THE MYSTERY OF SPRING
Last year February it was stormy weather when we drove by these cherry trees with white blossoms. The thick layer of white clouds behind them and the storm clouds far above this scene made for an interesting subject of contrasts to make a photo and a painting.
At this point I am brave enough to make a small pastel with an underpainting of watercolor of baby O., when he was only 4 days old. I sketched him while he was asleep, took a reference photo and finished the painting at home. Since little miss Muffet is full of life and movement, I just took a photo and did the painting afterwards.
Pastel is a very different painting medium from oil or watercolor, because you can't mix the colors. You have to layer them over each other to get the value (bright, light, dark) you want. I like paper that is thick and feels like sanding paper, because I always end up with many layers. Also, your hands are covered with pastel, so it's not for neat freaks!
Three Beginnings in Spring
Winters can be long, cold and challenging. I was not ready for spring, until
I came to this orchard in a vision with profusely blooming trees. The crowns of these trees were covered with amazing white and pale pink blossoms. Behind them, a thick layer of white clouds laid down as a blanket. In stark contrast, dark, flighty storm clouds hurriedly moved along, far above this idyllic scene.
After some moments, a sudden musical wind stirred and blew a rain of flowers covering the orchard. It looked like a giant hand moved across the sky, sprinkling a blessing on the trees.
The scene was more breathtaking than any wedding day could be. I paused, wanting to stay here. I wonder if I can take a rest?
So, I laid down on the grass for a while, drinking in greedily these pure colors and forms, washing over my weariness, smoothing out all the frayed edges of my soul. I finally turned around to have one last look before I left this place. I, now filled with peace, am ready to take on the beginnings of spring. The cherries will eventually appear, but I will always treasure the white blossoms of this secret place.
Time soon turned to May when, true to form of a real warrior, he breaks forth through the birth canal with one arm stretched out in front of him.
Barely 4 days old, baby O. is getting used to his new territory outside the womb. His skin is still reddish from the pressure during birth. Gone are the amniotic days and nights when month after month his heart, eyes, hands, feet, and organs were developed to precision. Missing the loud splotches, splashes and gurgling noises from the digestive tube nearby, he sighs.
Dreaming of castles in the sky this spring, he will grow till he is strong enough to conquer them.
Meanwhile, life is full of adventure for this little blond haired toddler with piercing blue eyes. With investigative spirit and great delight she picks the spring flowers and watches how the water slowly trickles out of the fallen vase. Suddenly disinterested she wonders off on all fours as her watchful eyes turn to the next object of attraction. Crawling up a storm, mischievious, not afraid to 'stand up" to her older brother, she is full of life! Now, like a little lamb, jumping and playing in her parents' meadow, she will develop many skills through the years to bring true lasting changes in her world.
Fragile white cherry blooms, an innocent baby, and a playful toddler are three beginnings of spring promising what is to come.