Being a painter means that sometimes you work without a brush in your hand.  It's not always about direct action:  there are times when it is more important to BE in this world and absorb what you need to keep painting.

It's been like that for me over the last week -- there is a new project that I am eager to begin, making winter plein-car paintings, or paintings from the comfort of my auto.  But circumstances and my own inner wisdom are conspiring to see that I am better prepared for this new work.  This is different from procrastination.  It is saying "no" to direct action in favor of reflection, of gathering energy and collecting resources.

The weather this week has been dangerous for travel and as a result the program where I work at my part time job has been on shortened hours of operation.  There has been more time available to me during this week, but instead of painting, I am walking more, seeing more, and reconnecting with the energy behind my landscape work here in this small town.  

I'm taking photos, making videos and writing this blog, knowing that they next time I pick up a paint brush it will be all the more exciting from having taken this time to prepare myself for the next phase. 

Happy coincidences and "accidents" are nudging me toward new/old paths and it is exciting to feel the change, the shift within, that will drive my work in the weeks to come.  

Yesterday I "found" the beauty of Salt Creek; today it was the gorgeous winter architecture at Greenwaters Park on the Middle Fork Willamette.  I saw with new eyes the line of semi trucks that lined the highway while drivers put on chains for the snowy mountain pass just 27 miles from Oakridge.  I felt safe, warm and in some strange way, a part of the activity that was happening all around me, even though I was simply walking my dog by the river, peering at them all through the clearing in the trees.  

Of course, my dog Quiller reflected and enhanced the simple joy of the morning by running through the snow, exploring all the things that please his doggie heart.  I made a video of him, beside the big rock and the Middle Fork Willamette where it flows through Greenwaters Park.  Here it is:

We walked twice today, and it grew foggy and that just added mystery to the mix.  I did not paint at all, but stored away the experiences of the day in my heart, mind and body, trusting that it is all a part of my upcoming process and the work that results.

The ponds today were beautiful with the fog.  I close this chapter with one of the photos from our afternoon walk at the Oakridge Industrial Park, where there are several ponds, and where I will begin the plein car paintings when the time is right.  Oh, and one of the accidents is that the photos and video are coming through in more of a greyscale and black and white than color.  I am not sure why, but I like it and may work that in some way with my project.

Happy winter!  I wish you all the joy that you can realize in your day, whenever you might read this blog.

Winter Pond, Oakridge Oregon