Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Walk in the Woods

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. ~Raymond Inmon Every time I take a walk in the forest of Montmirail, I get inspired. For as many times as I’ve followed the familiar path, under the same trees, I have always had a fresh experience. This time when I returned from my amble, I tried to express the magic of this simple activity with an etching.* I wanted to capture the filtered light and the sound of the breeze as it quietly whispers in the treetops. In the underbrush one hears the incessant singing of the cicadas, a sound that evokes a sense of timeless, ancient well being. The smells change with the seasons. On a warm summer’s day, still cool beneath the canape, the odors are rich and earthy, leaves touched by the sun. How many colors of green can I count? I lose track. Morgan, who is 14 this summer, spends most of his days asleep on the cool floor of our house, but when I get out the leash, he jumps up in anticipation. Once at the trail head, we let him off leash, and like a puppy, he scampers ahead of us, wagging the stump of his tail just like a puppy again. My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing. ~Aldous Huxley The average person takes 8000-10,000 steps a day and in a lifetime walks 115,000 miles, the equivalent of at least 4 times around the entire earth.** France has a wealth of hiking trails and a culture of walking. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir After returning home, I looked out the window of our third story apartment and noticed a neighborhood cat taking her own walk. I called out to her and she stopped and stared at me long enough for me to snap her photo before she descended the other side of the roof. I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. ~G.M. Trevelyan _______________________________________________________ * The first printing I made of A Walk in the Woods was monochrome, as usual: The colored one above was my first attempt at inking à la Poupée as explained wonderfully well by my new etching friend Mariann Johansen Ellis. I highly recommend her blog, where you can find links to her very helpful instructional printmaking videos. Thank you Mariann! ** These figures are quoted from Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio show on Walking.


  1. Oh, the amazing light. This is delightful.

  2. All are amazing, but the first one, same as an eye, is completly incredible !