Memories of Fireflies

“Encounter” – detail

Yes.  This has been a very hot summer so far. But I can always take some comfort in the fact that it never feels really sticky on top of that.  I have lived in locations that were way more humid than this… Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Iowa (I am wondering how I managed to sweat it out in a third floor studio in grad school) … going back to my childhood in Pennsylvania.      One of the magical events of my childhood mid summers, each night, was the appearance of fireflies.  I can still recall them, dancing above the damp grass.  In more recent years, while on a teaching trip to Italy, there was a field,  filled with blinking lights in flight,  that we came upon while walking through the streets of town to get gelato.

Enchanting is the best description.

“Moonflower” – detail

“Midsummer Night Vine” – detail

We don’t see them in Colorado, except in rare sightings. So, recently, when hanging up a selection of my vine series of paintings- I was struck by how in several of them, I’d included some hint of blinking, glowing entities.  In one painting, I thought of them as embers, in another I definitely had in mind the fireflies of my youth or enchanted scenes from Shakespeare.

In another, they might have been little moths or floating petals.

But the upshot of all this, is a recognition of my attraction to things that are on the edge of nocturnal.  When the light releases its hold on the earth.

The newer series that seems to be literally developing from the ground up – grasses, weeds, little hidden pockets of darkness,  is almost asking for some little glimmers of light…..some enchantment.

I’m thinking fireflies

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About nerskine

I've been a painter for about 30 years. I also draw and make monotypes, linocuts and other prints. I like tangled stuff.
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