Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The last couple of weeks we've had incredible weather! Cool clear days with luminous clouds reminiscent of New Mexico gracing the sky, followed by crisp fall-like nights. We've taken advantage of this unseasonable respite by working in our gardens and burning piñon in our chimenea. This pungent scent wafts through the evening air like nothing else. I recall the first time I smelled this evocative scent. It was in Flagstaff Arizona on a cool night many years ago. It has remained me forever and the fragrance is like nothing else. It feels 'holy' and 'whole', as if we are anointing the earth and all she gives us.
I guess because we are.
Rural life is offering up its bounty as gardens surrender the goodness of seeds planted and cared for in early spring. Our neighbors have shared with us some of this goodness in the form of heads of cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. All have been enjoyed and the cukes are slowly turning into pickles as they ferment in their seasoned brine.
The farmer cut the hay in the field across from us and has baled his crop into square bales. A bucolic sight I love seeing. Yes it becomes feed for animals, but I see them as the building blocks for straw bale construction projects. Walls of depth and natural insulation. Habitat for Humanity built a straw bale home here in Bloomington some years ago and my husband Jon helped in its construction. A coming together of hands and hearts to help a homeless man have shelter.
The view from our living room screen door encompasses our purple cone flowers and a few sculptures as well as the newly mown field. We've watched thumb sized bumble bees gather pollen bobbing from flower to flower. They are in the process of making honey! It also reminds me that the honey combs these bees carfully construct of wax may also be the underpinning of my new work. I'm delving into a new medium, that of encaustics. Evenings not in the studio are spent reading books on the subject. I'm beyond fascinated with the concept of mixing pigment into wax and creating layers with this golden earthy medium. Winter will provide the time needed to reconfigure the studio to prepare for this transition. Soon the smell of oil paint and beeswax will fill my studio as the memories of bees doing their thing in summer while I do mine in winter move further along. This while snowflakes fall and our woodstove crackles in the corner. A season at a time. I still have much to do this summer, but this new way of viewing the process of bees, art and the interconnectedness of nature to my new body of work makes me smile while cumulous clouds dance overhead.
Have a most abundant day!