This US Army Corps of Engineers dredging vessel, the Yaquina, plies the coasts of Oregon and California scouring silty river openings. She will soon be captained by my sister-in-law Jane. How cool is that? She commissioned this painting as a gift for her boss, the captain who is retiring. What an honor, to be asked to create this gift. So many interesting twists and turns in this life — several years ago the ship was being maintained and fixed up at a nearby Alameda shipyard, and I was happy to be invited on board to paint. What great fun and a wonderful privilege that was! (Jane commissioned a painting of the ship then as well, and I believe it hangs inside the Yaquina).
Jane has traveled the world as a merchant mariner, and I am so happy we are in touch and that I am still considered part of the family of my divorced husband. To be seen as kin. I’m running low on sisters these days so I am particularly grateful.
Saturday I found myself doubled over in grief pain. It sideswiped me and I am guessing it was because it was my brother’s birthday. Maybe because I have no more sisters’ birthdays to remember and celebrate? Dunno (felt better the next day). I am grateful for kind, comforting friends to talk to. Such a surprise, sometimes, this grief train. It rolls over me, flattening me and I don’t see it coming. But here I am, still upright (if slightly bent over) and truly grateful to be an artist. I don’t have a fat bank account, but I am satisfied.
11″ x 14″ watercolor, pen on paper