daily painting | blue berries

OK this is going to feel a little weird. Here goes.

During my almost 3-week stay in Washington, most of that time with my sister in Seattle who was dying of cancer, it was so interesting to walk through her neighborhood (Fremont) and see various front yards. I’ve never before seen anything like this bush which had neon-pink flowers with blue berries at the center. Like the berries had turned into some kind of magenta fireworks. They were gaudy, even — colors looked cartoonish. But they were so cheery to see during my chilly November strolls.

What is strange as I post this is it will be the first time Kay won’t be reading it. She enjoyed reading my blogs every day, which meant I had to be sensitive in how I wrote them, if I mentioned her. She passed away two days ago, Sunday morning after a battle with breast cancer that lasted on and off for 21 years. She was mostly healthy and cancer free after that first diagnosis and the subsequent and innovative treatments (a cancer clinic in Seattle was set up based on things medical professionals learned from her regimens), and she was grateful for that bonus time, for the initial diagnosis was quite dire. But she beat it. For awhile.

Kay was never bedridden but the pain was increasing and the nights were getting pretty rough. Just a few days before she passed we had a long walk through Seattle and her stamina exceeded mine. She was really something.

Goodbye, Kay. You and I had a difficult relationship at times, yet we loved each other very much. And it was an honor to be with you in your final days. I am so happy you are no longer being painfully savaged by that awful disease and are now at peace.

6″ x 6″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper

 

 

 

 

daily painting | fremont fuchsias

I am feeling celebratory for the first time in what feels like decades this Saturday morning. Here in Seattle, walks through this charming Fremont neighborhood are very pleasant, and I’ll take another stroll today just to feel the air (or maybe rain) on my face and bask in gratitude. America feels great again.

Anyways, on a walk yesterday I spotted these lovely fuchsias in a neighbor’s front garden. Took me back to my Mill Valley childhood when my little sister (in whose house I am now a guest) and I would pop the pink bulbs with our chubby child-fingers before they opened. These vibrant pinks looked amazing against the leafy greenness of that yard and the beautiful, dark stone wall, lined up like ballerinas.

I’ve got my paint kit here (obviously) in my sister’s house in these luxurious surroundings she set up for me — she is an expert at Thai massage, and part of her house is set up as a spa complete with big roomy areas and a sauna and an exquisite shower; a massage table works perfectly for my laptop. Because she is retired, I am very comfy and have tons of privacy in the spa/guest bedroom. Painting in this climate can be a challenge as the dampness means it takes forever for paint to dry. I’ve discovered here on the counter a perfect solution — a towel warmer! Tuck the watercolor sketchpad in, and it safely dries the paint (don’t tell Kay). So far I haven’t ruined any furniture with my paint spatters. Talk about purple rain!

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