Full on Spring: What are you Planting or Gathering Now in your Life?

Chickadee - art by Jane Valencia
Chickadee – black and white gouache on Bristol board – by Jane Valencia

Greetings to you, at the New Moon – we are well into spring!
It seems strange to me to be posting black-and-white art when the world has become so bright and colorful. Each day seems to bring a new breath of color into the world. Last week was the yellow-green of Big Leaf Maple in flower, and the bright sunshine face of Dandelion. This week Wild Cherry is in full white puffy blossom attire, and the Italian Plums are beginning to wake into white blossom as well.

My Illustration class resumes next week. I’ve been working in black-and-white since September, my watercolors and colored-pencils — favored medium for more than a decade — set aside so I can just focus on the kind of work we’re doing in the class (no color until you really can handle pen & ink, and black-and-white gouache). With all the color of spring, I’m starting to yearn to return to my style of art. But, as with spring, so much is in flower. I don’t really have time to do much beyond the parade of commitments I have in motion, tending to the outcry of new leaves and flowers, and the harvest that’s demanded — now.

What’s full on for you this spring? What are you having to set aside, to come into right timing in some other season? Drop me a note about it — or them — below.

Spring Music: How are you Poised and Listening?

Early Cycladic Harper - art by Jane Valencia
Early Cycladic harper – 3rd millenium BC – black and white gouache on Bristol board by Jane Valencia

Above is art that I created for my illustration class at the Georgetown Atelier in Seattle. The figure is an Early Cycladic sculpture of a harper. The Cyclades are a group of Greek islands in the southwestern Aegean sea. In the third millennium B.C., these island developed a distinctive culture and art, of which this harper is an example.

Back in the late ’80s, in my first months taking harp lessons, a group of us made a trek to the De Young Museum in San Francisco to see an exhibit of this sculpture — which I’m pretty sure included this figurine. I was — and am — captivated by both the style of the sculpture, and particularly by the harper, a colleague from more than four thousand years ago!

Early Cycladic Harper - Sculpture
Early Cycladic Harper – sculpture from 3rd Millenium BC

The harper is attentive, listening– it seems to me — to whatever else is taking place. He is poised to play when the appropriate moment opens. As one who has performed at many events during which I too waited, listening, until the moment when I would play, his bearing is oh-so familiar. Perhaps you can relate to such moments in your life as well!

Here, in this moment, how are you listening? How are you poised to play/create/take action when the moment springs awake? What music is this changing season whispering, laughing to you? If you wish, please share your thoughts below.

Here’s another “ancient” snapshot: two harpers listening as a third harper plays (some of you readers will recognize these lovely folk!)

Harpers of all levels enjoy sharing the love of their instrument with others.
Two of these harpers are listening too.