Monday, October 19, 2015

Into the Woods


I have always loved the Robert Frost poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Often the words will just come into my mind. "The Woods are lovely dark and deep". Those words are like a whisper in shadows at dusk. I love the deep, dark silence of woods. I love the bright jewels of light that filter into the woods. I love the silhouettes of trees, haloed by light of so many colors. As a child I rode my horse through acres of woods in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I rode in all seasons and always alone. Those experiences have informed my life and my art. My paintings have been about trees and water and light coming through woods for many years. Last winter when it was so dark here and I knew I had to work or the dark would take me under all I could paint was woods. This is not a bad thing. I don't believe the poem is about death as some do. To me it is about rest and peace and comfort and renewal. I painted the woods because I knew it. I worked in pastel without reference of any kind on about 15 paintings. I didnt have the energy to find a place to paint or even to go out and look for "places to paint". So I painted the woods as I remembered it. I painted it still and soft and like a cocoon, a place of refuge. Resting in it gives me strength.



We are afraid of the dark in so many ways. The people who love us are afraid of the dark in us. I have frightened and lost people who have known me all my life in the last 2 years. But, to me, in going deep we know parts of ourselves we have never seen. Some parts are not what we want to see. But in reality by asking myself what I love, what comforts and nourishes me and holds me close I can find acceptance of who I am. Nature has supported and nourished me for my entire life. It is glorious! And for me, it takes me home, keeps me safe and heals me. To me the woods are more than just lovely, dark and deep. They are sublime.

7 comments:

  1. Just read this again. So well written and thoughtful.

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  2. Beautiful paintings and beautifully written.

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  3. Thank you both for your comments!

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  4. I'm so enjoying your blog and your art, Susan. (Thanks to Jeane for the introduction). This post spoke to me in particular since I have also lost precious loved ones and often find comfort in the mountain forests or the wild coast. Nature is my sanctuary. As is art. Do you know Pablo Neruda's poem, Lost in the Forest?

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  5. Robyn, I am so pleased that you left this comment. Your blog, website and work are so inspirational to me. Your carvings are wonderful. I am grateful to Jeane for introducing you to me as well! I had not read that poem but just found it on line. I was very moved by it. Very moved! I do grieve for "the land I had lost with my childhood". Very lovely, very melancholy. Thank you so much for writing.

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  6. Thank you Susan! My poor blog is in need of some TLC. I had a feeling you would appreciate the Neruda poem. BTW, I love your painting, Across the Meadow In a previous post.

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