watercolor and ink painting of iris by emily weil

daily painting | sandy rhonda’s iris

Grief soup! I’m simmering away today. Sometimes I’m not quite boiling over but there are signs I’m stewing a bit. Like when, as today, my living room is covered with loose books because I pulled them off of shelves to clean and dust. A big pile. Sitting there (they will get attended to). Or I find myself crying and staring out a window, unsure of what got the tears flowing (well, I tell myself, my brother’s birthday was this week so that’s a clue). So I muddle along, grateful for moments of joy and beauty. 

Like Thur night! OH EM GEE. I joined a bat talk at the E Bay Parks Sunol Visitor Center. We learned about various species, some teeny, some big, what they eat, where they hunt and so on. Then at dusk we put our chairs around the Bat Castle — boxes mounted on poles that house the bats. Our job was to count them as they flew out to look for dinner. Within an hour they eat 1/3 of their body weight! Sheesh. That would be like eating 100 pizzas. Then they might go back inside to nap and perhaps do more hunting at dawn. That is magical enough, but then, behind the sunset-pink hills a huge moon poked its nose up and joined us. Then the bats starting coming — by the hundreds — against the full moon (or maybe almost full). I could hardly speak (not that I needed to), it was so gob-smackingly amazing.

Sigh. These wonderful, magical moments in life. I eat them up, like the Mexican free-tailed bats gobbling up mosquitoes. Today I’m camped in Gratitude Plaza. And I just signed up for the bat tour up at Yolo County, where bats reside under the freeway and come out by the thousands at dusk. Can’t wait.

[This is a painting of a lovely iris in Sandy’s front yard on Rhonda Way in Mill Valley, my childhood home; to avoid confusion with my brother’s wife Sandra, Jim called her Sandy Rhonda]

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




watercolor and ink painting of iris by emily weil

daily painting | purple iris

If you read my posts, you know that I am currently the Grief Queen, as I have been diving deeply into the grief process after losing my sisters, riding its currents to healing and a peaceful heart (if a sore one). What baffles me today is why every U.S. citizen isn’t staggering down the street weeping at the loss of nearly a million Americans to Covid. It is human nature to say, Hey, c’mon, let’s move on and leave the pandemic behind — who doesn’t want that, for god’s sake? But I do hope we can at least stop for a minute and digest and acknowledge the actuality of these horrific losses. It’s important to take in this tragic reality and not sweep it aside (“denial is not a river in Egypt”).

OK! Stepping down from my soapbox. This iris was blooming in the scruffy yard behind my art studio in Oakland and I decided to do a bit of a close-up of it (I took its pic last year). Such rich, gooey hues of purples and violets — stunning. How do those silken, velvety petals hold so much pigment, when it takes about three layers of watercolors to even slightly suggest the deep, amethyst tints? It’s miraculous. Having a sense of wonder at the gorgeousness Mom Earth offers to us is the best, isn’t it? It gives me joy every day.

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