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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Bittersweet

 

Bittersweet
3.5 x 5.25"
swatch cut from a poster (not painted by me) to create a postcard


The opening lines of the message on the card above read as follows:

Sunday 11/1/2015

Hi Mack,

Bittersweet: I'd set up this postcard w/ stamp and address to take w/ me on vaca to VA/WV to send to Muth way back 100 years ago in early Oct. Then I forgot to pack it … and now I've updated the address label and I'm writing to you instead of Muth—sad not to be writing to Muth, glad to be writing to you.

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For a year or two preceding my mom's death in October 2015, I wrote postcards to her regularly. The written word, in small doses, allowed for sweet and successful connection and communication as her dementia advanced. 

The postcard above became a transition postcard following her death, marking the turning point at which I began painting postcards for my dad so he'd receive personal mail—by post, at the end of his driveway, in his roadside mailbox—as he lived by himself 150 miles away from his nearest daughters in the home he and my mom had previously shared. I wrote several times a month, sending the cards between in-person visits with him in Maine.

He kept all the accumulating cards on the small table beside the love seat in the dining room niche that we referred to as Narcolepsy Nook. As the stack of cards grew higher, I once offered to give him a box I had as a container. "No," he replied. "Thank you, but I like them just the way they are, in a stack."

When he died this year, five and a half years after my mom, I took that stack of postcards into my own keeping. Now, as 2021 draws closer to its end, I am continuing my tradition of recent years of making a wall calendar of my art to give as presents and offer for sale—this time featuring a dozen of my Postcards to Mack, this time using phrases extracted verbatim from the postcards to title them, this time creating the calendar at my desk at home and not in front of the wood stove in Maine with my dad in the chair beside me. 

'Tis a bittersweet labor of love.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Composed

I don't always feel composed.

But a post by Jane Davies grabs my attention, lights me up, and gives me new fodder with which to think about composition.

“Throughout my process of painting, I am engaged in the act of composing. The visual elements and their relationships to one another change many times during the course of creating a painting. The composition is in constant flux until it isn’t. The composition of the finished painting (if it finishes, which not all my paintings do), is an unknown until it reveals itself through the process of composing.”

Life makes a mark; I respond. Throughout the process of living each day I am engaged in the act of composing, engaged in call-and-response, always in flux.

I don't always feel composed.

I am always composing. 

Yes.


The Friend Who Asks to Paint with You and
Drags You into Your Studio
4 x 5.25" postcard; acrylic, ink, oil pastel, and collage on card stock
abstract 2021


Friday, August 13, 2021

Attunement

Emmy got me into my studio for a few minutes at a time on her recent visit. No small accomplishment. She painted; I took the leftover smidgens of any color we mixed to activate some blank postcard-size card stock.

Today, I went into my studio all by myself!

Sometimes the Answer Comes Before I'm Even Done
Asking the Question
4 x 5.25" postcard; acrylic, ink, and oil pastel on card stock
abstract
2021



Thursday, July 15, 2021

Releasing

So much transformation.

So much letting go.

So much seeing the world through changed eyes.

Even the United States Postal Service had a finger in this pie!



Where Peace and Love Are Still Alive and Well

2 x 5" bookmark; acrylic, ink, and collage on card stock
abstract
2021



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Bookmarking Moments

My days are robustly, resoundingly, generously, (sometimes) overwhelmingly, and unfailingly filled-to-the-brim of late.

I bookmark moments as I move through each day.

This morning:

• smoothing out blanket wrinkles together with Dave while we make our bed first thing;

• walking at 445a in a world filled with birdsong and sunrise and fresh air;

• searching high and low for—and then locating!—at Stop & Shop the sandwich 'slider' rolls requested by Caroline for her upcoming visit;

• writing up reminders for my tutorial schedule for next week;

• plucking a ripe ripe red red strawberry from our garden and popping its burst of juice in my mouth;

• restocking toilet paper in our bathrooms; and

• making a bookmark—an actual physical bookmark for marking a stopping/starting place in a book—from a postcard I painted earlier this year.


Not Following National News
1.75 x 5.75" bookmark; acrylic, ink,
pencil, and collage on cardstock
abstract
2021

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Testing, testing …

The following YouTube clip recently came to my attention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac7G7xOG2Ag*

Huh?

I hear the words, I hear a cadence that indicates there may be meaning in them, but the meaning eludes me completely. 

I admit to several moments of similar feelings of being lost when I set out to follow steps to deactivate the Feedburner subscription service at my blog and activate a new service, faced as I was with computer-related gobbledy-gook that had me shaking my head, muttering, Huh?

However, I quelled my fleeting panic and here I am to do a test run to see if existing subscriptions to my posts are still functional.

If you've received this post in your email inbox, please either comment at the blog or send me an email.

Thank you!

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*I just watched this clip again. Totally hits my funny bone every time!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Perfectly Normal

Thursday 27 May 2021


the day was just another day

and then something stopped.

something else began.

    Eliza Minot, The Tiny One


godspeed