watercolor, ink painting of dog by emily weil

daily painting | jake

Sometimes the world is so gorgeous it makes my eyeballs hurt. Driving from Alameda to San Rafael the other day, the east bay skies were a dark, cold gray. But as I drove up I-80 through Berkeley I could see Mt Tam and the greening Marin hills across the bay, covered in a sunny mosaic and it made me appreciate the delightful surprises that photo-bomb my days. When I returned back home, it was a beauty sandwich — the entire bay had become quite cloudy, but again from the Berkeley freeway a stunning orange-peach sunset developed on the other side of the Golden Gate bridge — like someone used an exacto knife, slicing the clouds to let the beauty spill out.

This is quite a journey. And I am proud of myself, and I hope not in a smug way, of showing up for this colorful, painful, baffling, aggravating, glorious, heart-searing, soul-healing, psychedelic passage.

So about this artwork — Jake was great fun to paint. Jake’s daddy is Michael, my brother’s best friend since 3rd grade. Michael has had wrenching physical challenges for months now, and I thought since I’ve done a few pet painting commissions I’d do Jake as a get-well present. When Michael returned home from one of his many surgeries, Jake was nervous about the walker his dad was using. The photo he sent me really captured Jake’s uncertainty.

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

 

 

 

daily painting | good times.

This 12″ x 12″ board has had about 9 lives. A difficult, fussy, persnickety, demanding painting, this one. I don’t know how many layers it has — I kept starting over as I thought each version sucked. Finally I started adding circles with oil pastel crayons, paint, crayons and pencils and kept going and started to like it. I’d truly given up on it (and on trying to do small paintings on boards altogether) so it was kind of a happy surprise. It seems cheerful, yes? Kind of like a party. Which is curious as it’s the polar opposite of how I’m feeling during this shit show that is 2020. At least I can almost open my windows today. Maybe. Fingers crossed. Here’s hoping. Anyways as I was working on this in my studio last weekend, between layers of paint I went to stock up on Chardonnay at The Wine Mine, next door; the air was so thick with smoke I could barely see the nearby Oakland hills. The young woman behind the counter had a double mask on, as did I — one for smoke, one for Covid. I noticed and remarked on her face apparel. “Good times,” she said, which made me laugh.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, crayon on claybord = $185

 

 

 

daily painting | berkeley bowl beets

Berkeley Bowl has an amazing produce section. When I shared a house with Lisa in Oakland before I bought my houseboat, her parents would visit from Florida and wander around “The Bowl” stunned, taking photos. And there are beauties like these to paint! I love them with their yellow-orange bulbs, bright leafy greens, twisting and curling root ends and general amazingness. They will shortly be roasted and marinated for a salad. Senior shopping hour has been scary and stressful for months, but it’s getting easier and better. No more standing in line with other elders for 45 mins, it’s not as crowded (phew!), the beans shelves are not empty and I am less likely to come home and have a nervous breakdown from leaving the house. I am grateful to creatively shoehorn all the food into my fridge, arrange glorious root veggies on my table and get out my watercolors (I get in a hurry as I’m excited to paint such lovely subjects and have to remember to put the milk away). It’s worth going to The Bowl just to buy such still life arrangements. But I get to eat them too, and life is good. OK all this writing about food is making me hungry so I’d best get cooking.

9″ x 12″ watercolor, pen on paper = $140

 

 

 

 

daily painting | mt tam

I am in a quandary about what to write today. I will say that I took a photo of this scene after a lovely walk with sister-in-law Jane along the watery pathways in the Richardson Bay marsh in Mill Valley, CA, my hometown; Jane was taking a class at the nearby Bay Model in Sausalito (after many months our paths finally crossed so I could deliver to her the painting she commissioned of her ship). This mountain is iconic to me, as I saw it every day out our window growing up. It is a bittersweet sight — I love its beauty, but it was a backdrop to a painful childhood. I get to admire this beautiful postcard-gorgeousness often these days, visiting Uncle Fuzzy who lives nearby and who is fighting cancer. And what a fun visit with Jane! Catching up on family stuff, talking about her work on the dredging vessel The Yaquina, discussing retirement and complaining about Trump and how his policies affect her work. OK I’m overdue in Mill Valley so I’d best get going. Thank you for reading this. Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk about reaching a significant point in my life as an aging woman. Seminal moment, yesterday. I’ll bore you about it later. It probably is related to going to Mill Valley so often and making peace with who I am, where I came from and how the hell I landed where I am today.

9″ x 12″ watercolor, pen on paper = $140