daily painting | limey still life

Thanks to the bounty of the Berkeley Bowl produce dept I have quite a selection of fruits to assemble for a quickie still life. I hadn’t planned on doing this today but some of my fruit bowl items were so colorful and interesting I needed to pull them out and arrange them on my table. At first I did a painting of one of those funny, pompadour-sporting sumo tangerines with its bumpy topknot but I wasn’t satisfied with the results (the tangerine looked more like an orange with a cerebral tumor). Then I thought I’d compose a quick work with limes and this roma tomato which was fun (I ate the beets. They are gone.). Even though I’m at home for this Staycation, my body is more relaxed, I feel more at ease, and I can sense all my parts — my psyche in particular — mending. It’s hugely comforting knowing I can take care of myself this way and bringing out my paints also is a healing exercise. I’m putting a dent in my stack of New Yorkers, making myself lovely dinners, visiting friends (safely), sleeping late, watching movies (last night’s fare: “African Queen”). Escapism and rest and outdoor fun are my priorities and every day I feel better. I’m filled with gratitude that I am near so many beautiful scenes, from beaches to redwood groves to wildlife on the estuary just out my window. I am absorbing it all and becoming whole.

7″ x 7″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper = $65

 

 

 

watercolor painting of beet by emily weil

daily painting | beet in a pleat

I know it shows a lack of imagination, doing two beet posts in a row, but I just love the shape of these veggies. So I did another watercolor of the same subject, and since I started it late in the afternoon in waning light, I left the long-tailed root vegetable, a bit coyly hidden behind folds in the napkin, on the table as I planned on continuing the painting today. In the meantime, as per usual, as dusk descended, I chased rats off my bird feeder (a useless activity, they are repeat customers) and as I half-glanced at this still life arrangement on my table later in the evening, it resembled a dead rat with a long tail. Or maybe a sleeping rat. Either way it made me laugh. Rats are OK if it means I also get to have bird visitors. I’ve made my peace with the rodents, though I did shake cayenne pepper on my rubber mat outside as the rats rudely started chewing on it to get bits for their nests. I had pet rats as a kid until the dog killed them, so I’m not averse to their visits to my deck. I’m OK with the squirrel too. Any damn thing with a beating heart.

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

 

 

 

daily painting | christmas still life

You know you are an artist when you roam the produce dept at Berkeley Bowl looking for still life material instead of recipe ingredients. In this case I “shopped my refrigerator” and put this together on this most remarkable Christmas Day, the first day in my 68 years to have a solo quarantined December 25th. Wow, I must say it’s been pretty damn interesting. And amazingly happy. I knew it would be a quiet day here in the marina (neighbors’ remodeling projects temporarily stilled), and I’ve been paying attention to and appreciating a complete lack of family drama. Is that a good thing? Am I destined to become a recluse? Who knows. But I admit I am glad to observe my adaptability to this somewhat sequestered life. And I completely enjoyed a rainy, windy holiday walk on Crown Beach with a good friend. As I sit in my slightly rocking houseboat enjoying a winter storm’s arrival, anticipating putting together a Christmas feast just for one, I am standing outside myself a bit and watching my life as an aging woman. Content, surely. Filled with grief — how could I not be? Flexible, sturdy and rolling with the 2020 punches. Merry Christmas everyone. Though, as a dear friend said, “Merry” and “Christmas” are not exactly a well-matched pair this year.

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