daily painting | wild lily

So I’m kind of into pastels these days. I think it’s because I am liberally using them in the commissioned series of paintings I’m in middle of. Also it’s fun to use the pastels with abandon when I’m finished with a watercolor I’m not excited about — if I have a painting that’s kind of, well, meh, I can’t wreck it by getting fast and loose with these bright chalky pigments. Which is what happened with this lily bouquet this afternoon.

Today was a day of peace. A fun meeting with my fellow golden-eagle-watching pal as we figured out the new software to file reports (did you know that the concentration of golden eagle nests here in CA, between the Carquinez Strait and Morgan Hill, is the highest in the world?). We work with the East Bay Parks district to collect data so that new wind farms are not built near nests; the blades kill more eagles than the birds can replenish (they also kill thousands of other birds, and bats). So the biologists in the park system try to work with the wind turbine companies to keep eagles safer. And dear Jonathan came by to finish up details with the new water heater. He’s a doll.

My heart feels full and, at the moment, whole (sometimes it’s quite shattered and that’s just the way grief works). I am grateful and content. And I can take hot baths again. 

10″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pencil, pastel on paper = $150

 

 

 

watercolor and ink drawing of hollyhock by emily weil

daily painting | peralta hollyhock

As I left my therapist Lucy’s office on Peralta Ave in Albany the other day I noticed this lovely hollyhock towering in a yard across the street (snapped a photo). There’s something about these flowers — I only see them in the summer, and they seem quite accessible and almost pedestrian but also very gorgeous. They are not sophisticated or aloof, like a perfectly grown rose or an elegant lily. Which is why I think they are magnificent. Lucy is helping me walk through this very difficult chapter in my life (and in my family) — death, dysfunction, addiction, estrangement, cancer and suicide lurk. And death is a natural — even miraculous — part of life. And those of us left behind get out our mops and try to clean up the bloody bits of our beat-up spirits. Lucy advises me to keep my heart open. Which often seems impossible. But when I do, and choose to see the love and magic in the world that surround me, my steps are a bit lighter — I appreciate the red-shouldered hawk that flies overhead when I have conversations on the Mill Valley patio with my brother as we sit under a huge, blooming magnolia tree. Bright scarlet dragonflies zoom around outside my houseboat, skimming the estuary waters. Red tail hawks in a nearby Monterey Pine dodge dive-bombing crows. I get to see golden eagles have kids in the Sunol hills. Finches and sparrows mob the bird feeder on my deck. And, best of all, I absorb the warm hugs and loving affection from my brother. It’s a beautiful world.

OK now I am going to follow the steps a counselor suggested years ago when we experience hard times: Dial 911, step over the body, and do the dishes.

10″ x 7″ ink, watercolor on paper

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