watercolor + pastel painting of snowy egret by emily weil

daily painting | snowy egret

This snowy egret with its yellow slippers often stalks its fishy treats just outside my window on the muddy edges of the San Francisco estuary. This is commissioned painting #2 for my dear neighbor; this bird is a favorite of hers, with its wispy, snow-white feathers and careful search of watery prey at the water’s edge (OK and my apologies but here’s a favorite joke: “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted”). Anyways, thought I’d share this on my daily paintings page as I have been spending time in my studio working on large paintings again. Stay tuned.

15″ x 20″ watercolor, ink, pastel on paper

 

 

 

watercolor painting of night heron by emily weil

daily painting | visitors

Late at night I will sometimes sit out on my deck, enjoying the midnight hour and watching the black-crowned night herons hunt on the docks (William, a young one still in juvenile plumage, often comes by and I saw him with a small silvery fish in its beak, but curiously he didn’t swallow it right away. I’m pretty sure William loves me). It’s peaceful — no construction noise, no clackety dock carts rolling by, no motorboats being rinsed off in the washing area, no neighbors coming and going. Last night I was admiring the gorgeous moon hanging out above the parking lot silos (and is that Jupiter up there?) — it’s still and calm. I noticed a disturbance in the water, just below the surface — then a harbor seal popped up, taking in the scene. I could hear it breathing. It was the coolest thing — harbor seals are not unusual out in the estuary, but this is only the second time I’ve seen one visit B dock. What a wonderful nocturnal hello.

This painting of a night heron (with its mating-season flirt feather on display, stilting through the mossy mud) was commissioned by a lovely neighbor who wants to take our birds with her as she may move north. I hope she stays. Neighbors like her don’t grow on trees.

15″ x 20″ watercolor, ink, pastel on paper

 

 

 

watercolor painting of trumpet flowers by emily weil

daily painting | front yard

Trumpet flowers have magical, drippy shapes that capture my attention every time, especially the light-colored ones that seem to luminesce in the afternoon sun. This scene was in a yard a block off Park St in Alameda, and I did a couple of passes at it with watercolors; adding ink and pastels livened up the painting.

I am enjoying my houseboat here in the marina on this peaceful, overcast, weekend afternoon. Neighbors are out, finches are chirping at the feeder (hoping for the oversized, always-ravenous pigeons to move along). Waiting for a friend to drop by for a yogurt-and-fruit-and-cookies visit. I have been writing “my story” in my journal, as advised by the skilled and compassionate facilitator of the Death with Dignity online grief support group that just started up. This dead-sisters-grief-process is pretty much still turning me inside out, so I try to just sit with all this heart-turbulence, but not without resentment that my nerves are still raw hamburger. I suppose this will all pass at some point (please feel free to remind me of that). Different tools help me get out of bed in the morning — painting, hiking in the redwoods, zumba class, banding hawks in the Marin Headlands. But Jesus, Mary and the Pips, this is a time.

7″ x 10″ sticks-and-ink, watercolor, acrylic, pastel on paper = $90

 

 

 

abstract acrylic painting by emily weil

daily painting | skitchy

Sometimes I look at abstract works of other brilliant artists and I’m stunned by the lively beauty that is there. Gorgeous, lyrical compositions of light and color. I don’t think my abstracts are beautiful. Some days I wake up and look at a freshly done, still-sticky painting and think it’s hideous. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t finished and shouldn’t be shown to the world. Even if that world is small. Generally my acrylic creations contain raw emotion, which in my opinion makes them authentic, if not visually pleasing. Is that what my art should be? An honest expression of what’s happening on my insides? I don’t know. Really, I have no idea. But I need to paint them, even if no one ever looks at them twice or finds them appealing; few people would look at one of my large pieces and say, Ooh, that would look nice hanging over my couch.

But this is my process and my need to do this work boils in my gut. Even if my paintings are never seen, they are still mine and necessary to create, especially during this moment in my life that is smashed up with grief.

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

 

 

 

painting of trumpet flowers by emily weil

daily painting | alameda trumpets

It was a joy last week, on a trip to San Diego to see my family, to get my paints out and have Mason, my 13-year old grandson (who towers over me, giraffe-like), join me in a bit of afternoon painting on the kitchen counter. I had taken a photo of a luscious Alameda garden of trumpet flowers flowing over a white picket fence and referred to the pic, getting out my sketchbook, while Mason drew and painted a fabulous creation of their gecko, Buttercup. Talented kid! Mostly it was being together that was so delightful. Anyways I showed him this quirky and interesting medium, water-soluble graphite, which dries with different tones and textures. Such great fun. I can’t believe he’s in high school. And that art classes are not required (sigh). And I’m not over the fact that he’s taking an elective physics class as a freshman. Some kid!