These two oils I started last week and finished today. The lower one depicts how primitive the river's edge can be from its rising and falling. The top one is the frozen canal with a cedar tree. Fortunately for the ducks, the canal is no longer frozen.
One final quote from the magnificent Annie Dillard book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: "Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam."
This is why I paint and draw, to see the tree with the lights in it, though I seldom see it.