Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Touch the Sky


This old willow stands on a corner of Petticoat Creek. I have been watching this tree for many years and am always struck at it's majesty and an incredible sense of dignity. It is so very beautiful and serene, and standing there on the bank of the creek in the early spring sunshine, painting this painting outside plein air was quite a special time for me.

I find that this time of the year - late March and early April, when the trees are still bare but the buds are growing and the land is pregnant with spring... is like a pause, a quiet breath, a sigh of sheer delight at the return of the sunshine and the warm weather. You can almost hear the sap running and all the preparations nature is making for the coming growing season - but there is no hurry... In nature, there never seems to be any hurry. No need to rush as we humans are apt to do. To be quiet, to be still and wait for the glorious summer to unfold is enough - but the waiting does not negate the incredible glory of this early spring time. Nature celebrates every moment with beauty.

Painting outside is a high-point of my life as an artist. The part that is so compelling to me is that the process of painting becomes a communion with nature; very spiritual. Like a prayer that is continually answered with natural abundance. It is bliss, a feeling of being connected with all things. The more you paint, the more you can see. What was once flat and gray becomes luminous and glows with glorious colours.

It is in the fullness of this sense of connection with nature that I made this painting and wrote the poem 'Touch the Sky. In this poem, the tree itself tells a little bit of it's life story. The wonderful thing about painting outside is that as you slow down and become more attentive, you can almost hear the trees whispering. I don't think it surprising at all that they would whisper poetry.


Touch the Sky

I stand here rooted
Where my seed fell.
I've watched the world
With stories to tell.

The sky, he called me
To my height.
Many the years
I've seen the light.

The sun, he shines
On this Spring's day.
The birds, they call.
The squirrels, they play.

The creek, she calls me
To my sleep.
Reflections dance
Into the deep.

Before I die
I'll touch the sky,
And sweep the clouds
With my branches held high.


Title: Touch the Sky
Size: 30 inches Wide x 24 inches High x 2 inches Deep
Medium: Acrylics on Gallery Canvas

The image of this painting continues on the sides of the canvas, it can be hung without a frame, or you may frame it if you like.

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