daily painting | peet’s

This color is a bit uneven (quick photo) but wanted badly to post SOMEthing tonight, since I was rudely booted off the blogosphere for a week. But now the bad plug-in that crashed my site is fixed, malware has been eradicated from the laptop, and I’ve migrated to a new, more stable and helpful ISP. Website is, thankfully, more solid, protected, faster, happier. It’s as if the thick, terrible smoke from the horrendous fires in Paradise CA, north of here, choking us in the SF bay area for over a week, seeped into everything — brain cells, hard drives, eyeballs, hairdos. We are desperately rattled and sad as the state burns; the loss of life is too shocking to absorb. I cried hard when I saw the image of the Empire State building, lit up in blue and gold in solidarity with CA. Thank you, NYC. Class act. BTW I’ve been wondering, where is there a group that finds unused RVs and delivers them to people who have nothing left but each other? Please donate where you can, dear art lovers, to help. Thank you from the deepest bits of my smoky heart. And wear the masks, dammit. The air is thick enough to chew on. More watercolors and daily paintings to come soon.

artgraf graphite, pen on paper

daily painting | election day

What better way to escape network news talking heads than by soaking paint into watercolor paper? I ask you. The cheerful brightness of pomegranate and persimmon scarlets and purples is enchanting, and creating puddles of magenta and quuinacridone red is very satisfying, and complements the maps of red and blue states, I suppose. May the Force be with us. We’ll be OK. I think.

9″ x 12″ watercolor, pen on paper = $140



daily painting | pomegranate

Well I was really into the pears again today, so I did a few more watercolor paintings of the arrangement. Crap results (was I hoping for a good one to post? That always derails me). So I tried several versions of pomegranates and persimmons and this was my final attempt. Made it more of a fruit fantasy with pen marks. I love this lush fruit! Nice shapes and gorgeous colors and that wonderful pointy stem. Feeling sad today and Indigo Girls songs made me cry while I painted. Losses, family illnesses, longings. And yet! Also grace and healing. I guess it’s good I gave up a long time ago on life being a nice straight line with predictable events. Maybe wisdom? Well dammit it’s MY life. No one else’s.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | lucy’s pears

In the front yard of my therapist Lucy’s office is an old, beautifully gnarled pear tree that is quite prolific. I gathered an armful to take home for a still life. There’s something about pears that is so appealing — the feminine shape, the mottled yellows and greens, those crazy long stems. This was such a terrific day, too — painting these pears honors the deep, surprising healing process I am experiencing. Wounds of pain and longing and loneliness are warmly embraced and loved and made whole. My life has been a bit of a psych experiment — I wondered, 30 years ago, how much a heart, soul and head could heal from a painful childhood. I found out! There’s no limit to the strength of the human spirit and the healing grace of the divine. Not to mention excellent professional help. What bounty this is!

9″ x 12″ watercolor, pen on paper = $140




daily painting | barge machinery

OK I’m jamming through this post. So hard to decide — go for a bike ride? Finish work deadline? Get the blog posted before tonight’s meeting? Complete the still life of pears plucked from an old tree in Lucy’s front yard (paint is drying as I type)? I have a ball riding around on my bike near the big tugs and barges. I set up my little paint kit to try to capture the machinery and rough and rusty bits on a big fuel barge. Was a blast. Loving the art graf medium. Tomorrow, maybe pears.

5.5″ x 5.5″ sepia art graf on paper = $40




daily painting | headlands

I am privileged to visit the Marin Headlands, just north of the Golden Gate bridge, once a week from Aug-Nov as part of a program that follows the hawk migrations (in late Sept/early Oct sometimes they count 250 birds an hour flying over Hawk Hill). After a glorious banding day last week, the setting sun was hitting the hills and the WWII-vintage buildings just right so I stopped to snap a photo of the scene to paint. The funny part is, as I painted watercolors, over the weekend, of other local buildings along the Alameda estuary of the same vintage (used for shipbuilding/launching during the war) I realized the buildings all were painted the same pukey yellow color. I guess all the paint came from the same vat. [I haven’t posted quite as frequently as I’ve been caught up in banding hawks, birthday fun, and intense and all-consuming deeply personal healing adventures. Phew! More on that another day; I am bursting with gratitude to find that there is no limit to miraculous healing possibilities—emotional, mental, physical. At any age!]

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | doorway

Oh how I love hopping on my bike and exploring the piers and loading docks near my Alameda home on the estuary. The tugs moored there, the large cranes loading up the container ships with California wine, the huge tankers filled with fuel for the tugs and container ships. It’s a broad-shouldered, messy, hard-hat kind of area, beautifully rusty and unsanitized. This doorway on one of the loading ramps cast a lovely shadow. This area is gorgeously decaying. I fear it will become a shiny nice new waterfront park. No fun in that. Perhaps as my body ages the rust and deterioration is appealing and makes me feel better. To everything there is a season.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | barnhill hibiscus

Someone trimmed the roses out on the walkway near my marina and revealed a hibiscus! Previously hidden. It seemed to insist that it was OK to produce blooms in October. So I snapped its pic on my way to the laundry room and, in the privacy of my kitchen, took out my watercolors. I would’ve gone to paint it outside on this lovely day but folks often walk on that pathway and I don’t like visiting while I’m painting; I need to get lost in the creative process. Anyways I needed to cry while I was painting in my kitchen — did you know that Mother Theresa felt forsaken and separate from God during a big portion of her life? And then there’s Leonard Cohen who felt Cupid had forgotten his name. He writes eloquently of loneliness and I didn’t know others had this longing, beautifully described by Cohen’s poetry. 10,000 nights alone, he wrote. It touched a bone-deep spot in me and was a sad comfort. So, back to this flower. Its fragile, somewhat battered beauty called out. Painting it today made me more whole. I embrace life and all its beauties and losses and longings. It’s 100% amazing. Oh dear as I write this post my iTunes decided on its own to shuffle my songs (it does that sometimes). Which singer is now up? Leonard Cohen. Good thing I keep Kleenex handy.

8″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $100




daily painting | modern art

Moving between small watercolors and abstract art as part of my daily painting practice keeps things interesting for me. I love the feel of a watercolor-loaded brush flowing on paper and alternating that experience with painting abstracts on claybord keeps me on my toes. I was a bit surprised by this one — it resembles a flag, which may be an unconscious expression of concern for the state of our democracy. Worried. Hanging on to shreds of hope. Art is a relief. This is my contribution to modern art; kind of a tongue-in-cheek title. I am glad to be an artist. It feeds my soul. And it’s best not to take myself too seriously.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pencil on claybord = $185




daily painting | front yard

View from Wisconsin vacation cabin of front yard. It stretched all the way to Pioneer Creek. Rowboats and kayaks leaning against the flagpole, scarlet leaves starting to drift earthward from the deciduous maples, pontoon boat tied up at the dock, lily pads on the water. Maggie the muskrat’s ‘hood. Miss her. Such a lovely time of rest and painting. What a thing, to explore the north woods; about as different from California as you can imagine.

5.5″ x 5.5″ watercolor, pen on paper = $40