Tag Archives: Artwork on Paper – Nature

Thirty-in-Thirty: Day Thirty

We Waited for the Thaw ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow - 13.5 x 18, Pastel on Paper

 We Waited for the Thaw ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13.5″ x 18″, Pastel on Paper

Mother Nature is prone to some wild mood swings, and the past twenty four hours have been particularly interesting here in southern Vermont. Yesterday’s evening fog gave way at nightfall, followed by torrential rain and high wind. I awoke to find branches and other debris all over the clearing, and much of the snow melted. Periods of thundersnow, sleet and rain continued, even when the sky opened up to blue heaven and blinding sunlight. It’s been quite a show.

I snuck outside between high gusts and wind-driven precipitation to explore the beauty of January thaw. Suddenly, deep, rich, water-saturated colors —emerging from beneath snow and ice— are revealed. This false spring will surely fade by the weekend, and bitter, cold weather will return. But for now, a moment of revelry . . .

We Waited for the Thaw ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow (in process)

We Waited for the Thaw ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13.5″ x 18″ – Pastel on Paper

Today is day thirty of thirty straight days in the studio, and I can’t believe how fast the weeks have flown. Thanks so much to all of you for sending your encouraging words via comments, email or on the various social networks I’ve recently added to my blog feed. Your support is deeply appreciated. Knowing that the work is seen, felt, appreciated and enjoyed is a great reward for sharing my process during the month of January. The internet can be a terrible distraction sometimes, but more often, I find that it helps me to stay connected to the people I care about; especially during this solitary month, when I retreat into my own thoughts and world. This journal allows me to share what I’m doing and —thanks to my little stats counter— I know that I’m not alone! Thank you for following along.

My friend Jen emailed a really great letter to me the other day. With her permission, I want to share a little bit of it, because it really gets to the heart of why I share my work here online: “Yesterday, while out for a walk, I stopped on the bridge over a brook. Only a narrow, meandering ribbon of water still moved. Otherwise, the brook was iced in. The textures and colors and forms pleased my eyes and I thought of your paintings. I see the winter world in a different way because of your paintings”. What a great gift to give an artist. What wonderful thoughts to share with a friend. Thank you, Jen.

I will be focusing on oil painting next month, and I’ve decided to limit my blog posting commitment to twice weekly during February, as oil paintings take longer to complete than pastels. I am going to try out a Sunday and Thursday posting schedule, with the occasional extra bit —inspiration, sketches, process, art field trips— thrown in for variety. I also plan to update my website and online gallery —long overdue upgrades needed— so stay tuned for changes and more work!

Thank you again for being here and for all of your support!

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Thirty-in-Thirty: Day Twenty Nine

Barely a Memory Now ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow - Pastel on PaperBarely a Memory Now ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13″ x 18.5″, Pastel and Pencil on Paper

As January draws to a close, I find that I have to look longer and harder to find color. Yesterday —with hours of snow, ice and rain— the landscape was particularly muted. Today the thermometer is pushing 50 degrees fahrenheit, and my hilltop is shrouded in thick fog.

I do love the soft palette of winter —bleached-honey beech leaves, dusty-violet brambles, transparent turquoise ice— but sometimes when I look out at the blue-grey and violet-brown hills, I wonder… Were they ever green?

Barely a Memory Now ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow Barely a Memory Now ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13″ x 18.5″, Pastel and Pencil on Paper

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Thirty-in-Thirty, Day Twenty Eight: Little Left from Before

 Little Left from Before ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow - 13 x 18.5 Pastel on PaperLittle Left from Before ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13″ x 18.5″, Pastel on Paper

S O L D

Today was especially grey, and especially productive. I started early and finished today’s piece “Little Left from Before”, and started on another pastel painting, which I expect to complete by early tomorrow.

A few weeks ago, my friend Jeanne stopped by for a visit, and while showing her around I mentioned that I was about to start my thirty-in-thirty project, and that the winter tends to be the most productive season in my studio. This has always been true —even when working full-time as an artist— and it has become even more so now that I am working more hours outside of the studio as a garden designer.

Later, Jeanne sent me this article —“The Longest Nights”— by Timothy Egan for the The New York Times blog, The Opinionator. I was fascinated —but not altogether surprised— to read that winter is a very productive time for many creative people; including artists, writers and others. Given how common the phenomenon seems to be, I’m surprised that more hasn’t been written on the subject. I’m curious. What is your experience?

Little Left from Before ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow - Pastel on PaperLittle Left from Before ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13″ x 18.5″, Pastel on Paper

S O L D

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Thirty-in-Thirty: Day Twenty Seven

We Never Meant to Tame This ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow - 13 inches x 21

We Never Meant to Tame This ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13″ x 21.5″, Pastel on Paper

Moody weather has returned to the mountains, muting the forest and surrounding landscape in a fine haze of white. It’s quiet, and I’m alone again with wandering thoughts . . .

We Never Meant to Tame This ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow - Pastel on Paper

We Never Meant to Tame This ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 13″ x 21.5″, Pastel on Paper

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