Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Signs of Renewal

CYCLE OF LIFE, 2011, acrylic and collage

It is that time of year when I start thinking about spring. It is still cold outside, and we can still end up with a few more snow storms before spring arrives. But there are signs of spring, like green buds on bare branches and small fern fronds peeking up from the ground. And the birds, with their nest building built into their DNA, is another sign of spring. And after the winter months, we look for signs of hope and renewal.

This nest is in my Zen House (greenhouse), in a glass box along with round beach stones and driftwood. "My aim is to create an emotional sense of space and place, where time ravages, wind blows, seas swell, places are found, days dwindle, moments are present, then past." -- Sam Lock

I have this nest on my front porch-- I often find it disturbed by creatures like squirrels and birds who seem to help themselves to the twigs and straw and odds and ends to make new nests.

Chris Giffin is a terrific artist who collects and assembles recycled and found objects into beautiful assemblages. You can find her work at these two gallery websites here and here.

Novie Trump: "Eggs have been a symbol of rebirth and renewal for thousands of years....
In this work a nest of weathered bones cradles a single luminous egg, a symbol of hope and possibility amidst death and destruction." You can find more of her beautiful works at her website here.


Lelarnie O'Sullivan is from New South Wales, Australia. You can find out more about this artist and her work at the Visual Arts Network here.


WHEN A TREE DREAMS
it is of eggs--
robin's, dove's --
the gentle cradling,
the perfect fit
of bluestem straw,
alder, sprig, mud,
down, hair, in its wind--
strong cup of sky--
reaching branches.
-- excerpt, D. J. Gaskin, poet
You can find his website here


Susan Seubert, fine art photographer. Find more of her beautiful photography at her website here and her work at this gallery in Portland, OR here.

Take refuge in rivers, in oceans,
in whales, in elephants, in manatees,
in birds, in words, in images, in
dreams, in dance, in song, in
silence. Take refuge in the bird
path. -- ashes and snow. org

43 comments:

Anna Mavromatis said...

Your post -as usual- brought me to a most calm and reflective state; the overture (your collage) and the finale (Susan Seubert's worlk) made it a most memorable composition, something that truly touched me. Thank you!!!

Fiona Dempster said...

Donna - such lovely images and such lovely gentle, nurturing thoughts. Novie Trump's next of bones made me stop in silence. Thank you - and enjoy those little moments that sing 'spring is coming', quietly...

Deborah said...

As always, you create a lovely and calming atmosphere, a peaceful place to visit. I particularly like the nest on your front porch.

collage whirl said...

I'm looking forward to perusing these links--I love nests!! Congratulations on your new site, it looks wonderful :-)

eb said...

Donna,
I love your sensibility,
you inspire me beyond inspiration
yes - it is a time of renewal...

xox - eb.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

I too relate nests & eggs with renewal & it so happens that I am working on a small nest/egg painting at the moment. So this post was perfect for me. Thank you.

Christine O'Brien said...

The nests are such comforting images to me, and your collage has the same tone. Beautiful work as always.

ZenDotStudio said...

Love your new collage. Calming as your post. And yes to Spring! Those tree buds are definitely whispering Spring around here.

I once had a deer antler the small creatures would come and gnaw in the night, squirrels and such. Your comments about your nests on the front porch reminded me of this.

Kathy said...

Wonderful and renewing! This harsh winter has left me yearning for
Spring, and your post is beautifully satisfying.

petras kunstblog said...

Hi Donna,
again a wonderful post from you
Your Collage is wonderful. I love the colors.
And your thoughts of spring are so real and natural.
The nest in ZenHouse - In the human world would call it a castle ... so beautiful
Here in the mountains of Bavaria is still a lot of snow, but the meadows in the valleys have been "cautious" green. but the best thing is, that it is a little earlier in the morning bright and the birds are singing. Simply fantastic. Spring - here we go.

ArtPropelled said...

A lulling, comforting post with beautiful images and quotes. This time of the year on my side of the world, we begin finding deserted nests and the birds start preparing themselves for the colder seasons. Though it's still pretty hot!

ELFI said...

ton tableau en première position est merveilleux.. et les nids .. les oiseaux sont aussi des artistes!

Annie said...

Thanks for some beautiful shots and lots of links to check out. I would love to find an abandoned nest, but in all my wanderings and hanging out in the woods, I have never found one.

Lynn said...

Beautiful! That feeling of renewal, that wonderful excitement as the world around us re-awakens, that delightful quickening...you've captured it all so well.

iNdi@na said...

meditation central....

Emma said...

Lovely work, yours & Lelarnie O'sullivan particularly.

The greenhouse is such a perfect place to keep MY things that have been 'cleared away' from in the house - to be fair I do have too many 'collections'! I hang some from my ceiling beams in the studio but I could put some pieces in amongst the seeds in the g/h. THANK you!

Studio Sylvia said...

Donna, your post creates an ambiance of reflective serenity. Thank you for the introduction to my country woman, Lelarnie O’Sullivan.

annell said...

A very beautiful post! Years ago the bird's nest was my favorite thing to draw....I have been thinking about returning to it again. It's always fun to see for ourselves, how we do something, and then years later how to see what we do again. Thank you so much for a tender post! You inspire me.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Take refuge in elephants, in words, in silence. Yes indeed.
Although morning is starting to have just a bit of birdsong to fill the silence.

neva gagliano said...

sharing the signs
of early spring,
singing the songs
of the artists' works
and poets' words
here.
soar with inner wings.

Jackie Gardener said...

Nests are so enchanting and you write so beautifully of them. Perhaps you would enjoy a new book out this month, I think, by a friend of mine from San Francisco who spent weeks and weeks photgraphing nests at the Academy of Sciences and creating the most haunting photos. Her name is Sharon Beals and you can see her things at sharonbeals.com, or through audobonmagazine.org/features0803/truenature/html.I think the book is available through Amazon. Enjoy-

mansuetude said...

a huge old tree here dropped a good nest on my driveway in, such a nice gift. the bird song in the morning now is multi-textured, like a weaving of awake.

this morning I read from Jane Hirshfield's Women In Praise of the Sacred: thirtenth century Japanese Zen Master Dogen said, It is out of the bone-freezing winter that the plum blossom bloom--spring rubs hard at the nostrils." Without the requisite number of hours of winter-chill, fruit trees will not bear.

There we are!

thank you

Jo Reimer said...

How beautiful are the images you have chosen to show us. Mostly I love your work and your gentle heart.

Jann Gougeon said...

Your blog page and work always "feel" so good to me . . like nature feels good. :)

Jo Murray said...

You've made my day... how beautiful a beginning. Your painting is so quiet and reflective. Thanks for sharing links to other creative minds.

Ian Foster said...

Birds nests, buds and fern fronds who could fail to be stirred by such thoughts? Here in the UK we are also expecting a few more snow storms but with a noticeable increase in birdsong and the lengthening of the days I feel that hope is everywhere.

LauraX said...

Donna, I am loving all of these nests...and the untold possibilities they hold. Beautiful!

Valerianna said...

A great collection of nests, thanks. You remind me that its almost time to put out some colorful yarns to see if I can see them in nests later in spring!

Lisa said...

Donna,
Nests and fern fronds are such magical reminders of the change of seasons. I just adore seeing my little fiddleheads pop out of the ground!

Several artists that i adore and a stunning piece by you...I see you've emerged from your studio with a brilliant new piece.

Your front porch nest is so inviting.. I can see why the critters sneak in and sneak bits and pieces. What are the eggs made of in that nest? They look so real!

Mieke van Sambeeck said...

just beautifull again, all these little nests, I love them to and collect. A friend showed me a nest entirely made of wire, probably from a crow.

Seth said...

A wonderful theme for this time of the year. Spring is definitely around the corner. Thanks for sharing these images as a prelude.

lyle baxter said...

dear donna. nests are a favorite heretoo! last nite we heard the spring peepers(frogs) for the first time so we know spring is coming! meanwhile I watched the terrible events unfolding in japan yesterday all the while thinking of you and your family. I'm sure you are beyond worry. my thoughts and prayers are with you. lyle

Susanne said...

Your blog posts are a real work of art. Quite the most beautifully put together blog that I have ever read.

rivergardenstudio said...

Oh Donna, these nests of beauty are almost as beautiful as your words. I am thinking of spring as well. Soon the green will return.
roxanne

Sharon said...

Deep. Light. Thank you.

r.bohnenkamp said...

a wonderful post Donna!
He is inspiring and it is great pleasure to read it.
I am excited about your collage and recognize the signs of renewal.
Best regards, Ralf

Don said...

Beautiful nests, springing forward.

Liza Ursu said...

I love your Cycle of Life collage Donna. I find myself drawn to the numbers that seem to be spiralling out from the nest, 0 0 1.

And Novie Trump's nest of weathered bones that cradles the egg...
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THAT PIECE.

Donna Iona Drozda said...

I love your work.
And I always anticipate the beauty that's here in your post to be explored.

Today's visit is wonderfully serendipitous as I had just posted a bluebird's nest from last spring...I'm traveling in the north and we had a blizzard three days ago but at home 600 miles south the quince, daffodils, purple plum and magnolia are in full bloom.

Barry said...

D- looks like you have brought out all the closet nest lovers through this beautiful blog. There is just something haunting and delicate about an empty nest - the tension between the thought of new life and also abandonment. Fiona and I have a slowly growing collection of nests we find by the wayside - blown by the wind? Go well. B

Michele Meister said...

thank you Donna for your wonderful post .... so inspiring and beautiful words and images . Have a wonderful spring time :)

Helen Suzanne said...

I love your finds to do with nests and eggs. such an inspiration

fiberandbooks.typepad.com said...

Beautiful work - encouraging to use 3 D effects more often! Bonnie