Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beginnings and Endings Days and Months Painted Sky and Canvas

Sunrise Over Mount Holyoke Range November 29, 2011

Fairies come out to celebrate the new day. 

Mount Tom at Sunrise November 29, 2011

The magical time just at the beginning and end of each day, where the sky becomes a vivid, living painting, is well worth honoring within silence, reverence and reverie. From my home and retreat at Flower Hill Farm the view allows a spectacular promise at those early and later moments . . . especially as November takes its leave of us. Clouds and mists of yesterdays sunrise (in the photos above) reflect and refract colors and light . . .  while holding to the sky a striking palette . . .  truly staggering and startling the imagination and spirit of this observer. It is a painting in constant movement as clouds float, stretch and swell into the atmosphere. Then . . .  the luminous composition fades . . .  as a wisp of smoke or a whisper . . . until the day is finished and a new painting, as seen below, fills the canopy of sky in that twinkling of time before gray and darkness befalls. 

Mount Tom at Sunset November 29, 2011

Mount Holyoke Sunset November 29, 2011

Today this last morning of November begins with a stratospheric light show. Tomorrow will bring the first December sunrise of 2011 . . . the end of one day . . . one month . . . and beginnings of another. Nearly the end of a year. November has been mild with a slew of sunny, warm days, allowing for shoeless walks along the North Truro shore and here at Flower Hill Farm many more days, and evenings too, with windows and doors flung wide open. Oh, had I been able . . . it was a great month to garden.

Dramatic light-show when the sun appears to moves into the thick blanket of clouds. 

Red-bellied Woodpecker

While working on this post flocks with hundreds of birds were filling the sky, so I had to pause and fetch my camera to try to capture them, if only to identify the species. I could not, but what a joyous sighting for me in my own dear Rock Maple . . . a first here at Flower Hill (for me) . . . a Red-bellied Woodpecker!! My first sighting was earlier in the year at a Great Blue Heron Rookery. I shared my experience of the rookery at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens
November nearly ending now . . . offers gifts of beautifully painted sky and birds. Bluebirds are sweetly singing their soft and melodious songs and calls.  I am glad and grateful for having been in the moment and able to accept them all . . . gifts and songs . . . though none were intended for me at all. It is only for me to take the time to notice. I am very fortunate to be in such a place and to have the time.

At November's end I begin a new painting. This is an underpainting. I plan to use lots of yellows and pale greens which is why I chose the compliment of purple. Plans can change. I always find this early stage exciting . . . something becoming . . . a mystery with possible promise (If I destroy it I can always cover it and begin anew). Alas, my paintings are pale in beauty when seen next to such stunning works of Mother Nature, but then I am not trying to copy nature . . . only to find my own voice and way of expressing the feelings I find in my connection to nature. Nature all around me is my muse. 
(My Painting process and some works over the last few years can be seen above just under the header photo by clicking on the 'Page' titles.) 
I will bid farewell to November and welcome December in the morning. 

Let's not forget the moon, which is a mirror to our sun. Here another beginning and ending  'Moonlit' for Katarina of Roses and Stuff for now it is Blooming Friday. Happy Roman Holiday K. 


Gillian Olson said...

Your series of sunrises and sunsets is just spectacular, such beautiful rich colours. Good start to that painting, will stay tuned to see how it progresses.

Country Gal said...

Fantastic photos and painting ! I havent seen our Red bellied Woodpecker I named Charlie for months now he was here long before now last year ! Have a wonderful day !

Liz said...

Hi Carol,

Beautiful photos, I rarely get to see the sunset now because it sets so early that it now sets behind the houses across from us... In the summer I get a lovely sunset from our backgarden. Oh well, instead I get to look at photos of yours!

FlowerLady said...

Those photos are breathtakingly beautiful! Such wonderful colors.

I look forward to seeing your finished painting. Enjoy the process.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday season.


rkbsnana said...


Randy Emmitt said...

Enjoyed the sunrise photos a great deal. To think I spend my early mornings in bed with coffee before sunrise, guess I'm into comfort in my older days.
Thanks for bringing cheer into my life. Today I observed a $700,000 house being demolished so they could build a Mc mansion in its place. With all the foreclosures it made me sick to see it.

BTW I sent the red-bellied your way, we have lots to spare here.

ann said...

Beautiful sky, sun, clouds. Your photos are always so inspiration, and you paint too. Can't wait to see it finished.

Eva said...

I couldn't help but note the date—the 29th—my 67th birthday! I am trying to be more philosophical as I age, and your thoughts about beginnings and endings are oh, so fitting. Transitions are difficult for me right now. But somehow the seamlessness expressed in your photographs is an inspiration for courageously facing what-is-to-come.

What a startling vision to be brought back to earth and focus on the beautiful markings of the red-bellied woodpecker.

What do you think caused the fairy light? (I'm not very "wise" if I have to ask . . . right?)

Carol said...

THANK YOU EVERYONE!! I so appreciate your sharing your thoughts. Eva I nearly mentioned your birthday but was not sure how you would feel about that. Happy Birthday again! The Fairy light is the sun playing with my camera but or maybe it is just a fairy. ;>)

The Violet Fern said...

Spectacular show! Love the fairy light. I would like to make a fairy house in my garden ... see who I may entice to visit. Would love to see your painting progress. I envy the oils ... the rich color, the ability to paint over. It is off to a great start. Trees are one of my favorites.

Lea's Menagerie said...

Wonderful photos! We are just beginning to get some really cold weather. Woodpeckers should start coming to the feeders just any day now. Your woodpecker photo is great!
Mississippi, USA

Foxglove Lane said...

Beautiful skies! And I love the faeries being present:~)

Sarah Laurence said...

Oooo - those are lovely! The first two especially look like watercolors. I can see why you'd be inspired to paint.

Commonweeder said...

I am not done with Thanksgiving, and I want to thank you for all your beautiful photographs and inspiring thoughts.

Gunilla said...

Fantastic photos.

Have a nice weekend


Beautiful pictures that you share with us!

Gail said...

Dear Carol, Perfect! I miss the sky the trees crowd it out in Middle TN. What a marvelous view you have and how delightful to spot your new visitor. I do love woodpeckers. xogail

joey said...

Always ... you show day/eve/life in a beautiful perspective, Carol. A simple thank you for life viewed through your eyes.

Alistair said...

Now that's photography at its best. Made an attempt at this myself this past week, not quite so atmospheric though.

easygardener said...

The colours in your pictures are truly amazing. You are lucky to have such tremendous views - I feel very, very envious :-)

Vilt og vakkert said...

Heisann Carol!

So many beautiful scenes. Nature is fascinating with all the colors, light and shadows. The sky especially! Today 'reflections' is the topic of Mandagstema and you are right, the moon is the reflection of the sun, I didn't remember ....but I know!
I look forward to see you painting finished, the underpainting gives expectations.
Thank you for your nice comments.
There's something I don't understand. My post IF, Brigade has 22 visitors, but none of them have left a comment. Why can't they just say Hello!

Have nice days in December ;:OD)
Now I will study your finished painting!

Tammie Lee said...

I did not know that you paint, how wonderful. I draw and paint often, but i know nothing about under-painting. Yours looks like it is off to a wonderful beginning. I love all your photos, they are soothing and exciting all at once. Lovely sky dancing.

Francesc Balaguer said...

Great shots!!SUPERB..

Salut, Francesc

Katarina said...

I can almost see the fairies, Carol!

Sophia Callmer said...

I like the start of the painting, simple, clear in a way. And your skyes are just magnificant. kram Sophia

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