Saturday, June 16, 2012

Savoring the pleasure of horses

Isn't it amazing to look at a horse?

Pausing to watch (not just a fast glance, but really LOOKING) at their long, long legs and the shapes of their heads. Those liquid brown eyes.

It's the little "ordinary" slivers of life that brings a deep sense of satisfaction.

Fields full of buttercup.
Horses. Barns. Fences.
Mailboxes along a country road.

This week for me, it's been the colts that captured my eyes.

Which explains why I've spent a fair amount of guilt-free time taking photos of horses and sketching them this week.

Who knew animals were so graceful and even acrobatic?

My list of "new collections I want to do" has just expanded to include one about horses. 
Rough sketches are underway, time stolen from more urgent needs... 
but those drawings are such a valuable foundation for the art that will eventually happen.

Meanwhile, today, we reserve a sliver of time to simply enjoy the colts down the road and the geldings that live in the field behind my cottage studio.

What is calling your name these days? 
Where are you finding inspiration and rest?

Do tell, friend!
I'm longing to hear.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Close to the land

The big city was my life Before.
This is my life Now.


I love cities but rural means home now.

Barns. Mountains. Trees.

Fields and dirt and lots of sky.

It's a lot closer to the earth than most places.

You can watch your food growing here.
We understand the concept of "eating local" better because we walk past the fields daily, noting the swelling of pumpkins and cucumbers or the heavy crop on Steve's apples or quince trees.

Places at once simple and profound.

This barn belongs to my friends Steve and Kathryn and I walk by every day just to enjoy its beauty as the seasons change.

Steve is a talented bird photographer and organic farmer.
Kathryn is a famous basket weaver.

Together they've woven an artful life at Dunbar Gardens...

Do you see it, too, the way my photos look like still lifes? 
Because this little "ordinary" place is so bursting at the seams with beauty that I can hardly believe it.

And yet my friend yesterday said, "Life is so boring here. It always rains."

Which reminded me again:
there is no such thing as ordinary life.

Wherever we are, city or farm, sunny or rain, let's live this day in the wonder of now, and be fully present in this moment, fully alive.

Life is too precious to miss a single minute.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Outside the studio window...

The view from the studio window is so enticing this afternoon...

The garden is growing and blooming with abandon.

The rusty old wheelbarrow by the studio door is chock full of pansies...

And the lettuce beds have me singing with pleasure (I know, I know, but really, it's so exciting to grow your own supper!)

It's been so chilly and damp it's hard to believe summer's just around the corner.

But the first berries to ripen (the little alpine varieties) are beginning to show pink, and it's got me in such a fit of joy I am planning all kinds of sorbets and shortcakes.
I have not one ounce of sophistication in my entire body.
Certain things are worthy of grand celebrations.

Fresh strawberries for one.

Faithful friends for another.

In every corner of the garden there is some fresh miracle.

Leaves like cupped hands holding raindrop jewels.

And the upward twining of the vine-type peas and beans.

All of which make it seem a bit silly to be sitting in the studio, sipping cocoa while "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem plays in the background and I am surrounded by sketches of angels and shepherds, snowmen and Santas.

On days like this it is probably wiser to keep from peering out the window, and instead pretend it's snowy outdoors!