A Scene Calling to Photographed and Painted

Chickadees keep my Pele-kitty entertained.

Catching up after having computer issues

It looks like a flying saucer crash landed.

The morning of April 8 was dark and rainy. I recited the old adage “April showers bring May flowers” knowing every day will bring new sprouts shooting up out of the ground. There are already some sturdy looking shoots coming up in an area I don’t remember planting anything. It’ll be exciting to see what those are … tulips, daffodils? Some kind of first-up perennials of the year.

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The garden manual I began four years ago has not been updated in a long time. (Neither has my editing manual.) Both have been pushed into the background as other projects take my time. I can’t complain as I follow my heart – and whatever muse has me at the moment. I like it. Life is interesting and I make it more so by finding things I enjoy.

April 9 was another dark rainy morning. The ground was still white-spotted from the occasional icy snow the day before. The frosting on the hemlock and spruce boughs were eye catching.

It was foggy, too, when I headed out to pick up my friend Jane and to meet our other friend, Nan, for breakfast. The dirt roads were wet and a little slick. I like going the back way because the scenery is more enjoyable. Driving was better on the paved roads.

We passed a picturesque area calling to be photographed. Fog wound around an impressive birch tree on the top of a hill. The tree’s branches formed an eye-catching elegance, like a stately lady posed at the top of the stairs waiting to be noticed. Evergreens rimmed the bottom of the hill; the lady’s audience waiting with applause, and in the far distances, more trees and mountains.

"The Hill" pastel painting

I’ve taken photos of this scene in the past. One I used as inspiration for a charcoal drawing, and another was a summer scene for a pastel painting. None were from this angle and neither had fog. (Funny how a direction change can make a scene totally different.)

"Beyond the Fence" charcoal drawing

I didn’t want to stop because we all had other things to do. As it was, it was going to be a short breakfast (and, of course, breakfast and conversation was good.) But I was a bit disappointed. I seldom get out on a foggy day and I so love doing fog paintings.


April 10 started out as another gray morning but no fog. The back deck had more snow than the previous day. It's all pock marked, so it looked funny. I guess other drippings caused it ... not sure how exactly. It looks like the deck was spread in sunflower seeds, then a light layer of icy snow covered it.

Tuesday’s scene of the birch tree kept calling me. It wants to be photographed and painted. Should I make a run over? Go before I settle into the day’s projects? Should I time it to be able to get lunch takeout at an in-town restaurant?

I finished my morning routines, and, for the few moments between projects, that scene began calling louder. I had to go, I had to! If I wait and spring really starts emerging, that particular view will be blocked.

I donned outerwear, then took photos of the brook before leaving. The ice on one of the bigger rocks looked like a flying saucer crash-landed. The temperature was only 32 degrees and the roads were covered in icy snow in many places. I drove with a little more care. Tree branches, frosted in white, bent from the weight of ice shows a lacy-ness. Mother Nature created works of art.

I reached the spot I call “the Hill” in eight minutes. Uh, oh, there’s a ditch alongside the road with running water. There’s no room to pull over. Too much brush and fallen trees didn’t give a clear view of the scene I wanted from the roadside.

There’s an old pull-off space probably used years ago by the old farm. I didn’t dare park there for fear of getting stuck or having the weight of the car force it to cave into the ditch. I didn’t want to park farther down the hill because it would be too hard for me to walk back up.

Hmmm, what to do. I wanted this picture! It was a quiet morning, not much traffic here. I decided to chance it. I left the car running in the middle of the road with the blinker on and grabbed my camera. I don’t usually go on someone else’s property without permission, but this area was far enough from the house I didn’t feel I was trespassing.

I crossed the ditch and picked my way through dead leaves and field grasses, going around a couple of big bushes to reach the stone wall bordering the field that was home to the birch tree. I got seven photos before the camera stopped working. Oops, dead battery. Seven should do it, though.

Next pastel project scene

Back home, after giving Pele and Leo kitty attention, I imported and edited the photos, and was getting ready to print when something Nan said the day before rattled my brain. She said she always prints a black and white photo along with a color one. This helps her with values.

Duh! I used to do that all the time! When did I stop? And why? Goodness. So, I also edited four of the photos in grayscale and printed them all. I wasn’t sure which angle to choose for the painting. I’ll spend some evenings playing around with preliminary sketches.

While I was at it, I also grayscaled the three in-process paintings currently on the easels. I shook my head wondering how I’d let this important step slide out of my awareness.

The sun poked through and I was eager to get in the studio. First, though, I wanted to post my blogs. That was when I discovered I had the computer issue and put me off for a couple of days.


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