When you see a tree you like, paint it or take a photo because life goes on and it may not be there the next time you pass by. I took this photo in September 2020. Following is the same tree in March 2021.
During the winter months our association Couleurs de Bretagne has challenges which are posted online and then composed into a youtube video. This month’s theme was Fluctuat nec mergitur, the motto of the town of Paris. This roughly means billows roll but do not submerge. Many of the other artists have painted billows and boats. I decided to do a self portrait interpretation because I have felt assailed but I will not move, I will not be submerged, I am like a tree planted by the water.
I found two Bible verses: (biblegateway.com)
Psalm 1:3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
Jeremiah 17:8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Oh I shall not be, I shall not be moved
I shall not be, I shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water
I shall not be moved.
I will not give in to the fear propagated by the system.
I will continue to work towards the garden that never fades. (RA xvi/17)
I stand firm for Good— love, peacemaking, forgiveness, spiritual intelligence free from all prejudice.
I decided to work in the back area where I have a wild bed. This bed was originally sown with a packet of seeds marked annuals for butterflies and bees. A lot of oregano grew. People gave me a lavatère and a cognassier. Daffodils and primroses volunteer. Also the prunus sends up shoots everywhere. Ivy and brambles attempt to intrude. Nettles prosper. It needed some attention.
Wild bed before
It will need more than one session.
Wild bed after 1
The weather was a bit cold and windy, but sunny and dry. Perfect for checking out the view from above.
We received a telephone call inviting us to le goûter du troisième age, an afternoon do for senior citizens. I said well, no one here has reached that age yet. The caller replied it’s according to the calendar year and your husband’s name is on the list. (I know that date is approaching but haven’t been dwelling too much on it.) When one member of a couple is eligible, the spouse is invited also. There will be an accordion player. —Thank you very much. Usually that day is one of my husband’s busiest but it is kind of you to invite us. (He works full time and has several years to go before retirement.)
It turned out that my husband’s schedule had a variation and we are going to attend this event. It makes me feel rebellious somehow. I started wondering what semi-outrageous thing could I do to prove that I am not in that category of the population, some of which may be 20 or even 30 years older than us. I never could do cartwheels or headstands. Still ruminating, I went outside.
Beautiful sunshine! Spring! My nut tree! I’m going to climb up there; it’s been awhile. I usually give it a bit of a rub to remove some of the moss and lichens growing on its bark. Today I got out a gentle brush and started to rub vigorously but that wasn’t very efficient, so I got out a harder brush and used a gentler touch. It felt like grooming an elephant, not that I have ever done that, but sometimes I think I see an elephant’s eye and trunk in this tree. I imagine it feels good to the tree—it makes me feel itchy to consider how it would be to have all that growing on me but is that necessarily how the tree sees it? How do I know if I am feeling intuitively or imposing my view of things?
As not very many of you may have the opportunity to enjoy the view from up in this tree, here is a photo.
It’s been going into the night for about four days now, with fog, rain, light rain, heavy rain, wind and only one brief glimpse of sun yesterday afternoon. In Breton, November is called ar miz du which means the black month. December is called ar miz kerdu, the even blacker month. In reality, all is not that black; there is quite a bit of green as you can see in my photo. I barely stepped out the door to take this (near midday) and if it’s blurry, it’s due to the wind.
In my watercolour class, we worked for several weeks on this subject, very carefully. We used four colours. Mine were cobalt, Winsor lemon yellow, burnt sienna and Payne’s grey.
Then, like in doing a counter pose in yoga, we did a very quick study of these winter squash.
Twenty minutes, a pencil sketch, three colours, one yellow, one red, and a third whatever we wanted to use. I chose cadmium yellow, Winsor red and viridian.
It was like riding a roller coaster, chug, chug, chug, up the hill, observing, sketching, then preparing for the plunge with wetting the subjects (leave whites) then the rush, splashing on colour, more red, more yellow, that bit’s drying out, don’t touch there, oh, look what that viridian did—time’s up, noon has rung, lay down your brushes. How did it turn out? That was fun!