daily painting | buzzy bees

Saturday afternoon painting. I was going to head to my studio, but felt happier/safer here in my home, getting out my watercolors and selecting a photo to paint from, taken on a recent hike in Tilden Park, where small squadrons of bumblebees were collecting pollen in the profuse poppies growing alongside the trail. It was beautiful, magical, hopeful and fun to watch these industrious critters, buzzing from flower to flower, their legs laden down with pods of pollen like fat orange water-wings. Today: disappearing into a tray of paints, listening to the finches sing outside on my deck, greeting warm and friendly neighbors as they walk by on the docks, sweeping up bird feeder leftovers of sunflower seed husks that stick to my shoes when I walk inside, making peace with my life as it is in this moment. Can’t expect too many functional neurons today. That’s OK. My hands remember how to hold a paintbrush. I am alive, breathing, accepting.

7″ x 6″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper = $55

 

 

 

watercolor painting of boatyard by emily weil

daily painting | papery poppy

I keep going back to these papery poppies I photographed on a hike. This particular view of them seems hopeful as the blossoms are so wide open, which is what I aspire to. An open heart, open mind, open being. Though I’m certain you are likely quite fatigued with my writings about grief, painting this scene helped me get through a rough week; I want to heal and not be bitter. I acknowledge being angry and frustrated and sad and I want these feelings to keep moving through me so that I don’t attach myself to them. These emotions do pass — like clouds drifting overhead. The trick is to let them storm through, then let them go and enjoy the fresh air that follows. The tears still come easily, and I let them (just checked my Kleenex supply). And my moments of pain and loss are peppered with lovely joys that come unexpectedly — a new species of bird at my feeder, a red shouldered hawk flying overhead as I do volunteer chores in Marin, a warm and understanding friend. And bike rides and yoga and Zoom Zumba and a bowl of cereal with fresh strawberries and trying a new roasted eggplant soup recipe. Life is juicy. Happy Easter.

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

 

 

 

watercolor painting of poppies by emily weil

daily painting | bright blooms, sad heart

Decades ago when I was a young mom in Florence, Oregon, I was experiencing PTSD from childhood trauma but I didn’t know it; I had no idea what was wrong (needless to say I have oceans of guilt as I know how my kids suffered too). As I reflect on those years and look at some of the early watercolor paintings I did then, they are bright and cheery. What the hell, I wondered? In some of my darkest days I made art that looked quite happy. Have no idea why. Maybe inside I had sunny, hopeful corners that came out in my art. I feel similarly about this painting done as a demo for a class. After a year of isolation, family troubles, the pandemic and the death of my sister my moods are often mournful. But maybe my insides come out anyways, and I am encouraged by those colorful and hopeful works. Maybe happiness hides in there and will leak out in other ways too.

Last night in a book I’m reading, The Outside Boy by Janine Cummins, the young hero who had tragically just lost his “grandda” says, “I thought maybe grief was like an egg that had to be cracked open, and I just hadn’t smashed mine yet—I was still holding it, cradling it. Careful.” Gorgeous writing. Can’t wait to dive back in and see what happens next in this family of Irish travelers.

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

SOLD

 

 

 

daily painting | poppies demo

It was my privilege yesterday to do a Zoom watercolor demo offered by Frank Bette Center for the Arts in Alameda. I was so nervous at the beginning! I couldn’t get my phone to function properly to video my work area but we figured it out. My brain stops working when I’m anxious, but then I started to relax; I am learning how to let go of nervousness when people watch me paint and draw. I worked on two paintings, so I could paint on one piece while waiting for the 2nd one to dry, and so on. I did the drawing first for this painting with sticks and black acrylic ink, working from a photo of poppies in Tilden Park, taken during a lovely hike last year. I started painting #2 with a fountain pen drawing from a photo of begonias, but that one was not successful and too busy. The sticks method keeps things looser, less rigid and I liked how this turned out, wanting the white, papery flowers to stay simple and less worried-over. Must do more sticks work! It’s fun, keeps me relaxed, and the final work is less fussy. It’s always good, from my viewpoint, to play with the media and not worry about end results. To create from a place deep inside myself. If I am aiming for a keeper, I produce crap. The pressure was on to create a work that the Center could auction, so this was kind of a happy accident. It was sold during the Zoom demo and I am honored to have had this experience. Watch this space as I start to create my own painting demos which will be posted on YouTube. I also will be offering classes on video for sale. Thanks for reading!

10″ x 10″ watercolor, sticks-and-ink, acrylic ink on paper