Threading A Needle

South & North Sisters under a cloudy evening sky

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Throughout my years in Central Oregon, I recall no winters with a steady sort of warmth like ours this season. Almost annually, by mid-December we in the neighborhood maybe several times have fired up snow plows to clear driveways. Yesterday in chilly January’s beginning, our temperature rose into the 50s. Sure, the sky was overcast but with some hours of sunlight to lift spirits. In the late afternoon, I wore a lightweight jacket for my quarter-mile walk to gather and bring home the horses. That jacket quickly felt too warm.

The horses had spent several hours grazing, were relaxed, easy to catch. My neighbor, whose pasture it is, and who travels a great deal, happened to be home, so we chatted a little. He’s had horses in the past, but not in recent years, and said he enjoys seeing mine on the property. They just roam while grazing from one end to another. He sees passing folks pausing at the fence to visit the horses. Some might recognize them as the horses that in summers are harnessed and pulling a cart through local streets.

Once home and after putting out the feed for horses and goats, I spent a little time studying the environment, peering at details, and yes, dropping to my knees for close-ups.

Standing view
On knees for lichen
On knees for canyon path

Creating abstracts is a new goal for me. For starters, by simply “grasping from the air” so to speak, these close-ups turned out pleasing and encouraging. They’ve already taught me the importance of spending longer studying possible scenes, and to experiment with different camera angles that might reveal a story or two.

Interestingly, these perspectives dovetail with my other current interest, a quest to renew my drawing skills. The art books explain how to master drawing by emphasizing the importance of observing and learning, and absorbing the model (if possible by touching and feeling it) before lifting a pencil.

Dear Readers: And now, I grasp how these interests thread together completely. Diana

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