painting of rose in brown ink

daily painting | rose in brown ink

It’s a lovely May Saturday. My neighbors are out watering their plants and washing off their decks and complaining about bird poop from the night herons (one had apparently occupied my front porch overnight and left a puddle of poopy whitewash which I found hilarious; my neighbor does not share my delight but I loved the thought of a heron looking out for me while I slept). I’m thrilled that my heart feels better and that my taking time to rest is paying off as my energy is starting to return. So I hosed off my deck too. And there was a beautiful gray-blue feather in my geranium pot, a gift from one of our nocturnal visitors.

I’m enjoying, between naps, preparing for Feather River Art Camp which begins in a week (which makes my finding a feather outside very funny). The river is running high, as is Spanish Creek, the river’s offshoot, which runs through the camp. Unlike a year ago, when the brother-brain-cancer-crisis was only 6 weeks old, I will be better prepared to teach my class both physically and emotionally. 

I’m amazed almost every day at life’s crazy ride. I’m learning not to fight its twists and turns, and to accept that there is no nav system, much less a tattered old paper map. And my bro is still alive and kicking, and this journey with him has been terrifically bonding. I wake up in the morning happy for the love we have, an intimate connection I could have never imagined.

Maybe it’s best to relax and trust how life unfolds.

About this painting — I have a bottle of marvelous brown ink that called to me yesterday, so I did a quick sketch of a scrappy single rose I’d plucked by our parking lot which I’d put in a little bud vase in my kitchen windowsill.

6″ x 6″ ink on paper




watercolor painting of night heron by emily weil

daily painting | visitors

Late at night I will sometimes sit out on my deck, enjoying the midnight hour and watching the black-crowned night herons hunt on the docks (William, a young one still in juvenile plumage, often comes by and I saw him with a small silvery fish in its beak, but curiously he didn’t swallow it right away. I’m pretty sure William loves me). It’s peaceful — no construction noise, no clackety dock carts rolling by, no motorboats being rinsed off in the washing area, no neighbors coming and going. Last night I was admiring the gorgeous moon hanging out above the parking lot silos (and is that Jupiter up there?) — it’s still and calm. I noticed a disturbance in the water, just below the surface — then a harbor seal popped up, taking in the scene. I could hear it breathing. It was the coolest thing — harbor seals are not unusual out in the estuary, but this is only the second time I’ve seen one visit B dock. What a wonderful nocturnal hello.

This painting of a night heron (with its mating-season flirt feather on display, stilting through the mossy mud) was commissioned by a lovely neighbor who wants to take our birds with her as she may move north. I hope she stays. Neighbors like her don’t grow on trees.

15″ x 20″ watercolor, ink, pastel on paper