Let’s celebrate Summer Solstice, 2021 by congratulating ourselves for the caring and patience we’ve practiced during this unprecedented past year. Today the Sun is King of the Cosmos. Thanks to the light in us all.
She’s in the starting gate, ready to go, loaded with many talents and a solid, humble nature: She’s an advanced and former competitive pianist, she excelled in track at Summit High in Bend, she’s a strong skier, both downhill and cross country. She performed many times at the Tower Theater, twice in stunning lead roles. She loves the out doors, camping and hiking, and cycling the many trails surrounding her mountain home. Many of these activities have been set aside while a focus on her studies took the spotlight. This effort shows, as she has won an academic scholarship, to which she will undoubtedly, diligently devote herself to higher learning…bathed in warm weather and playing on beautiful beaches in Southern California. Oh, did I mention she is as beautiful now as she was cute the day she was born.
Ellie playing in the snow she grew up in.
We were on the staircase at your home, I was grandma and you were about 2. The moon was full, and the large windows were perfect for sky-watching. Sometimes you spoke french, your mom’s language . You were entranced with the bright light in the sky. You took your little pointy finger and quietly said, “La Loon.” “La Loon.” For me this was just one of my many favorite moments with you. I love you to the moon and back Ellie. I will always carry you in my heart delighting in who you are. Go in love, peace, grow your wisdom, speak your truth, and do something funny every day.
Years past, this amazing family gathered for food, fun, and photographs. This year they came by twos, visited from the back porch, and there were no photos. From left to right; Jade and Ellie blessed me with a long visit. I love these beautiful, smart, and funny girls. Jade (15, with learner’s permit) is working for a jeweler making earrings, and Ellie (17) is working at Star Bucks and researching universities. She has quite a few academic scholarship offers. Both Ellie and Jade are brilliant.
Hans and Flora stopped by for a short time. It’s always a delight to see and hear from them. Hans has a You Tube program called “Hanzdid it.” Recently Hans and Flora purchased a HUGE van that was, in days past, used to transport veterans to and from medical appointments. The van included a wheel chair lift and a gurney. They were filming as they removed those items. Watching them remove the gurney was a perfect SNL skit. Maybe nurses have strange senses of humor, and I found that segment very funny. I watch it when I get down or need a laugh. That van is, as we speak, being transformed into a camping van, and it will be a show piece. Hans is very creative, and Flora, do you remember the beautiful spread she prepared for Christmas dinner last year? She brought the finest cuisine with her from China when she and Hans were married.
Renee and Terry came bye after skiing. Renee is still teaching middle school math…on line, and Terry is selling houses like crazy. He even worked Christmas eve. (The girls were with their mom this year, so it wasn’t so bad.) Christmas definitely changes after the kids are out of the house, but maybe we’ll be together next year. Terry and Renee gifted me with a warm scarf and an amazing knife set. I have been using prehistoric knives that had given up on the idea of “cutting” some years ago. It was a good day, and I’m so grateful to have been blessed with such an awesomely wonderful family.
The long night of Winter has begun as the light slowly returns.
“I paint what I see, what my eyes perceive and not necessarily what is really there.”
The above is a quote by Julie Gilbert Pollard. She paints with oils, acrylics, and watercolors. In the 36th issue of “The Art of Watercolor,” a highly valued publication from France, she authored a demo of the images I practiced. This has been a fun project and opened a new space in my (h)art for color.
This is what I see when I open my watercolor journal to this latest painting. The color bar on the right is a sample of colors I chose and one I could use as I made my way through the exercise.
Please click on the “Like” button below if you like this post. Thanks
A watercolor journal is a place to practice techniques, write personal notes, create perfect paintings, or feel free to do whatever comes to mind and heart. This entry was a practice piece that my inner critic has decided needs a second chance. Be well, be safe, and I’ll see you tomorrow.
If you like this post, please click on the like button below…
Ghost Piano Arriving From the Past
It all started for me when I was in the 7th grade (1950) when my parents gave me an Acrostic spinet piano. Now, jump forward to about 2014. My little senior friend had grown old and was literally falling apart. It had moved with me too many times over the last 50, plus, years. My granddaughters inherited it, and I set out in search of another small piano. I turned to Bend’s only piano shop with disappointing results, and eventually ended up in the shop’s warehouse with the owner. There were no decent smaller pianos there either, so as a last ditch effort he unveiled a medium size grand. He placed himself at the keyboard and proceeded to play. The sound was beautiful, and other than it’s dark (black) finish in need of a little touch up it was tempting – and inexpensive. After days of deliberation and obsession, I decided to take it. The cleaning fee was reasonable, and it would be two weeks until it would be delivered.
Delivery day finally arrived, and when the movers brought it through the door the dull black piano I had purchased shown bright like a mirror in the sun. It had transformed to a highly polished cherry wood jewel. Its renewal was stunning, and I fell madly in love with it. The only slight dissonance here is that I am far from an accomplished pianist who should rate a grand piano. For example, this afternoon it took me about 15 minutes to plunk my way through a very simplified version of “Ode to Joy.” But never mind, there is an understory to my evolutionary rambling about my piano. It’s the best part and surfaced in researching the history of this instrument. I found that its manufacturing date was the month of January, and the year was 1939. This is so fine: January is my birth month and 1939 is my birth year. She’s a Kimberly, by brand, and it feels like I’ve found a long lost twin sister. Finally, I’m no longer an only child. Obviously I still get mushy over small and grand things.
Time to switch to another journal. This one is handmade and larger than the previous one. The stitch that’s binding the pages together is called a “coptic stitch.” It’s complicated, for me, but it allows the pages to open out flat so that a painting stretch across both pages for a single image. I secured the waxed twine with clear packing tape, presenting quite a challenge to paint over the slick surface of the tape…or not.
After moving to town and away from the mountain trails I walked for 18 years, Isabella, my white chow, and I resorted to lower ground. This is a likeness of a place we often visited where the mountains were visible and the weeds prolific. There was a trail that paralleled the one we usually took, and often a little coyote would walk along beside us on its own path. It was no threat to us. In fact it felt like a little friend and seemed as if it was saying, “Hello, good to see you again.” The journal is made of 140 lb. watercolor paper painted with watercolor and pastels.
A WordPress goof. More tomorrow. Stay safe and warm.
Abstract collage on paper.
Still making art under the influence of Richard Powers, I looked him up on YouTube last night and found the most delightful and meaningful conversation with Richard Powers, “The Overstory,” Terry Tempest Williams, “A Voice in the Wilderness,” and Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass. These authors are prolific writers with many other books to their credit. The discussion I found was presented at Harvard University. I do want the Earth to know that I am happy to be here where the seen and the unseen mingle in full co-operation with one another. Awesome!
Hand Painted Holiday Cards
My cards are for sale, but due to COVID I am not out and about. Any of my paintings can be printed as Greeting Cards. Prices vary. Stay
What’s crazier…plants speaking or humans listening? Over Story by Richard Powers