October’s Pond

TM9351 October’s Pond 36×40 oil on panel

There’s a phrase from a Mary Oliver poem “….the daily pretensions…” which I suspect stays with me because it sums up everything I hope my work is not about. I’m more interested in what humbly endures, which is where Oliver’s heart resides too. October’s Pond is my lavish scrutiny of the wonders next door (or at least a short way down the road). These days of rampant red and crimson, set against a warm blue, cloud-studded sky, are few in number. It makes them all the more precious. Soon a great wind will come along, followed by a northern cold front, and the color will fly away, to be replaced by the bronze season of oak leaves and frost. Ah well. that will be beautiful too, as long as I remember to really look….enjoy. Details below.

TM9351 October’s Pond – detail from lower left with reflected leaves

TM9351 October’s Pond – detail from right side with lightly floating leaves and reflections

Technical painting notes: The painting began by rolling on a staccato rhythm of roller strokes, using burnt sienna and some burnt umber mixed with Winsor Newton’s Liquin impasto medium and a dash of mineral spirits and stand oil. I manipulated the wet paint with a scrap of plastic bag and solvent, roughly streaking the paint to suggest movement. When this base layer was dry, I glazed parts of the panel then proceeded to use a brush and oil paint to block in the “negative” sky reflections. Interweaving sky and leaves proceeded apace, sometimes usng a soft brush, sometimes a soft rubber roller. I repeated the process for a few days, then worked on finding the branches and some more descriptive stems – again using brush and a narrow roller. Final mostly transparent glazes softened the feel of the painting – suggestive of the warm humid atmosphere of that particular day. The leaves floating onto the water came last.

 

‘s heart is too

6 thoughts on “October’s Pond

  1. Your painting and words are perfect! I suspected we were kindred spirits and that feeling was confirmed by your mention of Mary Oliver… she is my favorite… she sees the extraordinary in ordinary things and places, just as you and I. Love your work. Michelle

    • Yes, poetry informs my paintings. Another poet I love is Tarjei Vesaa, a well-known Norwegian poet who speaks so honestly and beautifully of being in nature. I have a book titled “Through Naked Branches”, with translations by Roger Greenwald. If you ever see it, start reading! And thank you for your kind words of support.

      • I will most definitely look up Tarjei Vesaa! Thank you for the tip. I live in a little cottage deep in the Maine woods so have abundant inspiration for my poetry. All the best and I look forward to following your art, all of it.

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