daily painting | second-hand boat

Near the beach at Fort Worden, a state park in Port Townsend, WA, a small boat rested in the dunes, relieved of duty (a retired lifeboat, perhaps? curious that it has chains at both ends — maybe it brought shipwrecked fishermen to safety). It completely charmed me. One of the reasons I loved this sandy scenario is because I was visiting my dear friend Claire who lives in that part of the gorgeous NW and together we roamed the beach there a couple of times; one day was sunny and bright and we identified Mergansers (cute diving ducks with punk hairdos), marveled at the soothing sound of beach waves washing over pebbles and collected shoreline stones smoothed by the swells of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca (ha! accidental alliteration!). Another day we set out to collect bits of driftwood and it was so windy it took both my hands to open the car door. I really love the wildness of this watery corner of the US, with its fierce storms, soaring bald eagles, brilliant night stars and island-hopping ferries. My precious times with Claire those few days will long be cherished and tended to in my memory banks.

But I’m not super crazy about this painting, so I’ll likely do another one once I’m home. Getting low on watercolor sketchpads here in my sister’s digs in Seattle and I am soon heading back to California, saying goodbye to my sister who got the short end of the breast cancer stick. She’s well-cared for here and deeply loved and her husband, daughter, caring friends and hospice team will look after her with empathy and tenderness. Which gives me peace as I head back to my Alameda life. [There were no authentic, accurate expressions of loss and sadness I could conjure up today. So I got out my paints.]

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper

 

 

 

daily painting | kay and camera

My sister Kay here in Seattle is finishing up her memoirs as she gets ready to leave the planet. She asked me to create some artwork for the cover of her book, and gave me a black & white shot taken of her with her camera, circa mid-1970s, to use as reference. I’m honored to have my painting on the cover of her life story, and I’m fond of this image of her looking through her viewfinder, as her life has been lived with curiosity and hunger for knowledge and beauty. I love you, Kay.

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper

 

 

 

daily painting | lenka’s rose

I have a very sweet friend and her name is Lenka. Originally from Prague, Lenka is a kind, giving and supportive person. Before I headed up to Seattle a few weeks ago to be with my ailing sister, she came over and brought me this gorgeous rose from her garden. It bolstered my heart and charmed and warmed me. I’m not super crazy about this painting, but it cheered me to paint from the photo I took before I headed up to this chilly and wet and gorgeous part of the world that is Washington state. Time with family and time with dear friends. A sad, rich, love-filled, heart-wrenching, vital, sorrowful time.

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper

 

 

 

daily painting | fremont fuchsias

I am feeling celebratory for the first time in what feels like decades this Saturday morning. Here in Seattle, walks through this charming Fremont neighborhood are very pleasant, and I’ll take another stroll today just to feel the air (or maybe rain) on my face and bask in gratitude. America feels great again.

Anyways, on a walk yesterday I spotted these lovely fuchsias in a neighbor’s front garden. Took me back to my Mill Valley childhood when my little sister (in whose house I am now a guest) and I would pop the pink bulbs with our chubby child-fingers before they opened. These vibrant pinks looked amazing against the leafy greenness of that yard and the beautiful, dark stone wall, lined up like ballerinas.

I’ve got my paint kit here (obviously) in my sister’s house in these luxurious surroundings she set up for me — she is an expert at Thai massage, and part of her house is set up as a spa complete with big roomy areas and a sauna and an exquisite shower; a massage table works perfectly for my laptop. Because she is retired, I am very comfy and have tons of privacy in the spa/guest bedroom. Painting in this climate can be a challenge as the dampness means it takes forever for paint to dry. I’ve discovered here on the counter a perfect solution — a towel warmer! Tuck the watercolor sketchpad in, and it safely dries the paint (don’t tell Kay). So far I haven’t ruined any furniture with my paint spatters. Talk about purple rain!

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper + $90