my life source and sustainer is Jesus Christ

Monday, February 25, 2013


Here is a poem from several days spent with a friend in her house on the Chesapeake Bay last fall:

On the Dock

Five swans visit me each morning
with soft arrowhead wakes.
They move in and out of blue shadows,
white feathers, and shining white necks dipping and arching,
twisting over their backs.
The swans make throaty sounds,
water dripping from their beaks.  One looks at me,
with an eye tilted, as if to say, will you do as you say?
These swans do not brook excuses
or bad posture.  All are trained in ballet from a young age.

They are an occasion in themselves,
black tie every day. 


Friday, February 22, 2013

thinking of spring

     Today's pastel is a sketch for my next painting. 

     Liberty Town Arts Workshop where I have studio space has a pottery shop that I am allowed use of.  It's wonderful, I put anything I make on a shelf, come back and it's been fired and is sitting on the bisque shelf.   I glaze it, put it on another shelf, come back and it's been fired again!  Every year I make gnomes out of ginger bread dough at Christmas time.  I make their beards with a garlic press.  This year my husband changed the recipe to a tastier, chewy version.  However it was not so good for my gnomes, they melted.  So I decided it was time to make them out of clay.  They have a copper oxide glaze.  The whole process is magical!  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

snowy day

        I love how snow transforms the familiar landscape.  This is a street in our neighborhood during our really big snow storm a couple years ago.  I sketch in pencil first on a sanded paper.  Then I pick out most of the colors I plan to use.  I have hundreds of pastels (it's my one weakness), so it's easier to have them at the ready.  This composition uses only white, several values of a grayish purple and a little red.
      There was initially going to be a fire hydrant for the red element but that did not work out.   Instead I used the cluster of oak leaves as a bit of red.  It's always so maddening how the oaks hang on to some of their leaves and drop them in the spring but for once it was helpful. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Even If

I never paint
another picture
I will never 
stop being an artist
it will intensify
and bloom inside me
with deep 
heart breaking purples
as I arrange flowers and
set the table.

My grandmother                          
painted the shy deer
who grazed on the prairie
just beyond the yard
on china plates 
and barn shingles.

       I wrote this poem a couple years ago when I was having a lot of trouble with my shoulder and unable to paint for five or six months.  My grandparents lived on a  cattle ranch in eastern Wyoming.  It was beautiful and I loved visiting them in the summer but I know at times it was lonely for my grandmother. 


Monday, February 18, 2013


       Here is the thumbnail sketch (above left) for this painting, finished last week and waiting to dry.   I do my sketches in pastels on brown paper and I almost like them as much as the paintings.  Here (below) are several I've done- all but the second one became a painting.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

frost on my car this morning!

 A very little poem to go with the ice:

The moon is a woman in a gown 
at a dinner party with candlelight 
and conversation

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

good news- revisited

     I am reading through the Message/Remix version of the Bible this year.  Today's reading began: Resurrection! and the blurb at the end of my reading said, "Every promise God makes in the Bible comes together in this story.  This is the message of Good News: Jesus is alive!"
     I was also struck by the verse in which the fastest disciple (I love those details) who arrived at the tomb first "took one look at the evidence and believed."  Belief followed examination of the evidence. 
New Life!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

good news- spring is coming!

      We get a lot of rain in the winter which the moss in our back yard loves.  I took a break from doing some record keeping this morning to enjoy the warm sunshine and practice using my camera.  It didn't come with a manual so I needed a friend to teach me it's secrets. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

chickens and buckets

Here is today's pastel.  I'm not sure which I find more endearing the chickens or the buckets.  They look as though they are on a search and destroy mission hunting down the bugs. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


We’ve only had a little snow this winter but signs of spring are already appearing.  I think I will do a few pastels of snowy landscapes before winter is over.  The chalk is perfect for drawing snow.  Two poems:

Last Week

Through a dusting of snow
the crocuses in my garden are showing
an inch of green blades
little soldiers massing at the border of winter.

A few points of tulip cannons 
are at the ready. 


The morning I dreamed that I went to the theater
in my pink nightgown, I woke to snow
falling in large solitary tufts
drifting down like
tattered ballet tulle. 

I love snow men (and women), these were made by my kids in 2010.  The first one as you can tell by the sombrero was huge!  I think it was about 7' tall.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


       This is not actually today's pastel, it is from a couple weeks ago.  I went to the Netherlands in 2009 and fell in love with the country.  It was spring time and we saw the flower fields with daffodils and early tulips.  This is a windmill park near Zaandam called Zaans Schans.  Much like Williamsburg they have preserved several windmills and old buildings along the river.  We climbed up inside one of the windmills that was used to grind chalk for artists.  Very fitting! 

Chalk windmill

Saturday, February 2, 2013

new toy

     My husband just got an ipad mini and bequeathed me his ipad regular.  This is my first sketch on it with the Sketch Book Pro app. 

Here is a poem for today:


The Past

Thoughts come into your head
like birds from a distant country
in this quiet room.

A tea bag dropped
in hot clear water,
a soft bleed swirls outward.

Let it sit until it’s dark and rich
and sadness blooms softly
with a taste as thin as a wafer.