Monday, November 29, 2010

The Quality of Light

It starts in late August every year. I notice the golden glow on trees and lawns and houses, then gradually through the fall that beautiful, soft, clean aura becomes an all day filter over everything, making life seem like it's stage lit and special.

Lines For Melly

I had been stressing over the line challenge until I looked at these photos and realized how interesting lines are everywhere.

She greets you at my front door; soft lines and cold
texture warmed by the golden light.

Lines: straight, curved, diagonal for me to draw.

 Sunset from my front porch.  I am a lucky person to live
with this beauty.
I know people wax morbid over the dying of the light and the year, but I quite like the late autumn when the leaves have fallen, been gathered and carted off for composting. There's an elegance to the landscape, not stark, but simplified and modern. I like driving West on these days (even just a trip to the mall), the bleached blue of the sky, the bare branches in silhouette, shaved cornrows of the fields surrounding me, while the low sun catches my eye with a wink and a crooked finger of light as if beckoning me somewhere I should be going.

There is something about this time of quiet color and stripped down scenery that makes me feel calm and clean inside, like I can see my life more clearly too. For me it's a time of renewal, of making way for new plans, new adventures. The holidays will go by in a blur. The older I get the less important the individual traditions become. What matters lately is the realization that the years of my life will only accommodate just so many adventures: I mean to have the ones I really want.

I just finished my first serious trip back to my artist self. I found that the talent for seeing with the artist's eye, and the desire to interpret with my own vision are still intact. I'm primed to move forward. Now it will be a matter of keeping high the enthusiasm without my daily cheering section online; about making goals and keeping them, and not getting lost in someone else's vision of my life again.
First continuous contour drawing in ink.
No Pencil, no erase.

Machine Made Objects make for travel memories.

My first flower has to be my favorite one.

We decided against putting up a tree this year. Normally this is the central symbol of our merry December celebrations, even though it is a thoroughly non-religious one for us. But with no plans for at home entertainment, it just seemed like one more burdensome activity, and how easy it was to cross it off the list. Instead we are making plans for quality time in the windy city. Literally, windy. It always rains, snows, blows or numbs, but still we love December in Chicago. We are getting ready for a dinner dance with other "steel guys" and their partners. My recent inspirational drive ending at the local mall resulted in some purchases of festive attire, where the store seemed to be paying me to take the merchandise off their hands. I did my part in relieving them of inventory, but I'm not sure how I helped with the bottom line. I found some girly clothes that makes me feel special, and if I somehow do damage during the revelry, I won't feel bad about it.

My new week brings a new focus on the needle and the cloth. I am taking Jude Hill's C2C3 (Cloth to Cloth, No.3) workshop online, wherein she will share a bit of the techniques behind her poetic needle arts. In the midst of my sketching and line challenge projects last week, I had made two possible woven bases for the workshop, but they are much too safe, too predictable for this work. I will need to turn a more artistic eye to making something worthy this week. We'll see if I can find inspiration in the golden light of late autumn.


  1. Enjoyed reading your view of the light changing late summer into fall. I too like the change of light this particular time of year. Something I look forward to.
    We opted not to put the tree up last year and I didn't miss it at all. It is already up this year since we are having Christmas. Look forward to seeing your stitching project.

  2. I know about the changing of the light that you speak of. Yes, even here in So CA...every August I feel it as a sense of sweet melancholy.

  3. Welcome to EDM! Nice sketches =) and awesome photography

  4. Glad to see that you have join EDM. We are kindred spirits as I enjoy many of the same arts and crafts. Looking forward to more of your posts!

  5. Welcome to Everyday Matters!! Beautiful blog and you have great photography skills and excellent sketchbook pages! I look forward to seeing more! By the way, I'm just so curious about what Jane told you not to do!!??

  6. Hi Cheryl! Excellent journal pages! So nicely done; I can hardly wait to see more. What kind of paper or journal did you use?