Monday, May 5, 2014


New Work  each is 10x8"  oil/cold wax on panel © 2014 Janice Mason Steeves

Very early this morning I walked my dog at a nearby park.  The Eramosa River widens at this spot and becomes a lake which except for one sandy beach, is almost entirely surrounded by limestone cliffs.  The walking trails around the lake are cut through a forest of cedar and white pine.  At that quiet hour of the morning I had the park to myself.  I love to walk through the area called the pothole trail where there are deep circular pools carved out of the limestone by receding glaciers eons ago.  Right now the trail is very difficult to walk through.  The ice storm we had at Christmas felled trees and branches all through here.  The park employees haven't had time to clear this area yet.  In some areas you have to jump over logs and in others, find new ways around the fallen trees.

I'm recounting this story because this trail of fallen trees and branches makes me think of our lives and how we all have troubled times now and again, where the obstacles can seem threatening or insurmountable.  

I'm thinking of the rough winter I had-being hit by a deer as I was driving which badly damaged my car, the horrendous ice storm that devastated lots of trees on my land, and my dog who was hit by a car and had to spend the winter recuperating. We recovered; my car is repaired, the broken trees on my land are cut down and chipped up, and my dog is fully healed. I was thinking of all of this as I walked through the park this morning, smelling the cedar of the fallen trees.

I'm also thinking of a comment my daughter posted on Facebook in response to the new work I recently posted there.  She said she imagines I would be giggling as I painted this new work.  She's right. The winter is over, and I feel that I come away from it somehow changed.  Out of that winter has come new work.

Wendell Berry writes,  "The impeded stream is the one that sings."

New Work  each is 10x8"  Oil/cold wax on panel  © 2014 Janice Mason Steeves