On an almost-daily basis, I take Wallace out on a well-worn trail behind my home. On weekends, I choose a longer, more circuitous trail where trees grow tall, the path winds circuitously and the air is permeated by the scent of damp moss. I never tire of these walks as the trail continually changes. It starts as dry, dusty and slippery, moving to wet, muddy and sloshy, to impassable when a tree has fallen, to delightful when I encounter a friend or neighbor.
There’s one particular section called ‘The Cathedral’. This part consists of several tall, wide trees growing in two long rows delineating a wavy pathway in between. A frisson of delight runs through me as I walk through, connecting to earth and nature. Sounds of frogs, owls and a babbling brook are the music of these trails. Rabbits, deer, coyotes and foxes offer their own visual wows. There’s nothing quite like a walk in the woods to center and ground yourself.
I titled this painting Frisson, a French word meaning a shiver or a brief sensation. It’s lived in my studio for weeks now, patiently waiting for completion. Like the trail, it’s been a circuitous route, with scents of damp paint and paintbrushes in the air. Many wrong turns, but always inching forward. Consultations with other artists, navigating ‘I think this might work’ with ‘No, that didn’t work’ to ‘Have you tried this?’. Finally yesterday, a frisson of anticipation and today, a frisson of delight. It’s done! It really does take a village, or perhaps a forest?