“Dappled Grey & Russett”
Pencil, pastel, & watercolor
March 2020
Like everyone else during these difficult days (turmoil AND confusion make for discomfiting bedfellows), I’ve been seeking my sources of consolation/assurance. For me, burrowed in with my two terriers, here at this suddenly-deserted, old inn at the foot of the mountains, the sources have been ready-to-hand…….just, as ever, painting what strikes or moves me. I’m aware that most “normal” folks don’t necessarily think or care about animals as I do……but they remain a source of consolation/assurance for me. Some things do, indeed, never change…..which is why, finishing this painting a few minutes ago (Thanks to God for giving us efficient scanners), I thought of this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings…”

Suffice it to say that I do love my critters….