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Arrangement in grey and black

And a little pale green. This one is about early spring, and the first phoebe to return and breed here in Vermont. The landscape and the bird are warm grey, cool grey, and black. No leaves or blossoms yet—they’re about a month away—but there are some promising pale greens mixed in with the grey sticks. The nasal phee-bee call is among the first signs of the full migration staging in the south. This is a season of restraint, an austere minimal palette before the onslaught of saturated spring color.

This palette, with its grey-green accents, makes me think of Whistler’s Mother, or Arrangement in Grey and Black #1. I see restraint here, and maybe some Calvinist piety with its resistance to anything excessive. I have always loved the quiet beauty of this painting.

Arrangement in grey and black is a 10 x 20 inch acrylic painted on a wood panel. It is currently for sale on my originals page.

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