July 15, 2008

Create with yellow

I spent an hour or so in the garden taking pictures yesterday. I thought this one would be a nice inspiration for days when there is no sun.

July 14, 2008

Encaustic painting

I have been entertaining for the last week, so I haven't had much time for art, but I did get the opportunity to teach a private lesson in encaustics, and this is the result:

I think she did a great job! I also had the opportunity to give some watercolor lessons to my eight year old neice. I bought her a set of watercolor paints and a book with good quality paper, and she had so much fun painting that she wanted to paint every minute. It made for a great week of art, even if it was other people doing the art.

July 6, 2008


It is amazing how a bit of rain can turn the most routine activity into a wonderful inspiring event. I usually don't take the dogs for a walk in the rain because neither of them like the rain and they always prefer to be inside when it rains. But this morning, it started to rain just as I was putting on their leashes, and once that promise is made, there is no going back.

We followed the same route we always take - a mile trek down the closest range road to the highway and back. Usually the walk is boring and smells of cow dung, and I spend the time thinking about work and ignoring the drab scenery. But I love walking in the rain, and it makes everything look so magical. It poured for the first couple of minutes, and then it softened to a gentle drizzle. It created a soft mist on the distant trees, and washed the flowers in the fields so the pink and purple, yellow and white stood out on the lush green backdrop of the fields.

As we walked, we were chaperoned by a little wren, who flew from fence post to fence post, watching us and trying to determine whether we were safe or not. A whole family of swifts were perched on the wires, and a heron was hunting for fish in the pond that ordinarily seems bereft of life. All the wildlife that normally hides from human predators or finds shelter from the heat of the day under trees that make them invisible to me were out in the rain, taking advantage of the brief relief from the heat of the sun.

Most people seem to avoid the rain, as though the water is poisonous. People think that if they get wet, they will catch a cold or get sick somehow. They dress up in cumbersome gear and run from shelter to shelter, to avoid getting touched by the rain.

I love the rain. When I was young I decided that I could either hate the rain and hide indoors like most people, or I could embrace the rain, and experience a world that most people miss out on. I chose the latter. I forget sometimes, and get too focused on day to day drudgery to stop and smell the rain, but when I lift my head and take a deep breath - oh how glorious it is! The rain brings out the smells of poplar and pine, and creates a heady frangrance that makes one stop and just smell.

Take a moment to walk in the rain. Look at how the rain washes away the dust and grime and leaves everything sparkling and fresh. The colors of the leaves and grass and flowers are different when it is raining. Visibility is affected, and the corners are softened so that the world is a comforting place full of life and joy. Rainbows are only the period at the end of the sentence - it is the rain that forms the important part of the story.

July 1, 2008

Art and Turnovers

I have been working on a few art projects, but I have not been feeling a lot of that special kind of excitment that comes with a truly creative challenge. I think that my decision to work on more commercial forms of art may have been a bit of a mistake. I have been challenged while learning watercolors, but not really excited in the same way that I feel when working on assemblage and abstract art.

Rather than force myself to work on something I wasn't totally excited about, I decided to make raspberry turnovers instead. I made a few individual serving size turnovers, and all the filling kept oozing out the ends. I thought that it would work better to make them as one long turnover, and then cut them into servings, but they opened up while cooking and spilled all over the baking sheet. I do like the way that the two long turnovers formed this sensuous, sinuous line on the pan, and I thought it was worth a picture.