south forest


it's magic hour and the lavender shadows contain the movements of little creatures, insects and flickering grasses, briefly flashing bright green when catching the setting sun. it will be dark here soon as the sun drops behind sally ann mountain. up on the road will still be some warmth and golden light and little sparrows flitting around in a hedgerow. filled with seedings, briars and smaller hardwoods, it stands between the upper field and the road above. sometimes i go to the top of the driveway in late afternoon to extend the day and watch the mountain go from blue to ultramarine to dark shape. i am reminded of a rule in painting: the landscape is always darker than the sky. even at night. even in a storm.

back on the deck i look out at a messy woodpile to see a chipmunk with enormous cheekfuls of pumpkin seeds scamper off toward the creek's edge and i am surprised he heads that way. i hear the chip chip chipping of a single cardinal. they are my latest feeders at twilight and the first at dawn. a female on the forest floor is hard to spot at first, but her bright red beak gives her away. trout waits patiently at the screen door of the cabin. but my rule is i can not go inside until the first star breaks through. i wait for it and finally it pierces the atmosphere with tiny brilliance. i turn to go in and see the cabin glowing like a halloween pumpkin...the warm piney interior will soon contain a tired brown hound longing for her bed and a reluctant me anticipating a very dark night


  1. The sky is always lighter?
    I can think of a number of excellent photos that don't follow that rule.
    I wonder why it is so for paintings?

  2. not that I'm the contrary sort....
    well, OK, sometimes.

    But, there's a more important rule of painting.

    #1 there are no rules of painting

    What you have to remember is that painting isn't magic dust spread on the canvas, but rather the work you put into it.

    If you want lighter ground, create the scene.

    Oh, and by the way. You missed your chance at Grabbing the Bull.
    It's gone.

    On the other hand, and I say this without checking out Sparringly's....what was that dog sticking out of your jacket?
    New pet for Trout?

  3. your woods are lovely and peaceful, k9

    and as far as that painting rule goes ..
    n it's a good rule to follow if you want to achieve a certain effect in landscape painting..

  4. iamnot: it is absolutely true. im sure there are photo work arounds but its true...just look and see for your self. i do think that the opposite can be employed for dramatic effect.

    boney: thats not me on the beach! i am in the movie, but im the one in the car with the video camera. and i agree, really there are no rules in painting....i didnt say i FOLLOWED that landscape rule, but was reminded of it as i looked at the mountain that eve.

    foamy: foamy - it really is. i am working so hard to earn my way back here full time again. i want to have an organic garden so bad!! the whole deal...fruit trees, nuts and a patch of wheat. ive always wanted to do that !

    good to see you all at chickory! thanks for stopping by.

  5. I love the smell of a warm forest.

  6. heh heh..I fell like I'm thar' wif' ya!


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