abstract painting by emily weil

daily painting | under water

I shook my fist at God today. Inspired by my dear friend Suzanne Kelsey’s book, Skipping Church, I lost my temper and yelled and cried and rebelled. I am doing everything I need to be doing, I sobbed. So why is this road so full of car-eating potholes?  

Well there are no answers (except, probably, to cinch up my seatbelt). But at least I can tell you about Sue’s book. Anyone who has ever gone to church, or who knows anyone who has attended Sunday morning services, should read this. With my born-again Christian background and my experience as a pastor’s wife in Oregon, I find her story especially compelling. One day years into their marriage, Sue’s husband announced he was called to be a Methodist minister. The book is Sue’s story of her own path as she detours around the expected role of a minister’s spouse and embarks on her fierce journey of spirituality, motherhood, writing and teaching in her beloved Iowa. This powerful, open-hearted woman finds her own, intimate way of celebrating life and spirituality in spite of church pressures to conform, and diving into her highly-readable book (and I’m hard to please) is like turning LED lights on in a dark closet. Please go buy it (click on image of my painting above to see the book cover).

[This small abstract, Under the Sea, was another kitchen creation.]

6″ x 8″ ink, acrylic pen, watercolor, pencil, pastel on paper




abstract ink, watercolor & pastel by emily weil

daily painting | secret code

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning the howling grief monkeys are jumping on my bed. Today was one of those times, so I did my a.m. meditation practice (calming) and took out my journal to write notes to myself that go like this:

You are good, Emily.

You are sane.

Your brain cells feel like exploding popcorn kernels but you’ll be OK (add salt and butter).

Life is rich and beautiful and you always find your way to your best path (put your headlights on high-beam).

Is this what sanity looks like? I have no idea. What is sanity, anyways? Again, no clue. A grip on reality, I guess. On what’s real and true. Looking eyeball-to-eyeball at the facts (and not the alternative ones). There are times when life feels like being in a batting cage with a pitching machine hurling 90MPH baseballs at you and you don’t have a bat. Or a helmet or knee pads. And that’s just the way things are and you dodge and duck as best you can. I have two dead sisters, a flattened design business because of Covid, wrenching situations in my family that rip my heart up every day, and now my marina has new owners whose intentions are sketchy (where would I go?). BUT! My guinea pig Buster Posey cracked me up this morning with his little purring noises, today I am safe and warm and well-fed, I have loving and nurturing friends (I am so fortunate!), I get to watch eagles soar in the east bay hills with a fabulous birding companion, and last night I had a ball teaching students drawing lessons (they were amazing and very quick studies). Again, balancing things out. Life can be challenging, but as a dear British friend once encouraged (you can imagine her gorgeous accent), sooner or later Zeus will move on and hurl his lightning bolts at someone else.

About this painting — sometimes I’d rather stay home and linger in my PJs than go to my studio which can be a bit chilly and cavernous. So I get out sketchbooks and fool around with ink, acrylic pens, pastels and pencil. Working small like this makes life feel more contained.

PS Apologies for the metaphor soup.

7″ x 7″ ink, acrylic pen, watercolor, pencil, pastel on paper = $65