Winds picking up, birds flying low with purpose as the sky darkens. There is something about a summer storm here in the Midwest. Clean fresh air is one of the rewards rain brings, richer greens with the washing of the trees. Knowing when evening storms clear spectacular sunsets will reward the artist willing to head out to observe them. Homeland, to an artist, is an advantage over those just passing through.
A full moon above a church steeple can inspire a local artist beyond the scene before them. There are places and things each artist has for energizing the creative spirit. A full moon energizes the batteries at just the right place and time, charging the creative engine. A drive through a neighborhood can do the same. Gardens, tended hourly by proud homeowners, are gifts to anyone passing by. Garden walks that open backyards to the curious, and open fellow artists to new ideas for their stacks of blank canvases.
Over the years the different cities and towns in the Midwest have raised their image with community projects. Different clubs and organization have taken to caring for stretches of highways by picking up trash and planting trees. Award wining sculptures line a bridge in one small town while another has a sculpture park.
Giant white peonies are trapped in my imagination as I pass one house. A proud lady invited me into her yard to enjoy them up close, and invites me to take a few with me. I prefer to capture the effort put into a garden rather than scenes of the forgotten and let go. Beautiful means care to me, someone is interested in saving the earth. A group in Geneva waded through the river pulling out what others discarded one Sunday as I painted the houses on the opposite shore. Seeing this group added to the colors I placed on my canvas.