Blue Air-River

These artworks are each a part of a larger project.

Water and Time: Landscapes of the Past

Faces and Flora: Portrait Studies of Literary Figures Paired with Flowers

The works are in an exhibition at the Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud, Nebraska.

IMG_3453

Blue Air-River, distemper, oil, beeswax, pigment, gesso on wood panel, 4×14 inches, 2015

In The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather’s character, Thea, goes to a canyon in Arizona and lives in a rock room of an ancient people’s city built upon high cliffs.

“Panther Canyon was the home of innumerable swallows. They built nests in the wall far above the hollow groove in which Thea’s own rock chamber lay. They seldom ventured above the rim of the canyon, to the flat, wind-swept tableland. Their world was the blue air-river between the canyon walls. In the blue gulf the arrow-shaped birds swam all day long, with only an occasional movement of the wings.”

The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather

Faces and Flora Portrait studies of literary figures paired with flowers cited in their writings. Willa Cather’s fictional character, Thea, in The Song of the Lark remembered the moonflowers of her childhood in the fictional town of Moonstone, Colorado. “A great deal escaped her eye as she passed through the world. But the things which were for her, she saw; she experienced them physically and remembered them as if they had once been a part of herself. The roses she used to see in the florists’ shops in Chicago were merely roses. But when she thought of the moonflowers that grew over Mrs. Tellamantez’s door, it was as if she had been that vine and had opened up in white flowers every night.”

Willa Cather with Moonflower, graphite on Strathmore Bristol, 6×5 ¾ inches, 2015

Willa Cather’s fictional character, Thea, in The Song of the Lark remembered the moonflowers of her childhood in the fictional town of Moonstone, Colorado.

“A great deal escaped her eye as she passed through the world. But the things which were for her, she saw; she experienced them physically and remembered them as if they had once been a part of herself. The roses she used to see in the florists’ shops in Chicago were merely roses. But when she thought of the moonflowers that grew over Mrs. Tellamantez’s door, it was as if she had been that vine and had opened up in white flowers every night.”

The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather

Exhibition

The Growth of an Artist: Commemorating 100 Years of The Song of the Lark

MAY 5 to AUGUST 31, 2015
Red Cloud Opera House
413 North Webster Street
Red Cloud, NE 68970
Artists Reception, June 6, 5-7PM

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2 thoughts on “Blue Air-River

  1. Margaret,
    Hi, I am an artist and teacher in Ct. I have been given your name numerous times. I have wanted to take your workshop in Italy for a long time and will one day. I was wondering if you ever give one time workshops to artists that have lots of questions on the use of pigments? I have been running into a few problems with a recipe that I have been using and am seeking help as to the permanence of some of the ingredients I am using. Thank you for your time.
    deniseminnerly.com

    Like

    1. Hi Denise,
      It is nice to hear from you. I could attempt an answer to your question regarding the recipe you are using and the permanence of the ingredients. Regarding the use of pigments, I have written a book, An Artist’s Handbook, that you might find helpful. I do give workshops in Italy, as you know, and occasionally in the US, that focus, in part, on pigments and their use. I will keep you informed of any upcoming workshops and events that may be of interest to you.

      Like

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