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Monday, June 15, 2015

The hard work of - seeing... The presence of Glory!

Some plein air drawings with notes from the last few days

Now that school is out - I get to be a student!  I started taking a class in painting water a few days ago - and we are working plein air (meaning working from observation, not photographs).  The first assignments have been to do drawings focusing on value changes that we see in the landscape and and in the reflections.  We've also been delving into a text which is more than 100 years old written by a Scottsman.  The first few chapters focus on the physics of reflected light.  It has been challenging, to say the least, and it has required quite a bit of re-reading and taking some notes to let it all soak in. 

So, I said that the act of seeing is hard work!  And it is.  Seeing what is happening in the surface of still water is challenging enough.  It's, after all, a fluid surface.  The way things reflect depend on the angle of view, the light, and the distance between the shore and where the distant object starts.  And the value and color are somewhat altered in the water too.  Understanding the laws of optics and observing them in real life make for much more complete understanding.  And capturing that on paper is work!  It requires diligence and persistence.... its hard work!   The way things are reflected in moving water is even more challenging!  What you see one moment will be different the next.  The way light is reflected is much more complicated, the way objects are reflected is also more complicated.  The work of observing and recording that is more intense and more exhausting! 
I'm not complaining - just reporting on the origins of these little drawings (which are really only very rough value studies to see what happens with watery reflections). 

But all of that has also led me to another observation; this one of a spiritual nature. The beauty of the natural world is also a reflection.  It is a reflection of the absolute glory of the Creator!  One does not sit in silence while observing nature --- far from it!  What I am taking great joy in as I observe carefully is the background chorus of birdsong, the jump of a fish, the extending ring of ripples, the feel of a light, cooling breeze, the smell of water, the scent of blooming trees, the variety of colors, the cast of moving light...  It is all of creation exuberantly participating in God's world.  And being there, myself, observing - recording - enjoying is also participation, and it brings me to celebrate His worth!   
                                                                    Ps. 24:1 --  The earth is the Lord's and everything in it! 

1 comment:

CrimsonLeaves said...

Such a great post, Helen. So well said. I wish I could figure out how to adjust my monitor (need more contrast) so I could see what looks to be beautiful little drawings.

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