my life source and sustainer is Jesus Christ

Sunday, March 24, 2013

flower fields

Color Play, 30 x 40", oil
I finished this painting a couple months ago.  The sky has a subtle shift from pink on the left to blue on the right.  A couple other paintings have had a similar sky and I've been pondering how red, blue and purple interact and what kind of associations these colors have for me.  The result is this poem.


A clumsy knife
cut in the kitchen,
just a pause to consider
the intense red

perhaps the most beautiful color
tightly tethered to love and anger
earth color

before wrapping it up
and returning to chop the carrots

Blue, insubstantial as air
invisible as breath, cool
as a scientist in a lab coat.

Between the two
purple echoes both
red and blue, it hums
along the spectrum
like a child running back and forth
between mother and father

It is the familiar land/sky,
red/blue story.
expansion and habitation

Beyond our place of living, You O Lord stretch out the heavens. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

brussel sprouts

I am cooking brussel sprouts once
a week to get to know them
I slice them in half
the miniature cabbage opens up
delicate leek green inside

It is Persian tapestry 

      Tonight I sliced them in half, sauteed them in olive oil to brown them a little, then added about 1/2 c. white wine and simmered them covered for about 15 minutes.  Until they are tender but not mushy.  Then I uncovered them, and turned up the heat to evaporate any liquid.   I toasted some pine nuts, tossed them and some goat cheese with the brussel sprouts. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


this photo was taken by my good friend, Susan Krieg

A Murmuration of Starlings

Mozart's pet starling whistled
the third movement of his piano
concerto number 17.
Master mimics

their conversations, Morse code.

They fly in plague proportions
settling in trees until every 
twig is darkly notched.
Speckled and iridescent
green like an oil slick,
awkward, strong beaked,
and splay footed, they thrive.

In the early dark of fall
their passage overhead
a vast school of minnows
and we are underwater
walled in by trees
swam over by birds 
catching the last light

in this aquarium under the stars.

     As a child I thought that starlings were about the ugliest bird ever. I learned that they had been brought from England along with every other bird named by Shakespeare and introduced to Central Park, NYC.  I looked at them a little different then- they had a romantic past anyway.   Recently I've been studying them while stopped at intersections as they walk and hop along the poles over head as if walking from their living room to their bedroom.  They are so very social.  There has been intriguing new research done to try to understand their mysterious flocking patterns.  Check out this amazing video:
     That a humble bird could stir such awe seems to me a very profound thing! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Cedar Waxwings

      I began birdwatching the winter I turned ten.  The winter my brother and I both had a sickness they couldn't identify so they quarantined us (by February or March they figured out we had brucellosis) together in the house until spring.  My poor mother.  Bored, I would stand looking out the picture window in the dining room of our suburban ranch house for what seemed like hours.  It was probably ten minutes.  Eventually I began to notice the birds.  My dad got me a Roger Tory Peterson guidebook which I still have and binoculars.  The binoculars were a big help because although we didn't know it then, I needed glasses.  When I went back to school in the spring the letters on the blackboard were a blur. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

tobacco farm

         Today's pastel is from a photo of an old house with a metal roof near Colonial Beach, Virginia.  I like simple house structures that very clearly say shelter.   My hands get so messy when I draw with pastels.  I have heard several people say they will not use them because of how they feel, but I sort of like the chalky texture.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

art for a snowy day

     These are tennis courts near our house.   Here is a poem and a painting:  


As fleeting as the after burn on the back of my eyelids
just before sleep,

I see a gray mouse sweep across the rainy street
like a windblown leaf to hide
under a car stopped at a light.

Something so tender, so unseen.

Where is that acorn?

Friday, March 1, 2013

st. john

      I drew this tonight with my finger on my ipad with Sketchbook Pro.  It's interested how similar it is to a silkscreen.  I've never done a silkscreen but I know you have to think very carefully about your colors and where they repeat.  I used the same color in the sky as the water and adjusted the value. 
     We stayed in a campground called Cinnamon Bay in St. John a couple years ago and this is the beach.  I got up early every morning and went for a walk on the empty beach.  And took lots of photos. 
      Here is an excerpt from my journal:
     We sit here shaded by the large round leaves of sea grape trees.  They lean over just right to sit under like an umbrella and we gaze at the turquoise water.  Then we step out onto the sun drenched beach, not a thin or hazy light- this light is intense and brings out every color, first the warm soft sand and then the cool clear water.  This water of dreams alive with fish and unseen creatures.  Mostly when we snorkel we just hover with our outer space gear and suck air rasping in the underwater silence, we hover above the world and watch the fish below skirt in and out of the coral and the gently waving purple sea fans, anemones, the black sea urchins, and spiny sea stars.  This was my first experience snorkeling.  I always knew there were fish down there but to suddenly see them and to see the depths shafting deep blue to a distant bottom was completely different.  One evening we swam through showers of tiny silver fish.