daily painting | gardenias

My baby sister and I went out exploring one day in the nearby woods when we were little. Mill Valley hillsides are covered with thickets of poison oak, and we were too young — or too careless — to appreciate its dangers. We soon had horrid rashes, but Kathy in particular suffered so badly her swollen eyes were all but glued shut and she had to get medical treatment. This morning I feared similar eye socket puffiness, as I sobbed so hard during various moments of Biden’s inauguration yesterday I feared my neighbors would knock on my door to see if I was OK. I didn’t quite understand the fierceness of my weeping and at first thought it was because I am in a time of grief. I’m sure that was a factor, but more was going on (and that’s my Rachel-Maddow-style-where-the-hell-is-she-going-with-this intro).

I’m really good in a crisis. I don’t panic and I meet the situation with a clear head. Then, after things have become calmer, I fall apart and feel all the emotions of the difficult moment. I think the relief of having Trump gone was the reason for my strong emotion as I got a better sense of what so many of us have been feeling for the four years of the hellish Trump administration when we felt assaulted daily with blatant white supremacy, tens of thousands of lies, unapologetic misogyny, careless incompetence, greed and corruption. Don’t need to remind anyone of what it’s been like and yes I am absolutely and without apology stating my views of the shocking horrors that came with pumpkinhead’s administration. We’ve been enduring it for four very long and trying years, and now Biden, a grown-up who gives a damn, is in the White House. And the feelings of reprieve washed over me and I wept.

And my peepers are mostly working today. Swelling not too bad. I feel like a wrung out dishrag but I’m fine with that. Congratulations, America. You did the right thing and this is a huge moment. We’re a bit shaky, but we’ll keep bumping along. Good luck Mr President and Madam Vice President. You’ve got this. [I worked on this painting yesterday when I wasn’t going through boxes of Kleenex.]

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper = $90




daily painting | nancy’s hydrangeas

As I was Photoshopping this image of today’s daily painting and saving it (you have to clean up photos taken of paintings, no matter what), I cracked up looking at the list of files on my hard drive that start with, “Nancy’s.” It’s because of the amazing things that grow in my friend and fellow gramma’s San Diego yard — pomegranates and gardenias and figs and then these guys. Took a photo of her hydrangeas when there last summer; in winter I root through photos for subject matter (was hoping for grocery delivery sooner today so I could pluck out fresh produce and make a food arrangement still life, but, alas, no internet for half the day today which forced me to paint and put my feet up and read; I guess it was a good idea because my weeping last night left me this morning feeling like I got flattened by the grief bus). SO. Putting asides aside, I was not unhappy to be a homebody today with my paints. It cheered me to create puddles of purple and pink paint for these lovely flowers. I didn’t even feel skitchy today as I often do these days with nervous loneliness and cabin fever. Something about kicking back with my book in the middle of the day felt naughty. I liked it. Especially with a full view of the finches and towhees at the bird feeder. These things boost my sore heart, as did washing up my dishes this morning — I filled a pan with soapy water and the floating bubbles made the shape of a heart. Made me cry. Messages from something bigger than I am, helping me through these days of pain and healing, and boosting my faith and trust. I’ll be OK. We’ll be OK. We’ve made it this far.

10″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $130