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  • Writer's pictureMonique Sliedrecht

A Light Exists in Spring

Today, as I am looking out of my studio window from my new (pre-owned) table I can see a buzzard hovering over the field.  He floated and fluttered around for some time before giving up on his pursuits and drifting on to other pastures.  

How often we might do that ourselves!  Sometimes it takes me a while to shake myself to move on. I get fixated on something, or caught in my own head, frozen, and sometimes need to be woken up from my stupor.

The other day I opened a box of gouache paint that had been sitting untouched in a corner of my storage shelves for a looong time. I don’t even know where I got this box of paint, which does look like it came out of the seventies.  I had never tried gouache before, but I decided to give it a go, to experiment and play. So without further ado, I put some dots of colour on a palette and wet my brush.  Gouache is a type of water-soluble paint that, unlike watercolour, is opaque.  Right now I think I may prefer it over watercolour.

I ended up sketching the view that is outside my window (minus the buzzard), and was struck by how much I enjoyed painting in this new medium.  It makes for a nice change.

It can be nicely accompanied with this poem about springtime, by Emily Dickinson. Written in around 1864, but not published until 1896 (as with many of Dickinson’s poems), ‘A Light Exists in Spring’ beautifully captures the way that spring slowly appears in our consciousness, like a light in the distance.

A Light exists in Spring

Not present on the Year

At any other period –

When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad

On Solitary Fields

That Science cannot overtake

But Human Nature feels…

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