Saturday, December 19, 2015

Winter Solstice

"As the nights stretch steadily longer, eclipsing the waning daylight hours, my sun-loving-self plunges and stumbles into the spiritual depths.The seed buried deep under the earth and insect shrouded in its chrysalis both remind me that darkness holds the possibility of nourishment, hope, transformation, and new life."
                          -Claire Hitchins

Hello out there. We are now nearly upon winter and the shortest day. The light has waned. I am a sun-loving sort. I miss the light but I am coming to appreciate winter more. I begin to realize it is all so short-lived anyway as the world seems to spin faster and faster. But the winter still pulls me into reflection and more depth.

As I get older I find Annie Dillard's take on it becoming more and more close to home, "I bloom indoors in winter liked a forced forsythia; I come in to come out. At night I read and write, and things I have never understood become clear; I reap the harvest of the rest of the year's planting."

I took the picture on the left this Fall during a course I was doing in Wisconsin.

Nice fall colors but a little under exposed, taken near sunset. When I got home I wanted to do something with it so took it into an app called repix and played with it to create the more abstract picture on the right. I did this with the intent of using it as a backdrop to an image I could paint on top of it. But it sat in my photo library for a few months until some inspiration hit.

I went back to a process I learned from Tracy Verdugo- palettes of possibility. In this process I look for an image within the abstract piece and see where that takes me. I took the altered photo into a painting app called procreate and on my iPad came up with this.

I immediately saw the image of the face. What were originally fall color leaves started to feel like the stained glass of a church. The expression on the face felt melancholy and resigned (kind of how I tend to feel about winter). The piece evolved it's own meaning in the process of creating it and I added the hand written element because it felt like the right expression to me.

I am very happy with this piece. I like how it started out as a fall photo and then transformed itself into a solstice message. The creative process is always a mystery and I am so grateful to play a part in it.