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Grant Woods Stream

Grant Woods StreamIt is such a lift to the spirits to come across a stream in the woods, isn’t it? Grant Woods is home to a remarkable range of habitats, all carefully restored by the stewards and volunteers. This little patch of woodland plays host to a population of cardinal flower. I am always amazed by these ruby gems glowing in the shadowy wet ground along here.

41 thoughts on “Grant Woods Stream

  1. I’d love to happen upon this spot! It’s looks so serene.

    1. Thank you Deborah 🙂 It felt so pleasant standing there in the shade.

  2. Hi, Melissa. Real nice painting.
    At first I misinterpreted the title of this post. I thought at first that it might have something to do with the artist Grant Wood.

    See ya’ —
    Neil S.

    1. Hi Neil,
      Thank you so much! Right~as I was typing it I wondered if the title would cause confusion.

  3. This positively glows with beauty Melissa. As children we played by a brook in a wood and there is nothing quite like it. Yours is especially good. So much to see and explore. It seems to go on for ever, the colours brightening in he distance. I would want to lift the stones in the water and see what lives underneath. Just like I did 50 years ago.

    1. Thank you so much, Andrew. I’m delighted that this painting triggers happy memories of playing in a magic place. I did the same, peering under rocks and logs and gazing (and splashing) in the cool water.

  4. I love all the blues in this painting. They speak to me of a lovely refreshing coolness.

    1. THank you! The contrast of looking through the cool shadows to the brightly lit field beyond is a large part of what drew me to this scene.

  5. Pretty stream scene. I love cardinal flower, I don’t get to see them often enough. I wondered if the title was a reference to the painter as well…

    1. Thank you Tom. I love cardinal flower too. Some years they seem to go dormant, although all of the lobelias I have experience with seem to have very short-lived colonies.
      No connection to Grant Woods the painter. I did wonder if it would strike readers that way. Grant Woods is the name of the forest preserve where this stream is.

      1. Yes, I understood when I read your post that there was no connection with the painter. As I return to look at your painting, the colors are lovely, so is the light in the background, it shines.

  6. You definitely caught some magic here! Simply lovely! I’m enjoying the way your style is evolving.

    1. Thank you so much, Gunta! It is so nice of you to say. It is hard for me to tell whether my work is evolving at all.

  7. Ah yes, Grant Woods. The words fit right in with our visit while in NY to the Grant Wood exhibit at the Whitney. Now I’ve seen both.

    Cardinal flowers have a wide range. They grow in Canada and near you and occasionally in a few of the creeks that flow through my hilly part of Austin—and of course always in wet ground or even right in the water.

    1. It makes me happy to think of them wading about in so many places.

      1. I’ve been known to wade about in various places, too, often trying to keep a good footing on uneven creek beds.

        You just reminded me that almost a year ago we had a discussion about Lobelia:

  8. Beautiful!

    1. Thank you!

  9. Lovely work, Melissa. Just the sort of spot I like to spend my time and you’ve captured the light perfectly.

    1. Thank you so much, Steve. I actually thought of you when I noticed this little spot. We have few like it in this flat muddy land.

      1. That explains my mysterious vision of a cardinal flowered landscape. 🙂

      2. 🙂 🙂

  10. I remember my confusion about Grant Woods when you posted about this wonderful place earlier; it’s nice to be unconfused (about the name, anyway) and to see another of your interpretations of its beauty. The cardinal flower is a nice grace note, but I’m equally delighted by the yellow and purple combination. It brings to mind all of the purple and yellow combinations that we see here. One of my favorites in the fall is goldenrod and beautyberry; I’m more than ready for the change of season that will bring them along.

    I like the sense of movement in the water, too, and the way it meanders through the woods. I like ‘meander’ both as a noun and as a verb, and you’ve managed to bring it to life in both ways, here.

    1. Thank you so much! I like “meander” a lot, too. I remember the first time I learned that’s what it is called to describe the bends in a river, I was delighted. Thank you for noticing all that you do! I really like the yellow and purple together too. Up here, we have purple and yellow all season long. I dread fall, because it foretells such a long grim season here. I’ve been guiltily relishing this summer. We’ve been enjoying weeks of relatively mild weather while so much of the country has suffered under scary heat, fire, and flooding. I know our day is coming, though.

      Does your varnish business drop off in the winter months?

      1. Not at all. In fact, I love vanishing in our winter, because the varnish will flow so much better in cooler weather. The perfect range for me is 55-65F. I can — and have — varnished down to about 45 degrees, although it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world.

        The worst thing about winter work is the fog and dew. There are times when I can’t lay varnish after about 2 or 3 p.m., because it will turn milky when the fog/dew begins to settle on it.

        Right now, I can’t wait for winter. I’m so thoroughly sick of the heat, and having to re-do work that I’ve dripped sweat into. It’s this way every year in August and September — nothing abnormal about it at all. I just forget from one year to the next how unpleasant it is!

      2. Summer is awful for spaying lacquer too. Even if I don’t sweat on the work, which is relatively rare, the humidity causes the lacquer to blush. To fight that I run a dehumidifier, which works, but that blasts more heat into the room which increases the sweat factor and demands more care. Winter is much better as for you, “down to 45°…hah!…but if too chilled the finish cracks after curing.

      3. I have discovered how difficult it is to varnish a painting~I can just imagine how difficult it would be on a boat. Everything plays a part, doesn’t it? Humidity, temperature, dust…

      4. Lacquer is really tricky to work with, isn’t it?

      5. Under certain circumstances it is, but generally not too bad. What is nice about lacquer (and shellac) is that it carries its own solvent thereby reducing the between coat sanding requirements. Linda can correct me if wrong, but varnish (and polyurethane) requires sanding between coats to create a key for layers to grip. Not needed except to smooth dust nibs with lacquer.

      6. That is interesting. I didn’t know that about lacquer. You’re right about the polyurethane. I don’t sand the varnish I put on paintings between coats but I’m using an acrylic varnish which is probably different.
        My daughter wants to paint furniture treasures we find along the curb or at Goodwill, and I’ve been wondering about how we want to finish them. I just bought a paint that sounds like a step up from chalk paint, but it still has a matte finish I’m not crazy about. I have some beeswax I thought we’d try. I have hesitated to mention this to you because I fear it is far beneath what you do! We aren’t set up to cope with anything with fumes.

      7. I can well imagine. When it is hot here, I really suffer. I pretty much abandon my garden and field work.

  11. There is always something special about a spring in the forest. And you have painted one in all its beauty and showing the mystery they often behold. I love the colours.

    1. It is so nice to hear from you, Otto! Thank you for your kind comment. The magic and mystery is just what I was hoping to capture.

  12. Love the purple in the painting; very uplifting.

  13. Looks like a magical place! All those different little plants and fresh colours next to a singing stream.

    I like the new look of your website. 🙂

    1. Thank you! You’re the only one to say anything and I was beginning to wonder if it was even working. I guess everyone was just dazzled by my art and didn’t notice the changes! LOL

      1. Lol! People do talk more about the art than the gallery space. But your virtual gallery is definitely playing an excellent supporting role. 🙂

      2. 😀

  14. Love the purples and the movement of the water. I think the red flowers make the painting!

    1. Thank you, Jane! I agree, it really needed a splash of red down there and luckily, cardinal flowers do make a splash in that spot.

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