REFLECTION | 2014 | oil on small canvas
2014 |
oil on small canvas

Today is the first day of Spring, but in the Portland area it arrived early: yesterday the weather was comfortably in the 60s with lush sunshine and lazy clouds overhead.

Of course, today we woke up to nothing but rain. It is Portland, after all.

But a week of extended daylight hours and the assurance of warmer weather ahead has seemed to soothe frayed nerves like a miracle tonic, and the world appears filled with flowers and a vulnerable optimism. I’ve been taking advantage of the time by spending even more time in my studio. And by painting flowers.

In Springs past over the last few years, I find myself drawn towards depicting the little, quiet things: insects, birds, flowers. As the world begins to come out of an internal hibernation, they often seem to usher in a more subdued, yet infectious jubilation. I watch them, and enjoy the grace in their unfolding: the quiet elegance of their reveal.

Work in progress: oil painting of poppies (first session), March 2016
Work in progress: oil painting of poppies (first session), March 2016

(All except mice. Mice and rats skeeve me the hell out.)

I’ve started a new painting of poppies that will grow to encompass a spotted towhee bird, modeled after one who visits me just outside my studio window. And I feel like I may have to revisit caterpillars in my work, as caterpillars seem to me such busy, jolly emissaries of the hope of transformation, and the promise of Spring.

But as I mentioned, it’s raining outside this morning. Luckily, rainy days are perfect days to paint.