drawing of model by emily weil

daily painting | medicine

I’ve been doing some reading on how to heal bruises: elevate, apply ice packs, rest, take an Advil (I’d add using Arnica cream). But how to apply ice to my sore heart? How to lift it, let it rest? Recently I realized I have tender contusions inside — not only from recent losses but also lingering sore spots from growing up with deeply wounded parents who had little ability to love.

As grief plows its furrows through me, it exposes bits of my psyche that need some loving attention (trying to think up a good fertilizer joke but not quite getting there). So I’m visualizing silly cartoons — my heart in a cast or immersed in an ice bath, Arnica injections, putting it on a soft pillow for a quiet nap.

The thing is, bruises heal. Sometimes inside-wounds need exposure to the light first, but I believe in our incredible, miraculous power to heal our hidden emotional wounds. My sore spots just need attention and loving care. So today I am fluffing up my pillows and finding peaceful places to apply the soothing balms. Maybe finding some yummy ice cream. I am a big believer in these possibilities and find this chapter in my life to be very hopeful, if currently painful. What a freakin’ adventure this is. I feel like a fierce explorer finding buried treasure. Indianette Jones, mebbe, though that description sounds chipper. I am not chipper. [This painting is of Alida, from the Models Guild Marathon last weekend; 20 min. pose]

7″ x 10″ pencil, water-soluble graphite on paper




daily painting | bob

I so enjoyed drawing and painting as a participant in the Bay Area Models Guild marathon Sunday; they hope by September to actually meet again in person (Zoom works great; I can paint in my kitchen). Short poses (a few mins), long poses (an hour or so); men and women in costume or without. I mostly had to force myself to put one foot in front of the other yesterday as grief shadows me with depression and lethargy. But it’s the way things are, and I stumble forward, grateful to be vertical. I drew bespectacled Bob with his glorious beard. Inky with her stunning crimson headpiece. Alida (short pose) with vibrant red drapes as a backdrop. So imaginative, the settings and getups and props (I missed Barbara, though, a seasoned model who has posed for decades). I do so love drawing and painting and am grateful to have these opportunities and to make space for my creative adventures. Puddles of watercolor pigments in my porcelain tray and big fat water-soluble graphite crayons for scribbling on paper. Messy and glorious. Very happy to lose myself in all of this. My secret world.

12″ x 10″ water-soluble graphite crayon, acrylic paint on paper




daily painting | barbara, ree-ree

Barbara has been a model with the Bay Area Models Guild for 30 years. This was a quickie painting done of her exquisite face from the Zoom gallery during last weekend’s drawing marathon. Damn I wish I’d taken a secret and illegal screenshot of her pose so I could do it again! But this shows her character and essence, I think. She wore this marvelous sequined red hat and I found myself wishing I could hear all her modeling stories. Now, how to work in another sister story? Hm. Choppy segue here but I want to write about yesterday’s email exchange with Dawn, a life-long friend of my sister’s from childhood. Dawn wrote to me and my brother asking for a few more details about my sister Kay that she was curious about, like her name. As a kid, Kay (born Kathleen) had the nickname Ree-ree, which morphed into a few other ree-lated monikers (I crack myself up!). Never occurred to me to ask the origin story of that name, but since my brother was 11 years old when Kathy was born, he remembers stuff. He said that when Kathy was a tot learning how to talk, “ree-ree” was her way of saying “raisin” and it stuck. Funny how the small things that seem innocuous or even adorable can dissolve me into a soggy, mushy puddle. Which happened last night, under the full moon. A big wet mess up on my deck to match the accumulation of rainwater that caused the Christmas night leak, and a new year’s thanks to Vern who just left after flushing out the drain. And it’s likely my tear ducts will be leaking out my sorrow again soon. And that’s a good and healthy thing.

7″ x 7″ water-soluble graphite, pen on paper




daily painting | painting marathon

The Bay Area Models Guild has several drawing/painting marathons a year. Yesterday’s was the first one on Zoom and it worked great (I’ve gone to previous events held at Fort Mason in SF). Rather than roaming through various rooms looking for different kinds of models (and lengths of poses), I wandered through the Zoom gallery. It was great fun. Wasn’t sure I’d like it, but I miss painting the figure and yesterday satisfied a need I’d forgotten I had. It’s like a celebration of all kinds of shapes and sizes of bodies as well as a myriad of artists’ styles (I think 300 artists participated!). Life as a rich feast. Because in these days of quarantine I spend so much time alone (and it does get to me), seeing all those drawing and painting possibilities on my screen was delicious. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and painted for four of the five scheduled hours (no wonder I’m tired today!). It was a last-minute holiday gift (thank you Laurie Wigham for the announcement). I’ll post another pic tomorrow.

8″ x 8″ water-soluble graphite, pen on paper