Jade Skjersaa on the Run

Here she comes.

Another track star in the family.  Jade is in middle school, and a devout athlete. She’s an “A” student, skies, loves water sports, is an outstanding young visual artist, plays piano and violin, and was an up and coming gymnast. Recently multiple joint injuries forced her to discontinue her training.  That was a sad transition for Jade.  She loved that sport and trained at the gym at least three to four long afternoons and evenings a week.  It’s nice that she has more free time to be with family and friends, or not.  Her schedule, like most kids her age, is packed to the gills with activities.

Jade, her sister, and other neighborhood kids used to run back and forth past my front window on their travels between each other’s houses.  Jade was so little but could run like the wind.  They all wore flip flops, the road was a dirt lane, and Jade was usually out in front of the pack – her little legs going like a windmill.  (I was often on “grandma alert” waiting for one of them to crash.  Never happened…flip flops and all.) You know what they say about early childhood experience!  She’s got some fast memory stored in her DNA.  GO JADE.

 

Jade was born beautiful, both inside and out.  She is sweet, fun, so funny – and eternally impossible to beat at any board game.

Birthday Time. 1st iPod
Jade – so graceful
Can you do this?
Happy 13th Jade
13th Birthday        
Jade and Mo Jo’s head.

Besides the Smoke, Seems Fall is in the Air

There’s a chill in the air.  It’s been cool for the last few days, the wind has picked up, but it seems on schedule.  Today is the August full moon.  According to some Native American tribal people, this moon cycle is called the Sturgeon Moon or the Corn Moon.  Fishermen and fisherwomen are pulling in their catch for winter, and the last of the corn is being brought to harvest.

Most who live in the western world no longer live and learn by the seasons.  Lately I’ve been contemplating the question; what would our lives look like if early settlers who arrived on the shores of this contenent had adopted the ways of the First Peoples, those who lived here for centuries before us.  Those who respected the land and learned from it and kept it alive and healthy.  I wonder if the current devastation to our Earth we are now living with would have been avoided?  Would bank notes and credit cards prevail, or might some form of predominate exchange based on altruistic concern be the case?  Likely there would have been fighting, some disease, some starvation, and something new we can’t imagine, but how would it have been different?

 

Sturgeon Moon Under Water

Lady of the Lakes
Pool

Thunder in the Garden

Out of a blast of thunder my Iris took wings.  In Central Oregon this time of year hot dry days can create violent storms such as the small, isolated blast that shook me awake from an afternoon snooze.  A wave of boldness seemed to overcome me, and knowing this painting was no “show stopper” I relaxed, had fun, put some paint down and am happy with the outcome.  (Still no show stopper.)

Wimp
Thunder Iris

 

Happy Birthday Isabella

Isabella is 11 years old today.  She came to us at eight weeks old, a wound up ball of fur making it impossible photograph her.  At eight weeks she snored like a Mac truck, and that hasn’t changed – if I had a mic you could hear her now. She was recently diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, so with meds and continued love she has a few more miles to go.  Happy Birthday Isabella.  You’re a hit on the trail and are loved by many.

Isabella lounging in her garden bed…just back from the groomer.
Isabella’s Bedroom
6 months old
Loving the Snow

 

Art in My Yellow Garden

Hello Yellow

The yard seems that it’s in its Yellow Phase.  Here, only the end of July, and Fall colors  are in full array.  The yellows are pure, full and vibrant, especially in the slanted light of morning.

 

 

 

Watercolor Journal Entry

Dazed Gardener

It is the heart that recognizes we are all unique expressions of the Love that is the essence of Life, and it is the heart that will wake us up to the truth that we are all in this together, floating on a tiny, blue-green jewel of a planet that is dancing through vast oceans of space. Mary O’Malley, “What’s in the Way is the Way.” (72)

 

 

 

Poppy Art – in The Garden

May 28th, this was so exciting.  The Oriental Poppies began opening their gonadal like pods and presenting cup shaped, wrinkled-paper, transparent red petals.  As I watched the unfolding of this stunning creative process, I wondered what it’s like to BE a flower giving birth.  I wanted to ask, “Does it hurt?  Do you labor to present such beautiful, fresh young beings?”  Actually I did ask.  The only reply was simply more poppies.

Poppies Everywhere.  Watercolor 2.  Watercolor 1 at top o page.

Clemati

So many surprises as the clematis continued their show. The larger purple blooms reminded my of the little ballet skirts my granddaughters wore for their recitals…and to grandma’s…and to the store…and in the tub…and to bed.  Memories are so precious.

 

Clematis Inner Beauty

More Garden Than You Can Imagine

May 27th, I’m totally out of control.  Opening my blinds early this morning, a display of snow white Clematis had flared forth just outside my dinning room window.  It was too beautiful not to paint.  Completely exhausted from over-painting I ran, well walked slowly as any well-trained 79 ½ year old will do, out in the yard and shouted out, “Hey Ya’all.  Can you hold things up here for a day or so?  I’m way behind.”  No one listened, and they simply continued to remember who they were  and joyfully displayed their beauty in an orderly fashion.

Early Morning Clematis

White Clematis turned to lavender
They came the purples

May 23rd,  I awakened to a small bird just outside my window.  I believe it’s a Wren, but I don’t think that’s what he calls him self. We who don’t have wings need names for every thing under the sun, but anyway it was a sweet way to start the day. Small birds don’t survive long in the mountains, so this is yet another perk-me-up to ease my Skyliner home sickness.

First of the Garden Friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 27th, the rhododendrons that surround the edges of my house, front and back, began to announce themselves.  Their colors were lovely, deep magenta, dark pink, light pink, and lavender, oh I can’t forget the bright orange. The orange blooms might have been Azalea.  What a learning curve I’m negotiating.  There are literally hundreds of ground plants, bushes, and vines I have no clue as to their needs or wants. My deteriorating condition as a garden painter is evident, as you can see.  Oops. you can’t see.  In fact I’m in such a slump…I lost the painting.  Maybe next year.

Rhododendron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find it deeply fascinating to learn that the plant’s colors and their placement, in the wild and in the garden, is vital.  Orange and magenta, for instance, are blooms whose colors are situated across from one another on the color wheel.  According to plant biologists when opposing colors grow close together they attract more bees and other pollinators  and are healthier because they are better pollinated.  This speaks to the intelligence of nature, and to me this is a beautiful “knowing.”

 

 

Art in the Garden Lilacs

May 17th, and then there were lilacs:  two very tall trees of lavender colored blooms, mostly high out of reach.  Not a problem, a long handled rake brought enough down to eye level to cut bouquets for several weeks.

This “painting my garden” idea was becoming a bit much, so I decided to execute a fast, very loose rendition of a bunch of lilacs in a vase.  Not a good idea.  In my previous life, before taking a 5 year hiatus to return to school, I could have made this idea work.  I hesitate to include this image in my garden series, but I’ll allow it to speak to human frailty – like the flaw Navaho’s leave in the weavings of their rugs. Painting my garden is my re-entry project into self-expression and the search for beauty through art.  Step-by-step as the garden grows…may I so grow.

A Bouquet of Lilacs
Watercolor Lilacs