Black moon over the valley

Ice spread like countless diamonds on fir leaves and trees branches, shimmering in the cold sunlight. As I moved closer, I heard the music it played, tiny screeching sounds, as it invisibly yet inevitably melted down to the earth.

Approaching my birthday, I look back and see how this year has shaken me to the bone. It still does, in so many ways. It challenges me to change, grow, communicate like I never did before.

Exiled by winter from my painting comfort zone (which is simply sitting outside, dwelling in the immediate changes of light and shade), I felt I must teach myself an indoor rhythm that will carry my hand as freely as it does under the warm sunlight and will deliver my memories and observations as if they were right in front of my eyes.

A memory came, of a painting spot at the southeast side of the kibbutz in Israel. Through a gap between Eucalyptus trees I could see the valley, with its fields seemingly narrowing southwards. There was something beautiful and touching about that view. It filled me with strange happiness, as if I was looking from my world into an entirely different world. I remembered and painted, but was not pleased with the outcome, so I used a knife to take most of the paint off. Then I tried again on a second sheet of paper. This time I liked it:


As I looked back at the first painting I saw a different image, waiting to be brought to the surface. I added more paint to it, very carefully, because the image revealed itself as I advanced. Eventually, it ended:





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