Saturday, December 19, 2009

The last few days, I was away in Tennessee, working on a portrait. It was a lot more than working on a portrait, however. I'm afraid words aren't the best vehicle to describe what can happen during a portrait sitting. Suffice it to say that if one is lucky, there is magic that gets somehow transmitted into and through the portrait. And so much more in between the artist, the sitter, the space and Spirit. Many thanks to Quentin and Annelle for sacred conversations, a most comfortable bed, wonderful foods and a wee dram or two in such a beautiful home.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Playing with fire...

Just playing around with the woodburner a bit as a markmaking tool... It smells terrible when it burns paint, but it's fun...

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Well, we didn't get the snow that was predicted for today. In fact, once the clouds and drizzle moved on, it was a really beautiful, if cold, sunny day. It's been a while since I've seen the squirrels in their tree, and sometimes there are as many as four where you see two here. That maple tree makes a great home for their families. And the woodstove is a fine surrogate warm mommy for Sundew. She's the fist of the cats to think of getting up under it, and I wonder if she'll still squeeze in when she gets bigger....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a beautiful day here. A nice day to reflect on the many things I am thankful for in this very moment. I am blessed with so many wonderful friends, healthy, happy family, a safe, warm home, three crazy cats and the amazing good luck to be aware of so much beauty in the world. There was a lot of time in my life when I wasn't as lucky, and the contrast is amazing. To appreciate the simple things in life is such a gift. The squirrel that was sitting a few feet away from me yesterday morning, chewing on a mushroom, while Canada geese, honking, flew south overhead, obscured by the morning fog; the way the sun shines sideways into my studio all afternoon this time of year; the aroma of decaying leaves and hemlock needles, lifting from the duff; the rooster's crow in the distance; the swaying trees, even appearing self-conscious without their foliage; the sounds of squirrels' teeth scraping nuts; the rustle of the brown leaves, still clinging to branches, in the breeze; wordless walks with friends through the woods; and the anticipation of good times with friends over thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Misty morning...

Sorry it's been a while. Busy with show and visiting family in warmer climes. I rose early this morning, before the roosters, and when the sun finally got 'round to rising, it was lovely in the mist.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Artist's Path

Good friend, great poet-artist, fellow dreamer, and ongoing source of inspiration to me, Laurence Holden, now has a blog up and running, where you can see some of the wonderful poems he read at our recent gathering/show in Atlanta. He will also be reading next Friday up in Franklin at the Wilderness Society. I hope you can join us if you live nearby!

Here are the details for next week:

Monday, October 26, 2009

What I meant...

What I meant when I said orange days, was that this weekend and into this week, I wake up and look outside, and pretty much all I see is shades of orange. It's been truly magical. These are not particularly interesting photos, but I felt like sharing the mood of the woods around me. I hope you like the orange!

Right now, here in northeast Georgia, the Hickory trees (mine are Mockernut Hickory) are a remarkable deep golden orange. The Dogwood trees range from murky red to sharp, dark red, and I'm sorry I don't have any good Sourwood examples here - I have seen some amazing crimson Sourwoods this week and they've left me stunned. I know I have never seen them quite that color before.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I wrote this up for the show last weekend. Forgot that it might be nice to share here, too. It's the story of how I came up with my most recent signature for these new works.

Making a Mark

Dream February 6, 2009
I am given a small block of wood with a wood burner resting on it - in order that I can put a special mark on a piece of art I have created. The man who gave me this tool hands me a very old Tibetan print with a special red color and points to the red (which is the same as the red I have been using in my paintings). The mark is only about a half inch in size. This is an ancient tool to make an ancient and very special mark. This tool is ancient and Tibetan - it must be several thousand years old.

After this dream, I knew that I would use a wood burner to make my sign on my recent artworks that are primarily on wood. I was not sure what my mark would be, but that would come.

Then, a few weeks before this show, I had another message from a dream:

Dream September 5, 2009
I see large paintings or images of forests, water, etc. Superimposed on them are concentric red circles - sort of like targets. They could be successful artworks - large paintings. I woke up remembering this for later. I moved on to other dreams, and in those dreams reminded myself to remember this important image.

I awoke the next morning feeling appreciative that I had received a message, but also thinking that the image was a bit heavy handed for me, in terms of art content. I just couldn’t see myself plastering such a big symbol all over my work. I sketched it out, though, and thought about what the symbol could mean in the context of my life, and rested on the idea of frequency. I had been thinking a lot over the last couple of years about frequency and how we resonate to certain things and people – and with colors and sounds and places. Not only that, but this symbol also suggested to me the small stone that makes a ripple which travels far. These felt better to me, but still I wasn’t sure what I would do with the image from the dream in waking life.

A couple weeks later, preparing for this show, I borrowed a wood-burning tool from my mother that she had gotten for the grandkids to use. I wondered what my sign would be. When I got the box with the wood-burner to my studio and opened it up, I found several generic points in addition to the wedge point, which was the only one I’d ever used before. One of these was the concentric circles I had seen in my dream. I was so relieved to discover that not only would I not have to make big targets on my work, but even more because I knew what mark I needed to make. I would never have chosen that point with which to make my mark - but that my dream had informed me just in time.

This is one of many stories about how dreams, when I pay attention, can guide me in beautiful, strange ways.


I was just opening a text document, and the one that opened wasn't the one I was looking for. It was these words I wrote back in July and apparently promptly forgot about. I suppose they were written for one or more of the recent paintings. Maybe I'll post a couple possible candidates with the words...

the river flows
threads drift on the surface
what lies beneath
who knows
the river carries on
and carries with it
all things within
going down
toward the sea
all things answering
gravity’s pull
fighting or flowing
in the current
all things answer
gravity’s pull
and the river flows on
to the sea

hw july 14, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009


Many thanks to Brooks and Mo and Laurence for a wonderful show in Atlanta - also thanks to Rob for helping with some of the prep work...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rivers, Snakes, Art and Felines...

A week or so ago, I went down to the Chattooga with a friend, after the flooding had subsided. It was amazing, as always, to see just how high the river had been during flooding. There was a snake up in a tree that must have found the limb as he was swimming and the river was at that level. Amazing.

This is where the water level had come up to during the flood. I can't imagine that much water in the river, but so it was.

This snake must have had quite a ride before he found this branch to light upon, and rest as the water level dropped...

Yesterday's "Art at the Cabin" was lovely. It was so heartening for me to have friends in my home, sharing and interacting with my art. Thanks to all who came to share.

This morning, as Sundew was playing in my hammock, I thought about the mini-hammock Rob brought me from Costa Rica. Actually, he brought it for Honeybear, but she didn't use it so I set it aside. This morning I set it up for Sundew then went to take a bath. After my bath, I looked out the window to find Sundew, lounging away on the hammock. Wonderful!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Late summer colors...

I went out on the screened porch this afternoon to grab a quick nap before an appointment, and I got sidetracked when I noticed this yellow spider hiding on this yellow flower. When I took them outside to photograph them, I got sidetracked by the poke berries and their leaves. Of course there was no time for a nap, but the colors were worth it. Only sorry the poke leaves colors don't come across so well on the web. Just imagine they're redder and greener...

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