Posts Tagged ‘Trees’

The Maple Tree

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Although it stills feels as hot and muggy as midsummer here in Washington, DC, it is actually the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere. So, a painting and a poem in celebration. The leaves are changing color; we await those crisp cool blue-sky days. And wait… Happy Autumn, everyone.

The Maple with its tassell flowers of green
That turns to red, a stag horn shapèd seed
Just spreading out its scallopped leaves is seen,
Of yellowish hue yet beautifully green.
Bark ribb’d like corderoy in seamy screed
That farther up the stem is smoother seen,
Where the white hemlock with white umbel flowers
Up each spread stoven to the branches towers
And mossy round the stoven spread dark green
And blotched leaved orchis and the blue-bell flowers—
Thickly they grow and neath the leaves are seen.
I love to see them gemm’d with morning hours.
I love the lone green places where they be
And the sweet clothing of the Maple tree.

—John Clare 1793-1864

Elizabeth

Loveliest of Trees

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

I am experimenting with the eBay auction as a venue for my paintings, and I am beginning with “Cherry Blossoms,” a seasonally appropriate work. It begins tonight and ends April 2nd. (You can find it here.) And with this painting I include my favorite cherry blossom poem, from A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad.

CherryBlossoms

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

–A.E. Housman

Under The Greenwood Tree

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

For June, a poem from As You Like It, Act II, Scene V.

June2016
Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleas’d with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

—William Shakespeare

CakeRedRoses

Jan

The time of the singing of birds is come

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Here in Washington, DC, we have the cherry blossoms; last year in the Languedoc, it was the almond trees. Happy First Day of Spring, and happy blossom-walks beneath whatever is blooming in your land.

AlmondTrees

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

—Song of Solomon 2:10-13

CakeWedding

Lynn & Donald

 

Approach Of Winter

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

A picture, and a poem, for the first of December.

Dec2015

The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
bending all,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall
where the salvias, hard carmine—
like no leaf that ever was—
edge the bare garden.

—William Carlos Williams

CakePolkaDots

Melissa 

CakeBalloons2

Chuck

It Was an April Morning

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

For the birthday of William Wordsworth (1770-1850); I post an excerpt from “Poems on the Naming of Places,” accompanied by a sketch made on a family bike ride. Not while pedaling though.

RockCreekBikeRide

It was an April morning: fresh and clear
The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
Ran with a young man’s speed; and yet the voice
Of waters which the winter had supplied
Was softened down into a vernal tone.
The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
And hopes and wishes, from all living things
Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
The budding groves seemed eager to urge on
The steps of June; as if their various hues
Were only hindrances that stood between
Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed
Such an entire contentment in the air
That every naked ash, and tardy tree
Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance
With which it looked on this delightful day
Were native to the summer…

—William Wordsworth

You can read the poem in entirety here.

For a mini-bio of Wordsworth, please see My Heart Leaps Up. For another painting and favorite poem, please see Dancing with the Daffodils.

CakeGreenFrank

Fall Song

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

This coming Sunday, October 28th, is the last day that Fletcher’s Boathouse will be open for canoe rentals. I had hoped for an end-of-season family excursion gliding up the Potomac River to gaze at autumn color, hawks and herons, and lichen-covered boulders reflected in the leaf-sprinkled water. However, it looks as if all will be rained out (or possibly snowed in) with the approach of Tropical Storm Sandy, which is already wreaking havoc further southeast. Let’s hope it’s short-lived.

Here is a poem for this bright and watery season.

Fletchers

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries—roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay—how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

—Mary Oliver

CakeChocCurls2Eugenie

YCandleAunt Mary


Well-Spring of Life

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

FountainSiloPost

Today is the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, events which were both traumatic and transformative in ways we are still discovering. From the book The Survivor Tree (written by Cheryl Somers Aubin), about a tree that survived and was re-planted on the new Memorial Plaza, I post this illustration of the fountain that once stood nearby. Now a new water feature stands in its place on the Plaza, another hopeful symbol of renewal.

There is an item in Sunday’s Washington Post about The Survivor Tree.

Understanding is a well-spring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. —Proverbs 16:22

YCandleJim

Green in the City

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

For Earth Day, I post this sketch made while watching my daughter and a friend scrambling over the rocks in green, watery and magical Rock Creek Park, which runs through the heart of Washington DC the length of the city and beyond.

In gratitude for this resource, fellow city-dwellers, you may wish to sign up for one of the many area clean-ups through your local community association, or, alternatively, the Earth Day website, where everyone, whether urban, suburban, or rural, can discover many ways to say Thank You to Mother Earth.

For another sketch, and a history of Earth Day, please see Earth Day.

RockCreekHike

CakeDaisiesGunilla

CakeSprinklesHasse

Double-Cherry Trees, March

Friday, March 30th, 2012

As the single-blossom cherry trees shed their pink snow, the double-cherry trees come into bloom. Here is the companion piece I created for a commission of a two-season house portrait. For the autumn portrait, please see Double-Cherry Trees, November.

DoubleCherry3Post