"Running Through the Woods", pastel, 20" x 14" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Another Painting and Essay Published in “Woods Reader”

"Running Through the Woods", pastel, 20" x 14" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Running Through the Woods”, pastel, 20″ x 14″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

In 2018 I submitted for publication a few of my paintings and their stories to nature-themed magazines and websites. Woods Reader responded with interest and in 2019 they published “The Rope Swing”.

When I sent my submission to them I had sent one painting and essay, and later as we discussed other possible stories I sent two more. In Spring 2020, they published “Running Through the Woods”, one of my favorite nature paintings ever, with a big emotional component explained in the accompanying essay.

The painting is another one I’d been wanting to paint, a day in the woods and on the trail with my great-niece Cassidy and great-nephew Kyler from 2011, from the same visit where I got the reference photos for “The Swimming Hole” and the photo “Looking Forward”.

“Running Through the Woods” is something everyone should have the chance to do when they are growing up, just letting loose and running along a path with the tall trees all around and the expanse of green urging you on. I’m so glad I had the chance to paint it after visualizing it for all these years, and I had a natural place to show it, at my annual art exhibit on the Panhandle Trail, Seasons on the Panhandle Trail.

One of my greatest inspirations is the natural world, whether it’s my back yard or the woods or an overgrown field, the shapes and textures, color and scents, flora and fauna seen and unseen, the wind and sun, all create an almost overwhelming experience for me. Creating art to capture the moments I treasured was a natural move as a painter and photographer.

Because of that, each painting has a story, and I love to tell it: how the painting came to be, the chance finding of a special place, the perfect moment of a season, the discovery in the milieu of my life. The whole process is a part of my experience in nature, and often the reason I’m there.

I have a degree in writing. I love my art and all the other things I do, but I’ve been wanting to get back to that dream of just writing for writing’s sake. I hope I’m on my way.

Because they’ve paid me to publish this essay, I can’t share it here until well after this issue of the magazine has been published. I will tell you that, if you enjoy reading creative writing and essays about the experience of being in the woods, you would love every story, essay, poem and photo that’s published in this quarterly magazine. It’s available on the Woods Reader website for $7.95, and I’ll also have a dozen or more copies here in my shop and at my events for the same price.

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