watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | spring 2024

I’m waving my white flag in grief’s general direction. Been seven months now since my brother’s death, and of course both my sisters died in the prior years. The shock of it all is wearing off, but feeling generally crappy continues. I think it’s all part of this process and I tell myself not to worry or be impatient, as everything is running its course. My heart got broke. More than a couple of times. It takes time to mend.

Sure sucks at times. Especially since I can’t control grief and sorrow and loss and the way they wipe the floor with my hair.

So, no resistance here. I won’t fight it and I will brush aside advice that I should take pills to make me feel better. This is a natural, beautiful, normal, healing, extraordinary process. I embrace it. Even while I feel stinky. Ugh. I really like something I recently read about a woman experiencing painful loss — her answer, when people ask how she’s doing, is, “I’m here.” Yep.

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

 

 

 

watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | alameda fence

Lesson for today (from a helpful book on loss): Plan one thing a day you can look forward to that gives you pleasure. OK, I can do that. So I got my paints out. Did I feel like it? Nope. But once I got out the tray of watercolors and the papers and brushes I did feel better. This is the result. Subject matter is from a photo I took of a front yard that exploded with technicolor flowers; this purply-pink stunner was against a picket fence in a neighborhood I sometimes ride my bike through on the way to the grocery store. I wanted to play with paint as opposed to creating a nice watercolor. 

Art students often feel pressure to create something that proves they have some worthy skills. The highest compliment, I once thought, was, “Ooh, that looks exactly like a pink flower against a fence!” Today I just wanted to do a painting, and I like this one’s loony looseness. I think it holds my feelings pretty well. And creating it gave me pleasure. I’m learning a few things.

9″ x 12″ ink, watercolor on paper

 

 

 

watercolor and ink painting of bouquet by emily weil

daily painting | TJ bouquet

I feel like I don’t know how to gather my thoughts and feelings today in this world of war and aggression and tumult. So I’ll do what I do — bounce along and hang on. Can’t seem to get my bearings so practicing self-compassion is in order (I get a lot out of Kristin Neff’s website, https://self-compassion.org, which has comforting meditations). When everything is blowing up, how do we find our feet under us? On some days it’s OK not to. It’s just not possible. I put my hand on my heart and do Neff’s mantra: May I be safe, may I be peaceful, may I be happy, may I be kind to myself, may I accept myself as I am. And I call on the angels and gods and medicine animals to bring succor and support to those amazing, brave Ukrainians.

And making a gooey chocolate dessert today is definitely in order.

(If you need a good cry look up SNL’s Feb 26 show on YouTube; they opened with the Ukrainian New York chorus.)

Peace out.

9″ x12″ ink, watercolor on paper

 

 

 

watercolor painting of nasturtiums by emily weil

daily painting | lynda’s nasties

Don’t you think that nasturtiums are about the sweetest posies ever? So accessible, with their cheery bright oranges and yellows. As a kid I remember walking home from school and along the way there was a riot of nasties in a neighbor’s front yard, and if you plucked a blossom, you could suck the nectar out of the little pointy end of the flower. Sweet and delicious, and it was a slightly naughty thing to do (maybe I was imagining I was a hummingbird). My kind neighbor Lynda grows these and sent me a lovely photo of her bouquet. I find fresh flowers lift my spirits. Their beauty is temporary, fragile and fleeting, and must be appreciated in the moment. 

Today’s grief update: I don’t mean to brag, but I totally got out of bed today. 

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

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