recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Sunday, May 1, 2011

to everything there is a season (sold)

My earlier post expounded on how incredibly amazing April is - that we should be patient considering all she brings in growth and renewal. Well I take it back. She has wreaked havoc on far too many. 

 I’ve been  miserable thanks to April. Our majestic old maple tree was torn out by the aftermath of the US tornados. (I can’t even begin to fathom the vast devastation and destruction in the US). The tree is/was situated in front of our veranda, where the entrance to my studio is located. I know that I am fortunate as it missed the house, causing no major damage. I can’t help but feel gutted though when I look at her splayed on the ground, vulnerable, her wee spring buds on branches of hope. I feel like I am mourning as she was so significant to me and my work. The ambiance she provided when sitting out with friends or painting with students will be sorely missed. I keep thinking of all the years that she gave to the birds-some returning year after year. She was their social network as well as protection and housing. When I think of it trees are very much gathering places and places to gather. I am deeply thankful that I shared my seasons with this old girl and she will be sorely missed.

I like to paint ideas via oil sketches on black gessoed card. I have many and usually don’t share but thought I'd make an exception. Last evening I sat on my veranda and painted ‘ view without  tree’ . Serenaded  by finches and mockingbirds, breathing fragrant sweet air, colouring in yellow green land and shocks of forsythia --I might forgive April.

Almost May
Niagara Escarpment
oil on gessoed card
4x6in, 2011


read on for image of destruction....



  1. Jan, I can totally relate to your feelings of loss for your Maple Tree "friend". I have always developed close relationships with trees and the habitats they provide. The large walnut in the backyard provides glimpses of life outside my skylight: red headed woodpeckers, cardinals, mourning doves, the constant arguments of blue jays, and the little battles between red and blck squirrels. Sometimes a raccon will hide up there.
    I have had to realize that a tree has a life span as, and the falling of one allows new growth. Have you chosen one to take its place?
    Thank you for your comments re your colour palette. I found it very interesting that you change it for the seasons.
    The "View without Tree" is lovely.

  2. thanks Catherine-after re-reading my post i might have overreacted (a wee bit)-my excuse is i am feeling ill and don't know about you, but for me my outlook is off when ill:(
    you are so right re life span of the tree, and i am contemplating a few new trees - that is encouraging-thanks for stopping by!

  3. Jan, I felt so moved reading your post here about the loss of your maple tree. It is important and you have lost an old friend. Trees are special to us and they do mark the different seasons and precious times spent walking by them or indeed working by them as you did your maple tree. I was hoping for a painting of your dear departed friend but instead we have a new scene without him/her. I must say your painting here today is really beautiful it has a quiet strength and I love the colours especially the pink tops of the posts. Let us know when you will be planting a new tree in the place of your dear maple.

  4. thank Caroline for your very kind words--i know you understand