By Sarah West

The meteors shower the night sky. Dense green canopies begin to yellow, and in the mountains, rain replenishes white cascades. Afternoon storms dampen thoughts toward a leisure picnic. Instead, a glass of rosé on a verandah overlooking a riverbank serves as alternative. The hills breathe a sigh, and perspire as clouds part, revealing blues, still a pale cerulean. Sunset begins and lingers late this time of year. Roses profusely bloom. Their perfumes pervade garden terraces, enriched with voluminous burgundy hues.
Two volumes leapt from the book shelf, as if they had been quietly waiting for my arrival. It’s a strange phenomenon, the frequent occurrence in which the exact book in mind finds me without a strand of effort on my part. I keep a short list in mind, and discoveries of obscure titles tend to fill in where my list in memory leaves off. From this trip through the historic arcade, only two editions will accompany me back across the ridged terrain. Chocolate truffles of strawberry and balsamic, another of rose, cardamom and pistachio, I take these back home to the studio.
Across the roadmap, I wind my way back into Georgia. Intermittent veils of mists and downpours cease and a sweltering silence sweeps the southland. Torrid temperatures wreak havoc on anything exposed to the daytime sun. A day spent in a higher elevation provides a form of sustenance, for intellectual endurance for the dog days ahead.
Infrequently, I hear the call of a crow outside of my window. Returning to the pen and ink well, a love for fine traditional illustration is revisited. The charm of distinguished lines streaked across ivory cotton paper yields illuminated imagery.
Sarah West serves the Opelika Observer as a contributing columnist, with written works of Cultural Arts relevance and prose. She is a preservation and conservation advocate, activist and visual artist of American Illustration with a focus on Regional Narrative Painting. She is the founder of the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts, Smiths Station, Alabama’s premier fine arts destination. She is the appointed Official Artist to the City of Smiths Station, a Lee County syndicated columnist, the director of her art center’s Cultural Arts Outreach Initiative which partners with local schools to make the arts accessible to all.
She also serves as a chief curator to the City of Smiths Station, City Hall Art Galleries. She is a founding member of the Smith Station Historic Commission. She is a member of the Women’s Philanthropy Board- Cary Center, Auburn University College of Human Science. She is an elected member of the Society of Illustrators- NYC. She mentors art students of every age through weekly classes at her studio located in the heart of Smiths Station, Alabama. To learn more about her work and activism visit, www.thesarahwestgalleryoffineart.com.


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