Tag Archives: snow paintings

Thirty in Thirty, 2014: Fallow Field

Fallow_Field:copyright_2014:Michaela_Harlow:pastel_on_paper:michaelaharlow.comFallow Field, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – 20″ x 15″, pastel on paper (24″ x 19″) 

Driving back to my studio the other day, I was struck by the beauty of my favorite, golden-bronze-tipped native grass (Little Bluestem, or Schizachyrium scoparium), catching light in a snow-covered, fallow field. The vision stayed with me, as did the word fallow; a term I associate with both painting and agriculture. In horticulture, when a previously cultivated field is left to fallow, it is purposefully not worked —untilled and unseeded— allowing the land to rest for a season or more. To an artist, fallow is a synonym for ochre; a pale, yellow-brown  color, often associated with the landscape.

Because so much of my time is spent looking at and working with the land, I pay an above-average amount of attention to my neighbors’ fields and forests; noting subtle shifts from month to month and more significant changes from year to year. After so many seasons spent fighting the natural state of the land —in the name of cultivation and beautification— I have come to admire Mother Nature’s tenacity. Watching fields, forests and abandoned homesteads revert to their natural devices secretly thrills me. I cheer the arrival of velvet sumac after a wildfire and delight in un-mown cemeteries filled with native grass.

Fallow field …Wild and free …Filled with wind-blown flurries.


Posted in Thirty-in-Thirty 2014, Winter Paintings, Work on Paper Also tagged , , , |

Thirty-in-Thirty: Day Sixteen . . .

Wind-Tousled Grove ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow 16 x 16 - Pastel on Paper

Wind-Tousled Grove ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 16″ x 16″, Pastel on Paper

Yesterday’s snow storm was truly amazing. Between the two heaviest periods of swirling, moist snow, there was a brief break in the clouds and sunlight appeared. Then later —in the twilight hour just before dark— a low layer of fog draped the forest in a shroud of sheer white. The last traces of sunlight created an eerie atmosphere; glowing flog obscuring the crescent moon and illuminating snow-dappled trees and low-lying scrub. Although they seem all-consuming, in reality these moments are quite fleeting. I try to capture them with my camera, but they are always remembered better in my head . . .

Wind-Tousled Grove ⓒ 2013 michaela harlowSnow-Tousled Grove ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow – 16″ x 16″, Pastel on Paper

Posted in Process, Seeing, Studio Life, Thirty-in-Thirty 2013, Work on Paper Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |