Here I am, driving towards my walking destination early when I don’t report for duty at school. The morning light through the branches – dazzling. Honeycombs through the windshield. Our nearest, dearest star is rising later. I can spend more minutes in bed tuning into cat frequencies and possibly picking up transmissions from the other wild things that live just outside the open windows.
The sycamores lean towards me as I walk. I’m not breaking any land speed records, but then I don’t need to. I have no appointments to keep and no one I’m meeting, except for Otto & Iris back at the cottage later. Which is when I’ll paint a quick sketch of my morning drive from a photo. Street lights and signs sprouting from right out of the middle of the road! Passengerless cars driving themselves! ALL TRUE!
Sister and I zoomed today and painted bottles on black paper. It was fun so that’s what we’ll be doing in the Zoom next Sunday. It’s hard to beat making messes with matte acrylic paint on black paper. One of my bottles looks like a guitar. I accept it just the way it is. A paintbrush can’t be strong-armed into following the directions my eyes are sending it.
This time of year, when the new school year has just begun, I’m taken over by school-mind. Sitting down with the sketchbook happens less. I keep puttering along and moving towards art-mind. Some days I get there, other days I don’t. How’s your art pulse? Have you checked it lately? Even if it’s whisper-soft and barely there it can come roaring back just like a river. For me it just takes a good tidy-up of my art table. A sit down with a stack of sketchbooks so I can see where I’ve been. I taped up my mini seascapes from last month. I like seeing them on the wall above my table.
I am sure enjoying Patti Smith’s Substack. Just wanted to mention it in case, like me, you’re in the market for good listens and reads over there. Start with Abstract Nothingness. It’s a good sampling of what Patti is offering. I’ve gradually been adding more to my library over there. Here’s another one worth mentioning: Yarn Storm. I rarely put links in my posts anymore because they break and then yours truly has to fix them on the backend and that’s a serious pain in my tuchus. Use your favorite search engine to find if interested. If you haven’t mentioned it before, let me know if you’re reading anything worthwhile over there.
Otto, Iris, and I send our smoke signals from the hills of Northeast LA to wherever you might be. Keep your eyes looking up. You might not see a big flock of parrots like I saw last evening when I was pruning the runaway bougainvillea in the driveway, but you might see something else. You never know.
Laura Bray says
Thanks so much for the news about Yarn Storm! I loved Jane’s old blog and am beyond giddy to learn she’s back at it! As for books, I am currently reading The Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet. It’s traumatic to read, and hits close to home (such as the massive hurricane that happens in the book) but a good and important read I think.
Karen I-Kemper says
Love the paintings on the black paper, but also the ocean scenes were amazing, thanks for the inspiration!
I was out on the river cleaning up rubbish the Ocean Crusaders yesterday.To maintain sanity,and some joy in a lovely warm day on the boat,I watch the sky .Lovely clouds, eagles soaring thermals, kites and 5 pelicans in formation.Herons standing sentinel in the mangroves.Beautful
Louanne Klesseck says
Hi Mary Ann, I have been a long-time fan of your art and words. I am also a student in your classes. A cat lover and a bibliofile, that’s me. I am currently reading “The Good Left Undone” by Adriana Trigiani. I highly recommend it. Keep doing what you’ve been doing – you do it well! Best Regards, Louanne
Two books: The Book woman of Troublesome Creek a new book called East of Troost by Ellen Barker Both of these books are so excellent!!
Mary Ann Brown says
So glad you mentioned Patti Smith’s Substack. I must get back to her always wonderful creations there. I saw her in concert at the Wiltern theater on Sept. 7th. It was so so wonderful. I was on my feet dancing and singing along most of the concert and that’s saying something since I had my left hip replaced on July 18!! I just leaned on my right leg while holding onto the railing in front of me. It was such a joy.
Thank you for the words and images of your postcard, Your kitties are adorable, Mary Ann. Getting into Art Mind is a goal for me most days, even if I just write a paragraph in a journal and do some mark making with colorful pens, markers, paint. It is so satisfying. Seeing your painted bottles on black paper makes me want to go there next. Sending you art mind vibes. 🥰
Love love your landscapes!
I’m into painting landscapes like a maniac. Testing different materials to paint with,
Oil pastels. Gouaches soft pastels, color pens, neocolors and of course watercolors
Having so much fun.
Carol Balabanow says
I’m a bit late to the party but I am recommending the movie Where the Crawdads Sing. A young child suffers so many devastating losses, but her love of the marsh and all the creatures and specimens she paints has a way of healing her. My friends tell me the book is even better!
wendy richardson says
i always love your missives…. they flow so well. have you read The Elegance of the Hedgehog? i may be late to the party on this one. i listened and the readers are excellent. i truly felt like i was at a play – with my eyes closed maybe?!
Love it all, MAM! This time next week, we’ll be Denverites again. Looking forward to a whole different way of life.
Love the ship painting!
I am coming over right now to give O&I full body hugs. Warn them I am coming!
You morning street sketch is STUPENDOUS. Love the bark on the trees, the fabulous foliage colors, and the bike rider.
I’ve read two amazing books recently by Mohsin Hamid. They are, Exit West and The Last White Man. He is a very subtle writer, and I found both books profound. Neither book is very long, and I read most of The Last White Man in one day, couldn’t put it down!