Friday, June 23, 2017

Horticultural Happy Place

Sometimes ya gotta roll up your sleeves, risk a few prickers, do some gentle dead-heading, tease out a weed or two, and get soil under your fingernails.

Who'da thought I could rescue these blooms?

Risk a Few Prickers and a Bee Sting
4.5 x 6"; acrylic, ink, collage, and pastels on paper
$50 unframed

The photo below shows where I started today.

So much hands-on learning here. I had to cover up the bits I wanted to "undo" in such a way that they wouldn't bleed through. I had to interact with all four major color fields in the painting, remixing those colors from scratch based on vague memories of what I'd created six days and one country away from today's starting point.

And I did it!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Green Thumb

Dave is the master gardener in our family.

I am a humble apprentice.

The Saturated Dreams of Chlorophyll and Sunlight and Water
4.5x6"; acrylic, ink, and collage on paper
$50 unframed

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Now What?

I am grateful that my deepest purest self knows better than what my monkey mind offers up as truth.

That monkey-mind chatter is pretty darned convincing, though.

And loud? Oh my gosh, so loud.

And seemingly unremitting.

The chatter started up in full force yesterday when I messed up this work in progress which had been sweet and magical … up until it decidedly was not.

Big mistake. Big. Huge

Too bad I didn't think to watch the shopping scene from Pretty Woman yesterday—that video clip would have snapped me right out of the deep funk I fell into!

As it was, even in my pain, which acted as a lightning rod for every single blessed thing that didn't go the way I hoped it would yesterday, I was able to turn a deaf ear to monkey-mind's taunts for just enough moments to know that all was well, no matter the apparent evidence to the contrary.

Soon enough, I found myself at peace again, able to feel the excitement that comes from having a puzzle to solve and a what-if mindset. 

I returned to the spirit that artist Jacqui Beck so well embodies. She follows the ad-lib theater rule, which is, Always say yes. She gives the following example: 

Oh, man …  this black … I just painted so much black over this. 
Yes, I did. 
Now what?

My answer to now what was to set aside Big Mistake, pick up a second start from the same series, and start to play.

work in progress

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Post Card and Powder Post

My attention today has scattered itself every which way. Two of those ways:

1. I painted up a postcard to send to my dad. Took a surprisingly long time, with a number of unexpected challenges, to create something that spoke of simplicity and offered up some quiet space.

Those Hours Spent Alone in the Quiet
4x5"; acrylic, ink, and pencil on paper, mounted on manila stock

2. I seem to have powder post beetles boring holes in the wood frame (professional custom framing, no less) showcasing a painting of mine. And that is all I have to say about that.

pile of powdered wood 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Making Messy

I'm posting today after having been back home for two days now following our vacation, a vacation that included many sweet sweet moments in its final morning—breakfast al fresco on the eastern-facing side porch; reading while sipping coffee; and getting up to my elbows in paint, stencils, collage, matte medium, and markers.

My starting point was to dive in and make messy. Grabbed a sheet of 9 x 12" drawing paper, a fat paint marker, some titanium white, a brush, and a matte knife. Messed up the page as fast as I could.

Cut the paper into four quadrants with kitchen scissors. Developed one section a fair distance, even painting up some collage paper en route. The other pieces got progressively less attention, and attention at all only because I kept off-loading lingering bits of paint from my brush as I moved through my paces.

Stay tuned …

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Saturday Morning with Daddy

I have a distinct memory of an early childhood physics lesson.

As I walked along a sidewalk on North Street in Cranford, NJ, one Saturday morning, holding hands with my father, I came to understand at a conscious level that I had to take more steps, and faster ones, than he did to cover the same ground and not fall behind.

That's what my little body and mind were busy learning.

What my hand and heart already knew was that when I was with Daddy, the world was a wondrous place.

How lucky can a little girl be?

How lucky can a grown-way-older girl be to still share the wondrous world with her father?

Pretty danged lucky.

Happy Father's Day, Futh!

Saturday Morning Errands with Daddy
3x4"; acrylic, ink, pencil, collage, and pastels on paper,
mounted on card stock

Friday, June 16, 2017


Turns out our vacation location is just minutes up the road and a ferry ride away from the island of Grand Manan, where roughly one million pounds of wet dulse are harvested from the island's Dark Harbour annually, supplying markets around the world with this wild sea vegetable.

Dulse's health benefits include its ability to improve vision, protect the immune system, build bone health, improve the thyroid gland, and boost blood circulation.

Almost as good as painting!

Today, again, I set up my make-shift en plein mer studio in the early morning sunshine.

The best.

I experimented with half-formulated ideas related to abstraction-of-place that have been percolating for a couple of weeks now.

My venturing took me to a few unexpected ports of call but, in responding to the prevailing wind, water, and weather conditions, I think at minimum I improved my vision and boosted blood circulation.

Who knows, I may even have enhanced the health of my thyroid!

work in progress, working title: Dark Harbour Dulse