Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ravenwood Forest

"Root People" - water color by Valerianna Claff
Yellow spider on a very yellow flower
It was my pleasure to spend a few days with  Valerianna at her studio and home in Ravenwood Forest, in Chesterfield,  Western Massachusetts. Valerianna is an artist, a teacher, a sound healer, and a ceremonialist, and she is also, truly, the stewardess and friend of her forest home, which abounds with the numinous  presence of elemental beings.....as well as the physical presence of birds, deer, bear, and butterfly.  

meIt was good to meet an artist who speaks so  elequently about  the Numina,  the intelligence one feels emanating from the trees, the stones, the land.  An intelligence conversant and responsive to the artist  as she offers reciprocity and love with her art and her music.  I especially responded to her  recent series of  watercolors that envision the  luminous energy  felt within the forest, sensed but rarely seen, the living essence one feel is dancing somewhere in the distance, rising from the  forest floor or flickering among the dark branches of tree and root, enchanting and mysterious as the call of a songbird in the silent wood.
"Earthlight", watercolor on paper, 15in X 22in, VClaff 2013
To me, the artist captures beautifully that invisible, but potent, Numina, brilliant and intense, humming within the soil, perhaps rising at certain auspicious times,  distant luminosity.   Thank you for a magical weekend!  To learn more about the artist and her work, as well as her classes, visit her website:  www.ravenwoodforestarts.com

RavenWood Forest  - water color by Valerianna Claff

RavenWood Forest  - water color by Valerianna Claff
I especially responded to Valerianna's paintings of what she calls "Root People". She  says  she sees the trees often morphing into faces......something I often experience myself.  Faces in the stone, faces in the roots.    (As if the elemental beings  occasionally manifest a face, a human form, a voice,  just so we can know them, briefly, in our own terms.........)And perhaps, from those brief moments, the mythic world emerges, the Fey folk dance at twilight, the Green Man makes his play.  And at the roots live those beings, that wonder. 
"Root People" - water color by Valerianna Claff

I walked among the trees
I wore the mask of the deer
I am that laughing man
with eyes like leaves

You will feel my breath, warm at your neck.
I will rise in the grass, a vine caressing your foot.
I am the blue eye of a crocus
  opening in the snow
  a trickle of water, a calling bird,
  a shaft of light among the trees.

You will hear me singing
among the green groves of memory,
the shining leaves of tomorrow.

I'll come
with daisies in my hands,
we'll dance among the sycamores
once more
"GreenWood", watercolor on paper, 15in X 22in, VClaff 2013

Pasha investigates my car
Magical garden


Valerianna said...

It was wonderful to have you here... and to see RavenWood through your eyes. Cute shot of Pasha investigating your car! Sadly, no sign of your mask :(
Hope it turned up? Happy travels home to you!!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

These paintings are wondrous! Wh a treat it is to travel with you to these numinous places.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Gee, that's supposed to read: WHAT A TREAT....

Unknown said...

Nice to 'meet' you, Lauren. I am grateful to V. for introducing you to me. The poem here is amazing. -sus