Thursday, May 30, 2013

Marcel's Concept

Remember Marcel (blog posting from 1-11-12)?  I found the original sketch from 2001 that prompted the clay version not long after.  The tinted photo beneath is my previous husband, Neil's, photograph.  We used this version (as well as a blue one) on our Christmas cards that year.  No one threw their cards away after Christmas.  We referred to him as the Angel of Abundance.  He struck a note, I guess, with many in 2001.  I still like Jim's recent photo at the top the most.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm Published!

I've had the privilege of being a contributing author in Cath Mich's book. It's a powerful collection of  stories (including mine) from women who have overcome obstacles in their past to grow toward compassionate strength. I'd highly recommend it!

Here's the Amazon link:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Back To Work

There's a great deal of satisfaction in putting my creative furniture and tools back into place after the new floor has been installed in the studio.  Jim and I put our shoulders, backs and creaky joints into it this afternoon, and have most of the heavy stuff back in.   It's amazing how much light the carpeting had absorbed, pale as it was, when it was on the floor in there.  The room looks so light and bright, now that it's gone and the gleaming marmoleum is in place!  I can't wait to begin painting, drawing and writing in that magical room looking into the garden.  My neighbors, the birds who hang out at the feeder outside my window, and the chipmunk who gleans their careless left-overs from the concrete below, will keep me endlessly distracted as I wait for the Muse to inspire me.  A very meditative space, indeed.  So good to get back to work!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stealing Birdseed

Jim and I have declared this week our "stay-cation" week.  It's a tricky balance between being on vacation (holiday for those non-US folk), and still being in our home.  The great thing about being away on vacation, like in Victoria, BC, or even Whidbey Island, Washington, is that we are forced NOT to attend to daily chores and diversions.  We only have to deal with things like, oh...  "OMG... I didn't pack my toothbrush!"  Or, ..."'room complete with kitchenette' means broken, burnt Teflon pans and lipstick on coffee cups?" or, .... "Honey, I TOLD you we needed to turn off fifteen miles back!" or...  "Our room is three flights up? Crap!!!".    So, instead, we check the stock market, do laundry, we answer calls, we are reminded that we haven't called the painter and scheduled her crew to come tape and prep, and we clean up cat vomit in the morning.  Other than that, we're basking in the serenity of ... well.... cloudy and rainy days in which we try and figure out what it means to relax.

Trying to keep in the spirit of that vacation mode, I put on my sketch bag as I walked down to post the Netflicks in the mailbox.  I was hoping to be distracted by something on our (really very pretty) property that begged to be sketched or painted.  It wasn't until I got back to the house that I saw a weird bird in the bird feeder.  The closer I got, the more the "bird" looked like a chipmunk.  She was so very pre-occupied with stuffing her face, that I stood maybe five feet away without her startling.  She did look up at me periodically, and each time she glanced up, her cheek pouches were bulging even more than the last time.  She was packing groceries for the kids back home!  In total, it was maybe ten minutes she was sucking down the seed before she plunged to the pavement below, running off to the nest, her back end decidedly higher than the front.  It was time enough for me to quietly pull my sketchbook and pen from my bag and sketch her outline.  For another 45 minutes after her departure, I was able to paint in the landscape.  For one hour, I felt I was on vacation.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Care To Join Me In A Cup Of Tea?

Has the energy of your world gone insane, also?  Can we please slow down and get back to those comforting rituals that remind us of our humanity?  Celebrate the small, delightful moments of our lives when we let the dishes just rot in the sink, the phone ring, and financial decisions wait until we're good and ready to tackle them (if ever), as we have much more important things to do.  Care to join me?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Has it really been more than a month since I've posted?  It was wonderful taking the watercolor class with Catherine Mix, as it pushed me to be working.  It was a priority.  Currently we are in a flurry (well, "flurry" is a strong word for what we are doing) of house upgrading projects.  I don't know if doing them all at once is any better than stringing them out week by week, month by month, but right now it looks as though we will never be done!  We greet handymen at the ungodly hour of 9 AM in our jammies, hair askew, tea brewing in the kitchen.  We have the majority of projects yet to come, with the house being painted inside and out (it's a lotta house to cover!), some new floors upstairs and down, though we already have the bamboo flooring done in the master bedroom... YAY!!  It's gorgeous.  My studio is in a constant state of flux, waiting for track lighting to be installed as well as a new marmoleum floor to be installed.

Funny about the painting.  The house is covered in a collage of patchwork paint ideas, with crates of sample quarts lying about.  Some of these have been applied and rejected (ugh... what were we thinking?  Babydoll pancake make-up pink?), some have been blended for new color ideas.  A few days ago, I chose two of the colors, Sherwin Williams Clary Sage and Mauve Finery, a green and a purple, and occupied myself in the hallway bathroom making stripes on the wall with them.  The Japanese Maple is leafed out by our porch, so I clipped some of the leaves, painted them with Pthalo Green from my artist's acrylic paints and printed the wall with them.  WOW.   That got my creative juices going, and I have begun embellishing with some of the Zen Tangle details I used in the posting called "Pewter Cat Dreams".  It looks great on the wall!  Oh, well, that's one room that the painter doesn't need to work on.  What if the Tangles get curious and want to travel out the door and down the hallway?  Could I keep them confined to just one room?  Poor Jim, things are getting out of control.  His wife is coloring outside the lines!