daily painting | free-flowing freesia

You know what I long for more than anything? Honesty and transparency. Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of having lunch with a new friend, the widow of Gene, a dear friend of my brother, who died eight months prior to my brother’s death. So… we talked grief. About sudden and surprising weeping, about grief bombs. About feeling like crap most of the time. About people who want to help, but really just apply pressure for us to get over it (“I hope the next time I see you you feel better!”). About the isolation of grieving, as feeling awful just isn’t OK. We laughed and bitched and bonded. I had a ball. How refreshing it is to be able to just be myself in all my gory glory, without worrying about humans who want me to hurry to get over my sorrows or to tastefully camouflage my open, bloody wounds. I just want to be me without having to perform, or hide how I feel. I’ll never be the same after losing all my siblings in just a few years. That’s reality. I am a new me.

My friend had heard good things about my caring for my brother from her husband, before he quickly died of fast-moving cancer (Gene was a doll, a professional photographer who visited my brother and took the best photos of Jim and his pals). I think she expected a halo to be hovering over my mop of gray hair. So when we both laughed about wanting to bitch-slap someone who patronizingly says, “I’m glad to see your moods are improving,” it was a tonic.

It’s liberating to be able to share my insides with abandon and without worry of a positivity lecture. To just tell the truth. And make jokes about it.

Yes, this is a rant. Too bad. And yes, I am influenced by a recent interview I listened to with Fran Lebowitz. God bless her snarky views of us wobbly humans. An icy glass of sweet lemonade on a muggy, suffocating day.

6″ x 9″ watercolor, ink on paper = $75

 

 

 

watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | spring 2024

I’m waving my white flag in grief’s general direction. Been seven months now since my brother’s death, and of course both my sisters died in the prior years. The shock of it all is wearing off, but feeling generally crappy continues. I think it’s all part of this process and I tell myself not to worry or be impatient, as everything is running its course. My heart got broke. More than a couple of times. It takes time to mend.

Sure sucks at times. Especially since I can’t control grief and sorrow and loss and the way they wipe the floor with my hair.

So, no resistance here. I won’t fight it and I will brush aside advice that I should take pills to make me feel better. This is a natural, beautiful, normal, healing, extraordinary process. I embrace it. Even while I feel stinky. Ugh. I really like something I recently read about a woman experiencing painful loss — her answer, when people ask how she’s doing, is, “I’m here.” Yep.

10″ x 10″ watercolor, ink, pastel on paper = $140

 

 

 

watercolor painting of calla lilies by emily weil

daily painting | april callas

“I relinquish all resistance to the present moment.” That’s my mantra today (thank you Eckhart Tolle); I stumbled into Monday morning feeling drugged. I think someone slipped me a grief Mickey. My vocab is that of a demented magpie and I seem to be in the intense process of rooting out family sorrows, which is all mixed up with my sister’s illness and death. Slogging onward, but progressing. This too shall piss. Uh, pass.

But still, aren’t calla lilies amazing? I am madly in love with them and my ardor is not fading. They are all over the place, growing in many unexpected corners, and the gorgeous Georgia O’Keefe simplicity of the unfurling blooms takes my breath away. I am quite greedy for them. This arrangement, gracing my coffee table, inspired me. I hesitated, thinking, Jeez, haven’t I done enough calla lilies, already? Nope. They are endlessly lovely, and I will keep painting them. Spring gifts — beautiful bird songs out the window, swallows returning to build their mud nests, grassy green hills, explosions of California poppies. What wonderful feasts for the senses. And I’m hungry.

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

 

 

 

daily painting | crab cove calla

Aaahh… the time of year my favorite flower blooms. Spotted this glory at Crab Cove, and no I will not divulge my secret stash of overlooked Calla Lily plants somewhere in the bay area where I can swipe a few and no one pays any mind. The simplicity of this flower! The sexually suggestive “spadix” — isn’t that a fabulous word? — stunning. How they unfurl when  blossoming, like a sail. The creamy whiteness of the “petals” (actually the scientific name is “spathe” and aren’t you excited to learn such trivia?). There is something cosmic and magical about these beauties and I can’t get enough of them, which is obvious if you’ve seen past blog-posts. The challenge for me is to keep the painting uncomplicated and not noodle around too much, avoiding adding details that only distract. I love juicy simplicity. Which is a good thing, as life during Covid has been pared down to fewer elements — simple exercise, an afternoon on a socially-distant beach, cooking soup, Zooming with friends, playing with pen and ink and watercolor. Grieving. Challenging days, now. But I know there is much to look forward to when it’s safer out there in the world to roam around and travel and go to a favorite cafe and hug our friends. Holding on to those visions during my darker, sadder days, which helps.

8″ x 7″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper = $75