watercolor and ink painting of sheep by emily weil

daily painting | sierraville livestock

Today was a blissfully quiet and beautiful day in my marina in Alameda. Along with household chores and napping I pulled out my paints to work from a photo I took on the way to art camp a month ago. I stopped along the 2-lane highway in Sierraville (NW of Truckee) as there was a weathered and interesting old barn I wanted to photograph for future paintings. A gentleman with his two grandsons stopped as I snapped away, curious about what I was up to, and invited me into said barn where the boys, Mason and Lincoln, proudly showed me their sheep. This sassy hoofer (whose name I sadly did not record) was hamming it up so he (or perhaps it was a she) was today’s subject matter but let me also add that it was painting #2 for the day as the first one, from another photo taken from the same highway, was a dud.

Another fun bit of my day was getting a chai latte from Peet’s drive-through and driving down to the estuary near the ferry terminal in Alameda to watch the ships and sailboats while I waited for my laundry to dry. I noticed a few tugs scooching a massive container ship up to the docks to be off-loaded. I texted my tugboat captain friend Hal to see if one of the tugs was his and yes it was! So I got to watch and wave. OK he couldn’t see my wave but it was still fun. Hal’s a sweetheart.

Happy 4th, everyone. If anyone is interested, Heather Cox Richardson’s essay on the American Revolution is a well-written synopsis of the beginnings of our colonial rebellion and it is available on FaceBook if you look up “July 2, 2023 Heather Cox Richardson.”

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




daily painting | maker farm hoofer

A couple of days ago I grabbed my bike to get outdoors and try to outride the dark thoughts creeping in under my eyebrows. I enjoy riding down the estuary to where the shipping cranes on- and off-load the hulking, ocean-traveling ships. Such a funky, interesting mix of sights and scenes — the clanking of the primary-colored containers as they are loaded onto the ships, small sailboats dwarfed by enormous rust-stained hulls, maybe some cute little oystercatchers pecking at tidbits at the tide’s edge with their cartoony, orange beaks; a few folks living in their RVs, humans letting their pets loose at the dog run. It’s so splashy and unsanitized. Nearby is a fun nursery called Ploughshares, a collaborative operation and a good spot to buy plants for your garden and support the local community. I was delighted to ride past their spot and see folks with rakes cleaning up an open lot alongside backhoes moving dirt around, sheep chomping on composted refuse and piglets wrestling with each other in the mud. Turns out Maker Farm, which had been next door to my marina, found their new home. They let me come in the gate and photograph the activities, and this friendly and curious hoofer came over to say hello. It’s a kind of figure drawing, right? Sheepy, shaggy models. These unexpected and fun moments are such a relief from dodging grief bombs. Last night, while out on my deck, a Great Blue Heron swung around the corner of my house and flew within a few feet of me. I could hardly catch my breath, it was such a magnificent surprise. Beats hell out of dodging raindrops dripping through my ceiling onto my bed in the middle of the night, but that’s another adventure too boring to describe. A Christmas night wake-up, but it’s OK now. Moving soggily onward.

7.5″ x 7.5″ watercolor, pen, acrylic spats on paper = $75