the persistence of winter—took on new significance for the artist in the 1920s, when his wife was expecting their first child. As Burchfield wrote, "The coming of Spring will be a true Spring at last, for with it will come the new life. Winter takes on a new meaning, for all the long months the new life will be growing and with the fulfillment of spring, be born."


For Christmas, Mama gave me Chaim Bentorah's book, Hebrew Word Study: Revealing the Heart of God.  Today, I read Study 6, Rest: Shabbat.  In examining the Hebrew word for Sabbath, Bentorah connected similar words to develop a broader concept of sabbath rest.  His elaborations included the following:  to dwell with God, to bond, to captivate, to wed, to soothe, to protect,  to measure, to mingle, to interweave, to grow, to share secrets, to be tender and delicate, to become satisfied and fulfilled, to weave or intermingle together to create something beautiful, to purify.
Lately, I have been thankful for the way my understanding of marriage with God prepared me for marriage with Thad but also for the way that my marriage with Thad has expanded my understanding of marriage with God - especially in investing relational time.  My schedule is not my own.
And, these images resonated with me "to mingle, to interweave together, to create something beautiful".  I pictured the structure of my paintings, the way that colors and forms layer and join, changing in relation to each other, becoming a new whole.
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