watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | scarlet flowers

A friend recommended Judy Collins’ album “Feels Like Home” which is a lovely soundtrack for my Sunday afternoon. “When I Go” is the song I was encouraged to listen to, and is a sweet and moving song about leaving the planet. And yes, as my friend described, it brings tears and I welcome them.

I’m enjoying a quiet weekend, catching up both on chores and rest. I am devoted to my dying brother, and know my role in comforting him at the end of his life is an important one. And it’s exhausting. And he really appreciates me. And I need days off to soothe and restore myself and today is really filling that bill.

So I pulled out this inexpensive pad of watercolor paper to give it a test run for I’ll be using it to teach a class — at a birthday party! How fun is that? Anyways I tried it out (to see how much it would curl when wet) and did a loose interpretation of scarlet flowers I photographed at my brother’s nursing facility. I also played nurse to my little guinea pig who has a sore foot — he didn’t mind the warm epsom-salt soak in the sink. His little paws are crossed, along with my fingers, that he heals up.

So in a bit I’ll grab my walking sticks and go stroll along the water on this lovely Spring day, right after I make a dent in a few weeks’ worth of the Sunday Times. And Judy Collins’ rendering of Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”, now playing in my ear, is a perfect background for this comforting moment.

13″ x 8.5″ ink, watercolor on paper = $140




watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | peeking out

I recently heard a conversation on NPR between one dad with a couple of kids and a soon-to-be father. Dad #1 asked dad #2, “You mean to say you voluntarily signed up to have your heart ripped out of your chest EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of your life?” I laughed, as it was funny, but damned accurate. I’ve been reading different reviews and articles about how our culture is just beginning to consider previously unspoken points of view on parenting, particularly motherhood. Books are published, movies are made, and intelligent TV series are broadcast exploring how mothers deal with inner, searing conflicts about raising kids. Until now there have been two models of motherhood — the sacrificial saint, a madonna laying down her life for the children, and the bad mom — abusive alcoholic or, god forbid, a selfish career woman who abandons her kids (but usually, in the Hallmark movie, comes to repent and mend her ways). How hard is parenting? Nothing harder. I don’t care if you are CEO of a huge global enterprise, or have climbed Mt Everest 10 times, or are a Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent. I have two adult children and still I have to practice letting go every single effing day, as they live their own lives and walk their own paths. So I applaud all the moms and dads out there who fumble along and do their best to raise their kids to be healthy, functioning adults. And I am glad women are finally breaking taboos and speaking up about how difficult it is to mother — the self-doubt, the confusion, the resentment, the heartache, the fear you took a disastrous wrong turn. I hope our current cultural climate begets honest conversations about this inner tumult. Because it’s there, even if concealed under the blankets of our sore hearts. And once again I am up on my soapbox! (Please forgive me.) It’s just that I have a fierce longing to be honest and embrace difficult feelings and say them OUT LOUD. Because, well, yes.

Speaking of mothering, this is Buster, my little rescue guinea pig, and I’m his mom. He’s super low maintenance. No drama or worries about his life choices. And he makes the cutest little squeaks (I think his piggie noises translate into, Hey Mom, thanks for the lettuce and cucumber sandwich). You’re welcome, Bubbie.

7″ x 7″ watercolor, pen, acrylic on paper = $65




abstract painting by emily weil

daily painting | visibility

I kept fussing over this painting I worked on over the weekend. Too many moving parts and I was ready to toss it in the dumpster. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the process — tunes in my earbuds, slapping paint around, adding bits of collage, playing with color patterns. Finally I got frustrated and decided it needed a big black mark at the bottom. After I brushed on the E with India ink, I figured, Well, I guess I need to be seen more! (So, an “E” for Emily, maybe? Dunno.) I feel most comfortable in my little cave, being an artist, quietly doing art. But at the same time I wish a Peggy Guggenheim would come along and convince the world to pay gazillions of dollars for my brilliant works of art. Ha. Well, that’s an honest admission, anyways. I need to mix things up, so I’ll do a series of these small works on boards. We’ll see what happens next and now I need to wrap this up as it’s dinnertime and I’m getting cranky and I want to enjoy my happy hour and give Buster (my cute little guinea pig) his dinner salad (red leaf lettuce is his fave). Until next time.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pencil, collage, India ink, crayon on claybord = $185




daily painting | hydrangea

Last week the grief fog began, timidly, to lift. I had heartfelt, healing and warm conversations with my niece as she came through town; we talked about family and her mom who committed suicide in May. Just voicing the frustrations with, anger towards and love for my sister Diana felt like a balm that soaked in deep, because Kirsten gets it, as she works through her own shock and loss. It was a welcome gift, to comfort one another. I am so grateful for all the resources I have access to — grief groups, therapists, warm friends, open-hearted family members, writing exercises, painting, and banding hawks. All these are medicines, healing my fractured soul and shattered heart. And joy is starting to creep back in around the edges of my life (and I’ll take it!). The cement shoes that make it hard to get out of bed in the morning are starting to crack and chip. The finches at my birdfeeder make me laugh a bit more heartily, and my new housemate, Buster Posey, my rescue guinea pig (who is Giants-orange) that a friend found abandoned on the side of the road, is hilarious and adorable and tolerates brief cuddles (“cavies” are pretty low-maintenance pets, I am learning). Little puddles of relief. Marvelous.

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, acrylic on paper