I traveled for the first time in Spain recently. There was a frantic pace to see the sights in the cities so the breaks in the small towns and the rural areas were welcome. I loved the simplicity of the homes, the trees, the coffee houses, small churches and rows of olive trees everywhere.
This is Lucy. I was asked to do her portrait. Animals have not always been an interest of mine, but I've found as I get older, I'm the subject of their loyalty, their licks, their intense stares and sometimes they like to sleep at my feet as I work. It's a very comforting companionship but a little one sided and unfair. I have a feeling I get more out of it than they do.
I really love my garden. It's a small, raised space where I can plant seeds and watch them grow. In the summer I pick basil, tarragon and oregano to toss in with my tomatoes. In the fall, I pick lemon thyme and rosemary for baked chicken. I can hear bees buzzing and birds chattering while I pull the weeds or water with the garden hose. It's a place that appeals to all my senses. No lists or phone calls or 5pm news. It's a place where I can go to simply be.
This is a non-representational abstract painting (abandoned on occasion). It has many layers of paint that at one time or another has had every color I could mix and not sure how many tubes of paint I used…but many. In my stash of ephemera I kept this small, shallow box with dividers that I knew I could use someday so paint and box came together in this painting along with a story.
If you have ever seen the St. John’s Bible, lucky you. I hope to see it someday. I believe it will have some grand place to view it in October 2017 in Minnesota. I’ve never been to Minnesota, but it will be a wonderful reason to visit. For those who don’t know, the St. John’s Bible is the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible since the invention of the printing press. Each page is painstakingly created. I attended a lecture on the St. John’s Bible at St. Mary’s in Moraga, CA several years ago and the speaker told the most wonderful story. One of the scribes had left out an entire line from the page he had been creating. It was an expensive “mistake”. His choices were to recreate the page or come up with some way to incorporate the missing line. So he illustrated a pulley system drawn in the margins of the page that hoisted the omitted line found at the bottom of the page to it’s rightful place. The scribe salvaged his work and possibly added a message for the viewer. It made me value even more so, the artist who sees the potential and beauty in the world around us, to work through the challenges for transformation and to have a greater vision for what could have been lost.
In October I took a road trip and the first stop was Ojai, California. The first morning I took my coffee out to a chair that overlooked the valley and one of the first things I noticed was a little yellow house in the foreground...somebody's home. It looked like they had a garden. Soccer fields were nearby. I could hear children's voices. Stables and paddocks in the distance along with some avocado fields, palm trees and then those majestic mountains. One morning, one view that almost summed up my life so far in a place I had never been.
Near the San Mateo Bridge looking north toward San Francisco you can look out across some salt flats with tidal waters and if you look closely, you will see a few small structures that resemble miniature windmills lying on a diagonal. They are models of working water screws designed by the mathematician Archimedes (b. 287 B.C.) to move water from a low-lying body of water to another area. According to Wikipedia an Archimedes Screw was used to stabilize the Leaning Tower of Pisa in 2001. Amazingly, there are quite a few examples of Archimedes contributions to our way of life in the 21st century. This landscape is about the salt flats, the tidal waters and this ancient tool. The "eureka" story and history of the Archimedes Palimpsest (one of Archimedes rare books that went missing and has been re-discovered is fascinating) can be found at http://archimedespalimpsest.org
More boats, more oars. Rick Bragg has an interesting twist to his view of boating activities. I'm simply looking for a tranquil journey under sunny skies.
"I love fishing stories which some people equate with lies. I do not believe this is always true. I think weird things happen when you step boldly off firmer earth and commence to float".
From My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg
West Coast Abstract Painter with roots to the South