Spring used to be my least favorite season. Growing up in Wisconsin, I though of March through mid-May as just the extended part of winter. The trees were bare, there were lumps of dirty snow and partially decomposed leaves on the ground, and just when it looked like it was really going to warm up, it would snow again.
I started to change my mind on our honeymoon trip to New Zealand. That was the first time I realized that when the trees first put out their leaves, they have a little of their fall color. The spring colors in New Zealand were incredible, dark branches and bright greens against moody skies in a dozen different grays. It was these colors that inspired me to start oil painting again.
Then we moved to Boston—in January—and by March both David and I were convinced that it was going to be cold for the next six years. Walking around town at the end of March though, I finally noticed the city getting ready for spring. San Francisco has a desert spring. It rains in January, everything blooms as fast as possible, and it’s dry again by March. But here the plants can take their time. The geese come back in February. The trees start budding in early March. It reminded me of an orchestra warming up. Mostly cacophony, a lot of scratchy notes, and then every once in a while a fully formed melody would burst out from a soloist who couldn’t wait for the concert to start.
So, it’s spring again. The skies are lovely and rainy and overcast. And I’ve been out with David’s camera taking pictures of all the beautiful grays:
I’m going to use these as source material for more paintings in the “Statistics of Natural Images” series. (Look at all those large areas of muted grays! And the bright spots of saturated color!) That’s my excuse for taking shaky pictures. Also that I’m a bad granddaughter. At least I didn’t use a flash.
I think I mentioned before that I’ve also never been crazy about traditional spring colors for clothing. So this year I am trying to do spring style à la Roo by sewing floral prints in rooish gray:
And in tones of the 70′s:
I’m also working on this stripey gray and pink jacket (the pink stripes are for the lining). I swear this collar fit the neckline when I made the muslin. Now it’s about 2 seam allowances too long.
So long as it keeps raining, I should be able to finish it.