New Paths to the River

Path to the River VII, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24x18

Path to the River VII, oil on canvas, 24×18

PERHAPS these three new paintings will briefly take the chill out of the air on this cold December morning, temporarily lift the darkness as we approach the winter solstice, or combat the pre-Christmas funk for those who suffer from it.

Wherever you find yourself during this challenging season, I hope they lift your spirits.

Path to the River VIII, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x20

Path to the River VIII, oil on canvas, 16×20

*          *          *

THE DISTANCE is not great — about a mile-and-a-half through fields and woods from doorstep to river — and one could argue that it does not change much from day to day.

Yet the details of the landscape are fluid: a dull twig briefly enflamed by morning sun, the frozen rock shifting shape among the shadows.

A downy woodpecker that was not here yesterday drums on a fallen log, a dozen mallards rise startled from the safety of the frigid river, their beating wings foaming the water, their squawking drowning out the tinkling of a steady stream of slowly forming ice. If it stays this cold, these jagged, reflecting crystals will soon be silenced, laced together.

The paths are infinite, and my senses are alert to subtle variances of weather, hour, and season. The metronome of my footsteps contrasts sharply with my wandering state of mind.

Path to the River IX, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x20

Path to the River IX, oil on canvas, 16×20

THIS SERIES has only gradually surfaced, although these three new entries, like the first three, emerged nearly in unison, despite their different styles. It was never intended as a series, and perhaps it is done.

Of course, I have thought that before. I continue to be drawn by this landscape, and curious about its lingering effects.

Path To The River I, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 18x24

Path To The River I (March 2014), oil on canvas, 18×24

Path To The River II, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 18x24

Path To The River II (March 2014), oil on canvas, 18×24

Path To The River III, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 36x48

Path To The River III (March 2014), oil on canvas, 36×48

Path To The River IV, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 30x40

Path To The River IV (April 2014), oil on canvas, 30×40

Path To The River V, December, Light Snow, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 16x20

Path To The River V (December 2014), Light Snow, oil on canvas, 16×20

Path To The River VI, Russell Steven Powell oil on canvas, 24x36

Path To The River VI (January 2015), oil on canvas, 24×36

8 Replies to “New Paths to the River”

  1. Hello Russell,
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful oils of our beautiful farm/river lands surroundings us here in Hatfield. I recognize the paths in your paintings for the simple yet delightful reason that I have explored numerous times (since I have moved here) the farm paths leading to and away from our imposing historic river. I particularly like your “Path to the River VIII” ; as its geometric shapes speak to me of harvested fields and earthen roads, meandering one leisurely along, discovering the beauty which certainly unfolds before the eye.

    1. Thanks for your kind and supportive words. What beautiful and inspiring land we have between our homes and the Connecticut River. I never tire of it.

  2. Oh the blue and green one looks like water and blooming flowers at the same time; beautiful, and I can only imagine how it would change being nearer and farther away across a room, looking at it. Is that one for sale Russ?
    Leslie, in Vieques, PR, looking out to sea

    1. Thank you Leslie! I am so glad you liked these–and let’s talk about the one you mention when I see you. I would love you to have it.

  3. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Russell. They did in fact lift my spirits, not that they needed lifting, but just because your works are such a delight.

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