Weekend Work: Ēostre Lache

Ēostre Lache, 2014 - Copyright Michaela Harlow - michaelaharlow.comĒostre Lache, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – 11″ x 9″ pastel on paper (15″ x 11″)

Ostermonat, as April is often called in Germany, is of course a nod to Ostara, the pagan goddess of light. The name Easter, Ostra, or Ēostre, and many of the Neopagan Germanic traditions surrounding Spring Solstice —eggs, rabbits, and other spring fertility symbols— have all swirled together into a strange, modern springtime festival of rebirth and renewal. That last bit, and the return of light, in particular, is what I most relate to as a painter.

Before joining my family for Ostermonat festivities, I went for an early morning walk. Have you noticed how the blue skies of April are nearly the same hue seen in October? Six months apart, these two spectacular months always seem intertwined in my thoughts. I’ve been rather mesmerized by the contrast between the ochre remnants of autumn (particularly wool grass in the wet meadow), and that crazy, cobalt blue, spring sky. Incidentally, Ēostre is an old Northumbrian word and Lache is the modern German word for a body of water (pool, pond or puddle).

Ēostre Lache. Springtime puddles. The earth’s sky.

Ēostre Lache, 2014– Michaela Harlow –  11″ x 9″ pastel on paper  (15″ x 11″) Ēostre Lache, in progress

Ēostre Lache, 2014, with tulips on studio desk – Michaela Harlow –  11″ x 9″ pastel on paper  (15″ x 11″) Ēostre Lache, in deference to my papa, who really, really loves Easter (the wonderful, electric-pink tulips were, of course, a gift chosen by him)

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2 Comments

  1. Jen A. April 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Whoa, now that’s a piece to get lost in. Feels so multi-dimensional! Amazing. Thanks for the word histories too!

  2. Michaela April 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

    Thank you, Jen. It has about 7 layers of pastel. That’s a pretty hight number for a small piece. Isn’t the sky crazy blue right now? I wish I could bottle this color and let it out in July. That would be so wild.