February arrived cold and crisp, but dry. Since the lovely drenching storms of December we haven’t seen a single drop so I’m back to hand-watering my trees and garden in the evenings. I enjoy this work of dragging the hose down the hill and positioning it just right.
When it’s finished and each section has been given a good soak, I let out a big sigh and rest my tuchus on the sturdy porch chair and survey my queendom. I don’t have a sprinkler system or a dishwasher. I probably never will. It gives me extra time outside or watching activity in the lane that my kitchen window faces.
I’m painting up a storm. By that I mean a tiny storm gathers most days over my art tables or kitchen counter and rain falls. The storms are small, but feel large and important. They arrive almost daily, but not always.
The Ecoqua sketchbook with its thin crinkly paper is a pleasure to stroke the loaded brush across and sounds very nice when flipping through each painted page.
I have my large handmade sketchbook with the 140# paper that is very sturdy for when I feel like working on heavier paper. Turning these heavy pages is also quite nice.
I’ve been a sketchbook keeper for a long time and I’ve released most of the self-judgement I used to have in the earlier days of my practice. I do what I can to keep neurotic mind out and encourage others to do the same. A sense of humor about it all is tremendously helpful. It takes courage to avoid neurosis and accept what is on the page. I am braver some days and less so on others, but like most of you, I just keep going.
My lifelong writing habit wants to put words on all the surfaces.
If you follow me on IG, you’ll have seen most of these sketchbook pages. But my acacia? No, certainly not this year, you haven’t!
Behold the splendor.
How good it is to come home to draw and paint. I never ever want to stop recording my world.
Just doing any old thing. Whatever I please.
la di da di da
For people without this urge, it’s difficult to understand this need to have your eyes be the camera and your hands, the developer. Making pictures with the bare minimum. Committing it to a paper like a photo album. I was here. This is what I saw.
One of our 8th grade middle schoolers made this post card on the right, had it printed and put in all the teacher’s boxes. Her parents are artists. Isn’t it gorgeous?
When I was a kid I had Lee press-on nails. Little Mary Ann gave Big Mary Ann a set the other day in my journal. Red ones! For Valentines!
I refilled my grubby gouache palette. The small pans are watercolor. I don’t use those as much, but everything gets dug into with the brush, made muddy, then clean again. I have a habit of mixing everything right in the pan.
I am still working my way through the tubes and tubs of old acrylic paint from the cabinet in my art room. I like the way they look, but I don’t enjoy using them as much as gouache. The ease and simplicity of water soluble gouache is the best, but I do like the acryla acrylic matte paint labeled as “gouache” also.
After school a couple of weeks ago I walked down the block to collect my lunar new year tigers and other things.
My friend, Sharron shared her treasure trove of Danish photo albums with me one recent Saturday visit to her ranch porch. We share many loves including books and old photos. I could and have poured over these for hours.
These Danish paintings of interiors are early 20th century, but I failed to note the artist. They are sublime.
On My Bookshelf
Both of my fiction books are outstanding. Matrix was GOOD. I enjoyed it tremendously. Extremely tremendously to be exact. I was ever so sorry to see it end. Can’t recommend it enough.
Lincoln Highway. Yes please, more please. Outstandingly enjoyable and overall extremely excellent.
In non-fiction, I am rowing on a calm sea with Pema as my guide. These are just some of her books I’ve read and listened to this year so far. I’m not sure where she’s been all my life, but I am grateful to have found her. If you throw a dart at any of the dozens upon dozens of her taped retreats on audio or books you can’t go wrong. Each one is a beautiful jewel.
I have landed in a pond of book bliss and I’m just going to be paddling here for a bit.
Inform me of your whereabouts, walkabouts, art playdates, cookouts, campfires, snowstorms, snowshoes, storm clouds. I want to know what’s happening in the lives of my dear gentle readers.