monochromatic painting of book table by emily weil

daily painting | book table

Looking for a dry and quiet spot for a private art lesson with Mathilde, my lovely young student who hails from France, we landed in the funky but functional meeting room, fondly referred to in my marina as the Yacht Club, where we trade books with neighbors. Mathilde wanted practice drawing and painting indoor scenes so we painted this book table using little cakes of ArtGraf water-soluble graphite which are great fun. We paint side-by-side, as is her preference, so she can observe my choices and techniques. I love these little cakes as when the painting is dry, depending on which color I choose, the results are textured and interesting.

In November, a week apart, we spread both my brother Jim’s ashes (in our home town of Mill Valley) and my sister Diana’s ashes (on her favorite beach in Crescent City). This means that now I have all three of my sibs’ ashes (including Kay’s) in little glass jars on a kind of altar where I light candles and put fairy lights. I’m feeling quite stunned by this little collection, and am wobbling around trying to get my bearings and embrace this reality. Phoo. I’m going to give myself permission today to cry as often as I need to.

7″ x 10″ ink, water-soluble graphite on paper = $90




drawing of model by emily weil

daily painting | medicine

I’ve been doing some reading on how to heal bruises: elevate, apply ice packs, rest, take an Advil (I’d add using Arnica cream). But how to apply ice to my sore heart? How to lift it, let it rest? Recently I realized I have tender contusions inside — not only from recent losses but also lingering sore spots from growing up with deeply wounded parents who had little ability to love.

As grief plows its furrows through me, it exposes bits of my psyche that need some loving attention (trying to think up a good fertilizer joke but not quite getting there). So I’m visualizing silly cartoons — my heart in a cast or immersed in an ice bath, Arnica injections, putting it on a soft pillow for a quiet nap.

The thing is, bruises heal. Sometimes inside-wounds need exposure to the light first, but I believe in our incredible, miraculous power to heal our hidden emotional wounds. My sore spots just need attention and loving care. So today I am fluffing up my pillows and finding peaceful places to apply the soothing balms. Maybe finding some yummy ice cream. I am a big believer in these possibilities and find this chapter in my life to be very hopeful, if currently painful. What a freakin’ adventure this is. I feel like a fierce explorer finding buried treasure. Indianette Jones, mebbe, though that description sounds chipper. I am not chipper. [This painting is of Alida, from the Models Guild Marathon last weekend; 20 min. pose]

7″ x 10″ pencil, water-soluble graphite on paper