Recently I enjoyed a beautiful hike in a state park that was quite raw in the sense that fallen trees had not been cleared away (for the most part) and we did not see a single soul over the course of two hours.
And yet there were some visually arresting moments…of the bad kind:
Upon seeing garbage in the middle of otherwise pristine woods, I was reminded of The Human Stain, a novel by Philip Roth.
The books is an exposition of the ugliness of humankind and ends with a vivid description of a frozen lake and the way in which it was formed over thousands of years, juxtaposed with the image of a nefarious man ice-fishing in the middle of this lake (the human stain on nature, in other words).
I am not anti-human at all and on the contrary feel that humankind is something to be celebrated despite all its flaws. However, I do understand the disgust that fueled Roth’s narrative and I felt the same disgust upon seeing trash in the forest.
What do people think and feel when they visit a place and then leave their garbage behind to rot? Perhaps it is a moment of childish rebellion. Or perhaps, even worse, it is devoid of any thought or intention at all — literally mindless.
What a depressing notion, and not one I relate to at all.
I enjoyed these arches on a recent hike. I love the shadow in this first one:
I love the symmetry in this one:
This tree was not near water, and had fallen flat on the forest floor, but for some reason had the unmistakable marks of a beaver.
It is remarkable to see the remnants of such intense purpose.
I saw this and thought of Stonehenge. Ridiculous, I know.
Here is another older painting that I’ve resurrected after abandoning it (in this case, I ruined it by getting too carried away with something that worked well for me in another painting).
As you can see on the right, I got crazy with paint splatter and overall created a mess, including some blotches around the eyes and face that really robbed the image of its continuity. The image on the left reflects my clean-up, with white paint, but also removal of color using water. Yes, the paper in this case is again the “wrong” kind — it is not ideal for water color, but interestingly I like some of the effects I get with it versus the expensive “correct” kind.
As with most of my work, this is not yet a finished piece (I really need to commit to finishing several of these works in progress).
But I wanted to share a promising “fix / save” of a previous mistake.
On a hike recently we saw this tree…
It was difficult to capture the scale of this tree with a photograph. It is truly massive, a sight to see.