painting of bay area models guild model barbara by Emily Weil

daily painting | barbara and hat

Yesterday was another fun Bay Area Models Guild marathon on Zoom. They used to have these events at various locations around the Bay Area, but it actually works pretty well online. Was a blast — there were a number of expert models in various poses, funds were raised for the guild, and I could create art more comfortably in the privacy of my home. I think this was my favorite model, Barbara, with her glorious red hair and magenta hat, who has been modeling for more than 35 years. As always, painting and drawing saves my bacon. And Barbara’s expertise and perseverance and joy in modeling was inspiring, which leads me to today’s musings.

Sometimes life’s challenges strip you down to the studs. As I sweep up the drywall dust, bent nails, chunks of linoleum and splinters of dry-rotted siding, I can see the bones of my insides. Is the framework sound? Can I rebuild? I’m finding that, yes, the original structure was created with high-quality building materials. My bones are sturdy and good. I remember feeling similarly after my mom died 15 years ago. Things got stripped away in the grief and pain — stuff I no longer needed got chucked into the dumpster, which cleared my head — I found my path as an artist, I was directed to my GGRO tribe, and I discovered my houseboat community. What will happen now that I’m pushing 70? Dunno. But I’m not done yet. Never too late to rethink goals and dream new dreams and move forward. And be my truest self. Who I hope is kind and compassionate.

We’ve all been through a lot these last years; 2020 was simply a bitch. For everyone. Some suffered more losses than others but no one got through the turmoil unscathed or unchanged. My hope is that I can embrace loss and grief with grace and an open heart. Like the line in a Bonnie Raitt song, “Don’t let me grow bitter I pray.” Amen.

11″ x 8″ watercolor, pen, pencil on paper = $120

 

 

 

daily painting | barbara, ree-ree

Barbara has been a model with the Bay Area Models Guild for 30 years. This was a quickie painting done of her exquisite face from the Zoom gallery during last weekend’s drawing marathon. Damn I wish I’d taken a secret and illegal screenshot of her pose so I could do it again! But this shows her character and essence, I think. She wore this marvelous sequined red hat and I found myself wishing I could hear all her modeling stories. Now, how to work in another sister story? Hm. Choppy segue here but I want to write about yesterday’s email exchange with Dawn, a life-long friend of my sister’s from childhood. Dawn wrote to me and my brother asking for a few more details about my sister Kay that she was curious about, like her name. As a kid, Kay (born Kathleen) had the nickname Ree-ree, which morphed into a few other ree-lated monikers (I crack myself up!). Never occurred to me to ask the origin story of that name, but since my brother was 11 years old when Kathy was born, he remembers stuff. He said that when Kathy was a tot learning how to talk, “ree-ree” was her way of saying “raisin” and it stuck. Funny how the small things that seem innocuous or even adorable can dissolve me into a soggy, mushy puddle. Which happened last night, under the full moon. A big wet mess up on my deck to match the accumulation of rainwater that caused the Christmas night leak, and a new year’s thanks to Vern who just left after flushing out the drain. And it’s likely my tear ducts will be leaking out my sorrow again soon. And that’s a good and healthy thing.

7″ x 7″ water-soluble graphite, pen on paper