Spring is coming. I can feel it. The birds are very noisy these days. I looked out on the trees that are part of the view from my kitchen one morning to see them full of blue jays, evening grosbeaks and redwing blackbirds. The branches were filled with spots of blue, yellow, white, black and a flash of red. It was like a moving abstract painting with the primary colours plus white and black. They all come for the seeds in the feeder…. and they’re ravenously hungry. For some it’s a short stop to refuel after a long flight back to the north and for others it’s part of their regular morning routine. Now, however, there is an urgency in the refuelling due the need to procreate as well as the long flight exhaustion. Birds have definite individual personalities. The shy, the timid, the bully and the curious are all there just like in the human world as well as the kind that make room for one more on the ledge. There are enough sunflower hulls on the ground that I may get a few unexpected sunflowers growing as a gift from the messy birds.
The garden even has bulbs sprouting through the ground. It amazes me that they are already poking green out of a soil that two days ago was covered with snow. I have been painting flowers a lot in the studio this past winter. The thought of seeing them in the garden again leaves me with anticipation. I had listened to a web conference a couple of weeks ago where one of the speakers, Rupert Sheldrake (PhD in Biology) said “flowers are a gratuitous outpouring of beauty into the world “. This struck home for me, especially after the last few years painting so many flowers. It is just so very true. They are truly an outpouring of beauty and I can’t wait till they show themselves again in my garden. More source material and an opportunity to contemplate the magic that is in all life.
With the change in weather came an opportunity to paint plein aire with friends. We were outside, socially distant but near enough that we could talk to one another without having to shout. The scene was at The Wharf and we parked ourselves out at the end of the docks. Despite the lack of leaves and the view of islands surrounded by frozen water it was wonderful. Just to sit out on a warm day with like minded friends enjoying the scene and the process of painting brought all the memories back. The past, more than a year now, has been a wasteland for these kinds of activities. As an artist you often paint in solitude and that works well for the process but you still need to connect with like minded souls to talk about the work, share experiences and to get that second opinion on whether the colour values are right. I have missed that. Sending a text or email of what you’ve been working on is good but it’s just not the same as a discussion about the art, the view and life in real time. I’m looking forward to more days like this. We have a plan.