Beginning where the song must end, With her, and with her sylvan friend...
October 2, 2016
For the second painting of my "Painting a Day" I return to the stark beauty of the winter forest.
The Russian forests that I grew up exploring were somewhat like those in eastern Canada and the Northeast US. You can just as easily find evergreen woods as birch and hardwoods. So these scenes like I've painted here are etched in my memory just like my earliest childhood friendships.
I called this one "Beginning" and borrowed a few lines from William Wordsworth's poem, The White Doe of Rylstone, to put a little color into the compelling raw winter landscape.
This was one of Wordsworth's epic length poems so not to get into the historical background... but the basic idea is that a woman discovers a white doe returning to a certain spot and they become acquainted.
After much time passes and momentous events transpire, the woman goes away. And when she returns, the doe is still found in her familiar haunts.
So they become close friends and after the woman eventually dies, the doe continues to visit her grave, and it could be that she still continues, for all I know!
I guess you could say that, for me, the Russian forest is something like my white doe.
Here is a longer bit of the stanza that I took the quotation from:
Beginning, where the song must end,
With her, and with her sylvan Friend;
The Friend, who stood before her sight,
Her only unextinguished light;
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