watercolor + pastel painting of snowy egret by emily weil

daily painting | snowy egret

This snowy egret with its yellow slippers often stalks its fishy treats just outside my window on the muddy edges of the San Francisco estuary. This is commissioned painting #2 for my dear neighbor; this bird is a favorite of hers, with its wispy, snow-white feathers and careful search of watery prey at the water’s edge (OK and my apologies but here’s a favorite joke: “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted”). Anyways, thought I’d share this on my daily paintings page as I have been spending time in my studio working on large paintings again. Stay tuned.

15″ x 20″ watercolor, ink, pastel on paper

 

 

 

Sketch of estuary by Emily Weil

daily painting | estuary sketch

On this gray chilly day I ventured down to the Alameda farmer’s market to see if they had farm-fresh eggs — so delicious! (They did.) Sometimes my brain folds in on itself and getting out and about is a good remedy (if done safely). The farmer’s market was uncrowded and as always the selections of veggies and fruits and berries were colorful, fresh, and gorgeous (I was tempted to buy some velvety, silvery mushrooms just to paint them). I decided after my shopping foray to go to the Peet’s drive-through for a hot drink and drive down to the estuary nearby. I so enjoy this watery corner of Alameda, and there were a few men fishing off the rocks so I pulled out my sketchbook. So many happy little things to watch — gulls perched along the water, crows chasing a Cooper’s Hawk above me, huge container ships tucked in under cranes, sailboats skimming by, tugs escorting ships out to the bay. A change of scenery always is welcome, even if the view is familiar and often-visited. Feeling quite grateful to have such easy access to these interesting sights.

 

 

 

daily painting | contained

A favorite place for me to visit is the nearby Alameda/Oakland estuary where these huge ships deliver and pick up containers filled with all kinds of goodies. I love watching the shipping cranes in action, seeing the tugs escort the hulking beasts to moor under the praying-mantis-like contraptions, admiring the lovely San Francisco skyline and bridges in the background. The other day I snapped a few photos of this scene as I loved the bright red hull of this hard-working, ocean-crossing vessel.

Ok folks a bit of therapy-speak coming up so feel free to check out now. Here goes. Some of my most profound healing moments occurred in a group therapy setting, facilitated by our skilled and beloved counselor Peter Frechette, several decades ago. One exercise we did was to create a “container” — a safe way to express deep emotion, grief, sadness. This amazing environment, where trust had developed between group members, was difficult, challenging, healing, life-changing. For example, a person I might choose with whom I felt comfortable would hold me in a protective, gentle way so I could emote and let old childhood feelings out. For me to feel so secure was earth-shaking and phenomenal. Thus, the title! For this painting is of a container ship, and I hope you think I’m SOOO clever! (I’m not, but still.) These days grief often overtakes me, and while I do not have the safety of that group of peers to hold me while I weep, I know how to create a protected setting, which is often the overstuffed chair in my studio. Where I can sob away. Which brings profound healing and mending of my heart. I was immersed in the creative process of this painting today, pastel chalk dust flying. Loved every minute of it and danced away while drawing and painting (Sam Cooke is a favorite). Yesterday, though, I sank into my spattered chair in my studio and cried and wept and was immersed in profound sorrow and loneliness. Relinquishing control of those strong emotions is the only way to heal. You have to let them wash over you. And you get to the other side. Contained, sheltered, better.

20″ x 30″ watercolor, sticks and ink, chalk pastel, pencil on paper = $775