Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I have been letting the chickens outside for a couple of weeks now. The weather has turned warm enough to melt the snow, though it's still cold. The girls don't mind, and I'm sure they are glad to get out after the long winter in the coop. Recently I opened their door to let them out, and Lupine noticed that I had a cookie in my hand. She jumped up and grabbed it before I knew what was happening. ran away and devoured it. I've been giving her little bites every day since then. So yesterday I took my camera so I could catch her in the act. These are maple cookies, which I doubt is a staple in any chicken's diet, but Lupine certainly knew what she wanted. Whenever I go into the yard she jumps all over me. I feel bad if I don't have anything for her, and when the cookies were gone I brought saltines. They all used to love them, but it took some coaxing to get Lupine to even look at the crackers. Even then, she didn't eat them until she was sure no cookies were forthcoming.
Monday, March 07, 2011
It's a familiar March sight........melting snow running down Clark St. No matter how long the winter seems as it's going on, it always seems to end suddenly and unexpectedly. The ugliness of dirty snow, muddy water and pelting rain is met with enthusiasm and celebration. The huge drifts and freezing temperatures evaporate from our minds. The slippery roads and white-out weather conditions are forgotten. Last night my hands did not become stiff with cold as I worked at the computer, yet I didn't notice. As if the endless days of early dark, wind chill factors, and plans made with the admonition "depending on the weather" are already remote memories. The world changes so dramatically here, but we who live it year after year have adapted to it so well that each season exists only in the present. Winter disappears into Spring, Spring into Summer, Summer into Fall, and Winter comes again. We sit on the deck with cooling drinks, wearing shorts and T-shirts, well into the balmy evenings, then pull our light jackets out from the back of the closet, then our heavy coats, our hats, our gloves, and finally our boots. Now the Winter is dying and with amazing amnesia it will be forgotten. If we talk about it at all, it will only be to contrast it with the present, without emotion.
Adapting so readily to the extremes of the seasons here gives us a subtle appreciation of the cycles within cycles within cycles that constitute our lifetime. They measure our time here in a way that milder and less changeable climates do not. I've always thought that people who live in relatively consistent climates are much more relaxed about time. There's always tomorrow, they think. We can't count on tomorrow being like today. Better do it now.........
Sunday, March 06, 2011
It's strange to see this bottom image so big...it's actually only about 1 1/2 inches high. I liked doing my Szondi faces so much that I wanted to do another series. It occurred to me that the obituary pictures in the paper look a lot like the faces I've just finished, so I decided to use those as subjects. I did three, thinking at first I would do them a little differently. I used gouache on top of the image to ad a different dimension, but it turned out I didn't like the look. I went back to my old method with the third one and trashed the other two. Today I did the picture of the ballerinas......the entire picture I cut out of the newspaper instead of just the one figure I did before. This is small, too, about 4 x 6 inches. When will this cease to amuse me?