Friday, April 24, 2020

This message brought to you by our sponsor...the color Yellow

The final week of April is here and is apparently being sponsored by Yellow.
Yellow is everywhere today in all possible chroma, from a pale emerging creamy yellow tulip to a hedge spray of golden forsythia. We have a loud and gaudy almost-hurts-the-eyes yellow-green chartreuse on our usually ordinary quiet trees. And over here, we have swaths of daffodils in the hue of sunshine, a symbolic shade of yellow. A giant tube of cadmium yellow has been squeezed out and is spilling over the landscape. An immense artistic hand spread out gorgeous blooming brushstrokes and walked off with the empty tube.
I spent a day this week walking around my local forest preserves in West Chicago.  Miles and meadows of daffodils, everywhere you look, from one horizon to the next. So much yellow-ness it became abstract to me. I stopped seeing individual bobbing yellow blossoms. I could only see the large wedges of yellow, next to wedges of  yellow green, relieved by a pond of blue reflecting the sky. If Mark Rothko were happy in the springtime, he would paint this.
In sheer yellow brilliance, the dandelions are in competition with the daffodils. This week regiments of dandelions have appeared in full attack, armored with opportunistic blossoms.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

tulips and more tulips

The tulips make me want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint,

The way they’re somehow getting clearer,
The tulips make me want to see
The tulips make the other me
(The backwards one who’s in the mirror,
Source: Poetry (June 2009).

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

never enough daffodils

I shouldn't be so grumpy. After all, I have three fresh lemon yellow sunbonnet beauties in a vase in front of me.
These don't seem like enough because the grass is always greener or more blessed with bounty around town where I see crowds of daffodils playing in the sun.

Monday, April 20, 2020


life is the greatest gift that could ever be conceived ... A daffodil pushing up through the dark earth to the spring, knowing somehow deep in its roots that spring and light and sunshine will come, has more courage and more knowledge of the value of life than any human being I've met.Madeleine L'Engle

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday morning

Sunday morning in my studio. Listening to sacred music, Bach Motets while I draw.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

the price

The price of anything is the amount of life you pay for it.

Friday, April 17, 2020

winter died

“She turned to the sunlight
    And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
    "Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young


Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end of the day.
Winston Churchill

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

the impossible

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Francis of Assisi

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Glorious Day

Glorious Day
I was breathing but not alive.
 All my failures I tried to hide.
 It was my tomb ‘til I met you.
You called my name,
I ran out of that grave.
 Out of the darkness into your glorious day.
You called my name, and I ran out of that grave.
 Out of the darkness into your glorious day.
Now your mercy has saved my soul.
 Now your freedom is all that I know.
 The old made new, Jesus, when I met you.
“Glorious Day,” words and music by Jason Ingram, Jonathan Smith, Kristian Stanfill, and Sean Curran, © 2017 Kristian Stanfill Publishing Designee, sixsteps Music, Sixsteps Songs, Sounds Of Jericho, Worship Together Music.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

beach playing

Remembering blissful days watching my grandchildren play on the beach in Florida.
I sketched them at play from life, so much life! Action sketches in the moment.

Monday, April 6, 2020

beach painting

Exploring the beach on the gulf side of Florida, I walked several miles to see an historic lighthouse at the tip of the island. I had my sketchbook and paint set but nothing to hold water. Looking about I found a seashell with a deep enough well to hold some salt water, and a few other heavier shells to weigh down my paper.
I brought my shells home to West Chicago with me to remember my beach explorations.
I traveled to Florida in early February, this lighthouse building is a historic place on the south end of the island of Boca Grande. I am treasuring my memories now and will not take the privilege of being able to travel for granted. Gratitude for all blessings.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


"And the end of all our exploring

 Will be to arrive where we started

 And know the place for the first time"-T.S.Eliot

Ten days into the month of March, 2020 my husband and I embarked on a vacation trip to the country of Costa Rica. We had never been there and thought it would be an interesting short trip that we could fit in with his college spring break week. I began planning this trip six months ago. I bought a Lonely Planet guidebook and a large map of the country. I researched places to see on Trip Advisor and booked excursions online months ago. I had hoarded airline miles and hotel points. It was all planned down to the hours of each day. Have I mentioned how much I love to travel? And the vicarious pleasure of planning and looking at websites months ahead with anticipation is almost as good.
My husband is not a lounge-on-the-beach-relax-all-day kind of guy. Well, neither am I, although I always hope for some time to sketch and maybe get my watercolors out. Traveling And Painting is really the best!
So we did a few planned activities, including one long day of adventures. We went with a tour group to a volcano to soak in hot springs, zip-line down a river gorge, ride on horseback up the side of the volcano and finally inner-tube rafting down river rapids. The river rapids adventure was really intense. No sketching that day. We also booked a sailing and snorkeling trip which was lovely.
Unfortunately all the fun ended abruptly with the news from home that urgent travel restrictions were suddenly coming. I changed our return flight, cancelled another snorkeling trip and we left early. The last night of our stay I sat on the beach and sketched rapidly as the sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean. Now in hindsight, we should not have taken this trip. March 2020 will go down in history as one of the most disruptive times in history.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

all the flowers

"They can cut all the flowers, but they can't stop the spring..."― Pablo Neruda

Every day I venture outdoors to check on the growth of the daffodil bulbs that I planted last fall. I was delighted to see the first bits of green poking through the last of the snow cover. 

Waiting and anticipating is my happy way to plan my next series of art projects. Hoping for lots of daffodils and maybe tulips and maybe...peonies and irises.