watercolor and ink painting of iris by emily weil

daily painting | sandy rhonda’s iris

Grief soup! I’m simmering away today. Sometimes I’m not quite boiling over but there are signs I’m stewing a bit. Like when, as today, my living room is covered with loose books because I pulled them off of shelves to clean and dust. A big pile. Sitting there (they will get attended to). Or I find myself crying and staring out a window, unsure of what got the tears flowing (well, I tell myself, my brother’s birthday was this week so that’s a clue). So I muddle along, grateful for moments of joy and beauty. 

Like Thur night! OH EM GEE. I joined a bat talk at the E Bay Parks Sunol Visitor Center. We learned about various species, some teeny, some big, what they eat, where they hunt and so on. Then at dusk we put our chairs around the Bat Castle — boxes mounted on poles that house the bats. Our job was to count them as they flew out to look for dinner. Within an hour they eat 1/3 of their body weight! Sheesh. That would be like eating 100 pizzas. Then they might go back inside to nap and perhaps do more hunting at dawn. That is magical enough, but then, behind the sunset-pink hills a huge moon poked its nose up and joined us. Then the bats starting coming — by the hundreds — against the full moon (or maybe almost full). I could hardly speak (not that I needed to), it was so gob-smackingly amazing.

Sigh. These wonderful, magical moments in life. I eat them up, like the Mexican free-tailed bats gobbling up mosquitoes. Today I’m camped in Gratitude Plaza. And I just signed up for the bat tour up at Yolo County, where bats reside under the freeway and come out by the thousands at dusk. Can’t wait.

[This is a painting of a lovely iris in Sandy’s front yard on Rhonda Way in Mill Valley, my childhood home; to avoid confusion with my brother’s wife Sandra, Jim called her Sandy Rhonda]

10″ x 10″ watercolor, ink, pastel on paper = $140




watercolor, ink, pastel painting of morning glory by emily weil

daily painting | pill hill morning glory

I can’t remember why I was driving over Pill Hill in Oakland last week; trying to get to the freeway after getting a 2nd booster shot at Kaiser I suppose (Pill Hill is what folks call the area off Broadway that is chock-full of hospitals and medical facilities). But I pulled over for some reason, I think because my purse was on the back seat of my car and the seat belt sensors are ridiculously sensitive and Michelle was yelling at me (Michelle is my wonderful new RAV4). 

Anyways these enormous morning glories, the size of large saucers, with their pointy, lavender tips, were profusely blooming on the corner so I snapped a few pics and painted the scene a few days ago. They were just so healthy and gorgeous. I always get a kick out of seeing lush gardens in urban areas, and that corner of Oakland is about as urban as you can get.

Anything that is part of the natural world comforts me enormously as I watch my brother slowly fade and decline from brain cancer. Last week I visited my wonderful friend Sandy who very recently lost her husband to a heart attack. I was so glad to see her and left the house (the house I grew up in) at dusk. As I went out to my car on that wooded Mill Valley hillside I was surrounded by bats! They danced around me and over my head and I was frozen in awe and wonder, listening to the whooshing of their wings. I love bats. It was bat magic.  

10″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pastel on paper = $130