Posted by: lmcg1 | September 21, 2012

Autumnal equinox

Here we are, arriving at another turn of a season, end of summer, start of autumn. We have had a very nice summer this year, lots of long warm days. I’ll be sorry to see them go. I do like the light of September though.  It seems like light is the focus of all the changes of the seasons, with the length of days, the amount of light and quality of light  changing with each transition. Each transitional time also often is associated with fire or fires.
Back in the spring, I came across a blog by Felicity Hayes-McCoy  who writes about her house in Ireland, which was the source for her new book, ‘The House on the Irish Hillside’. It is a book I plan to order shortly, along with Ian Rankin‘s newest book coming out in November, ‘Standing in Another Man’s Grave’.
She wrote a blog about the solstice, ‘Summer Solstice on the Dingle Peninsula‘ back in June, which quoted an ancient poem about the sun. The poem is by the poet Amergen, who speaks the words of the oldest Irish poem in written record.
“It’s an expression of the enduring strength of water, earth and fire. And it invokes the power of the Sun God.”
“I am the wind in the sea.
I am a sea-wave on the land.
I am the sound  of the sea.
I am a bull of seven battles.
I am an eagle on a cliff.
I am a teardrop from the sun.
I am the most beautiful of plants.
I an a wild boar for valour.
I am a salmon in a pool.
I am a lake in a plain.
I am the excellence of art.
I am the head of a spear in battle.
I am the God who puts Fire in the head.
Who spreads light on the gathering in the hills?
Who tells the ages of the moon?
Who knows the place where the sun stands?”
I really love the imagery in the lines. “I am the excellence of art.” I couldn’t find a date for when this was written, but apparently Amergen was the first mortal to set foot on Irish land, so it must go back a very long time.
Since the last posting, I had a short trip out to Vancouver, to meet Bruno’s parents from Belgium. They are lovely people, and his mother and I have so much in common it was amazing. I didn’t take a lot of photos, but did catch a sunset one day. The weather was very pleasant and we stayed near English Bay. This was from the hotel; we were on the 23rd floor so had a good view.
Now it time to be getting back into the routine of autumn. Our painting group, Artists’ Workshop gets underway for the season next week. It will be good to get back into the regular rhythm of our weekly painting sessions. I only did a couple of small pieces this summer. Now it is time to work on putting the garden to bed for another season. I have lots of autumn colour.
I plan to set up a number of still lifes out in the yard this weekend in the late afternoon to get some good light. I picked up some good veggies at the farmers’ market last weekend, so will use them as well.
Just an aside. Redberry Art is undergoing upgrades and some redesign, so not much is happening on it at the moment. I have a tentative new front page which I really like. I just have to decide how I want to display my paintings. Once that is done, I can get them reorganized and the site underway again.
I’d like to get some sunset photos from here too. I need to drive out of town to the east I think. I’ll see if I actually get around to it. I’d like to do some work incorporating metal leaf again. Also, I got new paints – water soluble oils – which will be interesting to try, plus some Arches paper for oil painting (this is a great little video about using the paper), something new.  It looks like this combination might be good for traveling, i.e. easy to transport paper, and possibly quicker drying oils. It will be interesting to experiment. Lots to try!

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