my life source and sustainer is Jesus Christ

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

in the garden before the storm

I did a little gardening the day before Hurricane Sandy last fall.  The air was warm but disturbed with gusty breezes.  The maple across the street had dropped its flaming leaves and our redbud tree had begun to scatter its large yellow leaves around like little dinner plates.  The fall garden is a bit moody and messy with black seed heads, swaying tassels on the grasses, and mums covered in purple flowers sprawled over the sidewalk.  I sat on a little stool and sketched a bumble bee as he moved from flower to flower.  Bees are so serious and methodical, and completely at the mercy of the flower that attracts them.  

Hurricane Sandy 2012

In the house where we lived
on Long Beach Island
once upon a time it was so long ago 
there was a barometer 
like a dark omen on the wall
in the corner.  The needle, I'm sure, dropped
like a stone to the bottom of a well
as this storm passed over
the slender slip of an island
between sound and sea.   

Monday, January 28, 2013

in the studio

In my studio

       Here is today's pastel and the last one for a little while as it is a study for the next painting I'll be working on. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

a likeness

I was thinking the other day about my friend Nicole Hamilton's portraits and how very difficult it is to catch not just a likeness- not just how they look but the feeling of the person.   I love this sketch she did for a commission painting of a young man and his daughter.  

Shaun Allen Mahanes
June 27, 1980- March 5, 2012
by Nicole Hamilton

To Catch a Likeness

It's such a necessary thing
and yet so elusive
like a bird in flight.
When drawing the nose,
the eyebrow
a millimeter of exactness is required
yet you must be quick 
to catch it.

Rembrandt painted the soul
and left the clothes 
for his apprentices
who fussed over the merchant's collars
and lace

while the master sang the quiet song
that lured in the shy bird

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rocky Mountains

"Trail Ridge Road" 7 1/2"x10"

I did not intend this to be a "daily pastel" journal but I seem to be cranking them out.  I'm taking a break from painting this week while I wait to hear about a commission.  When my mother passed away about 6 years ago I looked through her photos and chose a few I thought I might like to paint.  This one is of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, the elevation is about 12,000 ft.  I like the idea of seeing through her eyes a glimpse of the wonder of that place. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

first snow of the winter!

We have a heated birdbath- a little birdie spa, and when it snows we put seed on the rail.  They remember and come looking for it whenever it snows and sometimes even if it just rains and sleets a little. 

Here is a poem for the snow:

Whirling down in muffled sound
quiet as a blanket
laying a hush over trees
and bushes and houses and cars
the fairy godmother of winter
waving her wand
and it's white, white, white
it does not speak to the other colors
chalk on a blackboard
in the children's game rock, paper, scissor
snow wins every time

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

listening to poetry

I listen to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac podcast in the dark of my early morning bedroom most days.  He talks of literary people for a while first then he gets quiet in readiness for the poem.  He puts a deep moat of silence around the poem like a frame on a painting.  Then the poem breathes out of him, each word tasted, given its due, no rushing.  It is sounded for depth, struck like a bell that resonates through my day.  
"Seagulls" 71/2"x 10"

Here is today's pastel.  The pastels are beautiful still in their boxes.  Love Terry Ludwig pastels!
warm greens


first post!

"Buena Vista" 8"x11" Sold
Did a pastel today of a little mountain town in Colorado that I visited with my daughter last spring.  We stayed in a motel in the foothills with a hot springs- it was wonderful!