A Butterfly on a Butterfly Bush
Each of these small wooden circles measures only one and a half inches in diameter. Yet in each one, there is a lot going on. Some definitely are more simple than others. They just came together with ease, and felt finished. Others are more worked, and that is because they didn’t flow as well initially. A color may have been wrong. Or my hand slipped as I applied the enamel paint, so that a cover up became essential. Some of those become my favorites because they have more history. Enamel paint is fun to work with because it dries very quickly and is opaque, making layering possible.
Each one has a magnet attached to the back, so they are useful items to have.
I love making them for several reasons. It is fun to work with a water-based paint instead of oil. It is really fun and challenging to work that small. It takes concentration to do them. I need to keep breathing as I work or something inevitably goes wrong. I get a lot of information from doing so many of them at once. It is liberating to think of them as functional. Getting an energetic brushstroke with a tiny little brush is not easy for me. And doing them gives me a lot of information for doing my other paintings. Frees the hand, informs the eye, engages the brain.
I had a great holiday weekend! I didn’t go anywhere at all. Friends came over on Monday, so I cleaned a little and cooked a little and we all had fun. Just stayed home and wandered from the garden to my studio to my computer to the kitchen. Despite the lack of activity in my life, the feeling that it was a holiday was somehow still in the air, and I gave myself a vacation from stress, from haste, and from the need to cross things off my constantly growing list of things to do.
On Sunday, it was especially beautiful out, and I found myself picking up my camera and just walking around the house, down to the studio and back, and all around the house, down to the meadow, and back around again. I took a lot of pictures on that sunny day. For some reason, I wanted to fix that moment in time . It felt important to document the house where I live and the flowers that I nurture.
It was part of my holiday, like going away to an exotic place, and taking a million pictures to capture all those memories and visual treasures. But I didn’t even have to get in my car to have the holiday experience. I just stayed home and started looking at things with a fresh eye. Discovering the brilliance of the azaleas as if I had never seen them before. Watching the bees swarm around the chive blossoms, I felt like I was on a wildlife expedition.
It was too much fun! I picked out a few of my favorites to put here. Normally, I play around with photos trying to make them better, adjusting the light and the color to get what I want (or think I want). But this time, I just left them the way they were. No cropping or changing them in any way. Snapshots. Postcards. From my holiday at home.
I think that I’ll come back to this place again.
I love all the color in this photo. Especially all the red. The brand new ipad with its special red cover was waiting for me when I got back from PA this time. The vibrant red tulips and daffodils picked from our garden. The ipad happened to get set down next to the flowers and it really hit my eye. The promise of Spring and the challenge of learning about something new. When I took the photo, I didn’t expect that the red-patterned cover on the bench in the background would show so much.
Why do I love red so much in the world, but not so much to wear and rarely to paint with?