Thursday, January 22, 2009

Opening your eyes

crow art, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

I saw the crows out in the chicken yard yesterday before I went to let the poultry out. They like to visit and search for morsels the domestic birds, in their spoiled condition, leave behind. They left a record of their passing in the snow. For a brief time it was there - a perfect pattern of searching. Soon the tame birds would obliterate their mark.

One thing I am relearning is to see things around me. Not just look, but see. We all have the ability to see beyond looking. Sometimes it takes effort. Sometimes it is a moment of grace. My painting project is helping me. Looking for a moment, I'm seeing many. Choosing a moment is a little harder. And there are successes and failures. That is fine. The successes make it all worth while.

What did you see today?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Isabella Rose Gigglefoot

Isabella Rose Gigglefoot, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

Rose has been a member of our clan since this fall. We received her from Monkey's old preschool class, where she was getting a bad rap for attacking 3 year olds. I personally don't hold it against her. What would you do if small children kept grabbing you and poking their cute, chubby little cheeks in your cage? I think bad classroom management was the cause of Rose going rogue...

I believe the phrase that greeted me that fateful day from the Head of School was, "Maggie, this rabbit needs you!"

She now only attacks Charlie. She does not like him. Seriously. It's like a scene from Monty Python - Holy Hand Grenade, anyone? He is afraid. Keep in mind that he also thinks the goats start each day with plans to manipulate him... With me, she's quite the snuggler. And while from time to time, she puts on a bunny show of fierceness to the Monkey; she has learned that all children aren't evil. Everynight when Monkey and I read, Rose hops quietly around the room. She'll sit on our laps or bounce around the room to her own tune. And boy, can she bounce!

I never thought I'd own a bunny. But she's actually rather sweet and easy to care for. I don't think her personality was meant for a busy class full of small children. And she's oh, so soft. Just look at that nose!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Watching clouds go by

For the last couple of days I've been sitting on my porch, painting. The temperature has been mild and I've taken full advantage of it to paint plein-aire. I have always prefered painting in the studio with the climate fully under control and the bugs out of my paint. From time to time I would venture forth with my materials and paint outside. I usually was unsatisfied with my work, and the bugs and dirt in my paint. I'd retreat to the studio to start something "serious".

changing weather

It's hard to explain the feelings I'm feeling with my painting a day project. Not only is the structure of one painting a day helping me to get my mind and hand back in artistic shape, but it's letting me see things differently. While I love to take photos of "the view" and compare them day to day, month to month; it's an entirely different experience to paint it. The photographic image catches one precise moment. Painting takes time and light changes, colors shift, clouds move. I become much more aware. Even in the studio, painting from life, I am drawn in to those moments of observing, of becoming hyper aware.

Each little painting is finished quickly and set aside. It has taken away the percieved seriousness of what I am doing. It does not have to be perfect. There is always tomorrow. And tomorrow the subject will change, the light will be different and the clouds will move.