Monthly Archives: May 2014

Spring Light on Green River

Spring Light on Green River, 2014 - copyright Michaela Harlow - michaelaharlow.comSpring Light on Green River, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – 10″ x 16″, pastel on paper (12″ x 18″)

As the remaining days of May dwindle, I find myself looking forward to a rather tight schedule in June. I have three garden installations to complete over the next two weeks and several garden designs due before the end of next month. When will I find time to paint, to explore other artists work and new exhibition opportunities? It’s going to be complicated. Or not.

A flat tire on Sunday threw a surprise curve ball at my plans. No Paradise City Arts Festival for me. Instead, I spent the afternoon wrestling with jacks, wrenches, lug nuts and stubborn tires. I took a stress break mid-way through the process and walked down to Green River. It was luminous and lovely; dancing with leafy branch shadows and sparkling sunlight. Hopefully, the rest of the week will be a bit smoother!

spring light on green river - copyright michaela harlow - in process

Spring Light on Green River, work in process

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Weekend Work: Current Sway

Current_Sway_2014_Copyright_ Michaela_Harlow_michaelaharlow.comCurrent Sway, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – 10″ x 16″, pastel on paper (12″ x 18″)

The coming week promises to be a hectic one. I have so many gardens to install that it’s downright ridiculous, and the rainy weather has thrown a monkey wrench into my schedule. Although I worked half a day outside the studio —planting  trees for a landscape design client on a boney site— I spent my early morning hours working on this piece: Current Sway.

It was almost dark by the time I returned from work, and I was tired and dirty. But this magical moment —sunlight streaming through the dogtrot and blossoming Halesia in late light— still caught my eye . . .

Processed with VSCOcam with s6 preset Evening at my Vermont studio

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Moody Springs

Moody Springs, 2014 - Copyright, Michaela Harlow - michaelaharlow.com Moody Springs, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – 16″ x 10″, pastel on paper (18″ x 12″)

It’s unusual for me to begin a pastel and then pick back up and finish it on another day. I prefer to start and finish a painting in the course of one session —but that’s not always possible at this time of year. I am trying something new. When I finish one piece on a studio day and feel like I still have something to say, I will begin another. Then when I am rained out of a garden installation project, get an unexpected cancellation or am left in limbo while waiting for a nursery to return my call, I have something exciting to do.

This piece relates directly to the one posted just before it —Brookside— and was started on the same day. But, this pastel recalls a place from my youth and the misty, foggy atmosphere of today. Moody Springs.

Moody Springs, in progress, michaelaharlow.com Moody Springs. Because pastels are applied in dry layers —from a technical standpoint— I can begin and end whenever I wish.

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Brookside

Brookside, 2014_michaela_harlow_michaelaharlow.comBrookside, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – 16″ x 10″, pastel on paper (18″ x 12″)

I started running again, about a month ago, after taking a long time off. It’s always hard for me to get started again after allowing myself to get out of shape. But once past the three week mark, things begin to change and what starts as a discipline becomes a form of relaxation. Running is addictive in a very good way. I find it calming.

I love that running in the early morning or early evening —when my schedule is tight— allows me to experience places and things along my everyday commute that I would otherwise miss: babbling brooks, verdant groves of fern, moss-covered foundations. And then there’s that golden hour light.

Brookside_in_progress_michaelaharlow.com Brookside, in progress

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