The Light of the New Year


Today is celebrated as the New Year by two circles of friends. My Mexica neighbors dance in splendid feathered regalia, to bring in Ome Tochtli, “Two Rabbit Year” on the Aztec calendar. And my Persian friends are celebrating Nowruz, which means “New Day.”  These are very old observances indeed; and being on the solar calendar’s vernal equinox they are part of the earth path, and eldest of celebrations. Today’s turn of the Wheel is “toward the light,” reflected in the colors I paint of a new day, the hues of new light.

Watercolor Workspace

For earth in shadow, I mix many shades of purple and violet from magenta, cobalt blue and a touch of winsor green. The lettering line is made with Pebeo drawing gum in a ruling pen. The paper is Arches Text Wove, thoroughly wetted. The sky is blended with a very light touch. I paint the sky and the land at different times to reduce bleeding.

Watercolor Key

I could puddle around mixing colors for days, in pursuit of the elusive shades of dawn, of dusk.

Watercolor digital photos

Not content with my own observations of these threshold times of day and night, I refer to my collection of digital images on my laptop on another table in the studio. The photo on the left was shared by a Swedish friend; it perfectly captures the electrifying combination of warm and cool colors in the dawn sky.

Watercolor detail

The top paper has had its masking fluid removed, revealing the white line of light. These panels are destined to become pages of small devotional books of  morning and evening prayers. My work is like a prayer when I paint my world.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Pat Ferraro 03/20/2014, 6:14 pm

    You pray beautifully, my love.

  • Lori Tews 03/21/2014, 5:38 am

    Cari, these are so lovely! Thank you for your commentary on the inspiration behind these beautiful pieces.
    Now I have something else to try! 😉

  • Kate Stockman 01/26/2017, 10:48 am

    Oh, how sublime! Thank you for sharing this “background” to your beautiful work!

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