I decided to do some pours so I could use them as backgrounds for paintings. One of them, however, decided to be a painting all on its own. A little defining of a few details (I think I want to mute them back just a little) and this is what I got. I was going to do more with it, but enough people liked it as it is that I decided to pretty much call it finished.
Aubrey made one final sweep with the piece of chalk she had in her hand, then smooched back and leaned against the tree and looked at her brother.
“Is it finished?” he asked.
“What do you think?” Aubrey asked. “Doesn’t it look finished to you?”
“I think most of them look finished many times before you say they are done. So, I ask.” He tossed one of her rags at her head, barely missing it.
“Well, we shall see how I did shortly.” She replied.
“You really don’t think they will notice? I don’t see how they can’t.”
“People see what they want to see. They’ll see everything else. So no. I don’t think they will see. Now, let’s go back by those trees over there and watch.”
The street was always a busy one. Today was no different. The clouds in the sky didn’t affect it in the least. But, the people did slow. They slowed, many stopped, all stepped around the amazing chalk painting on the ground. Large, luminous clouds covered the area, the buildings poking through and parting them in fits and bursts, the clock tower standing out taller than all the rest. On the ground were people, hundreds of them. Fleeing and screaming as the clouds unleashed a hellfire volley of lightening and rain at a velocity that pinned them to the ground.
The pedestrians began to start in horror as they saw themselves in the figures in the chalk. Some tried to wipe their image off. But, the chalk held. More terror rose in their throats at the discovery of this. They began to swarm around the scene like hornets to a nest. An elderly lady began laughing at them and their behavior. A few people stopped and glared at her.
“Look at you all!” She said between giggles. “Afraid of a little paint on the ground. Thinking that some brightly colored chalk will usher in the Armageddon. Such Nonsense.” She laughed a couple more minutes, then opened her umbrella, pointed its tip at a spot in the painting that made her snicker, then lifted it over her head after giving a quick glance at the skies and wandered on her way.
Some of the other people began laughing as well. Pretty soon, almost all of them were in peals of laughter at their silliness. In the lightening of the spirit, they made note of the images they thought looked so like themselves. Most began taking pictures and all began talking about the incident.
The bell on the clock tower began to toll 11 PM. As it reached the last bell, the clouds overhead erupted into a barrage of lightening, hail and rain, driving all below to the ground. A few tried to make a break from the storm, but a bolt of lightning stopped them in their path. The storm ravaged for a few moments, just long enough to put an end to those below.
“I told you someone would notice.” He said before taking a bite out of the apple in his hand.
“But, no one took note of her. So, in the end it is the same.” She said as she began packing her chalks into their case.
“Doesn’t it ever bother you? All those people dying?” he asked
“No. They don’t have to. They just need to look and really see. Had they noticed, they would have left the area and gone somewhere safe. Maybe not all of them, but at least some of them.” She snapped the lid shut on her case and stood up. “Its the job. We need to cull those that lack the sense for them to survive. Besides, this one was too easy for you to feel sorry for them.”
“I suppose you’re right.” He took the last bite of the apple then tossed the core behind him.
They walked off, skirting around the painting, streaked and fading, but still intact. Aubrey glanced once more at it, the clock tower looming high above the clouds. Its hands read 11:00.
©Sephi PiderWitch 2019
Swirls of mist rose up from the ground, hovering gently above it, caressing it and checking its substance. A stir breathed into it and moved it in swirls and undulations, soft glows emanating within its depths like bodies swimming and riding the currents. Diffused faces looked around, disoriented, seemingly lost and confused. The glows shifted in varied hues and shades of colors within the deepening churning mists, soft muted colors from gentle pastels to demure shades so dim as to be barely perceptible. Occasionally, small sparks of light emerged as if a few tiny stars were trapped within and trying to escape.
The soft curtain of silence that was night became slightly severed with low unsettled whispers. At first, it was but a couple, then it began to multiply, urgent, confused, questioning. It sent ripples through the night air, awakening more spirits to join and bringing disquiet into this place of quiet sleep.
A small voice cleared the murmurs of the others, a soft voice, but clear as a crystal bell. “What has happened? I slept, I dreamt, all was complete, I was divine. I was alone and now there are many. It was quiet, now it is disturbed. There are so many! How came I to be in not the place I should?”
The shimmer behind the voice looked about. Their voices underlying the silence like the hum of a far off machine that is just within the hearing range and can’t be dismissed. They permeated the air and sent ripples through it that made nerves ache.
The sky began to lighten as the morning sun slowly crept upward. The unease grew within the voices, their movements quickening and the disturbance in the air rising. Their glows began to fade as the light grew till all that remained was the mist and the murmurs of the disturbed air.
Day crested and the gates were opened. Soon, a group of people made a slow, ritual way inward, their eyes downcast, their purpose focused. They found the assigned spot and began to take their places, waiting patiently for the last stragglers. Some shifted uncomfortably for a time while others looked around them and still others simply stood in contemplative silence.
They began. And the disturbed mists felt them and made their way over. They watched as the mists slipped in and about their feet as they began to speak. The mist rose and thickened, and as it rose, they felt a weight that was beyond the weight of this day, a weight that was beyond theirs, and yet felt like it should be, descend upon them and envelop them. As each took their turns to speak what they had come to say, they found other words issuing forth in the midst of their own, words that came from their mouths that were not theirs. Their sorrows made more bare, amplified, as they felt the anguish of the displaced.
A small girl stood off at the end of the group, holding tightly to her mother’s hand. She smiled as she looked to her side and saw the shimmer that was the small voice and they reached out to each other. The girl looked up at her mother and tugged gently on her arm to tell her. The mother leaned down and the girl told her of the shimmer that could no longer dream and the mists that had been forced out and had no home any more. And the mother heard it and believed that the weight of the day had been too much for the girl and tried to console her and tell her it was but her imagination playing tricks upon her. The girl sobbed and nodded, but never let go of the shimmer that held her hand.
As the last words were being spoken, the shimmer began to quiver and tightened her grip on the girl’s hand. She tugged gently, imploring the girl to follow and wrapped the girl in the urgency and desperation that had become her. Gently, the girl let her hand slip from her mother’s grip and let the shimmer wrap around her, cloaking her from the watchful eyes about. They went to a quiet hill with an ancient tree upon it, stretching its limbs to protect the whole hill. They sat under the tree as the shimmer told her story of her dreams disturbed and how she woke to find her place had become no place and of the others who once had a home and a place to rest and now had nowhere and were lost.
The voices of the party echoed across the area, frantic and imploring. They watched as they wandered around the area under the hill and sat silent, the great limbs of the tree hiding them from their seekers. The shimmer held tight to the girl, begging her to stay there so she would not be alone in this strange open place. The girl nodded and sobbed, for the shimmer’s sorrows as much as the fear of what the party would do to her once she was found.
As the party searched, the mists followed, circling the members of the group and wailing out at them. Their wails sparked fears in the party and they looked to the sky for the storm they believed to be approaching. The search grew more frantic and harried and the people darted in every direction, fear gripping at them like a stalker.
The mother came up around the back of the hill and that’s where she found them. The mists converged on her as she fell to her knees at what was before her and wept. The others came rushing and looked with horror with her at the jumbled wreckage of the discarded. It was like peering into a dragon’s cave. The remains were tossed in piles and strewn across the ground like discarded refuse. Remnants and shards dotted solitary areas. Eyeless holes peered out at them and skeletal hands reached out as if for help. They shouted and made calls and soon there were very many more. Many needed to untangle and make sense of the chaotic tangle of all these remains. Many needed to help piece each back together and make whole again, many to find answers and demand a reckoning.
A small lone form was the first to be put back in its place, gently lifted and given a new warm place to lie with soft cushions all around. As she was laid reverently onto the cushions, the young one with the laughter of a thousand bells and stars shining in her eyes, the girl felt the shimmer begin to release its grip and felt a gentle brush against her cheek. The shimmer settled in and once again dreamt and once again was divine.
©Sephi PiderWitch 2009
How long was he going to stare out the window like that? Sadie wondered. He had asked about Nathan. She hadn’t thought about Nathan in years. It was all a closed or cold case file, she thought. And isn’t he ever going to speak?
Suddenly, he turned and faced her sideways. “What lovely roses you have? My wife would be so envious. Whatever do you use to fertilize them to get them to grow so full and lush?”
She stared at him, bewildered. “Huh?” she asked. “I’m sorry. I thought we were talking about Nathan.”
“Ah yes.” The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a small notebook. “I just wanted to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind.”
“Of course.” She said softly. “But, I think I told them everything before. Has something new come up? Have you found Nathan?”
“Oh, no no no, nothing like that. I just wanted to go over what you remember about the last time you saw him. Can you go over the details again?”
She told him what she had told the detectives the last time. The man nodded as she laid out the details, his gaze frequently turning to the window again. What was his fascination with her roses? Finally, she finished and he flipped the notebook shut, then slipped it back into his pocket.
“I think I have it all” he said. “Thank you again for your time and patience.”
“But, of course.” She replied “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“No. I should be on my way.” He stated flatly and turned towards the door. As he opened the door, he paused and looked again at the garden, then turned back at her. “The roses, Sadie. Please tell me what you do to grow such beautiful roses.”
She stood there a moment, confused at the man, then she smiled brightly. “But, of course.” She responded. “Its just a simple blood and bone meal mixture my mother gave me the recipe for.”
“Any chance you could be persuaded to share that?”
“Alas, no. Its been a tightly held secret in my family for generations. We have actually won numerous awards for our roses. But, I am sure you could find something similar if you did a search.”
“Of course, I understand. That’s too bad though. My wife will be so disappointed. Thank you again for your time.” And with that, he walked down the path to his car and drove away.
Sadie walked out and strode over to her roses, her hand gently petting one of the luxurious blooms. She leaned over and took a deep whiff of its intoxicating scent, then a smile formed on her lips. Mother always said the only thing husbands were good for were fertilizing the roses.
“Good night, Nathan.” Sadie called behind her as she walked back into the house. “Sleep well.”
©Sephi PiderWitch 2019
I have held off on posting this painting. It was originally done at the request of someone that had purchased one of my other paintings. He wanted a painting of wood ducks and gave me a couple of rather bad reference photos. Basically told me just wanted it landscape and would leave the rest to my artistic style. Long story short, when I showed him the final result, he picked at it. “I wanted them in the water (uhm, they are) and further away from the edge. Uhmmm, I like them there and what happened to artist choice?
At any rate, lesson learned. No more commissions. Not worth it. I still like the painting and it deserves to be seen.
So I present “Watching From the Sidelines”
So, I am going to see how well I do on a painting every day in July. I figured the best way to do this is with a gallery once I have a second. So, here we go with World Watercolor Month for 2021.
A local photographer (Michael Hellen) posted a picture of a heron he took. I asked for permission to paint it and he gave it to me. The following is the progression of the painting as I work on it including Michael’s original photograph.
I was able to get a lot more work done on the painting. I need to wait for it to dry before I can go in and work on it some more, but I am thinking that it may just be a matter of some fine detail work. Maybe a bit of glazing in some areas as well.
This is the painting at this stage. I still have more work to do on it.
I will be displaying and selling my art at the Beach 1 Gallery at the Country Club on Camano Island for the entire month of March with 3 of my friends that I paint with on a regular basis. I will be updating this with more information and some better pictures.