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Monday, March 2, 2009

Remember when?

Shady Path. Oil on stretched canvas, 8x10

I was putting the finishing details on paintings for the "Places You Know" show when I realized that the bulk of the work I'm exhibiting is wintry and snowy. That makes sense, really, since the idea of the show - small pieces from this place where we live - came about a couple months ago, in the depths of winter.

Those of you who know me well know how I love big canvases - so I didn't have a bunch of small non-winter pieces hanging around.

As I stared out the window at the blizzard that's covered our finally ice-free yard, I caught a glimpse of this piece, hanging on my office wall. I painted it in August, and I always have liked it. It was a brilliant, sunny day. I was back from the West with a body of exciting work, and I'd made leaps and bounds in my painting. I painted with zest that morning, and a new-found sense of possibility.

The day was still and bright, and even in the shadows, the morning nearly crackled with heat. I can hear the bugs and the birds and I can summon the scents of hot grass and rising, sun-warmed dust.

Last night, a foot of snow fell, and more is on the way. But soon it will be summer. The grass will grow, the flowers will push up through the warming earth, and we will walk down shady paths and feel hopeful and free in the August heat.

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