Summer Fields and Mountains, near Ascutney, Vermont. Pastel on paper, 26" x 16", (c) 2011. (click for larger view)
This morning I was photographing this large pastel prior to listing it for sale. That process really makes you look closely, especially since I was including some detail shots.
But what it really did was take back to Vermont itself. I felt myself standing on the rise looking down into this valley; I felt the slight breeze on my skin that was also moving the cumulus clouds along, saw the first touches of color in the red maples on the slopes, saw the ripples on the river, heard a hawk crying overhead. And then I felt myself standing over the work itself, a year or so ago, trying to play back the emotional content of those original impressions as I worked on the pastel, making decisions, trying to keep the handling loose because there of the motion and energy I felt in the landscape.
There are an infinite number of ways to go about it; this is just one choice. We think we "see" a scene, but in a quite different way from a photograph, a painting or a drawing ends up being just as much about us.
And it occured to me that time of year depicted is only a few weeks from now. I've noticed that the cycle of plants and flowering has been accelerated this year by as much as two weeks -- a somewhat troubling phenomenon. I wonder if the leaves will turn earlier too. Whatever happens, those summer days are precious, and while I'm very happy living in Montreal, it's nice to be transported back to Vermont for a little while. All the places I've lived or visited have their special qualities -- just like people!