sketch of figure by emily weil

daily painting | drawing marathon

I am so so so happy for things I enjoy. Went to the Bay Area Models Guild drawing marathon yesterday and I had an enjoyable and also sad time. I saw another artist friend I haven’t talked to in years and was horrified to hear his wife recently died — suddenly, unexpectedly. In his arms. I knew them both and they seemed like wonderful and loving companions. They had a 46-year marriage and she was a very accomplished and respected painter. It hit me hard, and I am deeply sorry my fellow-artist is going through this bruising turbulence.

And I loved painting and drawing and here is one of my sketches, done with a soft, water-soluble pencil. Artists — my tribe. I am comfortable and content in a room with them. And sometimes it’s more fun to draw the artists than the model.

I keep a list of things that give me peace and it helps to look to it when I feel awful and am too foggy to see straight. Making art, hugging a redwood tree, seeing raptors — all at the top of the list. Also time with loving friends, as I got to soak up a warm afternoon with another painting and bird-loving pal yesterday in Mill Valley. Scratching my guinea pig behind his cute little ears and laughing at his chirps. Watching finches fight over a perch at the bird feeder. Seeing a pacific loon in my marina. I am grateful. I am alive, all the way. All the way.

 

 

 

abstract by emily weil using pastels, watercolor and ink

daily painting | tempest

I think mourning doves have the prettiest colors. Did you know that they have turquoise eyeliner all around their eyes? I learned that because of the suction-cup birdfeeder on my kitchen window they visited, where I could take a close look (which I had to stop supplying with seeds as the pigeons were clutching onto my window screen, ruining it). I suppose it makes sense I’m fond of a pretty, taupe-colored bird with mourning in its name these days. But don’t get my neighbor started on this species as she hates it when they nest on her front porch; I saw a photo of a dove that had built its nest in the windshield-wiper well of a Honda.

I’ve been pondering the powerful forces of grief and loss (well, duh). Life-changing, for most folks. And no one is exempt from this experience. We are reshaped by deaths and painful losses — for some into despair and bitterness and rage and for others into growth and clarity and greater strength. This fascinates me, how we develop and evolve both as humans and as a country. I want more than anything for the deaths and losses in my life to make me stronger and more resilient. And kinder. And more compassionate. And less encumbered by childhood pain. Losing my sibs has upset my apple cart forcefully, affecting everything. Everything. Last night I couldn’t sleep and was mentally acknowledging various shipwrecks in my life — in my family, in my relationships — and visualized climbing into the lifeboat, rowing away, finding solid land. I can’t imagine feeling dry and safe again, but I suppose I will.
[Did this abstract in my kitchen today.]

9″ x 12″ ink, watercolor, pastel on paper = $140