daily painting | mando

So obviously this isn’t a painting. I am working on fixes with my email service that alerts folks to new posts, and this is a kind of random test and thanks for indulging me.

I love this guy. I recently watched “The Mandalorian” series and a very dear friend who supports me in my healing journey sent me this action figure to help remind me that I am a powerful warrior, protecting little Emily and loving her. Mando immediately got involved in my daily life, helping me spruce up my container garden. I think he likes life on my lily pad.

 

 

 

acrylic abstract painting by emily weil

daily painting | paper trail

I almost titled this piece Sand Worms after seeing Dune 2 last week but it was too specific (not to give anything away but watching Elvis combat Willy Wonka was fabulous). I created this on Easter Sunday, a lonely day for me, but also satisfying as being in my studio felt perfect and restorative. I listened to a mix of Beyonce and Bonnie Raitt and Judy Collins. I sat in my chair and had a dialog with the work-in-progress, asking the painting what it wanted next. I was in my own private paint world which was where I needed most to be, and I gave thanks for resurrection and healing and new hope — I wasn’t feeling it, but I appreciated the concept. It’s important to hope even when it isn’t reasonable to do so.

Happy Zombie Jesus day, everyone.

23″ x 18″ acrylic, oil pastel, paper collage on stretched canvas = $675

 

 

 

abstract painting by emily weil

daily painting | belly band

Today’s blurb is for Mike. I found out today that my childhood neighbor and pal died, and I am grieving him. Mike and I played and climbed trees in our little Mill Valley hillside world. I spent hours and hours in his home, which had a friendlier vibe than my house. Debbie, his sister, was my best friend, Rhonda was the oldest with her magnificent flaming red hair (so compelling to me, this older teenage girl with mysterious ways) and baby Jimmy came along when we were in grammar school. I think we had a Bluebirds meeting in their house, and I held baby Jimmy and then dropped him on the floor (short drop from the couch, no harm but I still feel bad). Mike, my crush, was a sweet boy who loved motorcycles and news of his death is hitting me hard. This happens as we enter our later years. Peers and childhood buddies and family members die. Their lives are done. I am keenly sensitive to my choices here — to be sad, to be depressed, to be bitter as I sort through loss. Or I can keep my heart open, committing to live as largely as I can regardless of my age. I think I’ll do the largely part. 

[Working on this today in my studio was great therapy]

12″ x 12″ acrylic, oil pastel on claybord = $200

 

 

 

watercolor of chair by emily weil

daily painting | damn chair

When I was a little girl, the starry night sky enchanted me. That there were huge gassy balls of light a zillion miles from our planet helped lift me out of my sad body tied to earth and marvel at such miracles. One August a yearly meteor shower was happening (must have been the Perseid) and the Weil kids and the Swango kids laid out our sleeping bags under the stars to see the show. I don’t remember much from that night but I can remember the anticipation and excitement that such celestial fireworks were visible from our little Mill Valley yards.

So when I got this email from Colossal it reminded me of the magic that is all around us; it’s a fantastic image of an exploded star: www.thisiscolossal.com/2024/03/vela-supernova-composite/

It was like angels were all around me when I was little, urging me to look up and dream (as I write this I am hearing a song play on TV, “All I Have To Do is Dream” by the Everly Brothers. Cool beans.)

[Regarding this artwork, there’s an old chair that hangs out near the “yacht club” in my marina (community room). I’ve done 6 or 7 drawings/paintings of the thing and this is my favorite. Loose and funky.]

12″ x 9″ watercolor crayon, water-soluble graphite on paper = $150

 

 

 

watercolor and pastel painting of briones park by emily weil

daily painting | briones hillside

A steep hillside and a majestic oak in Briones park — the final painting (5th one) in the series of Briones watercolors/pastel works done in exchange for my new roof (I knew I’d chosen the right company when the Lovett & Lovett Roofing truck pulled up in my parking lot with the tagline written on the side, “Since 1886”). I’m quite happy this art-for-trade project is done! And I’m reasonably satisfied with the results. The next thing I need to do is big crazy abstracts to help discharge the intense and painful emotions that are fish-hooked up as I deal with legal issues regarding my brother’s trust. All kinds of old family ghosts are screeching in my brain, poisonous voices handed down by males that females are less-than, unworthy of honor and care, and not to be trusted. It’s ugly and I am again 10 years old feeling dismissed and ignored and labeled and criticized. But this life-circumstance is also medicine, giving me opportunities to heal and honor myself and celebrate my presence in the world. It feels hideous. And this moment is full of possibilities. Bring it.

32″ x 42″ ink, watercolor, pencil, pastel on paper

 

 

 

watercolor of rodent skull by emily weil

daily painting | african skull

In South Africa we stayed in one humble, funky and slightly shabby lodge that, as with all the places we visited, had breathtakingly beautiful birds. I called it the Zombie Moth Palace because there were dozens, maybe hundreds, of moths flittering about the outside lights at night, and there were no screens on the windows (only saw windowscreens in one place we stayed). They dive-bombed you while you were in the shower and drowned in the small lake that formed outside the half-broken shower stall (some places we stayed were nicer than others; this one was memorable in many ways). 

But. Just outside our window, in a tree only 20 feet away, there was a nest of an African hoopoe bird. Spectacular! I watched both parents flying to and from the hole in the tree, feeding hidden little ones. They were cinnamon-colored with dramatic crests and black and white chevron-like stripes on their backs. Took my breath away.

So I was standing at the window, admiring the doting parents, and I looked down and just outside our window were big owl pellets. Likely an owl roosted in the eaves just under the roof, ate its meals, and coughed up the hard little pellets (kind of equivalent to furballs of a cat). In the midst of that collection of chucked-up owl stuff was this little rodent skull which I wrapped up carefully and brought home. I painted it a few weeks ago (of course now I can’t find it). 

Oh what a trip that was! Kind of seems like a fever dream now. So many adventures — some amazing, some wretched. Glad I went. Unforgettable.

10″ x 10″ ink, water-soluble graphite on paper

 

 

 

watercolor of briones meadow by emily weil

daily painting | meadowpalooza

Here’s another painting from the series of commissioned paintings of Briones Park, part of a trade for my new roof (blessings to art-loving roofers!). I wasn’t quite sure I would pull this off, but I think now it works — a number of layers of watercolor, ink, and pastels. This was from a photo of a lovely meadow bursting with flowers. It’s large, 3.5 feet square.

Speaking of landscapes, mine has been so transformed that I’m checking lat and long and getting my bearings. Death and loss does that — changes everything. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does require adapting and adjusting. Priorities change. Life-views are altered. And so on. 

I’m resilient though. As soon as I find myself on the map I’ll let you know where I am.

42″ x 42″ ink, watercolor, pencil, pastel on paper

 

 

 

watercolor of onions by emily weil

daily painting | february onions

I love onions. Their papery skins that flake off, the wonderful flavors they add to recipes, the dark purply colors of the red ones, the lovely aromas that fill the house when I slice and caramelize them in my iron fry pan. The little hairy caps of unruly, fibrous strands that I’m learning online are called “adventitious roots.” Who knew? (This is making me hungry.)

Anyways, I created a small oniony still life in our Brushes by the Bay art group this afternoon. It’s a comfort to be with other artists, as making art is an isolating experience (not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a fact).

It’s getting quite chilly and blustery out there. Maybe I’ll go warm up my toes in a hot bath. Thank you all divine powers for fixed hot water heaters.

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pencil on paper = $100

 

 

 

daily painting | wild lily

So I’m kind of into pastels these days. I think it’s because I am liberally using them in the commissioned series of paintings I’m in middle of. Also it’s fun to use the pastels with abandon when I’m finished with a watercolor I’m not excited about — if I have a painting that’s kind of, well, meh, I can’t wreck it by getting fast and loose with these bright chalky pigments. Which is what happened with this lily bouquet this afternoon.

Today was a day of peace. A fun meeting with my fellow golden-eagle-watching pal as we figured out the new software to file reports (did you know that the concentration of golden eagle nests here in CA, between the Carquinez Strait and Morgan Hill, is the highest in the world?). We work with the East Bay Parks district to collect data so that new wind farms are not built near nests; the blades kill more eagles than the birds can replenish (they also kill thousands of other birds, and bats). So the biologists in the park system try to work with the wind turbine companies to keep eagles safer. And dear Jonathan came by to finish up details with the new water heater. He’s a doll.

My heart feels full and, at the moment, whole (sometimes it’s quite shattered and that’s just the way grief works). I am grateful and content. And I can take hot baths again. 

10″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pencil, pastel on paper = $150

 

 

 

watercolor and pastel painting of briones park by emily weil

daily painting | briones

Well. (This exclamation makes me remember my mom exhaling this word, usually to voice disapproval — funny thought to photo-bomb my brain). This is kind of today’s pause to reflect on my life situation. Lots going on — changes and hope and healing and surprises and absorption of the reality of my world in this present moment. That my brother is no longer on the earth. That my heart is healing and is open. That I get to paint every day. That I’m sometimes a reluctant grownup having to deal with things in my house that break.

Thought I’d post this recent painting which is part of the series of commissioned paintings of Briones Park as a partial trade for my new roof. I’m happy and excited to be an artist — this series is boosting my confidence as a painter. Three done, two to go.

Life is a crazy rocket-ride! I miss my brother every day and the tears sometimes ambush me and I’m OK with that. We loved each other deeply and this grief is part of that love. I often think about our time spent together while he was sick, so grateful for the sweet connection we shared. And today I’m also thankful that I can now call my brother’s friends mine too. So cool. Life is rich. I’m very fortunate.

24″ x 48″ ink, watercolor, pastel on paper