Friday, February 26, 2010

Watching the Olympics and Getting What Makes a Perfect Day

November Sunlight at Vanderpool,
Landscape Painting by Cindy Morawski
Photo of my Tent Camping at Lost Maples Natural Area
Painting Gold
Whish-sh-sh--ss! Turning too quickly on the uneven pond ice, I remember that scary moment of knowing I was going to fall. I grew up getting ice skates for Christmas so I could enjoy skating the frozen ponds and marshes in the pasture below our Pennsylvania farmhouse. After watching the women's figure skating on TV this past week at Vancouver's Winter Olympics, I not only have a whole lot of respect for triple toe jumps but also for skating backwards faster than a speeding locomotive. Yes, I've been reminiscing and romanticizing about snow and skating and sled riding in a cold climate that also forces you to plan like a war general when you venture outside to run to the store. As an adult, I know that life is easier when you don't have to battle those severe elements, but when I watch the winter olympics every four years, I'm suddenly propelled through time to long for that stinging wind on my face, eyes watering, as I race down an icy hill on my wooden sled. Memories are funny like that.
I digress. I meant to get right to the perfect moment of a perfect day. I'm sure you've felt it before. It's like there is some kind of universal alignment to allow you, a mere human, a glimpse of paradise. That's what it must feel like when an olympic athlete gets it more than right. That moment in the spotlight with the gold medal, while you're hearing your national anthem play. There are all kinds of perfection. It doesn't have to be olympic gold. In fact, I felt it that day when I was hiking with Paul and my dogs Phineas and Rusty. We had just descended from the highest point in the park and were following the Lost Maples East Trail. I felt that late autumn warmth on my face as I turned the corner to suddenly view a pond of water that reflected the November sunlight. It beamed to me the reflective beauty of that perfect day. I couldn't have been happier. I had just been handed the gold medal! Whether the ponds are frozen or not, they still have a life-long attraction for me. Not the ocean, not even a lake. Just give me a little pond, and I am reassured that life is good.
My landscape painting comes from that perfect day. I entitled it November Sunlight at Vanderpool. It measures 11 x 14 and so far is unframed. The setting is in Lost Maples Natural Area in Vanderpool, Texas, a great place to camp and hike. Come visit me at my home's gallery, and I'll show you my latest paintings, plus, offer you a cup of tea and a dollop of conversation as well.
Happy Trails!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Visiting and Painting Bandelier Monument in NM

Landscape View from the Long House at Bandelier

Frijoles Canyon at Bandelier, Landscape Painting by Cindy Morawski

Now I know how religious pilgrims must have felt when they arrived at their holy shrine. The awe. The reverence. The goosebumps. I too experienced many emotions and thoughts when I arrived at the Bandelier Monument in New Mexico. I tried to imagine the Ancient Pueblo People who once inhabited those cliffs. Looking out at the valley from above, gave me a sense of some of that.
The late spring day in 2009 when I arrived at Bandelier Monument Park in New Mexico, any given weather report could have covered what was in store for me. It started out gray and overcast, then it turned to sleet and hail. Before it was all over, there was a little rain, a little sunshine, and a bit of snow too. Waiting beside the fireplace at the Visitor's Center wasn't unpleasant, but I was chomping at the bit to get out there and hike the Nature Trail and to take in all the glory of the Long House and the Talus House from the site of the monument. Thinking about the lifestyle of the Ancient Pueblo and the beauty of the surrounding canyons, valleys, and mountains gave me a pause for reflection and a prayer of gratitude.
After killing time at the Visitor's Center, I finally had a chance to break free when the clouds parted and the bad weather left. I meandered down the trail, camera in hand, taking in one scene after the other. Getting to climb up into the old cliff apartments by ladder, made the wait worthwhile. Gazing out over the valley, I knew that eventually I needed to paint one of these landscapes.
My landscape entitled Frijoles Canyon at Bandelier measures 14 x 18 with double mats and a Lexington wooden gallery style frame. My New Mexico scene was painted on Colourfix Art Spectrum sanded acid free paper with pastels. It is currently available for viewing and for purchase in my home gallery and Mockingbird Studio.
Hope to see you next at the Zion Lutheran Church's Spring Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, March 6th from 10 to 4. The fair is located by the church on 1604 and Braun Road. I'll be in my tent outside of the recreation hall in the parking lot.
Happy Trails!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On the Road Again, Depicting Travel with Three Landscape Paintings

~~Almost Home

~~Country Lane and Hiking the Hill Country, Landscape Paintings by Cindy Morawski
All Roads Lead to Painting for Me
"Take me home, country road, to the place I belong" . . . I remember listening over and over to those lyrics in John Denver's song one time on a past road trip. Robert Frost's poem, The Road Less Traveled, reminds me of journeys I have taken, but it also reminds me of ones that I'd like to take. When I painted Almost Home, I was reminded of commutes that seemed endless and exhausting. I couldn't wait to get home. I'd look for my exit and beam when I finally arrived! It also speaks of vacations by car that go for miles. The time away is mostly fun, but on the way back, you just want that long drive to be over with. For those of you who know me well, you are more than likely familiar with my love of hiking. Give me a country lane or trail with time to hike and explore, and you will find one happy woman! My paintings entitled Country Lane and Hiking the Hill Country represent that inner appreciation of nature and hiking.
In regard to the technical side of my art, here's some information that might interest you. These paintings were created on Art Spectrum sanded paper with pastels. Almost Home and Country Lane both measure 14 x 18 framed, and Hiking the Hill Country comes with a decorative gold frame and measures 9 x 12. They are available and for sale through my online and home galleries.
If you'd like to see more of my art, please feel free to also check out my work at the Comfort Crockery at 402 Seventh Street in Comfort, Texas. It's an historic building that's been renovated into a beautiful gallery and shop that features fine art and useful original art. Plus, I'll also be a part of the Helotes Market Days on the first Saturday of March from 10 to 5 in booth #76 by the music tent. And, please don't forget, just call for an appointment (210.522.0706), and you can come by for refreshments and a gallery tour in my home at 8603 Waldon Hts. in San Antonio. I have original framed art, matted art prints, and art cards available for sale at affordable prices. If you mention seeing this online, I'll even give you a 20% discount.
Hope all your roads lead to good places! Happy Trails!!! ~~Cindy