watercolor painting of bouquet of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | tj posies

I did several iterations of this Trader Joe’s bouquet, getting my paints out before my commute to Mill Valley for brother-time. As I’ve said about 100 times already, grabbing my porcelain tray full of watercolors and opening a hot-press watercolor paper sketchbook to spatter some “Opera Pink” onto wet paper heals my soul and helps me grieve. I feel so fortunate to be an artist. I suppose it helped as a kid too, now that I think of it — I doodled a lot with pencils.

Well maybe this post will actually trigger the MailChimp feed to send out emails to you folks who signed up for daily painting alerts. Invisible anti-art ghosts in the system have made things kind of messed up.

So here’s a question I wouldn’t ever in a million years have expected to ask my brother, but I did this morning on the phone: “How’s your penis?” He had a catheter malfunction yesterday which nicked him a little; the hospice nurse came to remedy the problem but, yuck, poor guy. The indignities and discomforts of needing nursing care. Once he was fixed up, I left his facility to drive home. Cried along the way, especially while listening to an interview on the radio (Fresh Air) with a neurosurgeon. I’m kind of tired of learning about brain tumors (while at the same time I continue to be fascinated). Should have changed the station to hear about how we women are again second-class citizens.

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

 

 

 

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