watercolor of briones meadow by emily weil

daily painting | meadowpalooza

Here’s another painting from the series of commissioned paintings of Briones Park, part of a trade for my new roof (blessings to art-loving roofers!). I wasn’t quite sure I would pull this off, but I think now it works — a number of layers of watercolor, ink, and pastels. This was from a photo of a lovely meadow bursting with flowers. It’s large, 3.5 feet square.

Speaking of landscapes, mine has been so transformed that I’m checking lat and long and getting my bearings. Death and loss does that — changes everything. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does require adapting and adjusting. Priorities change. Life-views are altered. And so on. 

I’m resilient though. As soon as I find myself on the map I’ll let you know where I am.

42″ x 42″ ink, watercolor, pencil, pastel on paper

 

 

 

watercolor of onions by emily weil

daily painting | february onions

I love onions. Their papery skins that flake off, the wonderful flavors they add to recipes, the dark purply colors of the red ones, the lovely aromas that fill the house when I slice and caramelize them in my iron fry pan. The little hairy caps of unruly, fibrous strands that I’m learning online are called “adventitious roots.” Who knew? (This is making me hungry.)

Anyways, I created a small oniony still life in our Brushes by the Bay art group this afternoon. It’s a comfort to be with other artists, as making art is an isolating experience (not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a fact).

It’s getting quite chilly and blustery out there. Maybe I’ll go warm up my toes in a hot bath. Thank you all divine powers for fixed hot water heaters.

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pencil on paper = $100

 

 

 

watercolor of pomegranate by emily weil

daily painting | october pom

I brought this pomegranate as subject matter to our Brushes by the Bay group yesterday. It had gotten a little dried out in my fruit bowl which makes it more interesting — it develops harder edges and interesting geometric planes. Fun. 

I’m home from my glorious Mammoth Lakes vacation. It was a beautiful reset button. I had clear, temperate weather and starry nights and breathtaking vistas every day. The morning I left the skies were cloudy and it was 45°. Talk about timing.

So I was happy to rejoin my artist pals to do art in my marina. I love the individual syles and media we use — watercolors, colored pencils, pen and ink, pencil. Nice to be home. So much life to grab with both hands.

7″ x 7″ ink, watercolor on paper = $65

 

 

 

watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | simple bouquet

I have a delightful student who takes private painting lessons from me. We sat outside in the comfortable, smoke-free October air and worked on a bouquet I had brought for subject matter. We both enjoyed painting in a smaller format; we worked side-by-side as we practiced various watercolor techniques. I finished this one up today.

As we were working two Cooper’s hawks flew overhead (they like the cottonwood trees bordering my marina). It was glorious. If you are a bird nerd like I am now is a great time to visit Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands to see the hawks, eagles and falcons migrating; they funnel through that area, heading south to winter in Southern CA, Mexico, and Central and South America. It’s quite spectacular (mid-day is best).

6″ x 6″ ink, watercolor on paper = $45

 

 

 

watercolor of leaf by emily weil

daily painting | september leaf

I was cleaning up this image in Photoshop, created yesterday, when I realized the leaf is heart-shaped. I had a ball (as usual) with our Brushes by the Bay artists group, and stayed after the group dispersed to keep playing with paints. This leaf drifted from trees behind me onto my work space and I changed direction from painting the small bouquet I’d brought to do this simple autumn offering. I am encouraged — my heart is OK. I’m healing.

I love this time of year. Hawks are migrating, the air is cooling, days are getting shorter which means better rests at night. Maybe it is wisps of memories of forever hopes from childhood that my October birthday will be fun. Maybe it is memories of kid excitement for a new school year with unknown possibilities. Dunno. But this heart-leaf comforts me in my time of grief. To everything there is a season.

7″ x 7″ ink, watercolor on paper = $65

 

 

 

watercolor of pears by emily weil

daily painting | august pears

I walked along the estuary last night to the perfect waterside bench for watching moonrises. The August blue supermoon, pumpkin-orange in the smoky air, rose like a beautiful ghost. I didn’t understand why hundreds of people were not lining the estuary with me, appropriately worshipping her lunar beauty. 

Earlier in the day I spotted a gorgeous adult Cooper’s Hawk perched high on the silos in the marina parking lot, scouting for a small feathered snack. 

I painted pears yesterday with our Brushes by the Bay group. Such a peaceful, pleasant, satisfying afternoon. 

I embrace my grief. It is deep, reflecting the close bond my brother and I formed in his 16 months of sickness. It is a gift. Evidence of living at its most glorious. I am elated and shattered and grateful all at the same time.  

6″ x 8″ ink, watercolor on paper = $65

 

 

 

watercolor of apples by emily weil

daily painting | holly’s apples

I splashed some paint around yesterday with our artists’ group, Brushes by the Bay. We meet, paint and discuss our work every week, and provide support and encouragement to each other. Holly brought these nice apples for subject matter. 

That I could function at any level was encouraging, for I am grieving my brother who died several days ago after a long, 16-month journey with brain cancer. I am happy for him that he’s done and I’m heartbroken. For a couple of days I felt him near. I felt his love for me. I think he’s looking after me (I told him before he died that he’d better).

It’s kind of like being on hallucinogens, intense grief. How can it be that I lost all my siblings in less than three years? What? I looked at a to-do list I’d written and I might as well have been watching ants crawl across a piece of white paper. Concentrating on anything is useless. Everything is upside down. I’m trying to remember how to do basic household chores; simple tasks confuse me. I’m disoriented. My ears are ringing. I’m nauseous. I suppose I wouldn’t be so shattered had we not loved each other so much. So maybe I’ll focus on that. The miracle of that.

I sound like I am feeling sorry for myself. Please forgive me. I think it’s more like shock. But self-pity works too.

I think I’ll go lie down.

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor on paper

 

 

 

watercolor of shallots and onions by emily weil

daily painting | shallots & onions

My phrase for the day: self-compassion. As per usual, I woke up feeling skinless. Raw and half-crazy. Kind of the norm, but once I’m up and sipping my Earl Grey tea and taking care of various things on my to-do list, I feel like my joints get lubed up and forward motion has kicked in. I’m in gear.  

Kristin Neff has a wonderful website with meditations on self-care. It’s really helping me push back on the voices in my noggin that tell me I shouldn’t feel bad, I’m just feeling sorry for myself, I shouldn’t be so bothered by my brother’s decline and coming death, I should move on (even typing this I see how ridiculous those thoughts are, good grief!). I put my hand on my heart and say, 

May I be peaceful. May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself as I am.

Very calming and soothing. Bro is declining more quickly these days, so it’s anyone’s guess how much longer he’ll be on the planet. He’s getting noticeably more tired and confused, plus he’s having more scary falls (no matter my lectures on using his walker to go into the bathroom). Somehow the angels are watching over him for he gets by —  so far — with bruises and scrapes. And he’s a tall man (was 6’6” in his prime) so it’s a long way down.

Tomorrow I’ll visit him and bring a roll of bubblewrap which I will tape to his entire body.

One more thing. I was a bit baffled by my brother’s request that I take down a couple of marvelous watercolors he has had for many years, paintings he bought from another artist. So I did that and put them aside. He then asked me to see if in my studio I had a painting that would fit in that spot. I brought an abstract in the other day and hung it on the wall. Last night when I called him, I asked him how the painting was sitting with him? Did he like it?

He did. I can’t remember his exact words, but I got the message he likes it there because I painted it. It comforts him, my artwork. One more reason I should buy stock in Kleenex®.

[I painted this shallots/onions still life during the very fun inaugural meeting of Brushes by the Bay. Contact me if you want info!]

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pencil on paper = $90