Saturday, November 14, 2009

Goldenrod

This post was written immediately after our October trip, but held until now...

This piece is much simpler than the last. It came more effortlessly, like a simple sketch. It involves memories of another trip to this same place, several years ago, where a sunlight line of goldenrod near Beacon Heights stuck in my memory.

I realized I hadn't looked at goldenrod closely enough to draw it from memory. So I had to get a stalk. Out on a late afternoon photographing trek with just Dearest (the rest of the family skipped that hike), I forgot about my need because she was finally really getting into her new camera, and getting some results that pleased her. We ended up alone on a dirt road, in a freezing wind, where I'd carried her tri-pod so she could experiment with it for the first time on a late sunset. Everything was blue and purple and darkening all around us, and we were watching the sky change colors over the big shape of Grandfather Mountain on the horizon.

On the way back to the car, in the dark, I found a stalk of goldenrod just as I needed it, on the edge of the road. Like it was being held out to me...

I realized after this composition appeared on the page that the leaves are Dearest and I. We're even holding hands.

This image plays with a few things that tickled me and wanted to get out on the page. One is the long red stems of the maple leaves. Another is the curve within the square that I keep coming back to with the same kind of enjoyment I feel when I see certain curves on Dearest. Another is the simple asymmetry of the goldenrod, different from most other flowers in that regard, and the lovely play of the bent leaves. And then there is the yellow on the French Ultramarine... Like the French Provence fabric we used for the curtains in the brightest room in our house.

Watercolor on 140 lb. hot press Arches. 19 by 19 inches.

5 comments:

Genie Sea said...

Goldenrod has always been my nemesis. It choked my garden and sneered at my lack of gardening skills. But here it is serene and regal. A nicer cousin :)

Lisa said...

C'est parfait. Truly - I am wild for the colors and the motion and the sweetness of it.

linda said...

I agree with lisa and also adore the sky with it's tints of purpley pink~ it's good to see your work again.

susan said...

There is great tenderness here - both in the painting and in your words. Learning the lessons of grace and beauty are the treasures of our lives.

Pagan Sphinx said...

ooooooooooooh, la. Those colors really sing well together.