watercolor of tulips by emily weil

daily painting | tulips from lisa

I want to start this blurb by saying thank you to the tiny sliver of a crescent moon that was beautifully perched over Mt Tam several weeks ago. One of my favorite sights, and my worried heart felt full and grateful as I watched the scene out my fancy hospital room picture window (Oakland Kaiser). I’d had heart palpitations the night before, and my heart wouldn’t calm down so the Kaiser advice nurse said I should head for the hospital, so I did, thanks to the chauffeuring from my kind and loving neighbor Beth (old lady advice — if you want to be admitted to the ER in a hurry, tell them you have chest pain). So into the hospital room I was rolled after a day in the ER, now in the reverse situation from my brother, as I’m usually rolling him in his wheelchair in his facility in San Rafael. 

Tests and tests and blood draws and heart monitors and x-rays and nuclear machine scans later, it seems my heart is just fine. I went home the next day. In fact, all indications are I’m damn healthy for an old broad.

So my task is to compassionately care for myself and catch my breath. For a year I have looked out for my beloved, remaining sib Jim, caring for him and loving him and doing my best to provide him comfort. And my heart is yelling at me, Emily you’re pooped. You need to recharge. The staff and doctors said my body was reacting to stress, and my panic attack in the night, triggered by a nightmare, that made my heart flop around in my chest like a fish on a dock was likely sparked by family worries. Makes perfect sense. 

So now I’m rebooting and learning to pace myself and take naps and watch movies and lie on the couch with my book and peer out my window at the delightful Barn Swallows, who are like winged rockets — they flutter over the exposed low-tide mud in the marina and collect the slippery stuff in their beaks and then race off to build their nests — so delicate and graceful and skilled. I ask them to fly my guilt away. But Jim’s in very capable hands. And he loves me and wants me to be well.

[About this painting. I am happy and delighted every day to be part of my floating home community. A lovely and kind neighbor got wind of my hospitalization and left these on my doorstep. Oh, and want to hear something completely cray-cray? While I was in the hospital my dock caught fire! My house was closest to the conflagration, which neighbors and the fire dept put out; a small outbuilding was destroyed. Super happy I missed THAT excitement.]




red wine, oil pastel, ink and pencil abstract painting by emily weil

daily painting | fermented art

So my brother likes red wine and I’m the supplier. He doesn’t drink much, so the wine sits and spoils in the bottle (I’m trying a new stopper that may help make it last longer). I brought the half bottles home from his nursing home and decided to get out some paper and splash the leftover Syrah around and see if it’s a viable medium. What a hoot! Layers and layers of winey pigments on this piece, to which I added oil pastels and ink and pencil and all kinds of stuff. Took days of adding and dripping and drying and experimenting and today with Van Morrison serenading me in my headphones, and the boat slightly rocking in the breezy estuary, and the sparkles of watery reflections dancing on my ceiling — well it’s a marvelous and peaceful and very pleasant day. Sweet and welcome few hours of rest. 

The Big Bro we hope will move to a nicer nursing home in a few weeks. His brain cancer is clearly advancing as he is getting more wobbly and confused and tired, but he’s still great company and I enjoy being with him. How fortunate I am to have these rich moments. Every day. Wherever I am.

10″ x 10″ red wine, oil pastel, ink, pastel and acrylic on paper =$130




daily painting | sketches

Ahhh… nice to be back on my lily pad in Alameda. I live here in a floating home in Barnhill Marina, across from Jack London Square and we residents are trying to get the word out about our lovely, caring, tight-knit community. It’s a joy to live here, and we want the Bay Area to know about us. Pass it on, would you please?

I recently returned from a road trip to the Grand Canyon and other interesting spots in AZ. I have been painting away — Red Rock State Park near Sedona, cute, spiky barrel cacti, glorious crimson rocky peaks. For all my slopping cadmium reds around in my watercolor sketchbooks, I’ve produced nothing I want to post. Ah, well. Such is art. Having a getaway was the best, though. A change of scenery is always good for the soul, and the dry deserts of Arizona couldn’t be more different from my watery life here on my houseboat. Had a ball; will share more on that in future posts. 

Today’s sketches in a pleasant park in Berkeley, Cedar Rose Park, were fun to do. I was killing time as my car was being serviced nearby. It was an hours-long wait, but time moved quickly on this temperate, breezy, sunny day as I roamed through the snapshots in my head of roadrunners, flowering prickly pear cacti, a lovely butterfly enclosure in a botanical desert park my dear friend Kerry brought me to, and the gloriousness of the full moon rising in Rimrock, AZ. So many moments of deep gratitude.

ink drawings in small moleskine sketchbook




watercolor and ink drawing of lily by emily weil

daily painting | inky lily

I was going to write about my worries for Mom Earth today but it’s too overwhelming; I am grieving for her. She’s suffering and needs our help (I do have faith in humans that we will at some point find answers, though likely not soon; I am reminded of very dark days in the past, such as Hitler’s rampage across Europe, and we stumbled through that grim time, though in the current climate catastrophe the earth will most likely survive while we humans may not). Instead I’ll narrow my focus and write of my challenges to find someone to fix the dry rot in the siding of my floating home. Thought I had that one figured out but today the contractor is hesitant about ladders on docks. Took months to find someone and looks like I have to resume my search. So, about fixes and where to find them. When answers seem beyond my reach (literally). 

Which leads me to having faith — in myself to problem-solve; in my life’s path that I will get where I need to go; in the grand scheme of things, that solutions will pop up like a sun-seeking ground squirrel. But, you know, I’ve gotten this far as I’ve bumped through life — navigated around a number of hurdles, as we all have. Easy for me to revert to a default place of little-kid panic, but I don’t need to go there. I’m here, and still vertical. Onward.

[This painting — one of my neighbor’s lilies; had fun again with sticks and ink and watercolor.]

9″ x 12″ sticks-and-ink, watercolor, acrylic on paper = $140