The Drought: This Too Shall Pass

January 18, 2014

As we all know by now, California is facing a drought of historic proportions.  This has affected all of us here in California, and even my art has stalled like the rain that holds back from the skies.  One of my commissions is for a local ranch that has grass-fed beef.  I was stalling my painting of this property because I wanted it to rain and knew this land of rolling hills in West Marin would look best with green grasses.  I've now been stalling more than a month, and I may be forced to paint from the images provided by the family from years past.  It is not a bad thing, but I love making a real connection with the colors of the landscape before I paint it, even if I begin plein air and take work back to my studio, I really aim for true colors.  What is a landscape artist to do when the land is not cooperating?

Patience.  This too shall pass.  Another client contacted me today wanting a dyptch with blues and water.  Possibly a scene from Inverness or the SF Bay... Water times two... large canvases for a ten foot ceiling.  Once again, landscapes depend on water, and landscape paintings are frequently a reflection of the beauty and quality of our land and it's natural resources.

At least we have the Bay... The surfers are doing well.  I was out in Bolinas last weekend with my son who is learning to surf.  He created the best art project we have seen so far this year from my family.  I have yet to put brush to canvas, but I have been gathering images, and plotting my next attack to the big, white field of "what's next".

I had a great trail run at Big Rock Ridge off Lucas Valley Road this month.  I will definitely be painting from my series of photos taken that day.  It was a miraculous hour with the best lighting.  I have some images that called out to for paint.  Even a cyclist on a red bike that is destined for a big canvas.  Stay tuned...

The painting drought will be over soon, as will the water drought.  It can't last forever.  Nothing lasts forever.  My son was falling asleep by my side tonight and he mentioned my ex-husband as "a relationship forgotten by God"... From my most frequently professing, atheist 11 year old, this was probably the most profound message he had said to me in a lifetime.  I answered, "Perhaps by God, but not by me".  This brought him sleep, and me a few quiet tears.  The rains will come, as they always do... Even when we are in a period of drought, there will always be tears from God when he is ready to remember.  Tonight, he is still trying to forget, surfing away the days of summer, and not ready to let the the winter into his heart.

-C

2 comments:

A new me... said...

Beautiful words and images.

Colleen Proppe said...

Thank you, old friend! Happy New Year to you and your son. May it be a great one for you both. Now, off to surf in our endless, California Summer weather... Strange, but it won't last forever.