Tuesday, September 25, 2018


The meanings for the word change within the dictionary are dramatically variable. In its broadest sense, change can be said to be the act of becoming different and that can apply to almost anything observable. People become different through change. Seasons certainly change and the landscape shouts out clearly that a change is in the air. Both people and seasons can appear different by simply changing their dress. That is the case at the moment. Both will change out of necessity and simultaneously... as fall moves towards the cold of winter. This is all a part of  a natural cycle... so it does not totally come as a complete surprise.

However... there are parts of life that demand change that cannot be predicted or anticipated. Adaptation to those changes is not simple and in fact... can be very painful. The adaptation most likely will be long lasting.

Loss as an example... and therefore the process of change that is absolutely necessary to navigate the process of grieving often requires the expertise and skilled support of a neutral party... a therapist. I am indeed fortunate to have such resource... and I have returned to her seeking more support because I felt myself losing ground that I had fought hard to gain when Allie first passed away.

We have just completed our second meeting in our second round of counselling. I already feel much more relaxed and confident.The first session really was just reviewing what the basic elements of change were that we put in place for our first go around earlier on. Both she and I agreed that painting outdoors was cathartic and healing for me. As well... my blogging offered a  vehicle to organize and express my thoughts and ideas. So here I am... back in the saddle again!

I started the process of readying myself for the task by cleaning up my studio space and preparing my painting equipment to engage in a plein air outing. My drifting away, or even my bravado/ego had falsely led me to think that I had the bronco tamed. Not so!

But I did persevere and face the dragon. Today's combination of writing and painting... I think bear that out both in words and in paint. What I decided to focus upon was that change begins... and ends with me.What do you think?

I wonder...

My world recorded here within this piece of prose best describes the changes that have once again begun to change the world in which I live. Being blessed to have this visual feast to enjoy once again really did lift my spirits and (almost) fill my empty heart. Perhaps my words will do the same for you if you too are struggling in your life.

Autumnal Changes in Late September

The sumac is now starting to blush
Migrating turkey vultures soar
Effortlessly, and endlessly overhead
One leering eye transfixed upon on the living, 
The other...
Always searching hungrily for the dead.
Geese are noisily gathering...
Honked farewells nearly said.

Morning mists and river spirits
Have begun their feathery rising
And Dawn... arrives too late it seems
Struggling to awaken
The creatures she reigns over
Who feel somewhat forsaken
Unnerved and bewildered
By the absence of the light too soon stolen away.

                     On location at Poole's Island, Thousand Islands Parkway east of Rockport

"Summer 2018... Slip-slidin' Away"
Oil on canvas - 11x14 inches

                                                  Happy Fall Painting and Blessings ... to ALL!!!

Monday, September 10, 2018

September's Song

My unusually lengthy absence from the blog is not due to a lack of interest. Nor has it been for the lack of things that I longed to say. Rather... it was because summer 2018 became the confluence for me of a number of personal and business decisions which demanded my fullest attention and unfortunately pulled me away from everything creative and.. including my painting.

Some of those issues resolved themselves quickly, but others remain that have still to be dealt with patiently and in concert with Deb before they can be fully addressed. Let's just leave it at  ... we have a "work in progress" that demands that we pay attention and that we be patient. But necessary changes are on the horizon!

Stay tuned... 

Change is what September is always about. It is especially a time of seasonal transition obvious in all areas of the Natural World. Summer has simply lost its sizzle... and its verdant greens give way to ripening yellows and golds. Animal and bird activity has stepped up dramatically. Gathering and training exercises for the young are in full swing. There is a smell in the air... and a freshening kiss on one's cheek that strikes an undeniable chord that summer's reign has come to an end. These are but the first notes in the fanfare which signals the beginning of September's Song.

The month is a wistful and melancholic moment for all River Folk. It is that annual time for goodbyes and as we age...new questions pose the uncertainties of another arrival of spring. We who love the river feel it. I did this week as we shared one last meal and said our final goodbyes to two very close families.

I have painted one or two special paintings which I believe translate these soulful feelings into paint. I would like to share them with you at this time. I'm sure that they will strike a common chord in your heart too. Such feelings are universals in life.

                                            "September Song"- oil on canvas 10 12 inches

This smallish painting has been a popular greeting card choice. It is a plein air sketch which I feel captures the forlorn reminders of that idyllic and laid back period when vacationing families swam, fished and tanned away the seemingly endless and heady days of summer.

Sunny blue skies suddenly gave way to heavy and threatening clouds... which were all too eager to dump their endless buckets of cold rain. Tepid breezes and zephyrs were replaced overnight by gusting winds and sheeting fronts of unpredictable foul weather.

Once active cottages once  filled with activity and joy, now simply await final closing. Boats will be tended to and set away into winter storage safely from the perils of river ice until a distant next summer. I think that the composition and depth help emphasize the sense of longing and sadness as well as the distinct feeling of distance into time.

                                             "River Vesper" - oil on canvas 30 x 24 inches

A different space on the river for certain... but everything otherwise faithfully portrays the same September changes and reflective mood.

And finally... there is Allison's portrait. Perhaps more of the essence of what motivated me to undertake this composition to celebrate her too brief journey in my own unique way. Perhaps the inclusion of this work in the post suggests a new reason for feeling wistful... even sad and longing for something that has now irretrievable slipped away in life's relentless current.

Hmmmm.... I wonder.

I would like to conclude this post with a song...an old standard in our Sherman house. This song has been creatively covered by so many icons from every musical genre since its compositional creation by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Maxwell Anderson for Broadway. My two favourite covers are by Willie Nelson and Aretha Fitzgerald.

I will place Aretha in the spotlight today to celebrate her life and recent passing. It is impeccably Queen Aretha and so suits our listening to every word and note.

I truly hope that you will  read and listen in to the post. So much beauty and wisdom in one song... in such a small musical measure of time.

Enjoy! Glad to be back.  Rich blessings ... and Good  Autumn Painting to ALL!!