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Posts tagged “landscape painting

Poem for Saturday: Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

"Summer", pastel, 12" x 24", 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Summer”, pastel, 12″ x 24″, 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’m a little late with this, considering it’s the first day of August, but July slipped by so quickly—and even in August, you’ll see these same things. A little trip on the highway on a perfectly beautiful summer day brought this all back.

Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

Green, green waves ahead
diminishing to blue over the northern horizon
exalted rises and shadowed valleys gradually made plain
to rolling hills and misted hollows
interstate unrolled as ribbon
around hill and following valley,
signs noting unseen destinations
bearing hopeful small town names:
“Freedom”
“Prosperity”
“Harmony”
little hamlets of Pennsylvania coal being crushed to diamonds,
glittering in the vales;
a gauze curtain of rain shower flows across hills
soaking opposite side of road
but the sun shines brightly ahead,
occasionally a sudden cluster of official orange obstructions
gives instructions to change directions
slowing pace to allow a close and careful study
of native plants along the roadside,
a stately brick farmhouse, a skull with empty windows, abandoned,
its outbuildings only roofs in the tall grass
as if melting back into the earth from whence they were created;
then a curving exit that leaves the noise of four lanes behind a rise,
a sojourn on a quiet two-lane three-digit backroad,
once the lifeline before the interstate, now empty;
clusters of buildings at intersections, one traffic light flashing yellow,
old farms and equipment,
rusted industrial structures,
a field gone entirely to Queen Anne’s Lace,
some cows on a hillside,
and everywhere roadside stands
celebrate the first flush of mid-summer bounty;
collect loose change from pockets and floor of car
and with the dole,
buy fresh homegrown sweet corn to feed thy soul.

Poem © 2006, B. E. Kazmarski

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar; this poem was one of those selected. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.

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About the artwork above

“Summer” is an abandoned farm field on a high ridge which I passed regularly on the way to work each morning for six years, seen right after an early morning storm. I would reach this portion of my drive and pause to look at this field with the morning unfolding above it, different each day, take a deep breath, and go on. The site was developed a few years later, but I still remember that each time I pass by it, even now. It’s one of a four-part commission I painted years ago featuring the four seasons in Western Pennsylvania. Read more about the painting, “Summer”, above, and purchase a digital, giclee or canvas print from my Etsy shop.


poetry book

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.

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“Spring Morning Leaves” original pastel

pastel sketch of leafy trees
pastel sketch of leafy trees

“Spring Morning Leaves”, pastel, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It looks like I’m in the deep woods, but it’s just the line of trees between our back yards; it all depends on the angle you look at it.

When I looked out my kitchen window this morning, above is what I saw. I couldn’t paint it because the light was changing fast at that early hour, so I photographed it and worked on it a little later. I wanted to keep it leafy with a lot of movement, so I used all my pastels on their sides.

This is painted on Colourfix sanded pastel paper with a variety of brands of pastels.

original framed pastel

“Spring Morning Leaves”, framed.

Buy this artwork

This pastel is for sale, framed, in my Etsy shop. There is no mat but the white wooden frame has a 1″ linen liner. Frame is 9″ x 12″.

Click here to see this painting in my Etsy shop.

 

See other original art and landscapes on “Today”

Click here to see an archive of original art.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Winter Sunset Reflections and Uncertain Light

winter sunset
winter sunset

Winter Sunset Reflections

Here are two winter landscapes I painted from photos as well. Above, the winter sunset colors the clouds and the hill covered with bare trees, turning them into bronze in the warm sunlight, a view I see through the back windows of my home. Below, valleys fold into one another under uncertain skies.

hills, valleys and snow

Uncertain Light

This painting and others are for sale, please ask if you are interested.

Also see other pastel paintings and original art.


A Day of Spring Sketches

pastel sketch of leafy trees
pastel sketch of leafy trees

“Spring Morning Leaves”, pastel, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

When I looked out my kitchen window this morning, above is what I saw. I couldn’t paint it because the light was changing fast at that early hour, so I photographed it and worked on it a little later. I wanted to keep it leafy with a lot of movement, so I used all my pastels on their sides.

Below are two small sketches I did of Robinson Run along the Panhandle Trail. Both are pastel, and while there are areas I am very pleased with there are also areas I am not…but it just means I need to restock my field boxes of pastels with some of the colors I’m missing.

The first sketch was:

pastel ketch of creek with trees

“Robinson Run Early Spring”, pastel, 8″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The second sketch was:

pastel sketch of stream

“The Swimming Hole in Spring”, pastel, 6″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski


Hemlocks, Snowy Morning

pastel sketch of hemlocks with snow
pastel sketch of hemlocks with snow

Hemlocks, Snowy Morning, 7″ x 10″, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

The view out my side window of my neighbor’s hemlock trees with the hills far beyond and the morning sky with clouds and sun and snow. In this sketch, I not only wanted to capture the sun streaming through the hemlock and the cool colors of a snowy morning, I also wanted to capture the nature of the hemlocks, their shape and growth habit, the straight trunks with the branches that tend to break easily, the bare little twigs inside the tree, and the tufts of needles at the ends of the branches. At one time there had been another hemlock that completely blocked the view, and the sun, hence the bare insides of these trees. I hate to see a tree go down but when that one was lost in a storm it literally opened up a new view for me, and much more sunlight.

Where this site has featured a daily photo, I’ve decided to also use it for my occasional sketches. At one time I always carried some art materials with me as well as my camera. I fell away from the sketches, mostly landscapes and Main Street and still lifes around the house, as life grew a little too busy for a while to take the 15 to 30 minutes needed for a little inspiration. As when I visited the Panhandle Trail on Christmas day, I hope to post more sketches in addition to the photographs from each day.

I did not photograph this scene, only drew it as I stood at the window, so you have no photo to compare.

You can purchase this sketch matted and framed in my Etsy shop or as a variety of print styles and sizes up to 48″ x 72″ on my Fine Art America profile.

I also post daily sketches of my cats on The Creative Cat as well as daily photos, which many people follow already; today Mr. Sunshine had something to say about this sketch in particular.


Tributary

pastel painting of stream

Unnamed Tributary, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

On a quiet sunny winter afternoon this little unnamed tributary surely had a lot to say, babbling along over rocks and shelves of slate and limestone on its way to Scrubgrass Creek a distance away. I see a few things I’d still like to do with it but I’m pretty pleased. The light changes quickly at this time of year, and I had to work quickly.

Off in the woods today, I stood in the snow and painted a little pastel sketch as well as took photos of the snowy hollow at Kane’s Woods in Scott Township, PA. I’ve been waiting for a significant snowfall, enough to give good even cover to most of the leaf litter. Much of this conservation area faces north and doesn’t catch significant sunlight, especially in the winter when the sun’s angle is low, but this little hollow and the hill next to it face south. Once the sun gets into the hollow it just fills it up, especially when snow can reflect it in all directions.

The Kane Woods Conservation Area is a place I’ve known since I was a child, before it was conserved and trails were established, but my lifetime of visiting and that of others is what inspired Scott Conservancy to consider the site worth working for.

person standing in snow sketching

There’s me, feeling a little silly.

I’ll be featured in one of the newsletters I design, this for Allegheny Land Trust, in a feature called “GreenTalk” to say a little bit about what conserving green space means to me. I needed a photo to go along with my Q&A, and since I’m the photographer I have very few of me. I asked a friend to take a few with my camera.

Along with the benefits of preserving water quality and air quality, protecting steep slopes from erosion and landslides and managing stormwater naturally, greenspace at the same time provides natural recreation areas that require little maintenance compared to a playground or formal park with accommodations. And for me, it provides a subject for my creative efforts, my paintings, photos, poems, and just a place to rest my eyes and ears from the onslaught of digital and social information and just listen to the breeze and the birds and watch the sunlight play across the snow.


Hemlocks, Snowy Morning

pastel sketch of hemlocks with snow

Hemlocks, Snowy Morning, 7" x 10", pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

The view out my side window of my neighbor’s hemlock trees with the hills far beyond and the morning sky with clouds and sun and snow. In this sketch, I not only wanted to capture the sun streaming through the hemlock and the cool colors of a snowy morning, I also wanted to capture the nature of the hemlocks, their shape and growth habit, the straight trunks with the branches that tend to break easily, the bare little twigs inside the tree, and the tufts of needles at the ends of the branches. At one time there had been another hemlock that completely blocked the view, and the sun, hence the bare insides of these trees. I hate to see a tree go down but when that one was lost in a storm it literally opened up a new view for me, and much more sunlight.

Where this site has featured a daily photo, I’ve decided to also use it for my occasional sketches. At one time I always carried some art materials with me as well as my camera. I fell away from the sketches, mostly landscapes and Main Street and still lifes around the house, as life grew a little too busy for a while to take the 15 to 30 minutes needed for a little inspiration. As when I visited the Panhandle Trail on Christmas day, I hope to post more sketches in addition to the photographs from each day.

I did not photograph this scene, only drew it as I stood at the window, so you have no photo to compare.

I also post daily sketches of my cats on The Creative Cat as well as daily photos, which many people follow already; today Mr. Sunshine had something to say about this sketch in particular.