Tag Archives: Michaela Harlow – Pastel Paintings

Kettle Hole Bog

IMG_0854.JPGKettle Hole Bog, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Cold Press, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″ 

Kettle Holes are geological features formed when chunks of glacial ice separate from the main flow by breaking off and subsequently melting. New England has many ponds, swamps and bogs that originally formed in this manner, during the glacial age. I love exploring wetlands in autumn and the kettle hole bogs in Western Massachusetts —particularly those surrounded by wild laurel, native azalea and brilliant red, highbush blueberry— are some of my favorites haunts at this time of year. The combination of blue-green algae, red to rust foliage and watery reflections provides great inspiration.

IMG_0844.JPG In the studio with turquoise and rusty red reflections

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In Saffron Wood

IMG_0521.JPGIn Saffron Wood, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Cold Press, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″

I’ve always felt that our lovely, North American Beech is the great, unsung beauty of the New England forest. One of the last deciduous trees to color up in autumn, the Beech canopy ripens to a fine, butterscotch hue in mid to late October. Later, the leathery leaves become more transparent as they bronze to a golden, orange-brown in November. Beech trees hold their rustling leaves throughout winter as they slowly fade to a ghostly, paper white. And their gorgeous, silver-grey bark is smooth and silky to the touch; often reflecting the colors of winter skies. I love traipsing through the large stands of beech trees in my woods —especially after heavy rain forms pools in the pockets between their colonial root zones— admiring the dance of their saffron reflections.

IMG_0427.JPG Remembering a forest’s prism of reflected light

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