Listening

The story of some places and paintings requires a poem.

TM8285 Listening 16×16 oil on panel

Listening

There’s a music that issues

from the woods, even

in summer’s hush.

No notes, no words

hardly a breath.

But still, it can be heard.

This mute hum buzzing

between granite walls,

bouncing past hemlock,

passing through

every living cell,

mineral,

and a universe

of atoms.

 

Deep in the Woods

TM8283 Deep in the Woods 12×12 oil on panel

Paintings can often take one on a journey to unexpected places. When I began this little woodland view, I was quite certain that I would be painting a piece of Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in central Massachusetts. But it isn’t the view I originally intended. Instead, it became a darker, more mythic view. I almost feel as though it is the setting for an ancient fairy tale – perhaps Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel and Gretel. But then the northern landscape, with its pine, hemlock, and mountains is a part of so many legends and tales. It could be a native American myth, or a setting from the very real King Philip’s War. Landscape art is about so many things on so many levels. Landscapes tell stories, evoke memories, record events. Landscapes (and by extension Art),  are always an interpretation and translation from the real – they show us our unconscious and conscious simultaneously. So now you have a clue about me. What does this painting mean to you? Enjoy!

From Silence

TM8281 From SIlence 16×16 oil on panel

We all have favorite places, and Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is one of mine. With its chaotic jumble of tumbling granite walls, it feels as though a grumpy giant came through and whacked  at the walls, leaving mayhem behind. The  violent forces that create the chasm are evident everywhere, though it is also a beautifully quiet place. A geological fault line and too many freeze thaws to count have made the chasm a dramatic hiking destination. The chasm also provides a rich “library” for studying stones ( feldspar, schist, veins of quartz, lots of mica). The damp walls and abundant shade create ideal conditions for many varieties of moss and lichens.

In this painting I focused on some of the complex boulders close at hand – a portrait really – with a suggestion of the foggy woods beyond. The perspective is quite low, looking up from the trail at the bottom of the gorge. It’s a fun perspective, and provided a contrast of near and far that I found intriguing to paint – a theme in need of further development in the next painting! Enjoy.